Verbena resident gets book deal

Published 8:51 am Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Michelle Hughes will write a trilogy for publication through Amazon’s Kindle Scout. (Joyanna Love/Advertiser)

Michelle Hughes will write a trilogy for publication through Amazon’s Kindle Scout. (Contributed photo)

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

VERBENA — Michelle Hughes has enjoyed writing and self-publishing for several years.

Now her work is going to the next level with the help of Amazon’s Kindle Scout.

“I’ve self-published for the last seven years and wanted to try a more traditional route with this book,” Hughes said.

Hughes was offed a monetary advance, 50 percent royalties, and a renewable contract.

“Add in the advertising that Amazon could bring to the table, it was an enticing package,” Hughes said.

The company will publish a trilogy The Dixon Ranch by Hughes. The first book Cowboy Sanctuary is in the final editing phases.

“At the heart of Cowboy Sanctuary, it’s a love story, but it goes deeper than that. I wanted to make these characters have more than an instant fall in love scenario. The two main characters, Brock and Dana, both had issues to overcome involving trust, and this story centers around the heroine bringing her sister’s love child to meet his father for the first time,” Hughes said.

There is also a mysterious element to the book.

Dixon Ranch will be a central location for all three books as they explore the stories of three different brothers.

“I’ve always been fascinated with life on the ranch. I grew up surrounded by horses on my aunt’s farm and loved riding as a young girl. Like most of my work, Cowboy Sanctuary was something I dreamt of.  It was almost an obsession to start writing this book.  The characters flew from my mind onto the pages easily, and I fell in love with the Dixon Ranch,” Hughes said.

She chose Texas as the location for her fictitious ranch.

“I was researching ranches in Texas for a summer vacation next year and it just made sense that the story take place there,” Hughes said. “I spent weeks learning about life on a ranch, and the breeding aspect of horses since the lead character, Brock, bred thoroughbred horses.”

Hughes said she became interested in writing when she had twins.

“I’ve always been a creative person. In my early twenties, I hosted a talent showcase via satellite that afforded me the opportunity to travel across the United States. That career ended when I had twins, because I didn’t want them out on the road. Writing was a way to feed my creativity and stay home with my children. After my first book, I was enamored, and haven’t slowed down since,” Hughes said.

She self-published 20 books before Cowboy Sanctuary.

Hughes has lived in Verbena for 12 years. She moved to the area when she married her husband.

“He owned land here and I fell in love with the country. It’s a beautiful and relaxing place to write while being surrounded by nature.  We have a huge family, with five children and it’s been incredible raising them in this atmosphere,” Hughes said.