Join Sarah and her guests for conversations on everything from the art of writing to where we find our inspiration.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Writer Wednesday: Mona Karel

Welcome, Mona, can you tell us a little about yourself? 

Hi, Sarah and Amie. Thanks for having me here today! I started writing on cave walls...okay I’m not quite that old. But I joined RWA so far back my membership number is three digits. I write as Mona Karel, and the rest of the world knows me as Monica Stoner. It’s hard to say which life is my “real” world I guess that depends on where I’m sitting in the house. I’m always up for champagne and happy to share my love of cooking with anyone who stops by.

Tell us about MY KILLER MY LOVE and where we can find it. 

When an immortal enforcer is sent to punish an innocent woman, she wakens the soul he'd forgotten he possessed. It's set in a magical spot in the ancient California forests and takes them through treachery and fear, bringing them finally to trust and love.

Kendra Weiss doesn’t realize she has inherited powerful gifts upon the death of her beloved grandmother. She retreats to their secluded cottage to mourn, and encounters a man of unearthly beauty and strength. 
Mykhael Alastor has become increasingly dissatisfied with his work as an immortal enforcer. When he is sent to punish a woman who could never be guilty of the accusations against her, he realizes he must defy his overlords even if it means his own death. 
Complicating matters is Kendra’s jealous cousin Clarissa and Mykhael’s half brother Gabriel, who is determined to destroy Mykhael. 

My Killer My Love is available in print and ebook formats from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/My-Killer-Love-ebook/dp/B00529AJ6Y
and other retailers. Check with your favorite bookseller.

Do you have a favorite character or one that you identify most with? 

Kendra should be my favorite character but Mykhael calls to me on so many levels, and I don’t just mean physical. He’s always been an outsider trying his best to be accepted. It’s difficult for him to learn to love himself so that he can believe he is worthy of Kendra’s love.

Describe your writing in three words. 

Emotional. Evocative. Sensual.

Why did you choose your genre? 

I discovered Andre Norton when I was still in school and have been enthralled by the possibilities in fantasy stories ever since. My only disappointment was Ms. Norton’s delicacy about intimate scenes, which I’ve managed to overcome.

Where do you get your ideas? 

The actual story of My Killer My Love came to me while I was doing battle with the snails in my California garden. I reached for the bottle of snail bait and heard a masculine voice ask “You don’t want to do that, do you?” The story dumped into my head nigh on whole cloth and I wrote like a mad fury for several months to get the first draft done. Never did get that garden planted.

How do you do your research?

The house is filled to groaning with books. When we moved to New Mexico from California we had over forty large boxes of just research books, covering a myriad of subjects. Then there’s the Internet, of course, a fabulous time waster. For My Killer My Love, which is the initial story about a group overseeing the sacred places in the universe, I dug deep into mythology and folk lore to discover the Atrahasis, relating to the creation of humans.

What advice would you give to the new/unpublished author? 

Finish the first book. Even if you think it’s bilge. Even if it is bilge, finish it. You will have achieved something only a very small percentage of those who set out on this journey accomplish. Then put it away, and start another story. Write every day, even if it’s just a few sentences...something I’ve been telling myself for several months now. When I manage to listen to myself, I’m a much happier individual.

You will need to learn about marketing, about building a platform and attracting an audience. But to launch the magical mystical tour of literature, you need something behind the curtain to wow the audience. Concentrate on finishing the book.

What’s next for you? 

Much to my surprise, Mykhael’s brother Gabriel did not die. He is in disfavor with the Atrahasis, and must atone for his actions by spending time among humans, learning humility. Given his millennia of near godhood, that lesson might take a very long time. His story is coming out in an erotic novella. At least right now it’s a novella, and I know it will be as sensual as My Killer My Love.

Plus I’ve been thinking about the dearth of mature romances. Is there interest in romances about people who are past the age of perfect bodies and flawless skin? I’d love to hear other opinions.

Where can we find you on the web? 

Website: http://mona-karel.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MonaKarel
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mona-Karel/101308129961137?ref=ts&fref=ts 
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/monakarel/

Is there anything you would like to ask our readers? 

Even though I’m an avid reader myself, I always wonder what attracts people to certain books. Is it the characters, the emotions, the plot? What draws YOU to read a reach for a book you’ve read before, for the sheer joy of rereading?


  1. Sarah, thanks so very much for hosting me today.

  2. I'm with you on the champagne. The book sounds fabulous. And we MISS you in California. : )

  3. Miss you too! But it's hard to move from here back to CA! I'm excited about this story, it appeals on several levels

  4. Great interview Mona and Sara. Great advice to new readers and I'm looking forward to reading My Killer My Love

  5. Hi Nana, thanks so much! Nana is a new author for Black Opal Books...I'm sooo eager to see her book.

  6. Thank you, Sarah, for a great interview. Monica, I really appreciate you sharing about your book and your personal experiences. I am drawn to strong stories with characters that evoke a strong emotional reaction by their actions. I'm looking forward to reading your book!

    1. Thanks Carole, hope you enjoy. And thanks for dropping by