My guest today comes to us from Holland and has an intriguing background to draw on for her writing. Please help me welcome author Monique Singleton! Let’s take a look at her bio and then find out more about her and her stories, shall we?
USA Today Best-selling Author Monique Singleton writes compelling stories that mix fantasy with realistic psychological suspense and unique insights into the mind of the main characters.
As the daughter of a British soldier and his Dutch wife, Monique was born in an English military hospital in Germany. The family toured the world where she was exposed to different cultures in many countries. Finally settling down in the Netherlands she pursued a career in Art and later in ICT.
Monique started to put the scenes she had running around in her head down to paper. Scenes led to a story, the story to a book, and the first book to a series. In addition to her writing, Monique still holds down a full-time job as a business consultant. She lives in a beautiful old farmhouse in the south of Holland with her two sloppy monster dogs, some horses, and a cat.
The cat is the boss.
Betty: Which character arrived fully or mostly developed?
Monique: None of the characters actually arrived fully developed. They evolved during the different books. I don’t outline my books. I am what they call a “Pantser.” I write by the seat of my pants. This means that subjects, plots, and characters can change during the writing process.
Betty: Which story element sparked the idea for this story: setting, situation, character, or something else?
Monique: The main protagonist was the first idea. She was not a clear and precise character, not at the beginning. She grew with the story.
Betty: Which character(s) were the hardest to get to know? Why do you think?
Monique: I think the main characters are the most difficult to get to know. In Primal Nature that’s definitely the case for the main protagonist because she herself does not understand what is happening to her.
Betty: What kind of research did you need to do to write this story?
Monique: I did a lot of research with regard to locations, cultures (Maori cultures in the other books of the series) and also research on the riders of the apocalypse. Even with Fantasy, it has to be right.
Betty: How many drafts of the story did you write before you felt the story was complete?
Monique: I wrote one major draft but changed it a bit on the way. After that I went back and re-edited the draft. I guess that constitutes a new draft. All in all, I think there have been 4 or 5 releases. I still change things as I learn more about writing.
Betty: How long did it take for you to write the story you’re sharing with us? Is that a typical length of time for you? Why or why not?
Monique: This was the first book I wrote. It took about a year to write, and another five years to pluck up the courage to publish it. Most books take me 4 months to write. Then the laborious editing process starts.
Betty: What rituals or habits do you have while writing?
Monique: No specific rituals. I do usually read what I wrote last time and go on from there. I do not write sequentially. I write what comes to mind.
Betty: Every author has a tendency to overuse certain words or phrases in drafts, such as just, once, smile, nod, etc. What are yours?
Monique: One of my overused words is “OK”, or “So.”
Betty: Do you have any role models? If so, why do you look up to them?
Monique: Terry Pratchett. He was a fantastic author who regrettably is no longer with us. Though his genre was different from mine, he is a great role model.
Betty: Do you have a special place to write? Revise? Read?
Monique: No special place or time. I do a lot of reading in the bath.
Betty: Many authors have a day job. Do you? If so, what is it and do you enjoy it?
Monique: I work 4 days a week as a business consultant in IT. I very much enjoy that as well.
Betty: As an author, what do you feel is your greatest achievement?
Monique: Deciding to self-publish and taking the first step.
Betty: What other author would you like to sit down with over dinner and talk to? Why?
Monique: Terry Pratchett, J.K. Rowling, and so many more.
Betty: Success looks different to different people. It could be wealth, or fame, or an inner joy at reaching a certain level. How do you define success in terms of your writing career?
Monique: Success in writing would be if people enjoy my books and maybe some will take a step back and think of some of the social subjects I write about.
I would love to write full time. My ultimate fantasy is to see my work on film or on a streaming site.
Betty: What inspired you to write the story you’re sharing with us today?
Monique: The stories ran around in my head for a long time. I have always been a very creative person fascinated by Fantasy. This resulted in scenes that formed in my mind that I just had to put down to paper. The Primal Series is about a flawed heroine. Someone with good and bad points. Someone like us.
Immortality comes at a high price: her sanity.
Known simply as subject 336, she was the unwilling subject of sinister and brutal experiments designed to replicate her enormous strength, healing powers, and apparent immortality.
It didn’t work out that way. Instead, they unleashed her primal nature.
Now they’re dead, and she’s lost.
From the sweltering heat of the Mexican desert, her journey leads her to the tropical jungle of the Columbian Amazon.
Against the backdrop of the Third World War, she fights her own gruelling battle to come to terms with what she is: a killer, a monster, or maybe worse.
The world is at war, and she is caught up in the middle.
Joining the revolution, her newfound talents sway the balance of war in their favour.
But is she a blessing, or a curse?
Thanks for letting us take a peek at your writing inspiration and process, Monique. Your story sounds intriguing and inspiring.
Thanks for reading!
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