Time for some help over the Wednesday hurdle…and today I’m so honored to have debut author Sarah Monzon with me! Grab a cup of Joe and let’s have a visit with this sweet, talented lady.
Jen: I’d love for you to give us a little glimpse into your life, so here we go… When you think of home, give us 1) an image 2) a smell 3) sounds and 4) a feeling.
Sarah: Image: The members of my family—my husband, son, and daughter.
Smell: This is hard because our house doesn’t have any particular distinctive smell. I love scented candles, but with a toddler they aren’t the safest to have around. I tried the plug-in room fresheners before, but they run out so fast that it got too expensive for my frugal tastes. So, unfortunately, our house may smell of dust and dirty diapers.
Sounds: Childhood laughter, crying, then laughter again. Oh! And the constant repetition of “Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy….”
Jen: Ah, the Mommy, Mommy, Mommy’s…aren’t they precious? Just wait, my sweet friend. When they get to Junior high, those sweet little calls turn into tap, tap, tap.
The Isaac Project has been an instant hit on Amazon within the Christian fiction thread. How does that make you feel?
Sarah: Completely and utterly blessed beyond my wildest imagination. God whispered in my heart before I had committed to indie publish The Isaac Project that His ways are not my ways and that he truly would give me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4). That gave me the courage to proceed in what was clearly his current path for my writing. Now I bask in the promise found in Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” I’m starting to think my dreams are too small and God is saying, “No, my child. I have so much more give you.”
Jen: God is so generous with us, isn’t He?
I love The Isaac Project! I remember randomly pulling a chapter off of our large critique loop, not knowing you or the story, and being completely sucked in. Can you tell us how the story developed for you?
Sarah: It’s kind of a funny story. I was having a conversation with one of my single friends. She hadn’t been having any luck in the men department and jokingly said she should just let her friends find her a husband. Well, that got me thinking. What would an arranged marriage look like in our culture? I think I may have been reading a modern retelling of Ruth at the time, which caused a mental snowball effect that landed me at the story of Isaac and Rebekah. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Jen: I love it! Real life births all sorts of stories, doesn’t it?
You’re a mommy-writer with a couple of little ones. Talk to us about how that works.
Sarah: It’s about priorities. My children—my family—are my top priority. For a while there I had set my writing as equal with them and it was a juggling match in which nobody came out the winner. It became so bad that even though I was with my children, I wasn’t really present. I itched to be at my computer, and if circumstances didn’t allow for that to happen then I started to become resentful.
Thankfully, my heart has changed. I love my kids and I love being their mom and I don’t want a bad attitude to sour that joy. So, the computer stays off until after bedtime. Sometimes it may stay off for days because I’m so exhausted I fall into bed the same time my kids do. Or I spend the alone time with my hubby to reconnect and keep our marriage strong.
So, really, with little ones around, writing comes in short snippets. I’ve been known to use speech-to-text on my phone while driving if an idea hits. I’ve written whole chapters on my phone while nursing and rocking my baby to sleep. My husband also tries to give me a couple of hours on Friday morning to go to the library and pound out the words on the keyboard. I love him. He’s the greatest.
Jen: It is quite amazing what you can actually get done in short snippets. Sometimes it’s the scarcity of time that forces us to use it well.
Tell us about what you’re working on right now. How is it going? What are you goals?
Sarah: My current WIP (work-in-progress) is the first book of a new series. I’m really excited about it because each book in the series will have a dual timeline, which combines my two favorite genres—contemporary and historical romance. The current WIP merges a marine photographer and treasure hunter with a 17th century galleon from the Spanish treasure fleet.
The story is flowing well (when I have time to write!) and I’m slightly over halfway done. I’m hoping to have it finished and ready to publish in June of 2016.
Jen: Can’t wait! Head’s up peeps, I’ve been previewing this work-in-progress, and it’s good!
Thank you Sarah, for taking the time to chat with me! And thank you for The Isaac Project—one of my new faves in the Contemporary Christian Genre.
If you haven’t picked up your copy, you’d better get on it! I promise, you don’t want to miss this fun story. And just to prove it, I’m giving away a Kindle Copy. Leave me a comment below, and I’ll draw a winner on Friday!
Sarah Monzon is a pastor’s wife and a stay at home mom of two small children. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Southern Adventist University. Sarah is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). The Isaac Project is her debut novel.
The Isaac Project
Becky Sawyer’s life unravels in a single day. Not only does she catch her boyfriend, the man she hoped to marry, lip-locked with another woman, she also receives the gut-wrenching news that her grandfather, the man who raised her, is dying. His last wish? To see her happily married. Heartbroken, Becky seeks inspiration in the pages of the Holy Scriptures. And finds it in the story of Isaac and Rebekah.
If love couldn’t keep his parents together, Luke Masterson wonders what will make a marriage last. He decides to steer clear of all women—especially crazy ones like Becky Sawyer, who employs a friend to find her a husband. But when he feels the dogged promptings of the Holy Spirit to move across the country and marry a complete stranger, it seems love has little to do with it anyway.
With commitment their only foundation, and love constantly thwarted, can an arranged marriage find happiness in the twenty-first century?