Intimate Conversation with Monica Lynne Foster
Monica Lynne Foster is an international selling author of fiction novels and Non-Fiction inspiration. Her novels focus on the lives of relatable characters who continually find themselves at a crossroads. Sometimes they make the right decisions…and sometimes they don’t.
In addition to being an author, Monica and her husband own American Gas Works, a gas contracting company in Michigan. She’s also the co-founder of Women Who Run Their World, a women’s organization whose purpose is to Encourage, Inspire, and Support our Sisters in Our Pursuit to Live Our Lives on Our Terms.
BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing?
I started writing when I was seven. I wrote a four page story titled Charlie and the Dunce. I remember reading it to my family and receiving applause. Only God knows if it was actually any good. Interestingly enough, my aunt kept it and showed it to me recently. I re-read it and it was pretty good, if I do say so myself. LOL. But it was the beginning of the 2000’s when I read Temptation by Victoria Christopher Murray that the desire to write novels was truly sparked within me. I remember reading her novel and it was the first time I’d read a novel that I enjoyed and didn’t blush my way through it! In 2003, I began working on Bad Choices Can Be Deadly and, because of my corporate career, it took me over eleven years to finally bring it to life.
BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you?
I write because I love it. It gives me life. I write both novels and inspirational non-fiction. With my novels, I enjoy the feeling of freedom that I experience when my mind gets to break away from reality and enter the realm of fantasy. I can be as outrageous or as tame as I want to be. My characters can say and do things that Monica would never say or do! And I always hope and pray that my readers get to take that same mental escape when they’re enjoying my work. When I write my inspirational pieces, I share my life story and how I transitioned from being a corporate executive to an entrepreneur and author. And I write a blog that is a by-product of my quiet time with God.
BPM: How did you initially break into the publishing industry? Did you ever self-publish?
I am a self-published author and I love it. If I’m being honest, I’ll say that when I first published, I had a negative view of self-publishing. As though self-publishing was inferior to traditional publishing. But what I’ve learned through several bumps in the road is that being a self-published author, with the right team, can be very lucrative and rewarding.
BPM: Do you ever let the book stew – leave it for months and then come back to it?
Absolutely! I let my first book stew for eleven years! LOL. But seriously, I do put books on pause for various reasons. The books and the characters tell me when they’re ready to be written. I give myself target dates to complete my work, but I’m gentle with myself and if it takes a little longer than I’d anticipated, then I just flow with it.
BPM: Are there any areas of your writing career that you wish you could go back and change?
Not at all. Because every step we take, even the steps that hurt, lead us to where we are. And I’m very happy with where I am and where I’m going.
BPM: What’s the most important quality a writer should have in your opinion?
There’s more than one that rank side by side at the top of the list. Writers need to be observant. A great idea for a storyline can come from anywhere. Writers need to have thick skin. Everyone has an opinion and some will have opinions about our work that are complimentary, and others may have negative views. And the same Internet and social media worlds that we need to support us, are the exact same worlds that can crush our bubble. Give everyone the space to have their own thoughts about our work and be okay when it’s less than flattering. Understand that writing is only part of the journey. If we want people to read our work, then we have to be ambassadors for our brand and let people know what we have to offer. And finally, keep the joy. It can be tough at times, dealing with the ancillary parts of the business and the industry. But it’s necessary. Just remember how great you feel when you’re creating. And when you have a particularly tough day, go write something. You’ll feel better!
BPM: Can you share a little of your current work with us? Introduce us to your book and the characters.
My upcoming novel, Hands Off My Man is the second book in my Chanelle Series. It asks the question, “How far would you go to protect your relationship?” It’s a story that many women will initially find familiar. The title character, Chanelle, has kissed a lot of frogs and now has her Prince Charming. However, her happily ever after is threatened when her man’s ex-wife resurfaces and decides she wants him back. The situation is further complicated by his ex’s mental illness. Is Chanelle able to hold onto her relationship without pushing his ex over the edge? You have to read it to find out. ?
BPM: What genre is this book? Do you write all of your books in this category? Why?
The Chanelle Series is Women’s Fiction/Chick Lit. My novels are all written in this genre. My non-fiction work is Christian motivation/inspiration. I write in the genres that I enjoy reading.
Listen to a reading from Bad Choices Can Be Deadly – Book 1 in A Chanelle Series.
BPM: Do you set out to educate or inspire, entertain or illuminate a particular subject?
In my novels I like to explore the imperfections in people who have good hearts and mostly good intentions, but who make costly mistakes. And I do that in an entertaining fashion. With my inspiration, I hope that by being transparent with my life, my shortcomings and challenges, as well as my triumphs, I can inspire others to go after what they want out of their own lives.