Michael R. French's "The Beginner's Guide to Winning an Election" - book tour, author interview, and giveaway

Monday, February 25, 2019
The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election

The year is 2025. The United States is afflicted with global cyber attacks, economic crashes, foreign wars, and lots of anxiety. State budgets for public schools are hit hard. In a student body president race in a small city Indiana high school, popular, charismatic Matthew has his own consultants, bloggers, oppo researchers, and funds from an unidentified source that have helped him win every election since ninth grade.

Over-achieving, introverted Britain is a novice to elections, but as a history wonk, politics fascinate her. She also has a crush on Matthew. After she joins his SBP team, someone hacks Matthew’s website, leaking stories that the candidate is far from the Eagle Scout he pretends to be. Matthew and his team of 15 call the stories “spineless lies.”

Britain is stunned when she’s scapegoated by Matthew as the mystery hacker. Kids dump on her for betraying the school leader. Her reputation in shreds, she decides to enter the presidential race to clear her name. No one gives the novice a chance, but that only makes Britain more determined to find a way to win.

With the help of her three good friends, “No more secrets” becomes Team Britain’s slogan. For a while she stumbles in her campaign, until the anonymous hacker begins leaving notes in Britain’s locker, telling her which rocks to look under if she wants to beat odds-on favorite Matthew. She puzzles over who exactly is helping her—her favorite history teacher, an apostate on Team Matthew, or one of the many “undecideds” that impact any election?

Every mystery solved leads Brit to face a more complicated challenge, some threatening her existence…

Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Moot Point Productions (November 25, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1732511705
ISBN-13: 978-1732511705
Genre: Young Adult

The Beginner's Guide to Winning an Election is available on Amazon

“Michael French has penned a fascinating, fast-paced, futuristic story about a determined high school senior named Brit who runs an against-all-odds campaign for student body president. There are scenarios that bedevil the imagination: dirty tricks, cyber and other tech attacks, love intrigues, and a picture of how the personal growth of one individual can shape a collective future. As a politician with several elections under my belt, I couldn’t put the novel down.”
-- Governor Bill Richardson, former member of Congress, US Ambassador to the United Nations, US Secretary of Energy, and Governor of NM

“If you like cheering for an underdog and savor a complex, exciting story that seems to spring from today’s events, you’ll love The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election. We could use more real heroes like Brit, the leading character in Michael R. French’s newest novel. She’s a young woman with tremendous tenacity and a strong moral compass who rises above her innate shyness to make a difference in her world.”
—Anne Hillerman, author of the New York Times best-selling Leaphorn/Chee/Manuelito mystery series

Book Giveaway and Contest!
To win a copy of the book The Beginner's Guide to Winning an Election by Michael R. French, please enter via Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post. Giveaway ends on March 4th at 12 AM EST. We will announce the winner the same day on the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!

About the Author:
Michael R. French graduated from Stanford University where he was an English major, focusing on creative writing, and studied under Wallace Stegner. He received a Master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He later served in the United States Army before marrying Patricia Goodkind, an educator and entrepreneur, and starting a family.

In addition to publishing over twenty titles, including award-winning young adult fiction, adult fiction, biographies ad self-help books, he has written or co-written a half-dozen screenplays, including Intersection, which has won awards in over twenty film festivals. He has also had a long business career in real estate, living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His passions include travel, collecting rare books, and hanging with friends and family. He describes his worst traits as impatience and saying "no" too quickly; his best are curiosity, taking risks, and learning from failure.

French’s work, which includes several best-sellers, has been warmly reviewed in the New York Times and been honored with a number of literary prizes.

Find Michael Online:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelRFrenchAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mfrenchauthor

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/mfrenchrt66/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mrfrenchbooks/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/287338.Michael_French

Website: http://www.michaelrfrench.com/

Blog: http://www.michaelrfrench.com/blog

Interview by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto

WOW: Thank you so much for returning to WOW with your most recent book. Our readers and bloggers thoroughly enjoyed Once Upon a Lie and I know I, for one, am excited to see what readers think about this latest novel. So tell us, where did you come up with the idea for The Beginner's Guide to Winning an Election ?

Michael: Excessive focus on what Betsy De Vos is doing by pushing charter (for profit) public schools; interest in how Washington DC politics (polarization, dirty tricks, big budgets, paid teams, mystery money) could filter down to colleges and even high school; to interest young adults about the importance of history as it relates to the future—and the importance of having and using your political voice. We’re in a “democracy” where only 55% of the electorate votes!

WOW: I totally understand tossing around ideas based on what's going on around us, but here's a question I think many writers struggle with. At what point did you know this was going to be your next published work?

Michael: It seemed urgent to me to explore these themes in a way that’s easy for a thirteen year old (and up, including adults) to comprehend—urgent because many of our public schools are in a death spiral.

I just want both teens and adults to talk about it. I interrupted another (adult) novel for a year to write Beginner’s Guide, and glad that I did.

WOW: Many of us who have read The Beginner's Guide to Winning an Election are also quite glad you did as well - thank you! Your drive is inspirational to others I'm certain. Now, that begs the question - who has been most influential in your writing and how so?

Michael: Taking creative classes at Stanford was the start of my romance with literature. I love readers and authors who don’t just follow typical genres and trends. If you go to McDonalds and always order a double cheese burger, you’re probably not my type of reader—unless you sample the salads and fish sandwich too.

WOW: That's a great analogy and even those of us who are creatures of habit may dabble and try new things now and again (even at McDonalds). However, I'm hoping you don't head to the McD drive through for a salad to celebrate after one of your books is published - let's share with readers how you celebrate successes in writing? What advice do you have for others?

Michael: Success for me is doing the hard work of completing a book once you start it; to write as many drafts as you have to until you’re intellectually and emotionally satisfied; and to have the finished product read critically by people whose acumen you respect. Of course, it’s always nice to hear from reviewers you don’t know who want to recommend your book to others. :)

WOW: So no balloons, cakes, or celebrations? Maybe something to consider when you release the next book. Now you mentioned reviewers, but it's bound to happen - how do you deal with rejection or a negative review? What have you learned along the way? What advice do you give to others who may struggle with the negative aspects of publishing?

Michael: It’s easy to advise someone “to get used to it,” but rejection used to be very hard for me. Over the years, I’ve managed to turn things around by thinking, “Oh, you don’t like what I did, well let me show you what else I can do.” And you keep going. It’s also good to be honest with yourself (with the help of fellow writers) and accept that your work may really NOT be up to your capability. Focus on the weaknesses and strive to improve. In the end, your book is as strong as its weakest link. There is no such thing as the perfect novel, so don’t obsess about that.

WOW: That's sound advice, though sometimes easier said than done.

Who is your favorite character in this book and why?

Michael: The heroine, Brit Kitridge, because she has a lot of relatable qualities—some good, some not so good—but she tries to learn from every experience. In the end, she discovers things about herself that might otherwise have remained fallow if not for the help of her history teacher, Mr. Wilson. The importance of great teachers can’t be overestimated. Great teachers make great students. By the way, most deserve twice the salaries they make.

WOW: I must say Brit is an admirable character (to say the least). Both my daughter and I have had the pleasure of reading The Beginner's Guide to Winning an Election and we both felt drawn to Brit from the very beginning.

If The Beginner's Guide to Winning an Election was made into a movie, what would be the theme song and why?

Michael: Such a good question. If it falls in the 21st Century, I’m out of it musically. There is so much talent out there…and there are a gamut of moods stirred by the book’s characters.

WOW: Let's switch gears and talk about your favorite author and how THEY have influenced you and YOUR career.

Michael: There are so many to admire and for different reasons. I find that for many writers, those whom you were exposed to in high school and college influence your life the most—those are the books and authors I remember.

WOW: Readers won't soon forget the name Michael R. French either - you're always busy.

What's next for you?

Michael: An adult novel set in contemporary L.A about hipsters and celebrities.

WOW: That sure sounds like fun and we can't wait to hear more! Now before we go, I'd like to ask: What would your current self say to your younger self? What wise pearls of wisdom have you gained over the years?

Michael: Don’t ever give up. Pat attention to every second of every day because you never know what you’re going to learn that will change your life. And don’t drink more than two beers with your friends because you’ll ending up telling them too much about what you’re working on.

WOW: Great advice and thank you again for choosing WOW to help promote The Beginner's Guide to Winning an Election!

----------Blog Tour Dates

Launch Day – February 25th @ The Muffin
Michael R. French returns to WOW! Women on Writing for his tour of The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election with an interview and giveaway at the Muffin!

Tuesday, February 26th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Linda Appleman Shapiro reads and reviews the latest bestseller by Michael R. French. Don’t miss this chance to learn more about The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election!

Wednesday, February 27th @ Bring on Lemons with Carmen Otto
Middle Schooler Carmen Otto offers her thoughts after reading The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election by Michael R. French. Readers won’t want to miss this chance to hear from Carmen and learn more about this excellent YA novel!

Thursday, February 28th @ Bella Donna’s Books with Dawn Thomas
Dawn Thomas reviews The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election for readers of Bella Donna’s Books. You’ll delight to learn more about Michael R. French and his exciting new work!

Friday, March 1st @ Fiona Ingram
Fellow author Fiona Ingram spotlights the latest novel by Michael R. French. Readers will delight to learn more about The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election!

Saturday, March 2nd @ Author Anthony Avina
Author Anthony Avina has fellow author Michael R. French in today’s spotlight with a guest post by French and more information about the bestseller The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election.

Tuesday, March 5th @ Breakeven Books
Today’s Author Spotlight at Breakeven Books is a bestseller by Michael R. French. Readers will delight as they learn more about The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election!

Wednesday, March 6th @ Coffee with Lacey
Lacey reviews The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election by Michael R. French. Grab a cup of coffee and join Lacey for an enjoyable review of this delightful novel!

Thursday, March 7th @ Sreevarsha Sreejith
Sreevarsha reviews Michael R. French’s latest novel – a YA work titled The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election. Don’t miss Sreevarsha’s insight and thoughts!

Friday, March 8th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples
Madeline Sharples reviews the enjoyable YA novel The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election by Michael R. French. Readers and Choices won’t want to miss this opportunity to hear what Madeline thinks about this book.

Tuesday, March 12th @ Book Santa Fe with Crystal Otto
Crystal reviews The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election by Michael R. French. Readers at Book Santa Fe love Michael R. French and are sure to love his latest YA novel!

Wednesday, March 13th @ Selling Books with Cathy Stucker
Cathy interviews Michael R. French about his latest novel The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election.

Tuesday, March 19th @ Bring on Lemons with the Hansen Girls
Cathy Hansen along with her two teen daughters offer their thoughts about The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election by Michael R. French.

Thursday, March 21st @ World of My Imagination
Nicole Pyles loves YANovels and is excited to share her review of The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election by Michael R. French.

***** BOOK GIVEAWAY *****

To win a copy of the book The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election by Michael R. French, please enter via Rafflecopter for below. Giveaway ends on March 4th at 12 AM EST. We will announce the winner the same day on the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Crystal Otto said...

I love that my daughter can't put this book down!

Leela said...

It sounds like a good read.

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