New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe is bringing in the Christmas season early with a new novella. I recently spoke with her about Right Beside You.
Tell me about your latest book.
My upcoming book Right Beside You, will be my second Christmas novella. It will be released the last Tuesday in September 2019.
Why did you decide to write it?
The first one, Remembrance, was so well-received, my publisher wanted me to do another one. After publishing more than 25 books with all kinds of unsavory characters, crime, sex, and profanity, it was a challenge and a joy to write a G-rated, more uplifting story.
What do you want readers to learn from the story?
I want readers to learn that life really is too short. If you want something, you should go for it before it’s too late. The main characters are two single and lonely co-workers, Felicia Hawkins and Richard Grimes. Felicia has been secretly in love with Richard for years. Their relationship has always been platonic. She doesn’t want to jeopardize it, so she keeps her feelings about him to herself. But with middle age creeping up on them, Felicia finally confesses how she feels to another co-worker, who happens to be the company big-mouth. Felicia is stunned when the co-worker blabs her secret to Richard. She is even more stunned when he confesses that he has also been in love with her for years. They had wasted a lot of time that they could have enjoyed more if they’d revealed their feelings to each other sooner.
If you could pick another profession, what would it be and why?
I would have pursued an acting career. I got hooked on TV shows and movies around the same time I got hooked on writing, before I even started elementary school. Not only did I want to create characters, I wanted to portray a few.
What’s the best part of being an author?
I love entertaining and enlightening people who like to read.
What’s the worst part of being an author?
Bad reviews! You could receive thousands of great reviews for a particular book. But there will always be a few readers who will find something negative to say about the same book. Negative reviews that have no merit are the worst. One reader sent me a nasty e-mail complaining about ONE misspelled word in one of my books. And in her message, she misspelled two or three words in each paragraph. If that wasn’t bad enough, another reader posted a bad review on Amazon for ME for a book written by an author with a similar name. Rejection slips are as annoying as bad reviews. They have always been a major thorn in my side. Before I published my first book, I literally used to receive several rejection letters a week, every week, for decades. However, if an author is determined to get published, rejection slips are only detours. Some of the ones I received were brutal and depressed me for days. But some were constructive and encouraging. And that’s what kept me trying over and over and over.
What’s next for Mary Monroe?
The third and final book in my Neighbors series, Across the Way, will be released in March of 2020. I just signed a new contract to write two more Christmas novellas.
Do you have anything you would like to add?
I’d like for my readers to continue communicating with me at my e-mail address: Authorauthor5409@aol.com. A lot of them have given me some great ideas!
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To learn more about New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe, visit her website or connect with her on social media.