Witty, inspiring, and romantic, her novels are about passion – the kind we get from finding our muse and following its call. Her genteel prose has been described as “lyrical” and “charming,” and her books have been compared to such literary classics as “Wuthering Heights” and “Lady Chatterley’s Lover.” Her stories ignite like flint against steel, taking readers on a journey as alive and fragrant as a green leaf in spring.
In addition to her literary work, she co-produced two films that went to the Cannes Film Festival: Scars at the Spook House, which was narrated by Edward Scissorhands’ screenwriter Caroline Thompson, and Room 731, which starred Tim Kang (CBS’ The Mentalist), Yoo Jung Kim (Moon Embracing the Sun), and Nikki Soohoo (The Lovely Bones), executive produced by Bold MP. She has written for various production companies, including two feature films for Honora Productions and a video game for City Morph Studio.
She graduated with honors from the University of Arkansas with a degree in journalism. Her articles have appeared on Yahoo News and in various other publications. She is the sister of writer Christie XT Cushing (The Mask of Aubrey Clover) and a cousin of late actor Peter Cushing.
Read below for Michelle’s personal account of how she began her writing career:
I tell this story to anyone who will listen, because a) I think it’s mystical b) I’m very vain. My writing career began with a case of mistaken identity. I was a shy, fifth-grader who never misbehaved (well, at least not at school). For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how the name “Michelle C” ended up on the blackboard with the other ne’er-do-wells who were to miss recess for bad behavior. It had to be another “Michelle C,” however, I was far too awkward to speak up for myself. So, there I was during recess with the other offenders — the gum chewer, the hair puller, and the … well, I don’t know what the other kid had done, but he kept picking his scabs and grinning at me. To occupy the time, I pulled out a sheet of paper and wrote a story. I even drew a picture to go along with it. I called it The Horse, a tale about a young girl who runs away from home and befriends a wild horse in the woods. I liked writing it so much that I expanded the tale to a lengthy ten pages, front and back, which is a lot for a fifth-grader. The longer version also included several drawings. I was so pleased with the whole package that I rolled up the papers and wrapped it in a red ribbon. I still have it today.
That was the first time I realized how much I enjoyed writing. Now I can’t stop typing.
My goal is to tell stories that inspire people to love and to dream. I’m a hopeless romantic and love old-fashioned courting. I write stories about love affairs, but I do NOT write “romance” novels. My characters do not seek companionship or lust. They look for the “Wow!” We live in a world without much emotion, and I want my books to make people feel something, whether that be passion, sadness, anger, or joy. Each of my novels are character-driven, and I go deep into the character’s mind, heart, and soul. I love “building” people, putting them in a situation, and watching them come to life, learn, and grow. All of my stories have a hint of the mystical, as well.
My writing influences include Tennessee Williams, Richard Bach, Eudora Welty, and Oscar Wilde. I love the poetry of John Keats and e.e. Cummings, and some of my favorite books include “Like Water for Chocolate,” “Illusions,” “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” and “Beloved.”
All that makes me sound knowledgeable and worldly, but I know nothing about anything (you shouldn’t even be reading this blog!). Mostly, I like spending time with my pug dogs, eating large quantities of donuts (mmmmm … Krispy Kreme), and playing Sims. I love the music of Michael Jackson (shamone), Brian Setzer (rockabilly hep cat), and Van Morrison (ya dig). My favorite films range from “It Happened One Night” to “The Matrix” to “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.” I’m a sucker for silent comedies with Chaplin, Lloyd, or Keaton. I dig the 30s films with Clark Gable, William Powell, Myrna Loy, and Claudette Colbert. Homer Simpson and cartoons always make me laugh. My dream is to own an old Duesenberg car and an Egyptian artifact. To sum me up, I’m a hint of nerd and a pinch of silly for taste. And, apparently, if you’ve read my books, I know much about horticulture metaphors.
As for the case of mistaken identity, the teacher did eventually realize her mistake (it was another “Michelle C”), and I was given a piece of candy as a “sorry you missed recess” peace offering, but I never forgot … and I seek revenge to this very day (haha).
Personal mail: mailmichellec at gmail.com