Posted on June 3, 2019 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Today we’re interviewing Mona Ingram, the author of more than four dozen romances.
Many of her stories take place in British Columbia, where she currently lives.
Most mornings, Ingram can be found at her computer, being pulled one way or another by the characters in her current work, many of whom invariably want to go off a completely different direction that she planned.
But that’s the joy of writing!
Ingram is an avid bird watcher and is particularly happy when she can combine bird watching with travel.
SADYE: How did you come to see yourself as a writer, and what inspired you to seek publication?
MONA: I wish I could point to a specific event that jolted me into becoming a writer, but I can’t.
Throughout my life I’ve always read. I can still smell that wonderful, slightly musty smell of the library on Saturdays when we’d go for story time.
I feel incomplete without something to read, and I’d have to say it was a natural progression to writing and seeking out a publisher. When I started writing, there was no such thing as self-publication.
We wrote a specific length of book as per publisher guidelines, with Hero and Heroine meeting at a specific point in the story, and a prescribed number of sex scenes – if there were any, that is.
It was stifling, and thanks to exploring the internet, I discovered that I could tell my own story in whatever length I desired — with a heat level appropriate to the story. I’d found my wings!
SADYE: Which of your characters would you most and least like to become romantically involved with?
MONA: Aha! You’re asking for my deep dark secrets. But seriously, I’ve never written a hero that doesn’t appeal to me.
Having said that, the first that comes to mind is Freddie in the short novella Fixing Freddie. He’s attractive in a slightly bumbling manner, but he’s also a very successful businessman, and that turns me on.
The other hero who gets my heart started is Rafael, in Full Circle.
Rafa is (of course) handsome, but he’s driven to succeed in business while being restrained in his personal life. I could go for him in a big way.
SADYE: What has been the most touching or memorable piece of reader feedback you’ve received?
MONA: Like most authors. I read all my reviews and am delighted when I hear directly from a reader. There is one review I’ve never forgotten, although I can’t locate it now.
It was from a woman who had just lost a child to suicide, and she thanked me for writing a story that made her forget her pain – if even for a few moments.
It doesn’t get much better than that.
SADYE: What message or theme would you like readers to take away from your work?
MONA: I’ve found over the years that writers tend to come back to the same theme over and over again.
I don’t think that’s a bad thing — after all, one of the first things we’re told when starting out is to write what we know.
In the past few years I’ve found myself writing stories that a) portray strong women who help each other and b) include no explicit sex.
I’ve said it before in interviews, but it bears repeating – I find that not including explicit sex scenes forces me to write a better story. Also, to be honest, there are a lot of other authors who do it much better than I.
This is a roundabout way of saying that what I want readers to feel when they finish my books is: Yes!! I can make a difference in someone’s life.
Because we all can.
SADYE: What advice, as relates to your writing career, would you give your younger self?
MONA: I could give my younger self lots of advice, but I wouldn’t have taken it; I thought I knew it all.
Nowadays I’d say make sure you have a good command of your chosen language.
And get started – don’t put it off. The sooner you start, the sooner you can improve your skills.
The other thing I would say is to beware of the number of people out there who will sell you a course guaranteed to get your book on the New York Times bestseller list.
Yes, advice is helpful, but some of the best can be found in blogs. You’ll know them when you find them.
There is no secret to writing a best-seller. Only talent, hard work and some luck will do that.
Lastly, if you join Facebook writing groups, don’t believe everything you read. There is lots of misinformation out there.
I hesitate to end on a negative note, but writing isn’t a walk in the park. It’s a business and we should treat it as such.
But it’s also the most joyful thing I do, and I hope every new writer feels the same.
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Categories: Author Interview