Good Monday Morning, reader friends!
Welcome Sarah Monzon to our blog.
Remember her? She visited with us a few times earlier in this month of March.
Today, Sarah’s here to talk about her book, Novelly Upon a Time.
Interview with Sarah Monzon about her book, Novelly Upon a Time: A Novella (Book Nerds and Boyfriends Collection Book Three):
Alexis: Why did you write this story and title it “Novelly Upon a Time?”
Sarah: As with any story I write, I wrote this one because the characters wouldn’t stop talking to me until I told their story. Sound a bit crazy? My husband thinks so. He’s always making fun of me and the “voices in my head.” But authors are a crazy lot and the only way to silence the voices is to give them one of their own in the form of a story.
Alexis: This is book number three in your Book Nerds and Boyfriends story collection. What inspired you to write this collection of stories and how does book three fit in?
Sarah: I was first inspired by the covers. I came across the graphics and thought they were so cute that I just had to write stories for them. Having each novella feature a book lover was icing on the cake. First, I didn’t have to look far for character inspiration (hello, avid reader here!) and second, I knew they would be characters that readers could relate to.
Alexis: Let’s talk about your story’s heroine Harper Jones. What does she look like, sound like and act like? Why did you make her an author and not another career?
Sarah: Harper first comes on the scene in the second novella of the set. She’s a member of the book club. Her being an author is pivotal to the plot of the story because without that there would be no motivation. Plus, in the first featured a bibliophile, the second a literature professor, and I thought an author would round out the literary playing field.
Alexis: In what ways did receiving sour early reviews about her new novel, inspire Harper to, as you say, “get some real-life smooching experience?”
Sarah: Harper prides herself on her research. She will do anything to make her characters realistic and authentic. So when early reviews say that the romance in her book is unbelievable, she’s challenged to prove them wrong and establish herself as a person of authority on the matter.
Alexis: Let’s talk about your story’s hero. What is his name? Describe him. What are his strengths and weaknesses and why is he described as Harper’s “arch nemesis?”
Sarah: Kyo Tanaka is a police officer and of Japanese-American decent. He grew up with Harper and had the ability to push her buttons. He would do things to deliberately get a rise out her. She hated it. And him.
Alexis: Why does Harper feel like she must “kiss her worst enemy or kiss her three-book contract goodbye?” Is that more of her own decision or is her book publisher pushing her?
Sarah: Both, although there is certainly a veiled threat from her publisher.
Alexis: What was the easiest aspect of writing this story and the most challenging part?
Sarah: The setting was fairly easy. I only live a ferry ride away from Seattle so have been to all the places I described in the story. The most challenging was Harper’s attitude toward Kyo. I’m not a person who holds grudges so writing her and her animosity toward him was not easy for me.
Alexis: What is the racial makeup of Harper and your story’s hero?
Sarah: Harper is White with no nationality ever expressed, and Kyo is Japanese-American.
Alexis: How did you decide on their racial identities for this story?
Sarah: Harper learns a valuable life lesson from Kyo’s grandparents who were prisoners in a Japanese internment camp during world war two.
Alexis: Describe the setting for your story. What makes it special?
Sarah: The story is set in Seattle. All the stories for this collection are set there. It’s a beautiful and diverse city with challenges and triumphs.
Alexis: What do you think is the importance of having books that show representation of all people? Explain.
Sarah: When we get to know each other’s stories and experiences, we are all richly blessed. God made a beautifully diverse world, and I think that should be represented in Christian fiction. As readers, we all like to be able to relate to the characters we read, and right now we may not be doing a very good job of that. Stories are also a good avenue to broaden viewpoints, soften hearts, and produce love that knows no boundaries.
Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Sarah!
*Interview conducted by Alexis A. Goring, contributor
About the Author:
Sarah Monzon is a Navy chaplain’s wife and a stay at home mom to the two cutest littles in the world.
Playing pretend all day with them isn’t enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters.
When she isn’t in the world of make-believe, she can be found in the pine forests of western Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.
About the Book:
Author Harper Jones prides herself on the impeccable research she does for her novels, so when early reviews come pouring in claiming her romance reeks of inauthenticity, her editor suggests pulling her nose out of her books and getting some real-life smooching experience.
But her plans to do just that are thwarted by her archnemesis from high school who has recently returned to town. Now she’s left with an impossible decision—kiss her worst enemy or kiss her three-book contract goodbye.
Buy Sarah’s book, Novelly Upon a Time, on Amazon