Michelle Nott holds undergraduate degrees in French Education and Creative Writing and a M.A. in French with a concentration in Surrealism. Before becoming an author, Michelle Nott was a French teacher (pre-K to university levels) in the U.S., worked for a French company in Paris and an art gallery in NYC. She has also edited and written articles for numerous on-line and print magazines in the American and European markets.
In 2004, Michelle moved to Belgium. When she noticed that her daughters’ book collection included more French titles than English ones, she decided to write stories for them herself. Many of these early stories can be found on her blog Good Night, Sleep Tight where she also reflects on raising Third Culture Kids.
In 2015, Michelle and her family returned to the U.S. But with American and French citizenship, they travel to Europe regularly. Their favorite places include the French Alps, the Belgian countryside, and the Cornish coast in the UK. Her family’s life and adventures prove to be great inspiration for her stories.
Freddy, Hoppie and the Eyeglasses is Michelle’s first book for children. Her future children’s books are represented by Essie White at Storm Literary Agency. She is a member of SCBWI, Children’s Book Insider and Houston Writer’s Guild.
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Thank you for joining us today, Michelle. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in Ohio, but as soon as I graduated from high school, I started to travel. I have travelled to and/or lived in seven states and 15 countries.
When did you first get bit by the writing bug?
I was bit hard in third grade and that bug has been itching ever since. My teacher had assigned us to write a fictional story that the room mothers transformed into “real books” with scraps of fabric and cut up cereal boxes. When I saw the final product, I knew that being an author was what I wanted to be.
Why did you decide to write stories for children?
I wrote mainly short stories and poetry throughout college and beyond, but always wanted to write for children. Yet, I couldn’t find the right inspiration or words until I had my own children. Their lives have sparked even more inspiration than I could possibly write about!
Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?
I think writing any book is hard work. But I will say that writing for children is extra challenging because the word count and the word choice are much more limiting.
What is your favorite part of writing for young people?
I love being able to get into a child’s mind again and relive the excitement and the innocence of every day adventures.
Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?
My latest book out in stores now is an early reader, Freddy, Hoppie and the Eyeglasses, about a young boy named Freddy who is has problems at school, gets headaches, and experiences a bit of bullying all because of his eyesight. With the help of his imaginary frog, Hoppie, he find the courage to tell his mom something is wrong.
What inspired you to write it?
The book of Freddy was inspired by my youngest daughter when she was prescribed eyeglasses. Freddy’s story is very different from hers as her vision problems were noticed at a routine check-up. As she had never complained about not being able to see, I wondered how many children do not even realize they may have a problem. My hope was to write a story, not just about vision problems, but about a child struggling with an issue, any issue, and who needs to find a way to tell a trusted adult.
Where can readers purchase a copy?
Readers can purchase Freddy, Hoppie and the Eyeglasses on my publisher’s website, on Amazon, or request it at any bookstore.
What is up next for you?
I recently signed with Essie White at Storm Literary Agency who will be representing my future picture books. I am very excited to see where this next venture takes me and my stories.
As far as what I’m currently writing, I’m working on revisions for a middle grade magical realism story that takes place in Belgium, where I lived for over 11 years.
Do you have anything else to add?
Thank you so much for having me. It’s been a pleasure.
Thank you for spending time with us today, Michelle Nott. We wish you much success.