Great to have you here today, Monica! I don't think we have spoken before so it's fabulous to meet you and have the chance to find out a little more about you and your work. Let's get started, shall we?
1) Did you set any goals for 2011?
Yes! My next book is a memoir about acquiring my first horse as “a woman of a certain age” and all the surprises I learned about horses during that time. My goal is to submit the manuscript to my agent by the end of the year. It was a complete surprise to have my debut novel, Finding Felicity, get published this year and getting it ready for release has set me back with my writing, but it’s coming along, word by word. I hope that readers will indulge my departure from fiction for The Gift Horse; it’s a story that I need to write. Once it’s done, who knows what will be next?!
2) What is the best part of the writing process for you?
I just love it when an idea sparks and catches fire. There’s something exhilarating about those first moments when the muse strikes.
3) The worst part?
Actually sitting down every day and writing. It’s hard work! I wish there were a magical way to download the story in my mind and heart onto the page. That said, it’s rich and fulfilling to get a sentence down that’s exactly right. I love it when that happens!
4) What is the book you wish you’d written?
I have a list of 17 titles of books I wish I’d already written! There are no books by anyone else that I wish I’d written … why wish for the impossible?!
5) Favourite author/s & book/s?
I love Kristin Hannah, Emily Giffin, Elizabeth Berg, and the poetry of David Whyte. I also devour books about personal growth and consciousness – Dr. Wayne Dyer and Marianne Williamson are two of my favorites!
6) Tell us about your latest release?
I wrote Finding Felicity years ago in a workshop over three years. It’s my first novel, and I was thrilled when I acquired an agent to represent it. Unfortunately, it was rejected by all the major publishing houses; commercial publishers found it too literary, and literary publishers found it too commercial! Eventually, my agent gave up and told me to keep writing. Last December, the author who ran the workshop contacted with the news that a friend of his had bought a small press that publishes romance/women’s fiction. He had mentioned Finding Felicity to her, and she was willing to take a look at it. In February, it was accepted and I signed the publishing contract. What a journey!
7) Tease us with a blurb/short except:
Madeline O'Connor was happy. Or was she? When she learns that her estranged sister is gravely ill, she leaves behind her life in Manhattan to be at her sister’s side in Italy. There, she discovers an ancient Benedictine monastery that accommodates travelers, and she decides to stay there, among the monks. Everything in her life turns upside down when she falls for Brother Anthony Lamberti, a soft-spoken Italian completely different from the men she knows in New York. Together Madeline and Anthony find love for the first time, and learn that life and love always find a way. Loving Anthony creates a new life for Madeline. A new life she would never have imagined and yet is perfect for her in every way.
8) What is your favourite attribute of the hero and heroine?
Actually, it’s their flaws that are my favorite things about Madeline and Anthony, their humanity. They are both always losing their glasses! They both are open to new ways of looking at things, to new ways of loving and being loved – to miracles!
9) Tell me where you write?
In bed. At a coffee shop. On the bus. On the couch. Netbooks are the best thing in the world.
10) Where would you like your career to be in 5 years?
In 5 years, I’d like to have published two or three more books, and be living off my writing income instead of having a day job. The Kindle Million Club would be nice.
11) Where can we find you?
Great interview, Monica and huge congrats on the recent acquirement of an agent. You must be thrilled! Here's to lots of sales and success...now I'm off to follow you on Twitter!