Handbags, Books...Whatever

Handbags, Books...Whatever (http://www.vickibatman.blogspot.com) is the website of Vicki Batman, sassy writer of sexy and funny fiction. Handbag lover. Avid Jazzerciser. Mah jong player. Yoga practioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Choc-aholic. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome.

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Thursday, May 06, 2010

Author Interview today with Barbara Monajem

Hi, Everyone and welcome to Barbara Monajem. Here's her interview and an exerpt from Sunrise in a Garden of Love and Evil.
Tell us about yourself. How long have you been writing? Since about third grade. My first story was about apple tree gnomes. I wrote neighborhood musicals (with borrowed music—I have no musical talent at all) at ten and a melodramatic shudder-worthy true-life story when I was thirteen. I published a children’s fantasy when my kids were young. Now I write historical and paranormal romance, often with a fair amount of mystery or suspense.

How did you get from _________ career to writing romance? I’ve never really had a career. I was a stay-at-home mom who ended up helping out in the family business, but my education was in English Lit, and I always wanted to write.

Who is your favorite author(s) and why? There are far too many to mention. In children’s lit, I grew up mostly on British books such as Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons series and Rosemary Sutcliff’s historicals. In historical romance, I cut my teeth on Georgette Heyer. In mysteries, Dorothy Sayers, Margery Allingham, Ngaio Marsh, Rex Stout, and many more.
I don’t read much children’s lit these days. In mysteries, Sheila Connolly and Laurie R. King are fun. In romance, I have many, many favorite authors. In contemporary romance, Jennifer Crusie. In historical, there are too many to mention, but I’m addicted to Eloisa James’s books, as well as those by Anna Campbell, Loretta Chase, Julie Anne Long… etc. etc. etc. In sci fi romance, Linnea Sinclair totally rocks. And so on. I see you have one of Kay Thomas’s covers on your site. Her books are gripping reads! I could go on and on and on and on about my fave authors. I just wish there was more time for reading.

Tell us about your new book. Sunrise in a Garden of Love & Evil is the story of Ophelia Beliveau, a hereditary vampire, and Gideon O’Toole, the hunky cop who wins her love. The vampires in my stories aren’t undead. They are vampires due to a genetic mutation; they sprout fangs at puberty and become sexually irresistible. This causes Ophelia no end of problems, and eventually she gives up on men. But hereditary vampires have an intense craving for sex and blood, and doing without just makes Ophelia even more alluring. Fortunately, someone vandalizes her garden and threatens her life…and yes, I do mean fortunately, because when she calls the cops, Gideon O’Toole walks into her life.

Here’s an excerpt from Sunrise in a Garden of Love & Evil. The heroine, Ophelia, is a horny vampire longing for some good red blood; Tony is another vampire and Ophelia’s friend; the hero, Gideon, is a cop who doesn’t believe in vampires when the story begins. He’s in for a big surprise.

Tony whipped a knife out of nowhere and slashed Gideon’s thumb. Blood welled up, alive and brilliant red, rolling over Gideon’s wrist and down his arm.

Gideon sprang away. “What the hell was that for?”

“Tony, you traitor!” Ophelia leaped for Gideon, grabbed his thumb, and sucked it into her mouth, jamming his arm between the warm, lush curves of her breasts, backing him up to the wall. He sank against it, the sensation of her tongue against his bloody thumb making him so weak he could hardly stand. Her mouth swirled around and over his thumb and down his wrist, lapped up the blood on his arm, then returned to the wound, painting out the pain and offering pure pleasure instead.

Tony retreated laughing to the kitchen. He shut the door softly behind him, and the light on the patio went out.

Ophelia let go of Gideon’s thumb and sagged against him, all soft, pliant curves and hot breath on his chest. She shivered and let out a tiny moan. Her fingers burned across his skin, seethed up his neck and into his hair, and he shuddered in turn as she raised her head and latched her mouth to his. He groaned, yielding to the hunger and intoxication of her lips and tongue, returning the heat with an ardor as needy and demanding. He ran a hand down her spine, licking at her lips, fencing with her tongue, aflame to explore and discover and possess.

She broke the kiss and made as if to withdraw. No! His heart hammering, his loins insistent, Gideon held her hard against him, breast and belly and thighs—No, don’t go!—and bathed his senses in her glory. Stay with me forever.

Ophelia pulled away. She opened the gate to the dark alley beside the restaurant and turned back to Gideon, left breathless and bereft against the cool brick wall. “You won’t need a bandage,” she said.

What is the appeal of writing (genre)___________? I write both paranormals and historicals. I love writing in these genres because they’re distanced somewhat from the world we live in – the historical by time and the paranormals by magic. In many ways, historicals are more difficult, because you have to be true to the time period you’re writing about, yet appeal to modern readers. Paranormal is a lot of fun because almost anything goes!

What kind of writing turns you off? What stops you from writing? Hmm. Well, I guess I don’t like anything too preachy. Excessive violence is a drag.

Nothing much stops me from writing, or at least not for more than a couple of days, such as if I’m sick or if I just need a break to refresh.

How have you shocked your readers? I guess they’ll have to tell me the answer to that.

How do you get your ideas? What is your writing day like?Sometimes ideas just come, especially during the writing process. Sometimes they have to be dragged out of the muse’s clutches. I don’t really have a writing day as such. Whenever and wherever I get a chance, I write.

Can you share three writing tips? Make writing top priority.

Take a class/workshop on voice. (Barbara Samuel does a great one.) Your voice is unique to you!

Set reasonable goals and do your utmost to meet them. (In other words, really, really make writing top priority.)

Fill in this blank: Your ideal fictional hero would think you gorgeous if you____________. I don’t want my fictional heroes to think about me at all. They are totally focused on their heroines. 

How much do you love cake? Not as much as pie.


Sheila Connolly said...

Waving hello! I had the privilege of reading Barbara's books long before she sold them (I even cornered her now-editor at a conference to tell him how great they were). Who knew vampires could be funny?

And I agree: no matter how much you get caught up in promoting your work, the writing has to come first. Besides, that's the fun part.

Judy said...

Barbara, it's always fun to read an interview of yours. I know your book is sure to be a success. Love the title and the cover!!

Author said...


What an interesting twist on vampires. I just love your heroine's name. How do you come up with names for your characters?

Chris K

Mary Ricksen said...

I love to read about you Barbara!
I hold your beautiful book in my hands and I can't wait to read it! You go girl, we are all behind you for support.

Author said...

Sheila, you lucky girl! I have Barbara's book on top of my TBR right now. I can't wait.

Hi, Judy. The title and cover are amazing.

That's a good question, Chris. Barbara?

Mary, so nice for Barbara to have such dear friends. Thank you for posting.

Mary Marvella said...

Barbara, I love all the scenes you've shared so far. I can just imagine you writing musicals and directing your friends.

I was always the story teller or the person to make up the story in "make like" or "Let's pretend".

Tracy Madison said...

Hi, Barbara! I love that you wrote about Apple Tree Gnomes. And I'm right there with you: I love reading (and writing) stories that are something more than the world we live in. Great interview!

Barbara Monajem said...

Sheila - I'm so lucky to have you in my court. (Sheila was my roomie at RWA National in 2005.)

Thanks, Judy. Hopefully there's something fresh in each interview!

Chris - The characters' names just pop into my mind. Often a secondary character shows up, name and personality already bundled, and everything just seems to fit. Occasionally I use a placeholder name until I find something I really like. Once in a while the name that pops into my head is just *awful* and has to be replaced as soon as possible, LOL.

Barbara Monajem said...

Vicki - Thank you so much for having me here today.

Mary R - I sure hope you enjoy the book. And I hope to finally meet you in Orlando...

Mary M - You have a better imagination than I do. I find it hard to believe I ever directed anything, but nevertheless, it's true.

Tracy - Thanks for stopping by, and congrats on your new release, A Breath of Magic!

Author said...

Barbara, thank you so much for the loverly interview and much success with your new works. Hopefully, I'll see you soon.

Mona Risk said...

Barbara, I love this excerpt, your vampire heroine, and her Gideon. I am getting this book soon. Thanks for some great advice.

Beth Trissel said...

Lovely and very interesting interview, Barbara. I learned a lot about you. I've been writing since about 3rd grade too. :)

Author said...

I agree with you, Mona, I ran out and bought this book based on the exerpt. It is very intriguing. Good job, Barbara!

Thanks, Beth, for posting. I love how you began writing when a little girl. I did, too.

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