Author Interview – Mona Karel

Welcome my guest today, Mona Karel author of the My Killer, My Love due to launch on May 25th  from Black Opal Press. It’s good to have you here Mona and I just love the cover of your book!  

Why don’t you tell us what your book is about, and how you decided to write Mykhael and Kendra’s story?

The short answer is: My Killer My Love is about an immortal enforcer and the woman he has been sent to punish.  It’s also about finding your true niche in life and dealing with changes.  On a more cosmic level, it’s about the Atrahasis, guardians or overlords for the sacred places in the universe.  When these places are damaged the Atrahasis send out their enforcers to deal with the situation.  Earth is not in favor at this time since knowledge of and respect for these places has all but disappeared, mainly through ignorance of the old ways.

I gathered from reading a short excerpt that Mykhael is on his second life. Does his that provide him with a unique perspective on life? On his role as an Enforcer?

 Mykhael’s father was one of the Atrahasis; his mother was a civilian, abandoned to take care of herself once he lost interest.  Hey, just because they’re all powerful doesn’t mean they aren’t jerks.  Mykhael became a soldier, then a warlord, then was captured when his employer lost a power struggle.  One of the Atrahasis offered Mykhael an opportunity not to be the main attraction for an execution, and unlocked some of his inherited powers.  From that time on he was essentially immortal, as long as he continued to please his employers.  In the beginning this isn’t much of a problem, until he wearies of the blood shed punishing people who don’t realize they’ve done anything wrong.

And what about Kendra?

Kendra’s one of those people who just gets the job done without much drama.  Her parents were very trendy, and decided she would be better off growing up with her grandmother.  This was the best choice since she is slated to inherit the powers of a select few females in her family.

What was the hardest part for you to write in this story? A character, a scene and why?

The scenes interacting with townspeople.  This story wanted to be written as the growing trust and love between Mykhael and Kendra.  Showing the threat against them and the forest was nowhere near as difficult as revealing how the townspeople felt about Kendra vs what she perceived in the past.

What would your characters have to say about you? Which ones would be comfortable hanging out with you, which wouldn’t and why? (this is more a question about the characters and their tastes and likes than you J, so you can spin this around what they would do)

I’d like to think they’d enjoy hanging out here for a while though the high desert is not the place for those who revel in the deep woods.  I would certainly enjoy knowing them better, telling the story of Kendra’s emotional growth was one of my greatest pleasures.  It would be wonderful to just see Mykhael in the flesh, as it was to meet the person who inspired his description.  Both are far more than we might first think.

Tell us a little about the conflict in this story. Obviously as an Immortal Enforcer sent to kill the heroine a strong conflict exists – what if he doesn’t fulfill his mission? Are there additional villains in the story?

In some ways the Atrahasis are the true villains.  They have become complacent in their duties and rigid in their method of protecting the sacred places.  When a few of them want to develop more power, it is far too easy for them to manipulate what they see as weak human minds.  Mykhael’s cousin Gabriel is sent to handle the final negotiations, and to reveal to Kendra what will happen to Mykhael if he is not successful in his mission.

Is this a series and do you see more Immortal Enforcer books in the works?

Maybe not more enforcers but the idea of overlords has always fascinated me. I have the bare bones of the story from another angle – a young woman lost on Earth when her family died while visiting grows up with no belief in goddesses or overlords.  She laughs at her friends who believe in Gaia, until she finds out Gaia is her ancestor, and she goes from being a fabulous weather forecaster to a weather goddess.

Have you written other books and do you find there is an ongoing theme in your books (perhaps regardless of genre)?

Yes, I’ve written quite a few – who hasn’t?  They include Romantic Suspense, Historical, Paranormal, and a few just straight contemporary romances.  One underlying them is the unseen damage done when heroes risk their minds as well as their lives protecting us.  PTSD is an unseen but very real enemy.  It seems even in my standard contemporary I torture my people.

Where do you see the paranormal/UF/Fantasy/Scifi Genre heading? Is there anything that you’re tired of reading as a reader?

I think this genre has survived attrition, scorn, and poor writing to come to greater strengths than ever before.  We all need a bit of Fantasy in our lives, and there is such a wide variety available today, there’s something for anyone to read.  I admit to being tired of rampant sexuality masquerading as writing but that’s a personal taste.

What has been your writing journey, what has motivated you to write and which authors have inspired you the most?

I’ve never been able to visit a place and not see something more than what’s in front of me. When my family visited Ft. George Washington and Mt. Vernon the standing buildings were great but I remember thinking what it would have been like to actually live in those times and conversely what it would be like to have a running gun battle around the old fort.  Authors inspired – so many and for so many reasons.  Mary Stewart and Elswyth Thane filled my young mind with romance, and really showed me how love can be expressed without going into clinical detail.  Dick Francis’s unassuming just get the job done heroes, so much like Nicholas Cage’s on screen persona, gave me a taste for less Alpha leads.  In more recent times, Patricia Briggs and Suzanne Brockmann are both on my “buy the day it comes out” list.  Alice Duncan and I were critique partners for a while.  She inspired me to just keep writing.  Rebecca Forster inspired me to write my own book, not the book I think people want to read.  And Laura Kinsale inspired me torture my characters – for their own good, of course.

I noticed that you have written a number of blogs articles about the writing life for the Orange County Chapter of RWA chapter as the member at large – evidently a member not in Orange County. Would you like to tell our readers what made you consider starting that series of articles – which I’ve noticed you’ve done over the last three years!

Ah, well that has to do with where I lived for more than twenty years.  Which even now has me shaking my head.  As a Navy brat, I was used to moving every few years and even after I (ahem) grew up, I chose an unusual lifestyle, training horses and managing kennels, partially so I could continue traveling.  I met a California teacher at a dog show, and decided this was the man I wanted to marry.  It took about five more years while I got my own stuff together, but once we were married we stayed in southern California while he finished out his teaching years.  While there I met Michelle Thorne, at that time running Bearly Used Books, who pushed me to an OCC meeting. I joined right away and for a while was very active.  When we did finally move to New Mexico, I stayed in touch and agreed to send in a blog from the “Member at (very) Large.” At that time I wasn’t writing on my own, so this was a way to keep telling myself I was still a writer.

And you have just started an author blog of your own, tell us about that and what you discuss there and how you’d like your readers to interact with you on your blog?

Since Black Opal Books asked if I wanted them to publish My Killer, My Love I’ve been on an adventure in personal promotion.  Facebook is easy enough, I’ve been a fan for a while since it’s one of the best places to share pictures. I don’t Tweet, I don’t IM, I don’t even text.  Blogging for me is keeping my journal in public and for the most part I enjoy that very much.  There seems to be a dash of Andy Rooney in my veins.  I mostly talk about what’s going on in my writing world, my books, books I admire, and thoughts about writing.  It’s always great when people comment with their own take on the subject.

 Is there anything you’d like to tell us about yourself or future books?

I’m squeezing out the time to edit a Contemporary I wrote a while back, about a woman who was essentially sold into marriage by her father, to a degenerate aristocrat.  Yes, I meant to say Contemporary.  She finally gets herself out of that situation and the story opens after she has made a life for herself as a writer for a western lifestyle magazine.  Enter the hero, or let’s say the male protagonist since we find out he wasn’t very heroic.  He is now a wildlife photographer of renown but at one time he was a hanger on to the dilettante lifestyle of, you guessed it, the person who married the heroine.  He played a significant, if unknowing, role in her life and as a result took a hard look at what kind of person he had become.  They meet when both of them have forced personal growth upon themselves; if they can overcome their mutual history they will attain a much deserved happy future.

On the fantasy front, I’m plotting out the story of a society where the warrior women were coerced into becoming decorative instead of leaders.  Their society has become weak due to this manipulation of what should be the natural balance.  To save their world, five sisters have to agree to being sent away to unlock their powers.  It started as a potential erotic novella and has mushroomed into epic fantasy.

So, where can we find you in cyberspace?

I have the original blog site on WordPress under my real world name but I’m working to translate the language of websites and profiles to introduce myself to the world.  Hey, I’m a writer, not a programmer!  So I’m making slow progress. http://monicastoner.org/

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About KH LeMoyne

Author
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