I love doing book reviews. Love, love. love. Not only do I get to read and write (two of my favorite things), I get to meet people I may not have met otherwise. And I sometimes get to read books that I might not have found left to my own devices. Scorpio Rising is one of those books. Now, most of you know how nosy I am, and not only did I get to read Scorpio Rising, I got to review it and interview the author! How great is that? So here she is, author of Scorpio Rising, Monique Domovitch.
Hello Amie, Thank you for inviting me to your blog. It is a real honor to be here.
And thanks for allowing me to participate in your Book Blog Tour. Now, (rubs hands together), Let’s get the standard out of the way first–where’d the idea for Scorpio Rising come from?
The idea for The Scorpio Series came to me shortly after my divorce. Like a lot of women, I was hurting and angry. By the same token, I was familiar with the world of real estate and knew some successful men whose ambitions came before all else. But for all the hurt and anger that I poured into this series, there were also many positive emotions like the hope of finding love again and the courage to build a new life.
That is not to say that this series is based on my life—not at all. It is only based on my emotions—love, hope, betrayal and others, which are universal.
What do you feel is your biggest challenge in writing a series?
My biggest challenge in writing any series is in making the characters memorable. I always strive to create people with qualities as well as flaws. I also like for the reader to know how they became they way they are, which means having to build a character’s life from birth—at least in my mind if not on the page. It’s a lot of work, but worth it. I believe that knowing a character intimately makes for a better reading experience.
Is there another book out there for Alex and Brigitte?
Right now, I am enjoying such lovely comments and reviews from my readers, many of them asking for a third installment, that I am toying with the idea of another Scorpio book. This one would be about Richard, and I would name it The Son of Scorpio. But at the moment, I am contracted for three books with Obisidian, and I also have another four books that I am working on independently. So we would be looking at something about two or three years down the road. All I’m saying is…maybe.
What was your inspiration to self-publish?
As any author wannabe will tell you, these days it is almost impossible to get published the traditional way. I was just plain lucky to get a three-book contract with Penguin. But this luck came after a long time of trying. I wrote my Scorpio books years ago and got turned down by a couple of dozen agents. I finally found an agent, Natalie Fischer Lakosil, by submitting another novel, a chiclit titled Getting Skinny.
Do you have any advice for anyone who is interested in self-publishing?
Anybody interested in self-publishing should approach it in the same way they would approach starting a business. Starting a business, in essence, is exactly what self-publishing is. You will be competing with millions of other authors for readers to buy your book. Therefore you have to do your homework, starting with finding out what sells, what covers attract attention, which publishing formats are most successful, what marketing works and budgeting. You have to be a writer, an advertiser, a publicist and a businessperson. If those jobs don’t appeal to you, you’d better arm yourself with a heck of a good budget, because if you don’t do them, you’ll have to pay someone to do them for you…or watch your novel sink and drown.
One of the most important marketing tools for any novel is its cover. I knew I wanted images representing construction, the skeletons of buildings, construction equipment, and I also wanted an artist and an easel and lettering reminiscent of a scorpion’s tail. Before choosing a background, I went to the bookstore and walked through aisle after aisle, looking at displays, trying to figure out which colors most caught my eye. I couldn’t decide between yellow and red so I came up with the yellow and red ombrée, which symbolized passion and ambition. For the second book, which was more about the coldhearted pursuit of success, I chose a cityscape, and a large diamond on a blue ombrée background.
You’ve had the sort of life that most people cannot imagine. From modeling to televised financial adviser, how has your life experiences shaped your writing?
When I look back at my life, I recognize how incredibly fortunate I’ve been. I’ve enjoyed incredible careers, jet-setted with the rich and famous, but I’ve also had huge setbacks and heartbreaks. As I always say, I’m a lucky lady, but luck is a double-edged sword. All those experiences have formed an incredibly rich life experience, which—for a writer as for an actor—can be the foundation of their art.
Next, I am planning my Taurus series, The Eye of The Bull and Charging Bull, both set in the investment world. After ten years as an investment advisor and financial planner, I know a little about that world. And, believe me, there are lots of stories there to inspire me.
As you might have guessed by now, I’m planning to write an entire series based on Astrological personalities. I’m, however, simultaneously working on another two series, my Looming Murder Series for Obsidian of Penguin, and also my Chiclit series, the first of which, is Getting Skinny, still unsold. I’m thinking of self-publishing it in the New Year.
Thanks again, Monique, for sharing your thoughts and Scorpio Rising with us. I was fortunate enough to get to read Scorpio Rising. The full review will be posted November 30, at my review site http://www.amiesreviews.wordpress.com/ be sure to swing by and check it out.
Also, don’t forget to stop by Monique’s Blog Tour Webpage and leave a comment for a special giveaway.
Thanks, everyone for stopping by today! Lots of <3, Amie