We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Gable and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michelle, how do you think about risk?
I am not generally a risk taker, but my career has definitely required a leap. Though I’d always wanted to be a writer, I knew my parents weren’t going to support any starving artist lifestyle. So, I did what any aspiring writer would, and majored in accounting! I figured I could write on the side. When I gave up my “day job” in 2016, I already had two published novels (including one New York Times Bestseller), and the third was written but hadn’t come out yet. Most people assume I left that job because I was finally making more money writing. Not true! I was the head of Investor Relations for a billion-dollar publicly-traded company and I was definitely making more in that job. But, it was no longer feasible to juggle both. (Especially with two kids and no nanny). It was a very difficult decision because I loved my job, and the people I worked with, and they went out of their way to support me in both careers. On top of this, the entire publishing industry is filled with risk. I recently changed publishers, and that was very scary, but ultimately for the best.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I write novels that are a blend of contemporary and historical fiction. I love to base my stories on real people and situations, and research plays a huge role in my work. For my fourth novel, about Jack Kennedy and an affair he had with a Jewish Polish refugee, I read over 200 books, thousands of articles, and conducted at least a dozen interviews. My road to publication was not easy. I got an agent in January 2008, and she shopped my novel, which did not sell. Neither did the next book, or the next book, or the one after that. We finally sold my first book, A Paris Apartment, in May 2013. Over five years later! (And agents don’t get paid until you get paid–so she worked for free all that time). On the plus side, A Paris Apartment was a hit right out of the gate.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in Cardiff by the Sea, CA, a little beach town in San Diego County. We’d go to the beach, of course, and (assuming a non-pandemic world) all the great restaurants in Encinitas, like Union and Herb & Sea, and Mexican food at Fidel’s in Solana Beach. I’d also take a day trip down to Coronado, attend a Padres game at Petco if the season was right, and visit whatever typical San Diego sights the visitor was interested in (no Sea World though!) Maybe a little tennis at La Costa if we had time.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My agent, Barbara Poelle of Irene Goodman Literary Agency, has been the #1 reason for my success. I wouldn’t have a career without her.