Friday, November 20, 2009

Interview with Lisa Mondello

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Lisa Mondello. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called Yuletide Protector. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

Here is the back cover blurb for Yuletide Protector. A DEFENDER FOR CHRISTMAS - Her ex-husband wants her dead? Daria Carlisle can hardly believe it. Detective Kevin Gordon insists it's true...and that it's his fault that her ex is still at large. Which means it's his responsibility to make sure Daria stays safe. He knows first hand that Daria's ex means business. And with Christmas coming, the determined cop intends to give Daria the holiday celebration she deserves - safe and sound by his side forever.

Yuletide Protector is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

Yuletide Protector wasn't originally a Christmas book. But since it was being released in December, my editor asked me if I wanted to make it a Christmas book. I jumped at the chance because I love reading Christmas romances!

Would you describe your book as a cozy, mystery, suspense, or thriller?

I'd call it a suspense/thriller.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

My hero and heroine always seemed to be on the run and dead people kept showing up in my books. Seriously, with my very first book I wanted to write a straight contemporary romance, but as I wrote it the suspense and danger just came out. I find that writing suspense comes naturally to me.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

I get ideas from everywhere! A lot of times ideas come from something I've read in the newspaper and then my plot plays off that. This particular story came from a report I saw on television about an undercover sting that caught a wife trying to hire a hitman to murder her husband. I twisted it around and provided another twist in Yuletide Protector.

Do you have all the key suspense/mystery elements thought out before you begin writing?

I have most of them. But a lot of red herrings and twists come to me while I'm writing. It's not uncommon for my story to change a bit when I figure out something more compelling while I'm writing.

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?

My favorite research for this book was with my own husband. He's a police officer and the hero in Yuletide Protector is a police officer. This was the first book that I got to run story ideas and details by him to see if it would work.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

I really loved writing both Daria and Kevin's story. Kevin is the strong protector who is full of honor. Very grounded and kind of cool too! Daria has a strong desire for a home and that creates instant conflict when she's face with having to leave her home after she's finally achieved her dream of having one.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research affect your character development?

Character sheets would give me the hives. A lot of times I get the seed of an idea and begin researching it. From that I may develop an opening scene in my head and start writing, just to see where it takes me. Once I get a basic idea of the direction I want to go, I sometimes write a letter in first person from my hero and heroine. It always starts out with the dry stuff like "I was born in Boston, blah, blah" and then I begin talking about things that happened in their childhood and college and end at the moment the story starts. The letter can end up being 6-8 single spaced pages when I'm done. From there I can usually pull out conflict, motivation and character elements to make my characters real.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Lots! I love Dee Henderson and Karen Kingsbury books. Lately I've been engrossed in C.L. Wilson's fantasy series.

What do we have to look forward next?

My editor has 3 projects on her desk right now so hopefully you will be hearing some good news from me soon!

Thanks, Lisa!

She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Bio. Lisa Mondello published her first novel in 1998 and continued on, selling 4 books in her Texas Hearts series to Avalon Books. Lisa's eighth published novel, an Inspiration Suspense called Cradle of Secrets, was published November 2007 by Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense and was a finalist in the Colorado Award of Excellence and the Holt Medallion contest. Her ninth book, Her Only Protector, published 08/08 received a 4 ½ star rating and was a Romantic Times Top Pick and Reviewer's Choice Finalist.

Check out author’s website at Buy Amazon, Barnes & Noble or anywahere Harlequin Bs are sold..


Kim Watters said...

Good morning Lisa. Thanks for stopping by today. We hope you enjoy your chocolate. We're going to give you a second helping in order to congratulate you on your new sale! Woot! So, just out of curiosity, how much of your husband's work fictitiously makes it into your books?

Lisa Mondello said...

Hi Kim! I'm so happy to be here today. Yes, pass the chocolate. It's time to celebrate!

My husband doesn't read my books at all. That's all cool to me. He doesn't need to read them. But he's a wealth of information about the military and being a police officer. Since Yuletide Protector features a hero who is a police officer, it was really fun to bounce ideas off my husband to see what would work and what wouldn't work.

Tom's full of stories about the military too and I occasionally take one of those and use it in a book. I did that for the new book I just sold to Love Inspired. Tom was a Marine and so is the hero in the new book.

Connie Phillips said...

Great interview Lisa. Congrats on the new book. I look forward to reading it.

CrystalGB said...

Hi Lisa. Great interview. Your book sounds wonderful. I love the cover.

Lisa Mondello said...

Thanks for stopping by Connie and Crystal. I love this cover too! Isn't the hero really hunky?