Cold Day in Hell (just over 121,000 words) is the second book in the Security Specialists International series (following Eye of the Storm). There is also a novella, Stormy Weather Baby, that fits into the time line between Books 1 and 2 and can be downloaded for free from my web site.
Cold Day in Hell begins about six months after the end of Eye and three months after the end of Stormy Weather Baby.
Callie Meyers is a famous fashion model and a Marine brat. She spent her formative years at Camp Lejeune and played with the Walsh kids. When she gets into trouble on a fashion shoot in Cartagena, she calls her friends Keely Walsh-Maddox and Tweeter Walsh for help. Keely’s husband Ren sends Risto Smith (a new recruit in Eye) to Colombia to get Callie out of the country any way he can. And, of course, sparks fly and the two fall in love, but Risto makes the decision he is not good enough for Callie and leaves her once she is safe. Callie is willing to give Risto some time to miss her, but when she hasn’t heard from him in two months and the drug lord who had stalked her is now after her again, she runs to Risto’s home in U.P. Michigan.
As usual with my books, there is a lot of action and lots of romance. Cold Day in Hell will be published on January 30th by Liquid Silver Books.
What draws you to write your genre and sub genre?
I wrote what I like to read. My favorite authors when I was growing up were Mary Stewart and M.M. Kaye for romantic suspense and writers like Alistair MacLean for adventure. I loved traveling the world in the pages of a book. And I love dashing heroes and spunky heroines.
Do you have any tips for new writers?
Funny you should ask that. I had a fan from Australia e-mail me recently and she told me she was inspired by my books to try her hand at writing and did I have any advice? Here is my response to her:
My best advice is to start with small goals:
1. Get an idea. The idea needs a beginning, a middle, and an end. You don't need to know every single thing that will happen in the beginning, middle, and end, but you do need to know the major plot points. I have free materials on line at Liquid Silver's Forum in the Writing Workshop -- go read my Plot class materials. Here is the link:
2. Once you have the story. Write the beginning scene. This is usually when I figure out my characters' names and how they think, act, and talk. Here is the link to my character lessons: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=291
3. Once you have the beginning the way you like, then just do what I did back when I first began to write -- write one chapter at a time. I would suggest trying to get the whole book written before you go back and rewrite. My lessons on Self-Editing will help with this: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=249
4. Then have other people read it (I call them beta-readers) and ask them to be honest. All criticism makes you a better writer.
The only way to know if you can write -- is to sit down and do it. And keep doing it. Maybe the first idea doesn't work, but maybe the second one will.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Bond No. 9 Perfume and body creams. My favorite is New York Oud perfume and the New York Body Silk cream. Pricey, but so worth it.
Where can your readers reach you?
email@example.com I answer all e-mails, but if the person writing me has AOL or another paid e-mail service I have found my responses get kicked back unless the sender has put me on the “accepted” list. I have had my responses kicked back several times with no way of letting the person sending the e-mail know to put me on the accepted or permitted e-mail list. Very frustrating!
Are you working on another book?
Yes, the second book in my sci-fi romance trilogy, Prime Selection. This is Huw and Nadia’s story. Prime Obsession is the first in the trilogy.
Do you work on one project at a time or multiples?
One at a time. However, I have abandoned a book in progress if another one hi-jacks my brain. That is how Cold Day in Hell came about. Risto told me he had his story all done - - and he did. As soon as I started it, it flowed onto the computer screen. I postponed Prime Selection to write Risto’s story.
Is there one particular thing that you find challenging about writing?
Finding the time to write. I write long books. They take time. I also have a part-time day job and a retired husband --- and my son moved back home after getting two degrees and no job and is now going back to college for yet another degree. So, my life is full. LOL I am always a wife and mother first.
Who is your favorite author?
Mary Stewart from the old school of writers.
What are you reading now?
Lisa Marie Rice’s Dangerous series. I know Lisa from when we started out writing. We were both members of the Kiss of Death online chapter of RWA.
Are your characters a reflection on you or anyone you know?
On people I know. LOL Most of my villains are based on a few trial lawyers I had gone up against when I practiced law full-time.
Do you use more than one pen name? Why?
I write under Rae Morgan also. Rae’s books are similar to Monette’s, but are hotter.
What do you do to get in the mood to write?
I clean things up around me. I can’t write in a messy house. And since the two men in my life are messy, I get a lot of cleaning done. Once I have done a load of laundry or swept a floor, I feel as if I have permission to sit in front of the computer and write for awhile. I also play my Writing Song list on my iPod to help keep me in the mood.
What is your favorite thing about writing?
Having loyal fans. I have some of the best.
If you were a supernatural creature, what would you like to be and why?
I’d like to be a paranormal creature who could write fast, so I could make my fans happier more quickly.
How long have you been a writer?
I started writing in 1995. Was published first in e-books in late 1998.
How many books have you written? How many have been published?
All the books I have written have been published. That would be eight books for Rae Morgan and eleven books for Monette Michaels. I am including my shorter works in those numbers.
Do you find love scenes difficult to write?
Yep. I always feel as if the love scenes are repetitive. The romance and the build-up to the love scenes are so much more interesting to me.
Are any of your personal experiences reflected in your writing?
Yes, but I can’t tell you because I’d have to kill you. J I based some of my early Monette Michaels’ books on cases I was either involved in or knew about because I consulted on them. I changed most of them enough so the original participants would not ever recognize themselves. My Blind-Sided, my EPPIE winner, was co-written with a woman who had been a whistle-blower, but the book was definitely fiction. We based only a small part of the book on the legal issue with which she was involved. The book was my co-author’s idea but I wrote every blessed word. ;)
How long does it usually take you to write a book?
Depends on how often my husband pops into my office and tells me he is “so lonely.” LOL I wrote Cold Day in Hell’s first draft in four months. It then took me six months to get it to the point of publication. I am a serious self-editor and often will revise four or five times. Cold Day is a long book at 121,000 words. In a good year, I can write two 60-70,000 word books with an odd novella thrown in the mix.
Do you set timelines when your writing or write when the feeling hits you?
I write when the feeling hits. And the feeling hits at odd hours.
Do your characters talk to you?
Yes, that is why I started writing. It got crazy in my head with all the strangers trying to tell me their stories.
Who controls the storyline, you or your characters?
We work as a team.
What is your writing day like once you start a book?
I go back over the last few pages I had just finished, then pick up where I left off. I write until something interrupts me - - like my hubby getting “lonely,” or the cat meowing because I forgot to feed her, or my eyes starting to cross because my blood sugar is low. I usually can write through neck, back, and hand/wrist pain – but those other things I just mentioned usually bring all writing to a halt. These days I can write four or five hours without getting up, but it rarely happens since my husband uses his loneliness to make me move. He’s a doctor and wants me to take breaks - - he is the break enforcer.
Do you promo your backlists when you’re writing a new book, or dedicate your time solely to writing?
I promo when the mood hits me. I should have a schedule. Note to self, put together a regular promo schedule.
How many books do you write in a year?
Lately, since I have been writing almost 100,000 plus word books – one book a year. I used to turn out two more normal sized books a year. I am setting a goal of two written per year - - of course, that doesn’t mean they’ll come out two a year, just that I will get them written. I don’t control the publication schedule.
Thanks, Rhonda for having me here today! I hope your readers will take advantage of the free download of my Security Specialists International novella, Stormy Weather Baby, at my web site: www.monettemichaels.com