Well, I'm exhausted from breaking all those New Year's Resolutions. How about you? :) Seriously, did you make any? I'm going to ask today's guest that very question.
Welcome, Mona Karel. May I pour you a cup of coffee?
MONA: Ah coffee, the nectar of life. I drink it hot. I drink it cold. In an emergency I would not be surprised if I drank from a pot three days old. I draw the line at old enough to have floating organisms and I just can’t agree with certain brands being the best part of waking up, or good to the last drop. I have a Keurig, a French press, and a drip coffee maker. Oh, and several cones with filters. Just in case I’m isolated by a flood or blizzard.
Ally: ROFL. A woman after my own heart. Coffee coming right up. In the meantime, please tell readers something about yourself.
I started writing in 1985, about the same time as I started my first real job and before my marriage. Prior to that I groomed dogs, cleaned horse stalls, and served food at diners around the country. We retired to the high plains of New Mexico, near Albuquerque, where there is room for the Salukis to run and enough distance around me to keep me relatively sane.
You asked for something unique or unusual. It depends on your definition. I’ve had the same breed of dog since 1972, which sometimes surprises me. I have no desire to use them in my books nor am I ready to write dog show mysteries. When I do, it will no doubt start with someone face down in a full portable toilet. Is that level of wicked at all unusual?
Contact the author:
MONA: In a roundabout fashion, horses brought me to romance books. Because I was entranced by all things equine, once I’d read Walter Farley, Marguerite Henry and Dick Francis and Margaret Cabell Self, I started reading historical novels, since they included horses. I started with Yankee Stranger, by Elswyth Thane, and fell in love with Romance. Mary Stewart, Helen MacInnes, Andre Norton and a few others drew me in. In 1985 I discovered used book stores (such a sheltered life I had led) and category romance books.
Ally: Are any of your characters based on actual people you know? Why or why not?
Mona: Although I have been known to threaten to put people in books so far I have not done so. Snippets, yes. The first line of my upcoming story from Black Opal Books is “She knew that walk.” This came from a conversation with a customer about the man I’d thought would be the love of my life (oh foolish me) He pointed out that one could tell this man was a fighter by the way he walked. Which I knew deep down inside since I’d spent most of my life evaluating movement of horses and dogs.
Ally: Thinking about the heroine of the book you brought today, what is her best quality? And her worst?
MONA: Kendra’s best quality is loyalty: to her forest, to her Gran, to her worthless cousin and eventually to Mykhael. Her worst quality is being loyal far beyond good sense.
Ally: Did you make writing resolutions for 2015? What are they?
MONA: Writing resolutions for 2015 are life resolutions. Write, and cherish the life I’ve been given.
Ally: These questions only need a short, quick answer:
- a. How many books do you read in a month or year? I can easily read a book a day...no no no don’t look at my house
- b. Favorite color in men's shirts: oooh, depends. I like Mykhael’s wrap around linen shirts but I’d say probably black or gray
- c. last place you went shopping: Amazon! And the grocery store
- d. favorite childhood book: The Black Stallion (Ally comment: I wonder how many of us grew up on Walter Farleys horse books?) and Terhune's Collies
- e. If you could be any character in any book, who would it be? Oh, anyone from Mary Stewart. Actually I’d love to live in the Witch World. Modern book character? I’d like to be Aralorn from Patricia Briggs’ Sianim books. Actually I’d like to be cherished by her Wolf.
FROM MY KILLER MY LOVE:
He studied the woman. Even in her sleep, her thoughts spoke to him in unclear muttering, a not unpleasant sensation. He wondered about the part he had been sent to play and knew the ending would not be as originally planned. He could no longer think of her as he had been instructed.
This small, fearful female had given him something he had forgotten existed. She had given him back his laughter. For that alone he would protect her beyond life.