Saturday, January 12, 2013
Interveiw With Author Monique Bucheger
Deirdra: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
In high school. I had an awesome creative writing teacher, Marion “Jo” Johnson. She was my first cheerleader. In fact, she objected to me marrying straight out of high school because she said I would have a bunch of kids and not write the books she thought I should. 22 years later I had the same husband, 12 kids, and no books, so I started writing again to keep my promise to her. And here we are 5 years later, loving almost every minute of rediscovering my passion for writing.
Deirdra: What do you do to relax and unwind?
Believe it or not, I write. I have 12 kids, so I have very little uninterrupted time. When I can squeeze in a couple hours and just write, that is what I like to do. I used to scrapbook—and should again, but pretty much mothering: chauffeuring, cooking, helping with homework, etc, and writing make up my day.
Deirdra: What are you working on now?
I am plotting Book 4 of the Ginnie West series as well as writing the first book of my Ryder series. I have written a novella to introduce the Ryder family and their predicament. It’s a little more tearjerker than my normal writing, but my beta readers tell me they are hooked.
Here’s the quick pitch for the Novella and Book 1:
When his parents return from their second honeymoon in mahogany caskets, nineteen year-old Cale Ryder not only inherits the family ranch, but his three teenage brothers and kid sister, Brandi. Thrust onto the fast track to fatherhood, Cale doesn’t have time for a lot of nonsense and quickly lets everyone know there’s only room for one alpha dog in the fight to keep the family together. Battling a busybody aunt, child protective services, and the rigors of ranch living to provide for his siblings, he tries not to wonder what life would be like if he could do what he wanted, instead of what everyone else needs.
Internationally best-selling author, David Farland read and edited the first 100 pages and suggested I break it into a novella and two books, (since the original book spanned 9 years), so that is what I am doing. I really like how the novella turned out. It’s a lot of fun to change up my writing style and situations since the Ryder series is aimed at YA/New Adult readers.
Deirdra: What is the best thing about being an author?
Making a difference in a reader’s life through something I‘ve written. My series deals with dark subjects like child abuse and abandonment in a way that empowers people on all side of the issues. I’ve had several readers who were abused as children find hope and peace in Tillie’s story. That is very meaningful to me. I also have had several parents and grandparents tell me: “I know I can trust my kids with you.” That also means a lot to me and I take that seriously. I don’t shy away from tough issues, but I won’t subject my readers to gratuitous sex, violence, and profanity.
Deirdra: How do you come up with your character’s names?
My Ginnie West series names were names I liked as a tween. I can’t remember why I chose Ginnie other than I had a friend in 7th grade who was very beautiful and went by Jinny even though her formal name was Virginia. I changed the nickname to Ginnie for my MC. Tillie’s name came about because Matilda sounded cool to me, (at 12), but we’ll learn in Book 4 that her mom named her for the book ‘Matilda’ because she admired Matilda’s perseverance and spirit. A lot of the other characters in the Ginnie West series have some version of my children’s names in them.
In the Ryder series, I picked the 4 brothers’ names from a list of “Western names” on nameberry.com, one of my favorite naming resources, although Cale, Luke, and Jesse have been favorites of mine for years. In the Ryder series, I use a lot of my nieces’ and nephews’ names (or some version of them), but only for the “good” characters. I also “collect” names I hear in everyday life. Names fascinate me—I once did a 40-page thesis on names and got an “A”.
Deirdra: What is the best compliment you could receive from a reader?
That something in my books helped them in some meaningful way. The funniest compliment to date I have received was from one of my friends who and told me: “I’m so mad at you!- I had to find out what happened in your book so I kept reading until I finished it—at THREE A.M.! I had to be up at 5:30 am. Thanks a lot!” We’re still friends and she’s a big fan, but that always makes me laugh.
Deirdra: Can you tell us a little about your book, Simply West of Heaven?
This is the third book in my Ginnie West series and in some ways is my most powerful one. A lot happens and we go to a really dark place with Tillie. She is Ginnie’s best friend and future sister. Tillie is a quiet, sweet girl who is usually Ginnie’s cheerleader. Tillie’s world gets rocked in a hard way when Ginnie’s life takes an unexpected twist. The result is some raw emotion I tapped from 3 “Tillies” I knew as a tween/teen—girls who were abused and neglected in their own homes. There is no graphic violence, but the residual effects of being abused came out in unexpected ways.
On a lighter note, my books are pretty much standalone. The one unfinished thread from “The Secret Sister’s Club” is resolved in “Simply West of Heaven.” That twist, in turn, offers great fun and fodder for Book 4.
Deirdra: What are all the different ways you have promoted your book?
I have just begun marketing my books with this blog tour. I have heard from several authors that it is best to wait until you have 3-4 quality books out before putting a lot of time, money and effort into marketing so that there is actually more than one book to buy. I just finished my third book and expect to have 3-4 more published in the 2013. I have done a few book signings and have started a blog: http://moniquebucheger.blogspot.com/. I am on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/monique.bucheger but probably need to change to my author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Monique-Bucheger/193789017310198?fref=ts Feel free to friend me on both until I figure out how to make the switch. I’m still a little (read: a lot!) confused about social media. I also have a twitter account: https://twitter.com/MoniqueBucheger I’m still figuring twitter out, but I follow most people who follow me.
Deirdra: Where can readers go to find your books and order them?
If you want signed copies of a print book, please check out my blog: http://moniquebucheger.blogspot.com/p/paypal-safer-easier-way-to-pay-online.html I sell them less expensively than amazon.com and will personalize them.
My e-books and print books can be found here for amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Monique%20Bucheger
And here for barnesandnoble.com: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Monique-Bucheger?store=allproducts&keyword=Monique+Bucheger
Deirdra: Any final words you would like to share?
Yes, Simply West of Heaven will be available the first part of January in all forms. Thanks so much for having me on your blog. It’s been a pleasure.
Thank you so much. It’s a real honor to get your insights.