Monika Summerville

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Monika Summerville is an avid reader. She loves good, tense movies and works hard on her writing. She lives in Western Washington State with her four cats: Agamemnon, Tazmania, Jasper, and Jericho.A Risky Dance is her first book.

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Email her at: [email protected]

Q: Please share a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.

A: I’m originally from Boulder, Colorado and grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada where my dad taught business and finance at the university. There was a girl that lived across the street from us in L.V. She was four years older than me. When I was eleven or twelve years old she was in high school and writing short stories for an English class. She wrote the greatest scary story about an evil black cat and I thought how cool is that? I started writing down my own stories around that time. I’ve kept a notebook with me ever since.

Q: What attracts you most to your chosen genre?

A: For many years, I wanted to write the ultimate thriller-suspense story. I had one that developed a mystery around flesh eating bacteria, and another about the test dogs at the Hanford nuclear reservation in Eastern Washington. It wasn’t until about 2008 that I thought how much fun it would be to write romance with ghosts, witches, and other paranormal elements. Secretly, I wanted to write erotic romance. Due to some other factors, I finally decided there is no time like the present. When the idea for A Risky Dance started to dance in my head, I was bitten hard and wrote the thing in a month. It was cathartic and helped me release some bottled up emotions. Although, I still think I could do the Hanford dogs or the Soap Lady ghost from Lake Crescent in a paranormal romance, I’m veering more toward the erotic romance genre for now.

Q: Are you a draft writer?

A: I usually write a story out by long-hand first. That way I don’t have to mess with punctuation and grammar too much. I then start putting it into the computer and edit as I go. That’s all just to get the basic idea down. After it’s in the computer I start adding and subtracting, proofreading and shifting things around. I like to call it the Paragraph Shuffle, a basic two-step. Eventually, I’ve read through it so many times that I need to get away from it and give it to my readers who are great at finding holes and typos that I missed. I do put in a lot of time with a story, but all of the above is the fun part for me.

Q: What are your favorite parts of starting a new novel and which do you develop first?

A: Characters and plot usually come to me first and if it’s a story with a lot of weirdness I love to get moving on writing down the basics. The names of characters come later and are subject to many changes. When I can see in my head the characters in a sequence, that’s when the puzzle pieces fall into place and that is the best. It’s always such a relief when I know where I want a story to go.

Q: How did you choose your title?

A: Titles are tough and usually come to me at the least expected times. A Risky Dance started out as A Dangerous Dance, but that changed when I was sitting at a traffic light and a person crossed against the signal. I thought, “That’s scary risky with that big truck barreling down the road.” From there the title changed. Sometimes I’ll be in the shower or pulling weeds outside in the yard and I’ll have an epiphany. I do get caught at odd moments.

Q: Which character did you enjoy writing the most and why?

A: I really enjoyed writing about Riley Frost. I didn’t want him to be an everyday kind of guy. I did want him to be a controlling man, but with a tender side. He started out in the control mode, but I loved writing the conversation he and Sophie have their first time together at Club Frek. I started to like him more during that scene.

Q: What do you do when you’re not writing?

A: I love to read and there isn’t a time that I don’t have 10 to 15 books on my To Be Read Shelf. I’m also a TV-aholic and a re-watcher. I have certain DVD’s that I love to re-watch and sometimes check out stuff from the library. I also like to work outside in my small yard. Nothing helps my writing process more than pulling weeds. I have my own ghost hunting crew and we periodically get together for some interesting hunts.

Q: Do you have any pets?

A: I have four cats - Agememnon, Tazmania, Jasper, and Jericho. I’ve nicknamed them The Gang of Four. They are the coolest on the planet and I think one day I’ll write something about them.

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