Hello Mrs. McCarty!
The girls of Night Owl Romance are pleased that you have granted us an interview
We would love to get to know you.
Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
I'm a former lawyer, now novelist and stay at home mom to two kids in grade school (boy and girl). I live in the San Francisco bay area, although I've lived all over the US because my husband was a professional baseball player for 15 years. He played for 7 big league teams and countless minor league teams so we've lived in a lot of places.
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
This is a hard one because to some extent all of my female characters have part of me in them. I think I'd be Isabel because she is probably the sweetest of the three and my husband thinks I could use some work on that. LOL.
What's your favorite genre to read?
Romance! I read pretty much across the board with the exception of paranormal, although I do like Time Travels. I'd say about 50% of my reading is historical romance.
Who or what influences you when you write?
Mostly I'm influenced by some tidbit I came across in research. For example, in Highlander Unchained, I came across this story about the Lady on the Rock where a chief left his wife on a rock in the middle of the sea to be swallowed up by the rising tide. Instead she was rescued by a group of fisherman. Her husband was rather surprised when he showed up to her father's castle to report the death only to see her sitting at the table!
What do you do on a typical writing day?
What should I do or what do I typically do? LOL. I try to write when my kids are at school, but I seem to procrastinate in the morning with answering emails, checking out blogs, etc. If I'm really in the mode I take my alphasmart to my health club which has a wonderful great hall and write.
When you have writer's block how do you break free?
Knock on wood, but so far it hasn't happened. Of course there are points I get to in a story where I don't know exactly what to do, but I can usually work through them in a day or two. I have a group of friends who I can call on to help with this kind of thing. It's funny, but I find that a lot of times the answer comes to me in the shower or at night so I have notebooks in both places.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
My next trilogy, another back-to-back release, will feature clan Campbell. The first two books are about secondary characters from Highlander Unmasked: Jamie and Elizabeth Campbell. The third book is about their bastard brother, Duncan. I don't have release dates yet, but I would assume late 2008 or early 2009.
Please tell us what you have planned next?
More Scottish! I just started book #2 of my Campbell trilogy today!
In 5 years, where do you see yourself? -In general and in you're writing career
In five years I will have two kids in high school so I'm sure I'll be trying not to tear my hair out. In terms of my writing career, I hope to be writing on a slightly less crazy schedule (these back-to-back trilogies are killer!), but more or less the same kind of books. I love Scottish and as long as people want to read about sexy, alpha Highlanders I want to write them!
What do you do for inspiration?
This one is easy . . . research.
Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?
I have two unpublished Regency set historicals that maybe one day will see the light of day . . . who knows?
What type of book have you always wanted to write?
I always thought I'd write straight historical fiction, but then I realized I was always looking for the romance. :)
You write so beautifully about Scotland and its people do you come from Scottish decent?
Thank you! I do have some Scottish ancestry. My late paternal grandmother was a Scot. Her last name was Ferguson.
What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?
The research is probably my favorite part of the writing process-I feel like the world is my oyster and there are SO many things I could write about. I do a pretty significant amount of research before I start writing-I really want to be immersed in the time period. I have a pretty large collection of Scottish history books now and I usually go to those to start. If it's something that comes up during writing I often try Google.
Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
Hmm. I guess I'm not really sure. I'm a fairly regimented person so I think that deadlines probably ensure that I stick to a schedule.
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
I started submitting pretty much right after I finished my first manuscript (what became Highlander Untamed). I started the book in January or February and my goal was to have it ready for the Golden Heart that year. I did it and ended up scoring in the top ¬ which I was very happy with. That more than anything probably got me going. I kept submitting (different manuscripts as they were written) for the next 3 years and finally sold not long after I found an agent (and finaled in the 2004 Golden Hearts).
What would you like to tell your readers?
The name of the game is perseverance. You never know when that manuscript is going to hit the right desk, and you can't sell if you don't submit. My kids take Tae Kwon Do and one of the things they yell is: "Try, try, try and never give up." It's true.
What is the best and worst advice you have ever received?
Best advice is from my friends Tracy Grant and Penelope Williamson who told me to celebrate every accomplishment in writing, no matter how small, because you will need those to get you through the difficult times. Haven't received any bad advice yet. J
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
Since I've sold I pretty much have to write a synopsis and I've found that I really like it. I also do mini outlines that consist of scenes as they come to me.
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
I have two amazing CPs (Bella Andre and Jami Alden) and a larger group of people I brainstorm with. I don't know what I would do without them. We have been together for about 4 years when we'd all completed our first novels and all of us sold within a year and a half of each other.
What was your first published work and when was it published?
My first book was HIGHLANDER UNTAMED and it was published a few months ago on July 31, 2007.
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
I do have a website and I hope readers will check it out at www.monicamccarty.com I have tons of background information on the books and pictures of some of the places mentioned in my novels. You can always find me at Fog City Divas http://www.fogcitydivas.typepad.com/dishing_with_the_divas/ or on my own blog at http://monicamccarty.blogspot.com/ . You can also reach me at Monica@monicamccarty.com I love to hear from readers who've enjoyed the books!
Do you ever use real life actors or actresses as how you see your characters when you write in your head? I know I personally see them as the main characters a lot in the books I read when I'm reading them so I was just wondering if authors do that as well when they are writing them?
Actually I do.usually. For example, Alex MacLeod in Highlander Unmasked was very clearly Aragorn from Lord of the Rings (Viggo Mortenson). Lachlan Maclean from Highlander Unchained was Gerald Butler. The heroine I just finished was a young Elizabeth Taylor. I didn't have anyone specific in mind for Rory MacLeod, but I kind of think of him as having the body of the Rock with the face of David Beckam or Halle Berry's boyfriend-what's his name? Gabriel something. And basically hon anything else you want to share feel more than free to do so :0) Nothing I can think of, but thanks so much for having me. I really appreciate the opportunity to touch base with some new readers!
Thank you for this opportunity!