Friday, October 14, 2011

Interview with Michelle Davidson Argyle

Hi all! Today I welcome Michelle Davidson Argyle for another installment of GPF. However today is a bit different because I held an interview with her to market her forthcoming novel Monarch.

First things first: Who are you? 
I grew up in a little valley town in the Rocky Mountains called Heber City, and I’ve always loved to write. I wrote my first novel in high school and later graduated with an English and Creative Writing degree from Utah Valley University. I really wanted to “grow up and write novels for a living.” Slowly, I’m making that a reality!

Tell us a bit more about Monarch? 
Monarch is an adult spy thriller that takes place in Brazil and West Virginia. It’s different from your average thriller in the fact that it’s told from three points-of-view: Nick, a 50-year-old almost-retired spy for the CIA who’s been set up for murder; Lilian, a 50 year-old divorced woman who owns the secluded Monarch Inn and fears being alone for the rest of her life; and Devan, Lilian’s 26-year-old son who wants nothing more than to leave his mother’s inn and join the Air Force.

Monarch is like a family drama with spies, badass guys, guns, butterflies, and brownies. It’s a fun ride!

How did the idea behind Monarch come about?
I first had the idea from Monarch when I read a section in Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. She has a section in there about monarch butterflies, and it’s brilliant and beautiful and it really sparked something inside me to write a story about butterflies. The spy element came when I wrote a few other short stories that contained a mysterious spy-like character. I thought it would be fun to combine the two.

How long did it take you to write Monarch and to prepare it for publishing?
I started Monarch back in November of 2008 for National Novel Writing Month. I worked on it straight for a full year, then took a break to write my novella Cinders, and then got back to it for some more revisions until I submitted it to Rhemalda Publishing in the fall of 2010.

Plotter or pantser?
I used to be a pantster, but not anymore! I love to outline by writing a detailed synopsis for stories after I’ve written the first few chapters to get a feel for the characters and the story.

What came first: Plot or Characters? 
For Monarch, the idea of butterflies in a forest surrounding a lady who owns an inn came first. And then one day a spy walks into her life…yeah, I get odd ideas. Hah.

Any advice to new writers out there? 
Patience. If you want to make it as a writer, you need to read and write more than almost anything else in your life. Period. Keep at it! The only failed writer is the one who gives up and the only successful writers are ones who work very, very hard.

Any advice to old writers?
Pretty much the same as my advice to new writers, oddly enough. I have to remind myself a lot that patience is the name of the game in this business and that the only thing that sells more books is to write more books. That’s the whole point, after all! Keep writing and keep getting better at what you love.

Where can people get a hold of your book?
My book is available everywhere books are sold. You can order Monarch from your local bookstore – just have them look it up in Ingram or Baker & Taylor. Or it might even be on the shelves. Or you can order online from Amazon and any other major chain and small independent bookstores. You can find a list of places to purchase here

Thanks so much for stopping by everyone! One more thing: You can stand a chance to win a copy of Monarch. All you have to do is be a follower of my blog and leave a comment to this post. Winners will be announced on 26 October.

Have a great weekend!


  1. I'm excited for Monarch!
    Thanks for the info, ladies

    Also Misha, I've always popped into your blog from time to time and I thought I was already following you but apparently I was not and that is just WRONG! I have remedied the situation but I need to ask forgiveness. What a terrible blogging buddy :( What a horrible oversight! I'm so sorry!!!

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  3. Great interview. Michelle, I'm about 1/3 through Monarch. Very gripping. And you know I love the trailer.

  4. Wonderful interview and very sage advice. Wishing you all the best in your pursuit of making your dream your reality :-)

  5. Good to know about this week's guest post Friday - Michelle Davidson
    the trailer and the interview made my day, what a insight~ the timely questions and the apt answers made the interview more lively, and the advise to the new and old writers really caught my attention. Yes, Read, Read Read and Write Write and Write,,,, that's it, :-)
    thanks for sharing these thoughts thru these pages.
    I am resharing it thru my social web sites like twitter g+ and fb
    Best Regards
    and Best Wishes for D Day, the E Day LOL Good Luck
    I am joining in

  6. Great interview. I wholeheartedly agree with your sage advice, Michelle. I think that it is the best advice a writer can get, persistence and patience.

  7. Nice interview. The book sounds interesting. Love the cover.

    Tossing It Out

  8. What can I say. The trailer makes me want to go out and buy it. Good post.

  9. A good interview Misha, good advice and commentary on "Monarch";we wnat to read it too.

    Thank You.

  10. Great interview and love the book cover :)

  11. The book trailer looks amazing! Thanks for the interview - very helpful advice.

  12. I've got this on my Kindle but have yet to fully dive in. I can't wait! And Michelle's so right - patience is definitely a virtue in publishing.

  13. Monarch sounds like something I'd enjoy! I love spy thrillers. And retired CIA? Bring them on!

  14. Great interview! Monarch sounds amazing, I am definitely checking this one out! Loved the trailer too! :)

  15. I've only read five chapters, and I'm hooked. This is the great writing I expected after reading Cinders!!
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

  16. Very nice interview, Misha. Monarch sounds intriguing, and I love the trailer.

  17. I might add too that Monarch is one of the most visually appealing books I've ever read. I had the paper version and the paper was a high quality with bright easy-to-read print and large letters starting every chapter. Scene breaks all had little butterflies. Illustration wrapped from front-to-back. Rhemelda sure knows how to make a book look good.

  18. Sounds like a cool story. And cool book cover!!

  19. Great review and interview. (


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