Michele Young-Stone on paying taxes and celebrating her debut novel

Michele Young-Stone is the author of the debut novel The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors (Shaye Areheart, 2010). At age 30, Michele decided to quit teaching and write the book she’d been dreaming of writing since she was seven years old. Miraculously, it happened. Since completing The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors, Michele continues to write about miracles large and small. She is a fan of the underdog, and her characters have been described as “endearing losers,” “complicated, nuanced and sympathetic.”

Michele currently resides in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, son, dog, some hermit crabs and a showy fish. A very long time ago, Michele was struck by lightning and survived.

Thanks, Michele, for guesting at The Debutante Ball. Congrats on your debut!

* * * * *

My debut novel The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors launches this week (April 13th), and go figure: for the first time ever, I am paying taxes as opposed to getting a refund. As Margaret Mitchell wrote in Gone with the Wind, “Death, taxes and childbirth! There’s never any convenient time for any of them.” No fooling. But when you earn an income doing what you love, it’s not so bad paying that tax. I can’t complain.

Nine years ago, I quit my day job to go back to school and study writing full time. I told my then fiancé, now husband, that I was okay with being poor. I had to follow my dream. I asked him, “Do you still want to marry me?” See, I’d lived off $5,000 a year before, and I figured I could do it again. (Seriously though — not something I recommend.) My husband, being the super cool guy that he is, said, “I’ll support you,” and married me, taking on my debt and unemployment — and my little dream, come to fruition, of one day being a published novelist. Flash forward to 2010: here we are, and we even managed childbirth along the way!

This week, I’m going to see The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors in a bookstore and even in a library! The best part is that I’ll have my husband and son with me to see it too. Yeah!!!

~Michele Young-Stone

8 Replies to “Michele Young-Stone on paying taxes and celebrating her debut novel”

  1. The book sounds wonderful! I cannot wait to read it– and your story — very inspiring. Following your dreams — and the dreams coming true — is heady stuff! Enjoy this special time!

Comments are closed.