Get to know Monica Richardson!

I am excited to feature Monica Richardson to the blog today. She is a romance author with Harlequin and recently released her novel Second Chance Seduction. Read below to learn more about the book and for an interview with Monica!

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Loving and marrying Savannah Carrington came naturally to Edward Talbot. Thanks to his political ambitions, losing his stunning wife was all too easy, as well. Co-parenting their young daughter has been the silver lining in their divorce. Then Savannah surprisingly accepts Edward’s invitation to visit his family’s Bahamian bed-and-breakfast, and the sultry tropical breezes begin to rekindle their deep, passionate connection.

He’s always been the man of her dreams—sexy, confident and charismatic. Savannah and little Chloe just needed more than Edward could give. With a successful new career in fashion design, she’s ready to move overseas. Yet from the Caribbean to London, Edward is in hot pursuit, reminding her how good they can be together. The stakes are higher than ever. And it may take the threat of losing everything to see just how wonderful love’s rewards can truly be…

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Amazon: Buy Second Chance Seduction here!

Harlequin: Buy Second Chance Seduction here!

 

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Monica Richardson

Monica Richardson writes romance based in the Caribbean Islands.  Her alter-ego, Monica McKayhan currently has 11 titles in print.  The first book in her young adult series, Indigo Summer, was the launch title for Harlequin’s imprint, Kimani TRU which made its debut in January of 2007. That same year in May, Indigo Summer snagged the #7 position on the Essence bestsellers list, another first for Kimani Press. It also appeared on the bestsellers list in the May 2007 issue of Black Issues Book Review (BIBR). Indigo Summer appeared on the American Library Association (ALA)’s list of 2008, 2009 & 2010 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers.  Monica’s young adult title, Ambitious appeared on the ALA’s list of 2013 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults. In 2009, Monica received a film option for the INDIGO SUMMER series. She also penned her first romance novel, Tropical Fantasy in 2013.  She currently has 14 published novels, 4 of which are romance.

img_0010-1.jpg1. When did you decide to become a writer?  I’ve been writing since about the age of 12, but began to seriously pursue a writing career when I was about 21 years old.  I submitted to several publishing houses, got turned down many, many times and spent years polishing my craft.

2. Why do you write?  I write because it’s my passion.  It’s like the air I breathe.  It’s who I am.  I also write because I can give messages, hope and encouragement through my writing.
3. Which writers inspire you and why?  My very first inspiration was Maya Angelou.  Reading some of her earlier works…that was my first encounter with an African American writer.  I was so encouraged, and so excited to learn that black people write!  Then when Terry McMillan and Eric Jerome Dickey came on the scene, that was a whole new world for me.  They were so talented, and I could relate to their stories.  Margaret Johnson-Hodge was my mentor, and I love her work.  I’m a fan of Walter Mosley, as well as Victoria Christopher Murray and Kim Roby.
4. What is your favorite book and why? I have two favorite books – I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS by Maya Angelou. it was my first encounter with African American literature, well written and terribly engaging.  I also love DISAPPEARING ACTS by Terry McMillan.  I thought it was brilliant how she bounced between the female and male protagonists.  It taught me how to write from different perspectives, and inspired my first male character, Rico, from my book FROM HERE TO FOREVER.
5. Of all of the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why? I think my favorite character (if I must choose) is Maxie from my debut novel, AS REAL AS IT GETS.  She was so flawed and raw, and down to earth. She was real, and my readers connected with her.  And I loved writing her story.
6. Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad? I read all of my reviews, and I read them with an open mind.  My readers are my best critics, and they keep me grounded.  The best way to deal with bad reviews, is to take from it what you can and incorporate the helpful things into the next book.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.
7. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?  I think that my creativity has been somewhat stunted since writing romance.  There are so many rules and stipulations that go along with writing for a traditional house, which is why i’m excited to get back to writing mainstream fiction and doing it independently.  
8. If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?  I think I would love to have written THE COLOR PURPLE.  I thought it was brilliant, and one of the best stories ever written.
9. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?  Keep writing, finish the story.  Don’t be discouraged by the industry politics.  Develop your time management skills because that will be the so important.  Learn as much about the industry as you can.  Network and make connections.  Writing is about 10% actually writing the story.  The rest is about networking and marketing the book, so develop those skills.
10. Why do you think so many well-written books don’t sell?  So many well written books don’t get read because of my previous statement.  Writing is about 10% of actually writing the story.  The rest in about networking and marketing the book.  Many writers are simply creative creatures, they never intended to be marketers.  Most are introverts.  However, the reality is people won’t know about your book if you’re not out there talking about it.
11. Where do you see publishing going in the future? How do you think we can promote and increase diversity within the literary industry?  I think the traditional houses will continue to suffer, as hybrid authors are finding that self-publishing is way more lucrative and provides more freedom.  I think that downloadable e-books and shorter stories will become more favorable.  People are busy and have a need for speed, so convenience will prevail.  As for diversity…the state of diversity and equality in this industry has been grim for a long time – decades.  I think that people of color need to be in influential positions of publishing, if change is going to occur.  We have to continue to create our own awards, ceremonies and celebration – but we have to do it without the cliques.  Talented writers should be celebrated for their talent and hard work.
12. What are your ambitions for your writing career?  I’m embarking on a new endeavor as a hybrid author.  I’m pretty excited about that.  I’m planning to re-release my first two books (which were published by BET Books) as e-books.  AS REAL AS IT GETS & FROM HERE TO FOREVER.  And then write the third book in that series, which will be a Christmas book, SOMEDAY AT CHRISTMAS.  It’s targeted release is December 2017.  I truly enjoyed writing YA and connecting with the young readers, and will return to that one day as well.

13. How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Instagram: island_romance
Twitter: @island_romance, @monicamckayhan
Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Monica-Richardson/e/B00R3PAFH8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1466778946&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Monica-McKayhan/e/B001IR1RPQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1466779119&sr=8-1

14. Are there any final words for the readers of Reading in Black & White?  Thanks so much for allowing me to share with your readers!  It’s an honor and a privilege whenever I’m able to connect with readers.  I hope readers will pick up my Talbots of Harbour Island series, and stay tuned for the other indie projects I have in the works.  Look for that in the fall!

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Great interview, Monica! I really love your response to why you write.

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