Part of the fun of being an author is hanging out with readers and other authors!
October 16, 2016
Interview on Empowered Living. My segment starts around the 31 minute mark.
November 7, 2015
Interview in Black Pearls Magazine
Monica Lynne Foster is an international selling author of fiction novels and non-fiction inspiration. Her novels focus on the lives of relatable characters who continually find themselves at a crossroads. Sometimes they make the right decisions...and sometimes they don't.
In addition to being an author, Monica and her husband own American Gas Works, a gas contracting company in Michigan. She's also the co-founder of Women Who Run Their World, a women's organization whose purpose is to Encourage, Inspire, and Support our Sisters in Our Pursuit to Live Our Lives on Our Terms.
BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing?
MLF: I started writing when I was 7. I wrote a 4- page story titled Charlie and the Dunce. I remember reading it to my family and receiving applause. Only God knows if it was actually any good. Interestingly enough, my aunt kept it and showed it to me recently. I re-read it and it was pretty good, if I do say so myself. LOL. But it was the beginning of the 2000's when I read Temptation by Victoria Christopher Murray that the desire to write novels was truly sparked within me. I remember reading her novel and it was the first time I'd read a novel that I enjoyed and didn't blush my way through it! In 2003, I began working on Bad Choices Can Be Deadly and, because of my corporate career, it took me over 11 years to finally bring it to life.
BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write?
MLF: I write because I love it. It gives me life. I write both novels and inspirational non-fiction. With my novels, I enjoy the feeling of freedom that I experience when my mind gets to break away from reality and enter the realm of fantasy. I can be as outrageous or as tame as I want to be. My characters can say and do things that Monica would never say or do. And I always hope and pray that my readers get to take that same mental escape when they're enjoying my work. When I write my inspirational pieces, I share my life story and how I transitioned from being a corporate executive to an entrepreneur and author. And I write a blog that is a by-product of my quiet time with God.
BPM: How did you initially break into the publishing industry?
MLF: I am a self-published author and I love it. If I'm being honest, I'll say that when I first published, I had a negative view of self-publishing. As though self-publishing was inferior to traditional publishing. But what I've learned through several bumps in the road is that being a self-published author, with the right team, can be very lucrative and rewarding.
BPM: Do you ever let the book stew - leave it for months?
MLF: Absolutely! I let my first book stew for 11 years! LOL. But seriously, I do put books on pause for various reasons. The books and the characters tell me when they're ready to be written. I give myself target dates to complete my work, but I'm gentle with myself and if it takes a little longer than I'd anticipated, then I just flow with it.
BPM: Are there any areas of your writing career that you wish you could go back and change?
MLF: Not at all. Because every step we take, even the steps that hurt, lead us to where we are. And I'm very happy with where I am and where I'm going.
BPM: What's the most important quality a writer should have in your opinion?
MLF: There's more than one that rank side by side at the top of the list. Writers need to be observant. A great idea for a storyline can come from anywhere. Writers need to have thick skin. Everyone has an opinion and some will have opinions about our work that are complimentary, and others may have negative views. And the same Internet and social media worlds that we need to support us, are the exact same worlds that can crush our bubble.
Give everyone the space to have their own thoughts about our work and be okay when it's less than flattering. Understand that writing is only part of the journey. If we want people to read our work, then we have to be ambassadors for our brand and let people know what we have to offer.
And finally, keep the joy. It can be tough at times, dealing with the ancillary parts of the business and the industry. But it's necessary. Just remember how great you feel when you're creating. And when you have a particularly tough day, go write something. You'll feel better!
BPM: Can you share a little of your current work with us? Introduce us to your book and the characters.
MLF: My current novel, Bad Choices Can Be Deadly is about a woman, Chanelle, who appears to have an enviable life. She's beautiful. She's a rising star in her company. She has family and friends who love her. She has a man. And then she discovers early in the book that her relationship of 12 years isn't what she thought it was. After being out of the dating world for years, she finds herself trying to figure it all out and she makes some big mistakes. By the time she finally has true love in front of her, the love that many women desire, the mistakes and sins of her past come back to haunt her. Read Excerpt of Bad Choices Can Be Deadly, go here today.
BPM: What genre is this book? Do you write all of your books in this category?
MLF: The Chanelle Series is Fiction. My novels are all written in this genre. My non-fiction work is Christian motivation/inspiration. I write in the genres that I enjoy reading.
BPM: Do you set out to educate or inspire, entertain or illuminate a particular subject?
MLF: In my novels I like to explore the imperfections in people who have good hearts and mostly good intentions, but who make costly mistakes. And I do that in an entertaining fashion. With my inspiration, I hope that by being transparent with my life, my shortcomings and challenges, as well as my triumphs, I can inspire others to go after what they want out of their own lives.
BPM: What should readers DO after reading this book?
MLF: Review it! Tell others about it if they enjoyed it. And hopefully, they'll want to read the next in the series, Hands Off My Man, which is currently back on the potter's wheel and will be re-released soon.
BPM: What are you the most thankful for now?
MLF: I remain thankful and grateful for what's most important in my life. My God. My family. My relationships. My peace and joy.
BPM: Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?
MLF: Just do it! Seriously. Every author I've listened to, interviewed, been coached by, all of them will tell you that they cringe when they think about their first book. You write your first book because everyone has to have a first. As you continue writing, you will continue growing. And improving. In today's world of self-publishing, you don't have to wait for some publisher to believe in you. Believe in yourself. Produce a quality product and get to work! I'd also suggest that you find a book coach. Someone with experience can help guide you through the process and save you from making costly mistakes.
BPM: We are here to shine the spotlight on your new book, but what's next?
MLF: I have a few projects in the hopper. Hands Off My Man, is the second in the Chanelle series and that should be out by the end of 2015/ early 2016.
I also have Blogging with Monica: 31 Days to Help You Live Your Best Life. It's a devotional and is coming out Spring 2016. And I am accepting submissions for my Mustard Seed Faith project. It's a collection of short stories and poems by women in specific areas where they have overcome challenges to live their best lives.