Today the Pink Fuzzy Slipper Writers salute one of our own. Mona Risk is an amazing author, and just as amazing as a person. I hope you sell a ton of books Mona!

Let’s see if we can learn a bit more about Mona.

What's your favorite genre to read?

I can read contemporary romances and romantic suspense all day and all night long. ~by Roxanne St. Claire, Gemma Halliday, Rachel Gibson, Christie Craig~ OR~ sweet romances ~ by Karen Kendal, Beth Andrews, Cynthia Thomason) and medical romances~ by Dianne Drake, Janice Lynn, Sarah Morgan. Since I write in those genres, I usually read with a pencil in hand, critique as I read and learn as much as I can from my favorite authors.

If I read to relax, I favor historicals, mostly Regency, but also any historical by Stephanie Laurens, Bonnie Vanak, Tracy Grant and our own PFS Beth Trissel, also the oldies by Kathleen Woodiwiss, and Johanna Lindsey, Heather Graham…

With all you have going on in your life Mona, I am surprised you have time to read. Hence the next question. How do you find time to write with the busy life you have?

Seven years ago I quit my fulltime job as a chemist and director of a chemistry lab to indulge my long time dream of writing romances. For two to three years I wrote non stop, day and night, hardly moving from my chair. I finished two romantic suspense novels and four medical romances. But then heavy responsibilities slammed at me and became top priorities. I edited and polished my books while caring for my sick mother or babysitting my adorable grandchildren. Now I write whenever I can, stealing an hour here or there, or staying awake till dawn when the muse kicks me out of bed.

Most certainly, I look at you as successful. How do you define success?

Thank you, Mary. Because I am a sentimental person, I treasure a good word as much as a hard-earned penny. Success is hearing a friend telling me she loves my book; receiving an email from a fan saying she fell in love with my hero; finding that one my book received raving reviews.

I think that networking is a great way to get into the business. How did you first get published?

It started with an unexpected, unprepared query at the 2007 FRW Miami Heat Conference in Florida. Raelene Gorlinsky was sitting at a table waiting for the next writer. I hadn't planned to talk to her and I didn't have a pitch, but a minute later I sat in front of Ms. Gorlinsky trying to summarize the book of my heart, TO LOVE A HERO, a story set in a Russian country. Raelene smiled, asked questions, and I relaxed. A week later I sent my requested material to Cerridwen Press and a month later came an official contract.

I have read and escaped into books my whole life, books were my salvation. Have you always been an avid reader?

Before I had children I used to read two books a day or night. My uncle timed me once. Apparently, I was an amazingly fast reader. It helped me a lot in my studies.

I think that what we do as children reflects on how and what we do as adults.
What was your favorite thing to do as a child?

Read, daydream and write. I started writing small stories since I was ten.

Now me I was the wallflower, if you could even drag me out. Later on in life I got more confidence but as a young girl I was a nerd. Even though I didn’t want to be LOL. Were you a geek or popular girl?

More of a geek until I went to college, learned to straighten my frizzy hair and wore high heels to add a couple of inches to my petite frame.

Life is full of ups and downs. What's the best thing that ever happened to you?

Going back to school with two teenaged kids to prepare a PH.D. in chemistry. Becoming a student again was fascinating. It made feel like I was twenty and gave me tremendous self-confidence. My children said it was the best example I could have set for them about the importance of studies.

Sometimes when we can overcome an obstacle or survive something we grow as people. What's the hardest thing you have ever done?

The hardest thing? I am doing it right now. Seeing my mother deteriorating in front of my eyes. A brilliant beautiful woman becoming a ghost of what she was. I often can’t control my tears.

I am so sorry about your Mom, Mona, I do know what you are going through and I pray you have the strength to get through this hard time. We fill our lives with things that make us happy. Sometimes we spend so much time writing we forget to have fun.

What do you like to do, besides read, that is not involved with your craft?

Play with my grandchildren. Walk on the beach and swim.

Who are the people who have been the most helpful in our quest to publish?

My wonderful critique partners, Helene Scott-Taylor and Joan Leacott, some writers from the Writers at Play had been my mentors and taught me how to “show” rather than “tell”, the contest judges who honestly offered critiques and suggestions.

Who did you dedicate your first book to and why?

My first book, TO LOVE A HERO, is dedicated to my husband, my hero, best friend and the love of my life.
My second book, FRENCH PERIL, is dedicated to my son, who created my website and edited several scenes with fights and gunshots.
Third book, BABIES IN THE BARGAIN, to my daughter whose struggle to become a neonatologist inspired my book.
Fourth book, Rx FOR TRUST, is dedicated to my mother, an example of courage and perseverance.

Mona’s fist medical romance. BABIES IN THE BARGAIN, will be released in a few days at The Wild Rose Press, on July 03, 2009.
BABIES IN THE BARGAIN is a sweet and spicy medical romance that garnered several wins in contests: Launching A Star, The Beacon, Great Expectations; Golden Gateway; Gotcha; Enchanted Words; The Suzannah; Winter Rose; Linda Howard Award of Excellence.

Short Synopsis:

With only one year left to complete her medical training in Neonatology, Dr. Holly Collier vows not to let anyone mess up her sacrosanct schedule. Especially not the drop-dead gorgeous Dr. Marc Suarez who broke her heart seven years ago.

When a tragic accident transforms the carefree playboy into a dedicated but novice father to his nephew, Holly gives in to her maternal instincts and turns her structured life upside down for the orphaned preemie. But can she learn to trust Marc again and believe in true love?

Thank you, Mary for taking the time to interview me.

Thank you, Mona, for blogging with us today.
My friend, Mona, has had a wonderfully interesting life and it amazes me all that she has accomplished. Now we have great insight into the sweet and talented woman I know and love as Mona Risk. Good luck and may all your dreams come true!

You can read more about Mona’s books at:

15 comments

  1. Mary Marvella // June 26, 2009 at 2:35 AM  

    The Mona and Mary R show. You ladies work well together.

    People know so little about each other. You've been through a lot and you're such a fighter.

    Love the books you have out.

    Mama Mary

  2. Scarlet Pumpernickel // June 26, 2009 at 2:43 AM  

    Mary and Mona great interview. Mona, I understand you pain in watching you lovely mother fading before your eyes. My prayers are with you.

    Wow,what a list of contest wins! I am impressed! Shows what a rare and fine talent you have.

    Scarlet

  3. Edie Ramer // June 26, 2009 at 8:06 AM  

    Wonderful interview. Mona, my mother had Alzeimer's, so I know what you must be going through. It's the saddest thing.

    And, wow! What a list of contest wins! That's awesome.

  4. Beth Trissel // June 26, 2009 at 8:41 AM  

    What a lovely interview with a lovely lady. I enjoyed this very much. Wow, going back to school to obtain such a high degree in midlife is quite an achievement, Mona. I agree with you that success is found in the appreciation of our work. An enthusiastic fan letter is valued by me above all else. Even more so, the appreciation of my stories by my dad and mom and others who have encouraged me all these years. Like you, I have dedicated my books to family, and one close friend.
    Sail on and keep writing your wonderful stories.

  5. Nightingale // June 26, 2009 at 9:28 AM  

    I met Mona at RT. What a girl! And I loved To Love a Hero. Fantastic hero and fantastic setting as well as great writing.

  6. Mona Risk // June 26, 2009 at 12:15 PM  

    Thank you my friends. The Pink Fuzzy ladies rock. I am so anxious and so excited and so stressed and so... I don't know how Beth coped with the stress of three books coming out in one month.

    ONE MORE week, day by day. Next Friday, I may stop breathing. LOL
    I love that BABIES IN THE BARGAIN and hope readers love it as much.

  7. Mona Risk // June 26, 2009 at 12:16 PM  

    Mary is in vacation but was kind enough to prepare the interview before leaving. Thank you Mary. You are such a dear friend.

  8. Liz Jasper // June 26, 2009 at 12:53 PM  

    Mona,
    I really enjoyed this interview--it was cool to learn more about you. I'm looking forward to reading your latest!! And did I read correctly that you went back for your phud in Chemistry??? Wow!
    --Liz

  9. Judy // June 26, 2009 at 2:40 PM  

    Wonderful interview, Mary and Mona. Mona, your books sound so wonderful, so varied. It's great to see such success. Good luck with your writing...and with your mother, too.

  10. Mona Risk // June 26, 2009 at 4:32 PM  

    Judy, going back to school was so much fun. I shed fifteen years of my life and shared the students' life again. Plus I had more time to drive my kids to soccer games, tennis and skating, watched while reading and studying, than when I was working full-time.

  11. Mona Risk // June 26, 2009 at 4:33 PM  

    Sorry, got mixed up. Previous comment was for Liz.

    Judy, thank you.

  12. Joanne // June 26, 2009 at 10:52 PM  

    Wonderful interview, Mona. I've been a huge fan of yours for several years. Your life is amazing. Thank you, too, Mary R., for such an interesting interview.

  13. Autumn Jordon // June 26, 2009 at 11:47 PM  

    Mona,

    First, I'm sorry to hear about your mom. I wish her peace.

    I think we might have been twins separted at birth. I spent a good portion of my childhood with my nose stuck in a book. Always wanted to write. Went back to school while raising four children. Not a chemist, though. LOl. Great interview. I look forward to following your career.

    Autumn Jordon
    2009 Golden Heart Finalist
    www.autumnjordon.com

  14. Mona Risk // June 27, 2009 at 12:06 AM  

    Thank you Joanne and Autumn, you are both so sweet and I feel humbled as I don't think I deserved so many compliments.

    Autumn welcome to the PFS my dear twin.

  15. Dayana // June 27, 2009 at 2:30 PM  

    Mary, thank you so much for giving us such wonderful insight and helping us to get to know Mona so much better. What a wonderful interview!

    Mona, I am so sorry about your mother and will pray her strife is eased as well as your stress and worry.

    I really enjoyed this interview.

    Dayana~