Please help me welcome Barbara Monajem this morning.
Writing is such a challenging endeavor. What got you started on it and what keeps you doing it?
I learned how to read! Or maybe it started earlier than that, when my mother read aloud stories such as Winnie-the-Pooh. Regardless, I started writing as soon as I could both read and write. I had no idea it would be a challenge. At first it seemed easy, but the more you learn and know, the harder it becomes to get everything right—or at least it seems that way.
What did you do with your earliest efforts? Did anyone read them? Do you still have them?
The earliest effort I remember is a story about apple tree gnomes which I wrote when I was eight years old. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find it. My teacher really liked it and encouraged me, which scared me so much that I gave it a lame ending. I guess I wasn’t ready for the pressure!
What made you choose to write in the genres/time periods you write in?
Reading great books, of which my favorites were often fantasy or history, and which frequently contained romance as well. I’m published in both contemporary paranormal and historical romance, and lately I’ve brought touches of magic into my historicals, so I guess I’m combining my favorite genres into stories that work for me.
What do you enjoy most in the writing process? What parts of it do you really dislike?
I enjoy unexpected ideas, lively dialogue, and the rush of getting it absolutely right. I enjoy revising. I don’t like the mechanics of plotting and character motivation, because no matter how hard I try, I can’t figure much of that stuff out in advance.
If you write in multiple genres, how do you make the switch from one to the other? Do you find it a welcome change, crazy-making or a little of both?
The switch is usually easy for me—it’s a welcome change. I find it much harder to write two of the same genre at once, because I get the character names mixed up.
Historical fiction takes a lot of research. What is the most memorable or interesting thing you’ve learned along the way?
Oh…what an impossible question to answer. There’s just so much fascinating information out there. I supposed what has impressed me most about studying history is that people haven’t changed much in all the basic ways. The more things change, the more they really do stay the same. For example, I’m fascinated by the caricatures of well-known people that were popular in the Regency. They’re like an early version of the tabloids of today!
What do you do to keep all your research information and plot ideas organized and accessible?
Organized? (Laughs hysterically)
What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever gotten?
Argh. I guess it’s probably something to do with letting the subconscious do its work. Writing a good novel does need a certain amount of structure and planning. We do have to think about plot and characterization. We can’t always fly into the mist…but to some extent, we have to just fly, or the best stuff won’t bubble up from the subconscious like it’s supposed to.
Tell us a little about your current project.
I had such a great time writing my Regency duet which is out in April and May—The Magic of His Touch and Bewitched by His Kiss—that I’ve started a duet of Christmas novellas. These are very much in the beginning stages, but I think one will deal more with Christmas and the other with Twelfth Night. Doing the research about old-fashioned Christmas customs is a lot of fun. I’m also revising the third of my Bayou Gavotte paranormal mystery/romances.
What’s up next for you?
Next I hope to finish revising both a Bayou Gavotte novella and a full-length Regency romance. I’m also in the beginning stages of a Regency fantasy and am plotting a fourth Bayou Gavotte novel. And I have some other ideas, too, but no spare time!
You can find Barbara and her books on line:
My website and social media links are:
THE MAGIC OF HIS TOUCH, April 2013 (May Day Mischief #1) Amazon Kindle *Barnes and Noble* Harlequin
BEWITCHED BY HIS KISS, May 2013 (May Day Mischief #2) Amazon Kindle *Barnes and Noble* Harlequin