An Interview with Barbara Monajem

Please help me welcome Barbara Monajem to my blog today. Barbara is kindly giving away a $10 giftcard to one lucky commentor, so be sure and leave a comment.

The_Magic_of_His_Touch_-_APR_2013_-_undone_2How did you get started writing?

My mother read to me when I was little—wonderful stories such as Winnie-the-Pooh. I could hardly wait to learn how to read them for myself! The first story I remember writing down was in third grade about apple tree gnomes. I’ve never really stopped writing since.

What genre(s) do you write in and why?

I write a mish-mash of whatever suits the story. Usually it’s either historical and/or paranormal romance, with mystery as well if there’s room. (In my novellas, there usually isn’t enough room for a mystery, alas). Why the mish-mash? Because my favorite books are usually the kind that combine genres. I guess I’m just writing the kind of book I like to read.

What is your next project and when will it be released?

My next book is Heart of Constantine, the third book in the Bayou Gavotte series of paranormal romances. I wrote this book in many different versions over the course of years—so many versions that when I was revising it, I couldn’t remember which scenes I had left in and which I’d taken out. It will finally be released in September!! I will also be releasing a novella in the same series soon.

I am also writing a couple of Regency holiday novellas—one about Christmas and the other about Twelfth Night. These are fun because I get to research historical holiday customs.

What is your favorite part of writing?

Revising. I love revising because I have something to work with. The first draft can be fun, but often it comes very, very, very slowly.

What is your least favorite part of writing?

Promotion. Like many writers, I’m an introvert. I have to remind myself constantly to go to Twitter and Facebook, and my poor blog is completely neglected. (But I’m very happy when readers contact me.)

How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?

Not likely at all. My characters walk into my head from out of the blue.

Was your road to publication difficult or a walk in the park?

Sort of in-between. I was published in children’s fiction when my kids were young, and that was sheer luck—I knew someone who was starting a small publishing company and agreed to publish my book. After that, I didn’t write much for years, although I always dabbled. When I started writing seriously again, I entered lots of contests and did a bit of querying, but very little follow-up. Mostly, I kept writing and writing and writing. Eventually, an editor who had requested my work by way of a contest final called and offered me a contract on my first Bayou Gavotte story. Soon after that, another editor bought one of my historical novellas.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

A pantser—God help me. It’s not efficient, but I simply can’t plan the story properly until I’ve started writing it. I don’t know who the characters really are until I’ve walked in their shoes for a while. Sometimes I have a fairly good idea of the characters and the basic plot up front, but other times (such as with the story I’m working on now) I make a bunch of false starts before figuring things out. Grrr.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be, and why?

The older I get, the harder it is to decide. There are many wonderful places in the world, but they all have their drawbacks. If I had my druthers, I would live in several different cities, each for six months or so—London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Paris, and Rome, to name a few—with plenty of time to travel and see the historic sites.

Here is a blurb and excerpt from the first of my May Day Mischief novella duet, The Magic of His Touch.


England, 1804
Tired of being paraded before every eligible bachelor, Peony Whistleby decides it’s time to find her true love—through the ancient custom of rolling naked in the dew on May Day morning. But the magic goes awry when she is caught in the act—and by an entirely unsuitable man. And yet, the way his eyes linger upon her flesh ignites a sensual craving that can only be satisfied by his touch…


“Get up! Get dressed!”

Peony froze in mid-roll. A strange man bounded toward her, gesturing, his voice low but urgent. She scrambled to her feet, a shriek catching in her throat.

“I won’t hurt you,” he said, but he kept on coming. Her heart clambering into her gullet, she tried to cover herself with her hands.

“Who— What—” She couldn’t get a word out.

“Don’t stand there like an idiot, girl! I already know what you look like naked.” A blush crowded up her neck and burned her cheeks. “Get your clothes on, and be quick about it.” With brisk, shooing motions he herded her toward the hawthorn where she’d left her shift and gown.

Anger swelled up, overcoming her fear. How dare he order her about? “Go away,” she said, hating how her voice trembled as she fled before him. “What are you doing here? You have no right.” A little way round the circle of meadow, she spied a horse cropping the grass at the edge of the wood.

“You should be thankful I’m here,” he said, stopping several feet away when she reached the hawthorn. “I don’t know what foolishness you’re up to, but clearly your lover isn’t coming, and—”

“No, because you spoiled everything,” she said. Her hair had fallen out of its ribbon and stuck wetly to her face. She clawed it away, wanting to hit him. Her chance at finding love was gone. “Go away!”

He folded his arms and just stood there, scowling—and looking at her as if, underneath that frown, he was enjoying himself. “Not until you put your clothes on and be off home where you belong.”

Another flush overwhelmed her, this time of shame and misery, as she realized what he meant. He thought she’d come out here to tryst with some likely village lad, as if she were a scullery maid. And who was he, anyway? She’d never seen him before. He was dressed like a gentleman and spoke like one, too, but he didn’t belong here.

“Who gave you the right to order me about?” she demanded. “This is private land.”

His eyes widened. “You silly little fool, I’m trying to protect you. I traveled here with a friend. To him, a naked woman is a blatant invitation. You’re lucky it’s I who came upon you and not he.”

She grabbed her shift and turned it right side out. “Stop staring at me.”

“You’re a beautiful girl without any clothes on,” he said. “I wouldn’t be much of a man if I didn’t stare.”


Here are some buy links for The Magic of His Touch:

And here’s where you can contact me:

Twitter: @BarbaraMonajem

Bewitched_by_His_Kiss_-_MAY_2013_-_undone_2BEWITCHED BY HIS KISS (May Day Mischief, Book Two)

Lucasta Barnes knows the folly believing in magic can lead to, and won’t accept that her illicit tryst with a notorious rake was the result of anything more than pure lust. Or that it has bonded them together forever. Yet, she can’t deny that she yearns for just one more night in his arms…

David, Earl of Elderwood, is used to women being enchanted by him, but ever since a passionate encounter with Lucasta three years ago, he desires only her. How can he convince his thoroughly practical paramour that love is the greatest magic of all?


Barbara Monajem wrote her first story in third grade about apple tree gnomes. After dabbling in neighborhood musicals and teen melodrama, she published a middle-grade fantasy when her children were young. Now her kids are adults, and she’s writing historical and paranormal romance for grownups. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.

13 thoughts on “An Interview with Barbara Monajem

    • Hi, Linda! Waving right back. I love the covers, too — they really reflect the differences between the two stories. One is more light-hearted with a more innocent heroine, and the other is darker…

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