Welcome our Guest Author, Michelle Henrie



My Writing Journey

Michelle Henrie


             Third time is the charm, right? At least that became the plan after quitting twice.

            When I first decided to write, I had two small children and wrote picture books. They’re over a thousand words! I never submitted them to agents because I was frightened of rejection. At that time, I was battling depression, and writing was my outlet. I was on the fence about publishing because others would have to read my work.

            Ten years later.

            With four kids and a teen boy who hated reading, I started writing a young adult fantasy about powers from a meteor that hit the earth. He loved it and always begged for more. But I knew my villain was as sturdy as wet paper. Discouraged, I started a blog to review books and see what made them work. Wow! I learned a lot about what I liked and what worked for me. But was I ready to write again?

            Four years later.

            I’d had surgery and was lying in bed. For two years, I’d had an idea forming for a novel. With a notebook, I wrote everything I’d imagined in two weeks. Then I upgraded to my computer. But I kept this a secret from my husband and everyone for six months. Within nine months, I had 105,000 words. The first person I shared it with was my mom—she encouraged me to keep working on it and thought it was good. (Go ahead and roll your eyes.) I gave it to my husband, and he said he was confused and that it didn’t make any sense. The only fantasy he'd ever read was Harry Potter—surely, he was wrong. I donated money for a published author to read my novel. She hated it. Couldn’t say a kind word to a newbie. Her caustic review sent me into a spiral.

            That’s when conferences started. And I put that on your basic wash and repeat cycle. I grew a thicker hide. Learned about sentence structure. How to use sentence fragments for impact. And I reviewed so many chapters with other “budding” authors. We worked so hard, but that doesn’t guarantee success.

            But no one can define my success except myself.

            That’s when I became an author without the “newbie” or “budding” or “wannabe” attachment. I’d written six novels, bunches of picture books, entries for Writers of the Future (and received some awards), and one graphic novel.

            Seven years later.

            I changed my approach on Twitter. My goal was to become noticed, and to do this, I hunted for writing tips. By posting and reposting, agents started following me. I branded myself: I’m always kind to others and supportive, I love art, and review tons of ARCs.

            Then I got an email! An agent wanted to talk.

            As per industry standards, I contacted all the other agents with my manuscript, letting them know I had an offer on the table and if they were interested in representing me, they needed to get in touch.

            I got another email wanting to set up a conference call. This agent told me upfront she wasn’t necessarily offering representation…


            Please, cue Jaws’ theme song.

            Da-da, da-da.

            After we discussed the manuscript and goals for my career, she gave me an offer.

            I couldn’t believe I had such a difficult decision. And after much consideration, chose the second agent but deeply respect the first. It came down to the vision the second agent had for my manuscript.

            Now, I’m in the querying trenches with publishers driven by my agent.

            One year, five months later.

           We haven’t had a hit yet. And I’m revising the novels and picture books and writing new manuscripts. I adore working with my agent, but how to choose your agent is another story.

Write because you love it!

Check out Michelle's website: https://www.michelle-henrie.com/


  1. Sharing your journey gives hope and reminds us why we do what we do. Thanks for your candid walk back!

  2. Love the perseverance and determination! Slowly and surely it looks like it’s all paying off. Writing is so difficult to break into and your dedication is telling.

  3. great and inspiring story. thank you for sharing the downs and ups and downs and ....