DeLauné Michel was raised in South Louisiana in a literary family that includes her uncle André Dubus, her mother Elizabeth Nell Dubus, and her cousin James Lee Burke.
Ms. Michel was named for Helene DeLauné, the first woman over from France on her mother’s side of the family. Helene DeLauné was in the court of Marie Antoinette. Her husband, Jules André, fought in the French Revolution. Antoinette gave Helene DeLauné jewels to help her and her husband escape to South Louisiana, a far cry from the court of France! Ms. Michel’s father’s family was the eleventh family in New Orleans.
Upon leaving high school, Ms. Michel moved to New York City. She did some modeling there and in Europe, then spent several years studying acting in NYC with teachers from the Neighborhood Playhouse, The Actor’s Studio, Juilliard, and the Yale Drama School.
She then moved to Los Angeles, where she had guest starring roles on TV shows such as NYPD Blue, The Gilmore Girls, and Judging Amy, among others. She did a number of independent films that never saw the light of day (happily for some, sadly for others) and Equity-waiver theatre, including her own one-woman show.
In 1996, Ms. Michel created Spoken Interludes, a critically-acclaimed reading series where award winning, bestselling, and up-coming writers read their own work. In 2001, she made it a non-profit arts organization through which she developed, taught in, and continues to run out-reach writing programs for at-risk teenagers in LA public high schools and detention halls. The Spoken Interludes reading series has been heard on National Pubic Radio and continues to have readings in Los Angeles and New York. For more information, please visit www.spokeninterludes.com.
The first two short stories that Ms. Michel wrote won recognition in the Thomas Wolf Short Fiction Competition sponsored by Duke University. Later work won the Pacificus Foundation Literary Award. One of her short stories caught the eye of an agent, who then sent it to Joyce Carol Oates. Ms. Oates called Michel’s writing “a wonderful, idiosyncratic voice and an extremely promising talent.” But Ms. Oates felt that the story was actually a chapter of a novel. Ms. Michel agreed and her first novel, Aftermath of Dreaming, was born.
In Aftermath of Dreaming (William Morrow, April 2006), Ms. Michel explores with humor and pathos the universal themes of abandonment, forgiveness, and letting go. The novel is loosely based on an intimate six-year relationship she shared with Warren Beatty.
Her new novel, THE SAFETY OF SECRETS, will be published by Avon in May 2008. She lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband and two sons. She is currently working on her third novel.
Flannery O'Connor, my mother getting up at 5 a.m. to write every day, Chekhov, Stanislavsky, Tennessee Williams, Bach, Lucian Freud, Richard Serra,
Picasso, and watching my sons discovering the world
The Safety of Secrets
Trident Media Group
New York, New York
Spoken Interludes Next Writing Program for at-risk teenagers www....
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