Alas, Halloween is over for another year. It's my favorite holiday, and I have no idea why I haven't written a story about it. I think this ghost cat would fit perfectly in a Halloween story, don't you?

Today is release day for my new Regency e-novella, Under a Christmas Spell! I'm itching to give a copy away to someone who comments on this blog. I’ve also been tagged by my thoughtful friend, Ella Quinn, for the Writerly Blog. The questions revolve around why and how one writes. 

Ella mentioned that she writes traditional Regencies, but with sex. My Regencies have sex scenes in them, too—as do my contemporary paranormals—but the more sex I write, the more I am of two minds about writing it. I think it’s because at first I did it because I wanted to, but now I feel almost obliged to, so it’s not as intriguing to me as it was. I wonder now, does that mean I should find new ways of writing it, or start writing romantic Regency mysteries without it? Because to tell the truth, much as I enjoy a good sex scene, my favorite books are usually romantic, have lots of plot (like mysteries), and don’t have much in the way of explicit sex. I love it when an author can invoke powerful, sensual, romantic feelings without actually describing the sex act. I guess what I’m saying is that I would like to write something just like my favorite books!

Now to the questions.
1. What are you working on right now?
Three different projects! One is a vampire novella in my Bayou Gavotte series. It’s a contemporary paranormal mystery/romance. Another is a duet of novellas that may end up being a book in two parts. They are Regency paranormal romances with my version of the incubus/succubus mythology. The third is a story I’m writing just for me. It’s a Regency-set fairy tale with a very strange hero. Maybe too strange, but I’m having great fun writing him.

2. How do they differ from other works in their genre?
Hmm… I guess it’s that my paranormal beings, such as vampires and incubi/succubi, are not much like the standard mythologies. For example, my vampires aren’t undead, and my incubi and succubi aren’t demons. I like to think that my characters and their stories lie within the realm of possibility. The white cat above is the King of the Fairies in disguise. He's been pestering me forever to write a fairy tale, although I'm not sure whether he wants it to be about him (so far, it's not). I see him every year or two when I visit Germany. This year he snubbed me, so I guess I'm not writing the fairy tale fast enough for him!

3.  Why do you write what you do?
I was inspired to write Regencies by Georgette Heyer. One day I thought, “Hey, I’ve always wondered if I could do this—so why not try?” Out of that came Notorious Eliza, still one of my favorite stories. As for the paranormal aspect which comes out in many of my stories, I guess I’m just addicted to magic.  

4. How does your writing process work?
I’m a pantser, which means I don’t (can’t) plot the whole book out ahead of time. I don’t seem to be able to see clearly more than a few moves ahead. (I’m hopeless at chess, too.)  First I write a few chapters to get to know and understand the characters. Then the story reveals itself to me as I go along. It’s not an efficient process, so I’m a pretty slow writer, alas. 

I’m tagging Molly Ann Wishlade, Nancy Northcott, and Vicki Batman.

I’ll give away a copy of Under a Christmas Spell to one lucky commenter. Do you believe in vampires? Has an incubus or succubus ever sent you a sexy dream? Should I try, once again, to plot a book before writing it?


Hampshire, 1815

  Dissolute aristocrat Lord Valiant Oakenhurst hides a sexy, supernatural secret—as a powerful incubus, he is able to influence others through erotic dreams. At an exclusive Christmas house party, his latest mission is compromised by the beautiful but deadly succubus Lucille Beaulieu. Though still drawn to his former lover, Val cannot forget her betrayal….

Hoping to atone for her past, Lucie uses her seductive powers to help couples find happiness. But she is distracted from her task by her own delicious dreams of the dark and dangerous Val.

As the riotous festivities begin, their passion is reinvoked, but can a little Christmas magic restore their lost trust?


  1. Tin // November 1, 2013 at 8:11 AM  

    Hi, Barbara! There was a time when I believed in vampires and would sleep with a small pillow around my neck (to protect it from being bitten). ^_^

    Congratulations on the new release!

  2. Ella Quinn - Romance Novelist // November 1, 2013 at 8:54 AM  

    Great post, Barbara, and thank you for playing. As you know, I'm not into paranormals, but I love your writing so much, I may give them a try.

    I can't wait to read Under a Christmas Spell!! Tweeted and shared.

  3. Beth Trissel // November 1, 2013 at 10:10 AM  

    I love your pics and your post and share many of your thoughts on writing. you are so fun and talented I think you can write whatever you want! Your new release looks great.

  4. Barbara Monajem // November 1, 2013 at 11:02 AM  

    Hi, Tin -- What an awesome idea. I used to check my closets and under the bed, but I never thought of protecting my neck!! (I guess because I was worried about any kind of creature, not specifically vampires.)

  5. Barbara Monajem // November 1, 2013 at 11:07 AM  

    Thanks, Ella. And congrats on your upcoming release. I just pre-ordered it for my Kindle!

  6. Barbara Monajem // November 1, 2013 at 11:09 AM  

    Hi, Beth, and thank you. I guess you can tell I like cats!! We have three right now. One of them is a mischievous kitten. He's cute, but I will be happy when he grows up and becomes a sedate adult cat.

  7. Eileen Dandashi // November 1, 2013 at 11:27 AM  

    Enjoyed your post. Barbara, I didn't know you were a pantster. Looking forward to reading your work. I, frankly, enjoy some paranormal, but not the really weird stuff, thrown into a story. I can also relate to a little less actual acts of sex, but with more sexual tension. It gives the reader more excitement throughout a compelling and enthralling story.

  8. Mary Marvella // November 1, 2013 at 12:19 PM  

    Barbara, if it isn't broken, don't mess with it. Until you feel you need to change and become a plotter, don't. I don't do a scene-by-scene plot, but I do know how I want the story to end. I just don't know how I will get there.

    One story lasted 30 pages longer than I had planned because the hero didn't say the right words and the heroine needed them.

  9. Barbara Monajem // November 1, 2013 at 2:58 PM  

    Hi, Eileen. It looks like we agree on quite a lot!

    I wish I could be more of a combo -- plotter-pantser! It would be fun but far more efficient.

  10. Barbara Monajem // November 1, 2013 at 3:07 PM  

    Mary M, I'm a lot like you. I know how I want the story to end, although to tell the truth, even that changes as I write (except for the happily ever after -- I insist on that).

  11. Josie // November 1, 2013 at 5:11 PM  

    Barbara, I love your pics, also. And I am a pantser writer. Best wishes on your newest release!

  12. Barbara Monajem // November 1, 2013 at 8:00 PM  

    Hi, Josie -- another fellow pantser, yay!

  13. Scarlet Pumpernickel // November 1, 2013 at 8:50 PM  

    Barbara, Congrats on the new release. I love Regency Romance and the level of sexuality isn't as important as the sexual tension and how skillfully the author handles the story. So, if you decide to write sans hot sex scenes your readers will still love your work because of your skillful writing.

  14. Barbara Monajem // November 1, 2013 at 9:30 PM  

    Thanks, Scarlet. I hope you're right, and that I haven't set up expectations that I may not always want to fulfill...

  15. Mary Ricksen // November 2, 2013 at 12:13 PM  

    After Night of the Living Dead, I saw them in my dreams. Looking forward to Christmas Spell!

  16. Barbara Monajem // November 2, 2013 at 8:15 PM  

    Mary R, I promise that my incubus/succubus stories won't give you any bad dreams!!

  17. Barbara Monajem // November 3, 2013 at 10:37 PM  

    And the winner is Tin! Tin, I have sent you an email, but you can also get in touch with me via the contact page on my website,

  18. Josie // November 10, 2013 at 10:23 AM  

    Barbara, I love your writing and I'm sure your newest release will be a big success.