|Michelle Dim-St. Pierre, Author|
Michelle Dim-St. Pierre brings us PINNACLE LUST, a story described by reviewers as “a gritty, sensual, and honest journey of lust and love.” The story is set in Tel Aviv during Operation Desert Storm—a setting the author says drives the romance and the plot.
Michelle was born in Tel Aviv and worked as a nurse for 32 years; lived through four wars; and served in the Israel Defense Forces for two years. She moved to the United States where she has lived for the second half of her life. She is currently a full-time writer and is working on a sequel to PINNACLE LUST.
Q: Would you characterize PINNACLE LUST as a modern romance? Reviewers point out that it is “gritty” and “realistic” and not a “happy-ever-after” story and a “soap opera with sizzle.” Does that push its genre into a unique category?
Michelle Dim-St. Pierre: Yes, PINNACLE LUST is a modern romance. The reviews of a “gritty” and “realistic” story without a “happily-ever-after” are true. In real life, romance is not structured into a neat format and not all romances have happy endings. Some romances are raw and beautiful and heart wrenching all at once. This is what I tried to get across in my story. Its out of the box format does indeed push its genre into a unique category.
Q: You’ve set PINNACLE LUST in a Tel-Aviv hospital during Operation Desert Storm. Would the story have been different if it had occurred in a peace-time hospital in New York or a small town in Europe, for example. Did the setting support and help tell your story?
Michelle Dim-St. Pierre: Absolutey. The story’s setting is intrinsic to the way the romance unfolds. Differences in culture certainly impact my story as well as the war time setting. Circumstances affect our actions and decision making process. My characters experience a lot of chaos and uncertainty around them as the bombs start to fall. It is only natural to seek comfort and companionship. When living in fear it is more likely that people will seize what makes them feel secure.
Q: What character traits did you give your protagonist to engage readers to want to follow her? Why do readers care what happens to her?
Michelle Dim-St. Pierre: Sharon Lapidot is a strong, independent woman who is very successful in her career—readers like to engage with characters who are very good at what they do. Though Sharon has an affair with a married doctor, like many other young people in today’s world would. She also struggles with the moral dilemma that goes with it. This very real struggle of right and wrong is compounded by her professional struggles while working in the religious environment of the setting. Her day to day battle to balance work, friendship, and love in a hectic environment are realistic and easy to relate to.
Q: Does the approach of villain vs hero apply to PINNACLE LUST? If so, what do you believe makes an effective villain? Does a “villain” need to be a person? Or could “war” be a villain?
Michelle Dim-St. Pierre: I don’t believe the villain has to be a person. War can definitely be the villain. The antagonist in my story is the doctor’s wife and is the result of the moral choices made by the character. But the war plays a part as well, to drive those choices. The protagonist/antagonist relationship isn’t as clearly defined as it is in some stories. It blurs the lines a bit.
Q: Reviewers praise PINNACLE LUST for its suspense as well as its romance. How do you manage to create suspenseful tension while telling a love story?
Michelle Dim-St. Pierre: I don’t believe in fairy tales. There are no princes on white horses waiting to rescue my protagonist. I believe in strong female characters who take matters into their own hands and become their own heroes. I think a strong female character invites adventure into a story and encourages young people to be proactive in their lives, rather than waiting for something to happen to them. Every love story comes with obstacles and suspense—life is a journey of its own. That was the first thought that drove me to write the book.
Q: You were born in Israel and have a nursing degree and experience. How much did your actual life influence your writing?
Michelle Dim-St. Pierre: All writers’ lives influence their writing. That’s where the adage comes from, write what you know. Of course I’ve had my own experiences with romance and I understand the feelings behind it. I also draw from the experiences of people around me. The hospital setting seems real because I’ve worked in that environment for so long. All works of fiction have elements of truth in them. All works of fiction have parts of the writer in them.
Q: Did you write PINNACLE LUST purely to entertain or did you also want to embed some education or messages about war and/or Israel in your story?
Michelle Dim-St. Pierre: Of course I wrote PINNACLE LUST to entertain but I also sought to convey a few messages to the readers. First and foremost, it is important for me to see young people being proactive in their lives, rather than waiting for something to happen to them, just like the protagonist in the book. On the educational side, I strived to illustrate the links—and gaps—between religious and secular Jews and of course the powerful firsthand look at what everyday life was like in Israel when most Americans were watching Shock and Awe on the 24-hour news channels during Operation Desert Storm. I wanted to show the reality of life in such a climate.
Q: What made you decide to abandon your nursing career for that of an author?
Michelle Dim-St. Pierre: Not sure abandon is the right word. Over time, nursing became second-nature. A profession that I loved, and that fundamentally shaped my personality, intellect and emotional development, had finally reached its peak. I knew it was time for a new challenge.
I began to give in to my desire to write.
What started as a hobby—a deviation from my daily work schedule, an imaginative escape into a fantasy world that I could shape and produce as I saw fit—has turned into so much more. A few pages grew into a few chapters, a few chapters into more chapters and before I knew it, I had an intricate story and an admirable heroine. I felt like I’d found my second calling.
Q: What’s next? Will there be a sequel to PINNACLE LUST?
Michelle Dim-St. Pierre: I am currently hard at work on the sequel to PINNACLE LUST and I intend to release it in the fall of next year. I am also working on a unique recipe book.
Q: Tell us about Michelle Dim-St. Pierre. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Michelle Dim-St. Pierre: I’m not sure there is much time when I’m not writing, but I enjoy engaging with my readers, traveling and cooking gourmet meals.
About Michelle Dim-St. Pierre
Michelle Dim-St. Pierre was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel, where she spent more than half of her life before relocating to the United States.
She lived through four wars and served in the Israel Defense Forces for two years. Unlike her first year of service in an armored division in the Golan Heights, she spent her second year serving in the medical corps where she interacted directly with the injured soldiers of the Peace of Galilee war and their families. This interaction, along with the exposure to the hospital atmosphere, fascinated Michelle and further touched her heart.
After graduating from nursing school with a BS in Nursing in Tel-Aviv, she practiced internationally for 32 years in various positions in the surgical field and quickly advanced into health care administration. During her career she worked in the Operating Room, Recovery Room, and CCU – along with many other duties.
Writing was Michelle’s outlet at first, but it soon became her passion. Recently she left nursing and became a full-time writer. Her international background, along with her military and nursing experience is always at the tip of her pen. Her first novel, PINNACLE LUST, starts the Pinnacle trilogy.
Michelle is a world traveler who enjoys cooking epicurean food and creating original recipes.
About PINNACLE LUST
In a Tel-Aviv hospital during Operation Desert Storm, Sharon Lapidot, a beautiful young nurse, is having an affair with a married doctor.
Sharon’s colorful and exciting life is ultimately destroyed by powerful and eroding mistakes. But her courage and wisdom lead her to an unregretful commitment.
Vividly told, this compelling journey of love and lust, honor and betrayal, loss and redemption, will move you — and perhaps even change you.