By Kathie Bennett
When ‘would-be’ novelists ask New York Times bestselling author Michelle Gable for advice, her first suggestion is to read. “A person can’t be a writer,” she says, “without being a reader first.”
Growing up in San Diego, Michelle was the sort of kid who’d sneak books and a flashlight to bed. Her parents recognized her passion for words and, on her tenth birthday, gave her a book called Someday You’ll Write. From then on, Michelle did exactly that.
She wrote through middle school, high school and during sleepovers while her friends prank-called boys. For college, Michelle traded coasts, attending William and Mary, where she majored in accounting, as most writers do. She liked numbers and knew her parents wouldn’t support a starving artist lifestyle. Writing, she reasoned, could be done on the side.
After several years in Washington, DC, Michelle got married and eventually returned to her hometown. Soon, she was balancing motherhood with an investment banking career. Through it all, she wrote—early in the morning, late at night, often by hand.
On her thirty-first birthday, Michelle decided to make something of her hobby. She found an agent, and this agent shopped her manuscript to publishers. The first novel didn’t sell, so Michelle wrote another. The second novel failed, too, as did the third. So many manuscripts were rejected that not even a writer with an accounting degree could keep track. She kept writing, certain that one day it’d work out.
Finally, after eight years of rejection, Michelle’s agent sold A Paris Apartment to the only publisher who hadn’t already turned it down. Her “debut” novel launched in 2014, nearly thirty years after being given Someday You’ll Write.
Michelle is the author of four novels and, in 2016, she left her twenty-year career in finance to write full time. Her daughters are now teenagers, but some things haven’t changed. Michelle can still be seen writing at all hours, whether at her desk or in the softball stands. She remains an avid reader, devouring several books per week.