Author: Monica McCabe
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Blood diamonds, corruption, and undercover spies are no match for the chaos of one stubborn veterinarian…
What happens when a dental zoologist flies to Botswana to give a rare albino hippo a root canal? She lands smack in the middle of a diamond smuggling ring and right in the way of an undercover agent for International Diamond Security—one who knows firsthand the horror of conflict diamonds. Determined to bring down the cartel, he accepts the veterinarian’s help. But when the past catches up to him and the stakes skyrocket, he must risk all to save her from an evil that has haunted him for fifteen years.
Diamond Legacy is available for order at Amazon, B&N, Kobo and Google Play
Thanks for letting us
you! Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to
be an author?
I first got the idea of writing a romance novel when I lived in Alaska. I spent 4 years there and it was pretty much fantastic. Except for winter. That was always challenging and I needed something to distract me from the intense cold and perpetual dark. So I wrote a book. It was a historical with a dashing sea captain hero. And it was horrible. I eventually gave up on the idea. But a funny thing happened, the urge to write never really left me. It’s like once I opened the gate it refused to close again. Time passed, I traveled around a bunch more, and finally settled in Nashville, TN where I decided to try my hand at it again. I got smarter this time around though, and took classes, seminars, workshops, and joined Romance Writers of America.
Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?
It is everything it's cracked up to be! And yet it's not. When I first started this journey I had the same starry-eyed goal as every other writer...to be published. Though for me it was more of an abstract goal, I really had no inkling of the reality. I knew that finally holding that book in your hand would feel amazing, and it totally does. What's different is the sense of responsibility that comes along with that contract. I used to write at my leisure. I worked hard at it, but if I wanted to kick back on the couch and watch a movie, I did. Guilt free. That has gone away. The value of my writing time has changed. I guard it more, because now there's a deadline. I love it, wouldn't trade it for anything, but I now view this more as a business than a favorite pastime.
Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?
I'm traditionally published, though digital first with a Print-On-Demand option. I've discovered that it's definitely a partnership situation, everyone working for the benefit of the book. I'm a debut author so having this kind of support has been extremely valuable to me. I had zero experience and a lot to learn! But I'm loving every minute of it and soaking up the education like a sponge.
Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?
It's just me, the hubby, two dogs and two cats. The critters don't care, as long as I keep their food bowls full. And I'm so fortunate to have a husband that completely supports my dream. He even helps me research. And plot. For realz.
Do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?
The cats wait for nobody. If that food bowl gets empty, they sit on my keyboard for attention. The dogs just sit beside me and stare, expertly applying silent intimidation. It works. Don't tell the husband. He might adopt the policy.
In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?
You know, I'm super lucky. It’s just me and the hubby at home and he never complains about eating a PBJ for dinner, as long as it comes with ice cold milk and Ruffles potato chips. I have a pesky day job that cuts into writing time, so dinner usually gets the short end of things unless he grabs us some take-out. Did I mention how awesome he is?
What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?
This whole business is crazy. It’s full of highs and lows. I learned pretty quick to get a thick skin, because sending your work out to contests, to critique partners, and on the submission trail takes courage. There will be those who love your writing and their praise warms your heart. And there will always be those who don’t, for whatever reason. When I was submitting Diamond Legacy I had my share of rejections, but one stands out. My story has a heroine who is a Dental Zoologist. She’s a zoo dentist and very specialized in her field. I found an editor who claimed to love unusual careers, so I sent it in with much anticipation. Little time passed before they came back and asked if that was even a real job. I was shocked. So like any rational and sane writer, I sent links to major universities who offered entire curriculums built around this branch of veterinary medicine. Needless to say, I didn’t get a contract.
How about the social networks? Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?
It seems like new ones crop up every day. I can’t keep up. My time is very limited so I tend to stick with what is familiar. There’s Facebook of course, because I’ve been on it for a good while and have a wonderful network of friends and family. Twitter, though I’m still learning all the nuances of that avenue. There’s also Goodreads, because I’m addicted to books. I’m on Instagram and Tumblr, but nowhere near active enough to build any following. But my absolute favorite is Pinterest. I can plow through some serious time on the all the lovely Pinterest boards.
What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?
I tried that once. Seriously, I climbed up and promptly fell right off. I twisted an ankle so bad I had to use crutches for a long, long, time. I try to behave myself now. But if I had to pick one thing to rattle off to the world at large, it would be to follow your sense of adventure, no matter where it takes you. Life is meant to be well-lived, well-traveled, and explored fully. Don’t waste a minute!
Okay, too much sugar for you today! Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in. Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?
Writing is hard. It is challenging, frustrating, full of deleted scenes and red ink. But it’s also rewarding and there’s no better feeling that when you’ve crafted a sentence, a scene, or even a chapter, and get blown away when you read it days or weeks later. Because every now and then our subconscious gets sneaky and takes over, like it has its own agenda and manipulates our words. You don’t notice when you’re writing it, but down the road when other things happen, the serendipity of it all comes together and you’re stunned that you actually wrote something so good. I love that. Accidental awesomesauce. One of the freaky perks of a creative imagination.