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5 Questions with Author Monica Carter

Monday, August 13, 2007

Five Questions with Author Monica Carter By Kisha Green

What was the premise for you writing your novel Sacrifice The One?

I wanted to tell a story of love and sacrifice. The story that turned out ended up being a family drama encompassing love and sacrifice, but a whole lot more. Sacrifice the One asks the question: Is there any sacrifice too great for love? And we're not just talking about the romantic love of a guy and a girl, but the desire we all have to be accepted into another's heart. For some, it's the quest for love from a romantic interest. For others, it's the quest for love from a parent. In this book, we see both.

Describe your writing life? You do freelance writing as well as the daily operations of your business. How do you find the time?

I find the time because I love what I do. You know that old saying: do what you love and it won't feel like work? Well, I do what I love and so it certainly does not feel like work. I have the wonderful opportunity to run a copywriting and design firm, RootSky Creative, LLC, with my husband. So I can be found working all hours of the day -- 11 p.m. feels just as good as 11 a.m. Now, granted, I don't do a lot of very early mornings because I work late at night. But that's the beauty of my work: I don't have to get up and go to somebody's 9 to 5 and punch a clock. I get the opportunity to work on projects of my choosing, on my schedule ... well, pretty much on my schedule. Sometimes I have clients who come to me for rush projects and I do work to accommodate that.

You ask how do I balance writing as well as the daily operations of my business. Writing is a business, and I treat it as such. Many people view writing as their pained art, too revered and precious to be considered in the same sentence with money. To me, my writing is my money. God gives us all gifts to make our way in this world, and I want to use my gift to the best of my ability so that I can have a good life and in turn, share with others and support causes and projects I believe in.

Because I do so many types of writing, I had to learn how to balance my approach to it. When I am writing a project of my own, such as one of my books or my newspaper column where I will have a byline, then I approach projects one way. But when I am writing something for someone else and it is going to be a piece under their name or company, then I know I cannot approach that project in the same way. It's not mine; I'm just someone helping along the way.

I feel blessed to be able to help clients write their books, because many of these are projects that have been on their hearts for years, yet they could not find a way to get them done. Not many people want to stay in the background as a ghostwriter, because we human beings do like our credit, but for me, staying in the background here is fine because I know I am helping someone achieve a dream. The same goes for the work I do in helping people put together projects to help promote their works. Not all writing is about the writer. Sometimes, it's about helping someone else out.

From the organizational standpoint, I'm pretty low-tech. I just keep a sticky note with my to-do list on it. That helps me make sure I'm taking care of the business end of what I do -- project quotes, follow ups, client calls, etc.

Being a motivational speaker you must come across an assortment of people, do you ever consider writing a story from any of those experiences?

I am always considering writing a story about something I encounter. Some story ideas I file away, others I discard nearly as quickly as they occur to me. But yes, I'm always interested in what's going on around me.

I write a regular column for my local newspaper, so I sometimes use elements from my life, though I've toned that down quite a lot! When I started writing the column at 25, I wasn't sure what all went into a column, so I just wrote what was going on with me and those around me -- a recipe for trouble! It was fun for a while and I had a large readership doing that, but I eventually decided I wanted to limit the amount of personal life I included in the newspaper -- after all, I didn't need people knowing so much about me! So now I look for things I find interesting in the news, community, or pop culture and write about them.

When did you decide to pen your first novel?

Hmmm. I decided to pen my first novel when I decided I'd be a writer, back in the fourth grade. I knew I would do it, it was just a matter of when I'd get around to it. So I finally sat down somewhere around 25 or 26 and wrote As If Nothing Happened, a story about best friends who let secrets come between them. I self published that in 2002 at 27 and then in 2004 self published my second novel, Sacrifice the One, a story of a father and daughter struggling to come together, but having a hard time getting over their own complicated emotions. Sacrifice the One was picked up by Urban Christian/Kensington and republished in April 2007. I'm thrilled about that opportunity, especially as it means sharing the book with a wider audience because of the great distribution this publisher has.

I'm amazed at the feedback I receive from those who read Sacrifice the One, because it elicits such an emotional response in so many people who can identify with the characters in the book struggling through hurt, rejection, and trying to fit forgiveness in their hearts. Sacrifice the One is a faith-themed book because it allows the characters to search their souls for the answers to their hurts. And that's true for many of us. If we will listen to that inner voice in our hearts instead of just lashing out, we can resolve our issues in a much better way. This book has an inspirational message for the human spirit.

What are your long term literary goals?

My long-term literary goals are to produce good books that strike a chord with readers. I plan to be around a long time, so I am going for longevity in both fiction and nonfiction. I love telling stories that come from the imagination through novels, but I also have certain information I want to share so I can help others. My nonfiction projects include motivation, education, and enlightenment so I help people live better lives.

And, of course, I do want to have a few best sellers in there somewhere -- who wouldn't?

Thanks for allowing me to be a part of your work. I appreciate your time and that of your readers. I always enjoy sharing information about the business of writing. If you or your readers need other information, feel free to visit http://www.rootskycreative.com/, or drop me an e-mail at monica@rootskycreative.com.

Interview by Kisha Green. To learn more about Kisha, visit her website: www.divabooksinconline.com.
posted by Shelia, 9:16 AM

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