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Writer’s Window: Michelle Lesley

Monday, October 10, 2011

Joining us today for Writer’s Window is Bible-study author—and my big sister—Michelle Lesley.

One lucky commenter* will win a signed copy of Michelle’s Bible study, Jacob: Journaling the Journey (which is available now on e-book, but will be released in print in November). Deadline for leaving a comment to enter the drawing is Friday. To enter the drawing, you must answer the question posed by Michelle at the end of the interview. Only one comment per person will count toward the drawing. Please do not include your e-mail address in the body of your comment—just make sure it’s correct when you sign in to leave your comment. The winning name will be drawn next weekend and the winner will be notified via e-mail.

    *U.S. residents only, void where prohibited. If you win the drawing, you will be ineligible for the next three drawings, though hopefully you will still come back and join in the discussion.

    Comments on today’s post also count toward the FAIR PLAY contest.


Deceiver . . . Supplanter . . . Cheater . . . Liar . . .


Strap on your sandals and get ready for the journey of a lifetime. Jacob’s lifetime—and yours. Jacob: Journaling the Journey follows the story of the patriarch as he treks through the desert and grows from an impetuous mama’s boy into one of the founding fathers of the faith. Along the way, you’ll meet his quirky, yet lovable family members—such as “Manipu-Mom” Rebekah, “Wild Thing” Esau, and Rachel, Queen of High Maintenance—who played such vital roles in his life.

And you thought your family was dysfunctional.

What could God possibly have to say to us as women through the life of this rough and tumble Old Testament hero? Plenty. And with the distinctive journaling format of this study, every woman will take away God’s unique and personal message for her own life.

So, come take a stroll across the sands of time with Jacob, and take the first step on your journey to a closer walk with God.

Welcome, Sis!
What do you like best about being a writer?

    There are so many answers to this question, I hardly know where to start!

    First, I’m kind of like Jeremiah. There’s a fire for the things of God that is “shut up within my bones” and I get weary of holding it in. Since I’m not a preacher, writing is the best outlet for me to share God’s word and encourage my sisters in Christ as they walk with the Lord.

    Second, I get to work at home. I’m a stay at home, homeschooling mom, so God graciously gave me a job that fits in with those things.

    Finally, I love playing with words and language like a little kid loves building with blocks. Like a painter loves capturing a landscape just perfectly. Like my husband loves harvesting crops on Farmville. Well, you get the picture.

What do you like least about being a writer?

    Promoting my writing. I enjoy coming up with PR ideas, and I enjoy participating in PR activities, but I feel really uncomfortable with the step that comes between those two things: approaching people and asking them to buy or recommend my book, or asking them to have me come speak at their church or event. I’d much prefer people approach me!

Pop, Soda, or Coke? What do you call it, and what’s your favorite variety?

    What is this “pop” and “soda” of which you speak? Everyone with any refinement knows the proper term is “coke.” :0) My favorite is Cherry Coke. It’s hard to find at a fountain these days.

What’s your favorite dessert?

    All of them. Unless it has coconut or rhubarb. I really like hot fudge sundaes with warm brownies—no nuts in the brownies.

What’s the most fun/interesting/crazy/scary/unique hands-on research you’ve done for a book?

    Well, I guess the scariest thing would be pulling my Bible atlas down from the top shelf of the bookcase. It’s huge. Not a book you want falling on your head.

    I write Bible studies, so my research isn’t all that glamorous, but I enjoy it. When researching a Bible passage, I like to study maps of the region the story is set in, and study the culture and archaeological findings specific to that particular time and place. That way, I’m better able to put myself in the shoes of the Bible character I’m writing about. Then it’s easier to see how to apply that passage of Scripture to my life and help my readers do the same.

    I would love to go to Israel and do some hands on research, but it’s too dangerous and expensive right now.

What’s your favorite movie from childhood?

    Song of the South. I don’t mean to offend anybody by saying that, but I have always loved Joel Chandler Harris’s Uncle Remus stories. I also admire him for his dedication to preserving the oral storytelling tradition of slaves in literary form, and for being a strong voice from the South for racial equality, and for reconciliation between the North and South and between the races during Reconstruction. And how can you not love the song “Zip-a dee-doo-dah”?

If you were to write a novel about what your life would have been like if you’d become what you wanted to be at eight years old, what kind of character would the story be about?

    The main character would probably be a lot like Sandi Patti, minus the divorce, adultery, and a few other things. I always wanted to be a Christian singer when I grew up. Some days, I still do.

What makes you happy?

    A really great, really long, really intense time of prayer with other believers. There’s nothing like it.

What makes you nervous?

    Too much month at the end of the money. God always takes care of us, though.

What’s your biggest dream for the future?

    Revival. I want to see the bride of Christ wake up and become passionate about prayer, the study of God’s word, missions and evangelism, worship, and personal holiness.

Tell us about your newest release and what you’re working on now.

    My latest release is a women’s Bible study on the life of Jacob, entitled Jacob: Journaling the Journey. It’s an in depth look at Jacob and his family and the things we can learn from them and apply to our own walk with the Lord.

    Not your traditional, “fill in the blank” type of workbook Bible study, I’ve written Jacob in a journaling format so you can explore what God is teaching you, personally, through the Scriptures. Each day’s lesson begins with a Scripture passage, followed by expositional teaching. At the end of the teaching section, there’s a journaling niche that begins with questions and related Scriptures to “get your juices flowing” for journaling.

    I’m also very excited to let you know that for the next year, all of my royalties from the sale of Jacob are being donated to the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention to reach an Unreached People Group with the gospel. This is a group of Bedouins who “journey” around in basically the same area where Jacob lived. So when you buy a copy of Jacob: Journaling the Journey, you’re not just investing in your own spiritual life, but also in the spiritual lives of people a world away who have never heard the name of Jesus!

    I’m currently working on a Bible study on the book of Jude. What a fascinating, yet so often overlooked little book! The theme of Jude deals with false teaching infiltrating the church, a topic, sadly, that is all too timely for today. I hope reading it will encourage you to “contend earnestly for the faith” (Jude 3) with me!

Where can people find out more about you/connect with you online?

Now it’s your turn to ask the question. What question do you want to ask the commenters to answer?

    In Jacob: Journaling the Journey, you’ll meet “Manipu-Mom” Rebekah, “Wild Thing” Esau, Rachel, Queen of High Maintenance, and Laban the Terrible, among others.

    Got a goofy nickname like one of those that comes to mind for Jacob (I couldn’t think of one for him) or any other Bible character? Maybe it’ll make an appearance in my next book!


Michelle Lesley has always used writing as a creative outlet. Journaling during her quiet time led Michelle into a deeper and more intimate relationship with God, and it is out of these journals that her first book, a women’s Bible study on the life of Jacob, grew.

As an army brat, Michelle has lived in some interesting places such as Alaska and New Mexico, but returned to her native Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1989. Here, she graduated from LSU, and remains a die-hard Tiger fan.

Michelle and her husband have been blessed by the six wonderful children God has brought into their lives. Passionate about prayer, Michelle serves as Associational Prayer Coordinator for the greater Baton Rouge area, working with over 100 churches and pastors to increase corporate prayer. She also sings on the praise team at church, and homeschools her three youngest children.

Jacob: Journaling the Journey is now available for Kindle and Nook. The softcover version, releasing in November, is currently available for pre-order.

  1. Sherrinda permalink
    Monday, October 10, 2011 6:33 am

    Congratulations on the sale of your Bible study! I love the idea of journaling incorporated into a study. And your nicknames! They made me smile. 🙂

    Do you and Kaye critique each other’s work? Or are you too close as family to do that? (Just curious!)

    And as for Jacob…how about the Sly Get-What-I-Want Guy. Ha! Not great, but is does have a bit of a rhyme.


    • Monday, October 10, 2011 8:36 am

      Hi Sherrinda!

      I your nickname for Jacob!

      Kaye graciously offered me so much help with the manuscript for Jacob, from editing to recommendations of people to approach for publication to help with my book proposal. Her help was invaluable and I’ll never be able to thank her enough!

      I’m afraid I couldn’t be much help to her on her work. She’s the expert in the family when it comes to the writing/publishing industry. :0)


  2. Audry permalink
    Monday, October 10, 2011 9:07 am

    The first thing that came to my mind was “Jacob the Schemer,” but I like Sherrinda’s better!


    • Monday, October 10, 2011 9:15 am

      Oh, I don’t think “Schemer” is anything to sneeze at! Good job, Audry! :0)


  3. Monday, October 10, 2011 9:57 am

    Your bible study sounds great! Keep up the good work dear sister!


  4. Carol permalink
    Monday, October 10, 2011 10:21 am

    Jealous Jacob? Un-generous Jacob? I’m not terribly good at nicknames, but love your study!


  5. Charmaine Gossett permalink
    Monday, October 10, 2011 10:42 am

    The first that comes to my mind is “Jacob, the Journeyman”. Or is that too much like the title?
    Eugena Price wrote stories about Bible characters that brought them to life for me. That tells my age. Looking forward to reading whatever you write along this vein.
    God bless your work.


    • Monday, October 10, 2011 11:04 am

      Charmaine- “Jacob the Journeyman” has a nice ring to it. I love alliteration! Hope you’ll enjoy reading about him!


  6. Monday, October 10, 2011 4:01 pm

    When I think of Jacob, the first thing I think of is the porridge debacle. At that point, to me, he’s “Just-Me-Jacob.”

    So good to see you over here on Kaye’s blog! Your study sounds great!


    • Monday, October 10, 2011 5:36 pm

      Thanks Regina! That nickname certainly captures Jacob’s “lookin’ out for number one” attitude of his youth!


  7. Monday, October 10, 2011 4:57 pm

    Hi Michelle your study series sounds interesting. not good with nicknames.
    Jacob makes me think of the fact he was a fighter like when he fought with God he was a never give up guy.

    Here if you ask for a coke it only refers to the coke drink. others are soft drinks or fizzy drinks and we would say I want a the flavour you want. (I normally like sunkisk (orange) or lift which is lemon).


    • Monday, October 10, 2011 5:38 pm

      He certainly was tenacious, wasn’t he?

      Thanks for the tip about the cokes. I’ll have to remember it if I ever get waaaaaay down there! :0)


  8. Monday, October 10, 2011 5:41 pm

    I wanted to let all of you know that I post a “Tuesday Tidbit” (sneak preview) of “Jacob” every week on my Facebook page (link is above). So come on over and hang out with us on Facebook and you can get some “free samples” of “Jacob”!


  9. karenk permalink
    Tuesday, October 11, 2011 8:35 pm

    the only nickname that comes to mind in …jay-jay…silly, isn’t it?

    looking forward to your bible study…it sounds very insightful.


    • Tuesday, October 11, 2011 9:04 pm

      Aw, I think it’s charming, Karen! Thanks for the comment, and I hope you’ll enjoy “Jay-Jay”! :0)


  10. Lissie permalink
    Thursday, October 13, 2011 4:37 pm

    This book looks so cool!


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