Meet the Author Monday: Michelle Dunne

Michelle Dunne

It’s Meet the Author Monday! Each week we meet a new author and get to know a little about them, their writing process, publishing experience, and tips for other writers. Today we’re talking to Michelle Dunne, author of The Invisible.

About Michelle Dunne:

Born and raised in the harbour town of Cobh, Co Cork, Michelle joined in Irish army at the age of 18, where she went from recruit, to infantry soldier, to Peacekeeper with the UN, to one of the first female instructors back home in Ireland.

​During her time in Lebanon, tracer rounds lit up the sky above her and artillery rained down, while she got to experience first-hand the camaraderie between soldiers and the sense of humour that got them all through some frightening situations. She also got to see how ordinary families tried to live in conflict zones and these experiences have inspired so much of her work to date.

The Invisible is Michelle’s fourth book, but the second in The Lindsey Ryan series, following on from While Nobody Is Watching, which is currently in development for television. Michelle is represented by WGM Talent and Literary Group and has publishers in the UK and USA. She is currently working on her fifth book, Playing the Game, a thriller set in an Irish UN Peacekeeping camp.

Michelle is also the organiser of the inaugural Spike Island Literary Festival, which took place in September 2022.

About The Invisible:

A migrant crisis. A corrupt harbor town. Who will stand for those who have become invisible to the rest of the world?

People have become one of the world’s most valuable commodities. Trafficked on the promise of a new life only to be hidden away as modern-day slaves. When Lena, a raped and badly beaten Syrian woman, literally falls into Lindsey Ryan’s life, she’s left with no choice but to find her part in this new war and play it as best she can.

But before she can work out a safe plan to get Lena away from her very own hell at the hands of Patrick Adebayo, Lindsey hears of an unconscious child being smuggled into Patrick’s building just two doors up. Despite having Patrick’s unwanted attention, she has to help the child and get Lena to safety regardless of the cost. In doing so, she finds herself face to face with the worst of humanity.

Added to her own private battle with PTSD, former soldier Lindsey Ryan is in a race against time and must once again fight for her life. But if she fails to protect those around her, what if anything, will that life be worth?

Author Interview with Michelle Dunne:

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  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you? 

Writing definitely energizes me.

  1. What are common traps for aspiring writers? 

Taking rejection too personally

  1. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want? 

I write the types of books that I like to read – which I hope is giving the reader a little bit of both. I try to write a character that my readers haven’t met before, or aren’t overly familiar with, while giving them the kind of story that they (and I) like to sink their teeth into.

  1. Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly? 

Hmmm, good question. I think to be a good writer, you need to at least feel empathy. If you can’t put yourself in other people’s shoes and at least understand what it might feel like to be them, or why they might feel the way they do, then I don’t know how you could write any well rounded characters. 

  1. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer? 

I’ve become friends with almost all of the authors that I encounter. They’re generally a very friendly bunch and we’ve all been in the same boat at some stage, so we tend to have lots to talk about. Amy Cronin and Cathy Kelly have been particularly fabulous. 

  1. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book? 

The Invisible is part of a series, as is my earlier work, so they have characters in common. But I firmly believe that all books in a series, need to stand alone. You can’t expect your readers to have read your previous work, or know the characters that you’re writing about.

  1. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? 

A lot of my inspiration comes from my time in the defense forces and with the UN, so a lot of what I write is based on experiences, mixed with what we read in the headlines and what’s happening in the world around us. But I do like to line people up, when I know that I’ll have questions as the story develops. For example, with While Nobody Is Watching, I knew that I’d need some police procedural questions answered, so I contacted a former colleague, who is now a police officer who offered his time, whenever those questions arose. I have the same arrangement in place with a military police officer as we speak for the book I’m working on now. 

  1. How do you handle writer’s block? 

I step back from what I’m working on and go do some reading. Often I’ll read something completely different to what I’m writing. A complete break away. I’ll pay more attention to the news, particularly stories that are in any way related to what I’m writing and the kicker – I get out for a run; a wooded trail or country road. No music, no people, no noise and then something usually clicks.

  1. What comes first, the plot or characters? 

My characters. They’re always the first spark of inspiration and then the story develops around them. I think the best storyline in the world will fall flat without a strong, well rounded character.

To learn more about Michelle Dunne, here’s where you can find her:

Facebook: @MichelleDunneAuthor
Twitter: @NotDunneYet

Meet the Author Book Promotion

Published by Kelly Schuknecht

Kelly Schuknecht is a marketer with a background in the publishing industry. She is passionate about all things related to books and loves helping authors navigate the world of social media for book promotion. She recently launched the course Marketing Your Book on TikTok.

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