Tuesday 19 February 2013

Author Interview: Mona Ingram

About the Author:

Mona Ingram was born in Ontario, Canada. Her family moved to British Columbia when she was twelve, and she can't imagine living anywhere else. In recent years she has lived in the Okanagan Valley and on Vancouver Island. In addition to reading and writing, traveling and bird watching are among Mona’s favorite pastimes.

Mona writes contemporary romance novels and takes great delight in creating unexpected twists and turns in her story lines. She frequently sets her books in areas which are familiar to her, immersing the reader in the setting. One reader recently commented that “after reading Fixing Freddie, I felt as though I’d been on a trip to Vancouver”.   Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

Before I sit down to write, I’ve thought about the story for a long time. Various things prompt me to write a story; something someone says, a song lyric, a news story, or often I can be inspired by a location. The characters are next, and then I let it flow.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story?

All the time! Some days I’m surprised at where we end up. That’s what makes it so much fun.

What is your favourite food?

We’ve all had those days when we’re finally alone and get to eat what we want. At least I hope most people get a day like that once in a while. When that happens to me, I go for Spam and rice and eggs. I spend six years in Hawaii when I was younger and we often ate Spam when money was tight. It brings back memories – plus of course Spam is one of the food groups in Hawaii!!

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

In the summer, I’m a morning person. I live in a long, beautiful valley with a lake, and when the sun comes over the hills in the morning, it’s magical. The rest of the year, I play it by ear.

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?

Three places. Back to London for a couple of weeks, where I’d spend more time at the National Gallery. Those paintings by Turner are breathtaking. I’d also like to go to Africa for the elephants, and the many remarkable birds. I enjoy bird-watching. And lastly, I’d like to go back to the Cook Islands. I didn’t make it to Aitutaki the last time I was there, and I’d love to go back and snorkel.

Do distant places feature in your books?

Sometimes. I prefer to ‘know’ the area I’m writing about. There’s something about the small details that draw a reader into the book.

Do you listen to music while writing?

I wish I could. No, I have a dedicated quiet area for writing. Come to think of it, it might be too dedicated. There are days when I rarely leave.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?

My latest is called Listen To Your Heart. It’s the story of two women, both of whom work in the hotel industry. They move to Whistler, B.C. (think 2010 Olympics), and work for a European-owned boutique hotel. Their love stories are unique, and touching.

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?

A new independent writer needs the necessary skills to craft a story, but must also recognize a terrific cover design, know how to promote the book, and keep up with changing trends. It requires a far more difficult skill set than most people would imagine.

Is there anything you would do differently?

I’d have started twenty years earlier.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?

I read constantly, and across all genres, so I can’t say that any one author has influenced me. I’d say my biggest influences are my life experiences.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?

Grow a thick skin.. Don’t publish rubbish. Good luck.

What are three words that describe you?

Determined, open-minded, intensely private. Oops, that’s five. Sorry.

What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?

Bryce Courtenay. The Four Fires.

Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book.

Listen To Your Heart

Morgan Dempsey has always wanted to work in the hotel business. Acceptance in the concierge training program of a boutique hotel chain means she’s closer than ever to her dream. But on arrival at Whistler, she learns that the position has gone to Adrian, a quiet young man from Switzerland who has a strange aversion to skiing. Morgan’s disappointment is tempered by her attraction to Rob – a ‘bad boy’ ski instructor. Will she fall under Rob’s spell, or will she and Adrian discover that they have more in common than their love of hotels?

List of previous books if any

Blogging From the Heart
Fallen Angel
Fixing Freddie
Fool Me Once
Full Circle
Gift Wrapped for Christmas
Moonlight Dancer
Promise Me
The Lure of Love
Then Came Love
The Shell Game
The Reluctant Rockstar
But Not For Me
Brush With Destiny
The Gift

Any websites/places readers can find you on the web.

Mona’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/monaingram.com

Mona’s website: http://monaingram.com

Mona’s Blog: http://monaingram.blogspot.ca

Mona’s Facebook Page: http://tiny.cc/h6gfnw

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MonaIngram1

Thank you, Mona and good luck with your books :)