Mona Risk

Read more about Mona Risk.


Interview By: Tamazon

Date: June 16, 2011

Mona Risk's Web Site

Interview

PRESCRIPTION IN RUSSIAN, The Wild Rose Press | Contemporary Romance | April 8, 2011

Dr. Fyodor Vassilov is a thirty-eight year old widower and devoted family man with four little boys who need a caring mother. Still emotionally crippled by the loss of his wife, Fyodor can't allow himself to get close to a woman again. Having a fling is okay but love? Forget about it! He has to protect his kids, and his heart, from any further harm.

Jillian Burton is an American pediatrician on an official mission to improve health care conditions in Belarus. A few years ago, she lost her son and her illusions about men, marriage and family, and she won't risk being hurt again. Feeling guilty about her son's death, she travels to third-world countries to cure and save children but she never allows herself to get emotionally attached to a child.

Fyodor's mother presses him to marry a healthy woman who wants a big family and loves children. The last woman who fits the bill is Jillian, a woman who considers herself incapable of mothering a child, a doctor who can't stop roaming the world.

When Fyodor and Jillian work together in Belarus, their cultures clash and their painful memories still hurt, but their attraction defies all odds. Can love overcome duty and guilt?

What main genre do you write in?

Romance

Please describe your writing environment.

My husband and I share an office. I like to write in the evening at my desk while he sits across from me and works on his laptop set on a table. At the same time he watches TV or listens to music but I don't pay attention and concentrate on my writing.

Please tell us your latest news!

My contemporary romance PRESCRIPTION FOR TRUST was a finalist in Epicon. I attended the Epicon conference and then traveled to San Francisco to attend the 25th anniversary of my former company. The president asked me to be the keynote speaker. I presented a talk on Motivation in front of 300 people and received a standing ovation. The talk is on my blog.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No I wouldn't change anything in my books. I enjoy every story I write. Somehow I manage to slip into my heroine's mind and live her story. I laugh and cry with her, love and kiss our hero, and delight in our happy ending.

Do you see writing as a career?

Writing is certainly a time consuming career. Definitely not an eight-hour a day job. In addition to the research, editing, revisions, submissions a writer tackles before publication, one has to add promotion, blogging, book signing, and so many tasks that engulf an author's life. Writing will occupy an author more than another career, but unless an author soars to a New York bestselling position, I don't think she can make a living on her royalties.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write what you like with passion. Edit, polish and submit. Persevere, persevere, persevere.

How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?

At the beginning of my writing career, my children complained I spent too much time on the computer and away from the family. Once I became published and saw I was serious about my writing they became my staunchest supports. My husband, children, my mother, every member of my extended family and in-laws read my books. My friends regularly asked when the next book is coming and they reserve their copies ahead of release day.

Do you write full time? What did you do before you became a writer? Or Still do?

In my previous life, I was Director of the Analytical Division of an environmental company. I supervised a staff of chemists performing forming analytical tests and worked on various government contracts. A monotonous predictable life that suddenly changed when I won a contract to refurbish a military laboratory in Belarus and regularly traveled to the Russian countries. I took intensive notes of our various adventures. I was in a small town called Uman in Ukraine when I had an epiphany. Why not quit Chemistry and start writing novels. You know the rest of the story.

Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?

I sketch my main characters, hero, heroine and villain, and give them a complete back-story with a clear goal. I also like to outline the first three chapters before starting to write and specify the hero and heroine's motivations and internal conflicts. Sometime one of the protagonists may change and take me in a different direction.

What's been the most challenging part of writing for you?

Sex scenes used to represent a real challenge for me until I developed a special system. When I come to the point where my plot needs a sex scene, I stop writing and spend three days reading erotica books to immerse myself in the right mood. And then the love scene flows nicely.

Who has been your best supporter? How have they been there for you?

My critique partners have been my best supporters. We met on a large critique loop and two years later merged on our own to form our little group. One lives in England, the other in Canada and I live in Florida. Emails are the best communication mode. Once in a while we chat on Skype. In addition to critiquing chapters, we help and support each other continuously.

Do you like to mix genres?

Yes I do. My contemporary romances have a medical theme and are inspired from Grey's Anatomy, my favorite show on TV.

I also wrote a paranormal that doesn't fit any genre, and a contemporary that is a highly sensual mainstream.

What inspires your writing?

My first book, TO LOVE A HERO was inspired from my business trips to the Russian countries. I traveled fifteen times to Minsk, the capital of Belarus on business trips for my company and was so well received by everyone, officers, directors, chemists, journalists. I worked with colonels and generals, was invited to their homes and became friend with their wives. We were featured on their national TV several times. Needless to say, I fell in love with the country. Five years later, I took an early retirement to write my first book, TO LOVE A HERO, and second one PRESCRIPTION IN RUSSIAN. Through my novels, I lived again my fantastic trips to Belarus. My stories highlight the hospitality and warmth of the gorgeous and gallant Belarusians who sing, toast with vodka and make a woman feel like a goddess.

FRENCH PERIL, a romantic suspense was written after my niece told me about her training in a French chateau.

My medical romances BABIES IN THE BARGAIN, PRESCRIPTION FOR TRUST and PRESCRIPTION IN RUSSIAN are based on my daughter and sister's medical experiences in hospitals.

What are your hobbies?

My hobbies change every few years although reading is a continuous activity for me. Over the years, I tackled needle point, crochet, bicycling, aerobics... Now I go to my Pilates exercises three times a week and walk three miles as often as I can.

How much research do you do for your books? Have you found any cool tidbits in your research?

Since many of my stories are set in foreign countries, I do an enormous amount of research. I try to limit my books' settings to the places I visited and where I became familiar with the culture, food, drinks and customs. I bring back from my trips abroad thousands of pictures, many pages of notes and brochures. And then I use Google to supplement the missing details.

How did you choose your publisher? What was the process?

I submitted a partial to The Wild Rose Press and received a request for full two weeks later, and then a contract after two months. So far, I published three contemporary romances with TWRP that were released as ebooks and printed books.

Best Regards,

Thank you for welcoming me to the Night Owl Romance and for giving the opportunity to promote my books.

Mona Risk

Rx IN RUSSIAN new release at TWRP

Rx FOR TRUST, 2011 EPICON FINALIST

BABIES IN THE BARGAIN, 2009 BEST ROMANCE NOVEL at Preditors & Editors Readers Poll

2009 and 2010 BEST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE at READERS FAVORITE