Helping authors succeed in the ever-changing publishing world is something I love doing. I also love hearing an author’s journey from writer to published author. Mona Sedrak’s debut novel is riveting and I knew I had to know more about her. She agreed to sit down with me for an interview. So grab a cup of your favorite hot beverage and join us:
Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?
I LOVE to read and read everything and anything I can get my hands on. However, my favorite type of story is one that captures the human heart and holds tight. I love authors that write with a deep emotional twist. In my younger years I was an avid Danielle Steel reader then went to Nicholas Sparks. Recently, I enjoy many new and some seasoned well-known authors: Jennifer Probst, Corinne Michaels, A.L. Jackson, and Kristen Ashley, to name a few.
My stories always revolve around strong woman who encounter agonizing life issues that many of us experience. I always hope that my readers are hooked from the first page, cry, laugh, and root for the heroine and hero.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
My best accomplishment happens every time I finish a book. I love every project I work on and am proud of my work. Many can start writing a book, but not everyone can finish. I am a student at heart and love to learn, so if I could pick another accomplishment, I would say I am proud of the way my writing has improved. I worked with an amazing editor, Leanne Morgena, at The Wild Rose Press, and I learned so much from her.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
Although many authors try not to read their reviews, I am not successful in this endeavor. I do read my reviews. Good reviews make me smile for days and days and I want to reach out to every reader and give them a hug. Bad reviews are painful to read but are just as important.
I have been very fortunate to have received very good reviews for Six Months, but I understand that might not be the case for everything I write. I try to learn from reviews and improve my writing. My advice for writers is to grow a thick skin. I have published in the academic realm in the past and did not receive good reviews, and although they were painful to read, I understood that I cannot please everyone, and I tried to learn.
What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?
My favorite part is character and plot development and the writing, especially the beginning and the end. My least favorite is editing because I could read my own work a thousand times and still find an error. It is infuriating to me that I miss obvious errors, but my editor sees them clearly. That is why it is important to have Beta readers, a reading group and a great editor.
What are you working on now? What is your next project?
At this time, I am finishing another contemporary romance novel titled, Gravity. It is about a young Middle Eastern Woman who becomes pregnant and is shunned by her family. She was emotionally and physically abused as a child and was overly sheltered within her family and culture. Although she starts a new life on her own as a single mother, she must find forgiveness, acceptance, and closure with her family as well as let herself trust and love again.
Do you write naked?
There are days I would love to – Hot flashes! But no, I am mostly clothed. Seriously, though I do write naked, honest, and open. I let it all hang out, and I think readers appreciate it. Life is messy. It isn’t all hearts and flowers. Yes, there is much to enjoy in the world, but life is filled with challenges. My books are not light and fluffy. They are raw, naked, and filled with emotion. I want my readers to see, feel, hear, smell, taste …everything my characters experience.
Have you ever gotten into a fight?
Are you kidding? Have you met me? Oh yeah…not the fist fight type because I do not believe in violence, but I can debate and argue with the best. Words are my weapon of choice when cornered. Most of the time, I’m a lover not a fighter, but do not hurt my babies or Mama Bear will come out and she is pretty scary. I am very family oriented and adore my husband and children. I have been married for 33 years, have 2 children, and a precious grandchild and I have been known to go to the mat for any and all of them.
What is your biggest fear?
I suppose I am like many mothers. I fear losing my children. I adore my daughters and granddaughter and I am incredibly blessed to have a wonderful family. I fear losing them. I came close once and that is what inspired Six Months.
What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?
As a child, I was a handful! I gave my poor parents hell. My parents claim the nuns at the Catholic school my sister and I attended said they would take her for free if my parents took me to a different school. At the age of thirteen however, I discovered reading and my world changed. My parents were delighted and used to buy me boxes and boxes of books from garage sales, stick them in front of me, and say, “Go!” I was no longer bored and my butt was firmly planted on a sofa, a bed, a chair, on the floor…not making trouble, just reading and exploring the world.
What do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?
When I was a child I started having a dream in which I could fly. In my dreams, I would wake up in the middle of the night, open my window, hold my breath, and out I would go. I felt very powerful and sailed above the Earth visiting all kinds of amazing places. Every now and then, I still have that dream. I always wake up feeling energized, like I am ready to conquer the world.
Title: Six Months
Author: Mona Sedrak
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Mainstream
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
For twenty years, Mikala Jacobson had it all: loyal friends, a precious little girl, and a man who adores her. Then double tragedy strikes and her perfect world shatters. Good friends, Rena and Jake are instantly by her side, protecting her from her husband David’s sordid secret life and his final drunken confession.
With their help, Mikala finds strength to rebuild and redefine her life. As her spirit and heart heal, she not only finds closure, but the beauty of a new love built upon an old friendship.
In a flash, Jake was in front of her. He flipped their positions, so his back was to the truck, and she stood in front of him. He took her arm in his hand and inspected it. “Sorry, sweetheart.” A frown replaced his smile. “I’d never hurt you. Never.”
Hearing the remorse in his voice, Mikala darted her gaze to meet his. In his expressive licorice eyes, she saw something she hadn’t seen before. She blinked, and her breath caught. Jake had never gazed at her like that before. Adoration? Hope? What were those beautiful eyes telling her? For a few minutes, she was mesmerized by the tenderness in his eyes and the soothing stroke of his thumb over her bruised elbow. Her body melted into Jake’s.
Jake’s other arm went around her waist, and he held her against his solid, warm body.
She sighed and sunk deeper into Jake’s arms, never breaking eye contact. God, being in a man’s arms once again was divine. She relished the strength, safety, and intimacy of his embrace. Two years! How had she survived two years without being held in such an intimate and tender manner? She’d forgotten the feeling of being held, comforted, and adored. How could she have forgotten this bliss?
For the briefest of moments, Mikala gave in to her needs and her fantasy of being whole once more. She closed her eyes, laid her head against Jake’s hard chest, and savored the sensation of being safe, protected, and not so alone in the world. She took a deep breath and inhaled his spicy, all-male scent. It filled her lungs, swirled in her brain, and intoxicated her. His delicious scent poked at and awakened long-hibernating emotions.
Mikala smiled, snuggling in deeper. She exhaled, and then took one more hit of his heady scent––so soothing and delicious. A shiver of awareness ran up her spine, and before she could lasso her runaway emotions and her traitorous body, her hormones took over, reminding her she was a woman. Mikala was a woman who enjoyed being in the arms of a man, and a woman who was young, healthy, and now––very aroused.