Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I write children’s books because the exercise prompts me to think like a child with curiosity and wonder while sharing truth with ages two to twelve.
I write novels because of my love and respect for story and the women I write them for. And the historical fiction gives me an excuse to visit museums and other times and places.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
The day our daughter Sara was released from the neo-natal preemie unit.
I can only imagine. How has being published changed your life?
I think the biggest change has come as part of the process of getting and being published. The people who have mentored me and the people I have mentored along the way have impacted me greatly on many levels—writing, personal, and spiritual.
What are you reading right now?
The Flame Trees of Thika by Elspeth Huxley.
What is your current work in progress?
Beyond a Bride, Book Three in the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series. The youngest of four sisters travels from Portland, Maine to Cripple Creek, Colorado for a fresh start that seems to have more twists and turns than the train she rides west on.
Too Rich for a Bride, Book Two, is in production and will be available in Walmart stores October 2010.
What would be your dream vacation?
A month in a beach house within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I live in the southwestern United States and its history fascinates me, especially the late 1800’s when so many women found themselves displaced and called upon to do hard things.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Maya Angelou. I’m drawn to her poet-spirit and her heart for all peoples.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I enjoy traveling, snorkeling, and playing table games.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Sandwich generation responsibilities that are requiring more and more of my time and energy. I’m learning to maximize bits and pieces of time for writing. Figuring out what energizes me so I can refuel for those bits and pieces of time.
That's a difficult time in all of our lives. What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Recognize and remember that writing for publication is a process and a journey that requires intentional and persistent steps. Expect detours. Enjoy the adventure! Make the most of writers’ conferences, writers’ market guides, and critiques by published writers.
Two missing misters.
Kat and Nell Sinclair are headed west—away from the manicured lawns of Maine to the boisterous, booming mining town of Cripple Creek, Colorado, to start new lives for themselves as mail-order brides.
Aboard the train, romantic dreamer Nell carries a photo of her intended close to her heart and imagines an exciting and love-filled future, while her pragmatic older sister, Kat, resigns herself to marriage as a duty, not a delight.
But when the ladies disembark at the train depot, neither fiance’ awaits them with open arms. The well-bred Sinclair sisters find themselves alone in the wild, frontier town—a place where fire threatens to reduce the buildings to rubble, the working women strut the streets, rogues will gamble for the shoes on one’s feet, and God’s grace is found among the most unlikely of folks.
Please give us the first page of the book.
1895, Portland, Maine
“I have you cornered.”
Kat looked up from the writing desk to the table, where Nell was grinning. Nell’s match with Ida had been particularly animated on this Sunday afternoon. Both were fiercely competitive, and Kat knew better than to challenge either one of them at checkers, or most any game.
Ida perched on a cushioned chair, face to face with Nell. The oldest of the four Sinclair sisters wasn’t accustomed to losing, and it showed in Ida’s furrowed brow. She stared at the board, but the pattern of the red and flack disks didn’t change. When she finally made a move, Nell snatched the red game piece off the board, her blue eyes sparkling.
“That’s five out of seven, Ida.” Vivian, the youngest at sixteen, called the tournament from the sofa where she lounged with Sassy, her Siamese cat.
“You’ve been dethroned, sis.” Kat closed her journal. “We have a new Sinclair Checkers Champion.”
While Ida lifted an imaginary crown off her head, Nell stood and smoothed her skirt. Ida placed the invisible trophy atop Nell’s wheat-blond twist. “I present the new queen of checkers.” Ida bowed. All four of the sisters giggled.
Kat picked up her journal and walked to the window. Fabric ties held tartan curtains open, framing the idyllic outdoor scene. Crimson and golden leaves adorned the maples and oaks outside, and a couple of squirrels frolicked while a handful of leaves twisted and twirled above them like autumn acrobats.
Acrobats in fall colors
Twist and twirl . . .
Kat hurried back to the writing desk and recorded the words in her journal, her pencil flying over the page. Sunday was the most inspiring day of the week. The Sabbath’s time of rest and reflection always left her refreshed and full of new ideas.
Nell cleared her throat. “I don’t suppose you’re writing about my victory for the Portland Press Herald.”
“A recounting of your conquest, as great as it was, isn’t Kat’s cup of tea.” Vivian laughed. The name Sassy fit Vivian as well as it did her cat.
“Now if Nell were the writer in the family, we’d all be reading a most romantic love story,” Ida said, returning the checkerboard to the bookcase.
“I believe in love.” Nell shrugged. “Is that so bad?”
“Believing in love is not at all bad, Poppet.” Father’s warm voice drew their attention to the doorway. He wore a herringbone suit, his auburn mustache and beard neatly trimmed. He leaned against the door frame, his arms crossed over his chest.
“We have a new checkers champion, Father.” Nell raised her hands to her head and formed a crown. “Me.”
“And such a humble winner.” A weak smile turned up one side of Father’s mouth, and an uneasiness began to niggle Kat’s stomach. Something wasn’t right.
You can read the first chapter at http://www.monahodgson.com/ . Go to Mona’s Novels page and click on Sneak Peek.
What are some ways that readers of your books can help you as an author?
Besides buying copies for everyone they know? LOL
• If you’ve read one of my books and liked it, please mention the book on Twitter or Facebook, on your blog, or in gatherings with people you think might enjoy it.
• Write book reviews for Amazon.com, BN.com, Christianbook.com, and other online bookstores.
• Are you in a book club, or know anyone who is? Please tell them about Two Brides Too Many and let them know that Book Club Discussion Questions are available at my website: http://www.monahodgson.com/ .
• Visit your favorite bookstore, if you don’t find Two Brides Too Many, please tell the owner/manager about the book and encourage them to carry it in their store.
• Write a book review for your local newspaper, church newsletter, denominational magazine, or for other appropriate magazines. Online too.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Visit my website at http://www.monahodgson.com/
Join me on Facebook at Mona Hodgson Fan
Follow me on Twitter at MonaHodgson
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with Quarterly E-newsletter in the subject line to receive quarterly updates and behind-the-scenes news.
Thank you, Mona, for visiting with us again.
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