Michelle Rau published her first cartoon book at the age of eight, sparking a life-long creative spree. She has explored many channels of creative expression: painting, fiber arts, collage, jewelry making, graphic design, photography, and mixed media sculpture. Michelle experiments with the written word as well, producing poetry and prose, plays, essays, scripts, and short stories.
In the 1980s and 1990s, her cartoons, reviews and essays appeared in independent magazines such as Factsheet Five, Off Our Backs, and the Alternative Press Review. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Oregon. She attended graduate school in Journalism and Communications.
After twenty years of academic, business and technical writing, Michelle returned to creative writing. In 2011 she self-published The Guest Room of the Heart, poetry drawing on a love for the details of day to day life. Michelle has joined National Novel Writing Month events since 2010, resulting in one-act plays, paranormal short stories, a murder mystery, and a nonfiction book about women’s fitness at midlife. She writes in multiple fiction genres, most often mystery, paranormal or supernatural fiction, satire, erotica and romance.
As an artist and writer Michelle is especially intrigued by
- how in-depth knowledge of a particular topic lends itself to a complex plot;
- life sciences such as zoology, botany, anatomy, agriculture and ecology;
- the spiritual meaning and significance behind everyday objects;
- design principles within biology, applied arts and engineering.
Michelle reads biographies, history and historical fiction, contemporary fiction, murder mysteries and police procedurals. Her favorite authors include Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, Michael Connelly, Carl Hiaasen, Ivan Doig, Michael Koryta, Dennis Lehane, Michael Stanley, and Attica Locke. She is partial to Nordic mystery authors including Peter Høeg, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Arnaldur Indriðason, Viktor Arnar Ingólfsson, Anne Holt, and Henning Mankell.
When not writing, Michelle enjoys photography, road trips, gardening, home improvement and outdoor recreation (hiking, kayaking and bicycling). On the big screen, she enjoys documentary, horror, suspense and thrillers, paranormal, and animation movies.
Michelle offers technical writing skills and business, marketing and ebook communications expertise under her business name How Do You Spell It Productions.