Dave Meigs 

David Meigs is a novelist with a background in youth outreach, specializing in ministry to at-risk youth and their families. Though his writing is enjoyed by all ages, his novels provide a unique, life-changing quality, critical for the youth of today. David and his family lives in Seabeck, Washington, where he serves his church as youth pastor.

Life-Transforming Fiction

This month David interviews the author of It’s Not About Him Michelle Sutton.

Edgy fiction writer Michelle Sutton wears many hats. In addition to her role as Editor in Chief of Christian Fiction Online Magazine, she is also a Sheaf House Marketing Director, book reviewer, avid blogger/alliance member, CWOW blog mistress, mother of two teenagers, wife, pet owner, social worker by trade, and follower of Jesus Christ. Wow, and I thought my hands were full.

It's Not About HimIt’s Not About Him (Sheaf House, September 2009) is the second installment in Michelle’s popular Second Glances Series. It’s Not About Him, picks up where the first book, It’s Not About Me (also featured in this column, Dec ’08), left off, promoting some of the secondary characters into the main spotlight. As with the first book, I loved the edgy narrative and the powerful illustration of sacrificial love so absent in today’s modern culture.

In this topsy-turvy world of sound bites, gratuitous sex, and instant gratification, true love has been reduced to an emotion that can be fallen in and out of on a whim. As a youth pastor, it’s not often that I find a novel I can give to my teens with the confidence that not only they will enjoy what they read, but also it will change their lives. It’s Not About Him by Michelle Sutton is such a book. Well done, Michelle.


Michelle Sutton graciously took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to update us on what she has been up to, as well as to discuss what goes into her own brand of edgy, inspirational fiction.

DM: What is edgy Christian fiction?

MS: Edgy = daringly innovative; on the cutting edge. Inspirational/Christian = imparting a divine influence on the mind and soul through faith in Christ. Fiction = the class of literature comprising works of imaginative narration, especially in prose.

DM: Why is it important that we keep the edginess in what we write?

MS: In this day and age, the more relevant the novel is to our culture (today’s youth in particular) the more effective it will be, IMHO. If it’s daringly innovative or on the cutting edge, it will create a buzz, and therefore youth will hear about the book and hopefully read it…whether they are Christians or not.

DM: How much does real-life inspire your stories?

MS: Real-life is how I want to portray my stories. I want them to feel so real that people will think the story really happened to me because I describe things in such a realistic and believable manner that the reader escapes into my story world as they read each of my books.

DM: What led you to write your first novel?

MS: The first novel I wrote releases in January 2010: First Impressions. It is through Desert Breeze. What led me to write it was living around Tombstone and seeing the story potential in that setting. The story is about a woman and man who dress up

like they are from the Old West. He is a Christian; she is not. The heart of the story is about staying close to the Lord and not dating people who don’t share faith in Christ.

DM: Do you consider your writing to be a ministry?

MS: Absolutely. I’d do it for no money at all (except the publishers need money to keep publishing my books). But seriously, knowing that a young person (or any person) was excited enough about my story to beg for the next book in the series is very gratifying. I feel like I’ve connected with the reader’s heart when that happens.

DM: Your characters face some of life’s most difficult situations and moral dilemmas. What lessons do you hope your readers will learn from your books?

MS: One of my favorite lines from It’s Not About Him is in the prologue when Susie writes, “I’m not what I did.” So often, girls label themselves after a stupid mistake. For example, “Well, I’m no longer a virgin so why say no anymore? It’s not going to change. I’ll never be a virgin again.” (It’s especially sad when the young woman was raped by a family member and she feels like she is soiled for life, so she becomes promiscuous.) Oh, and I deal with that subject in another book, though it’s not rape, just more like an uncomfortable attraction by dad and boundary issues that confuse the girl in regard to healthy relationships. This book should release in 2011.

DM: Have you had any feedback from readers who have been helped by reading your novels?

MS: Absolutely. They often talk about how they really want to wait for marriage because my books showed them why waiting is so much better than giving your gift away and regretting it later. They also talk about how important faith in Jesus is and that it needs to be real, not just “doing church.” They love that. They also love that I let my characters mess up so they can see how it affects their lives.

DM: What can your fans look forward to from you in the near future?

MS: All kinds of stuff. You asked.  I have eleven titles coming out through 2012 and I’m not done yet. I’ve still got bunches more in the pipeline and others at publishing houses under consideration. Bottom line is there are a million stories in my head, but there is always something the character learns in each book that profoundly impacts their lives. A common theme is that even though what happened to them was horrible at the time, the characters always see how God redeemed the situation and used it for His glory. So they would not go back and change a thing even if they could because it made them who they are today . . . someone who has had their life transformed by the living God.

DM: Thank you, Michelle!


Susie wakes up after a party knowing something isn’t right. When she discovers she is pregnant but has no idea who the father is, she decides to place her baby for adoption with an infertile couple from church. Following through ends up being more challenging than she’d imagined. But she wants to do the right thing. If only Jeff would quit trying to marry her so she’ll keep her baby! Why doesn’t he understand? It’s not about him; it’s about what’s best for her child. Meanwhile, a man shows up in her life that looks irritatingly familiar. Could he be the father?