Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Interview: Sarah Monzon, author of The Isaac Project


Today, I'd like to introduce a new friend, Sarah Monzon! She's a pastor's wife, mom of two adorable children and debut author who loves to write stories about "hope and happily ever afters."

Sarah's first book The Isaac Project, releases today (Sept. 1, 2015) and it's available for purchase on Amazon.com. The book cover is so lovely that I had to share it with you first! But that's not all. Sarah promised to give away one Kindle edition of her book to the winner of the book giveaway contest that she's hosting today on my blog! :)

We're doing this the old-fashioned way. Simply answer Sarah's question at the end of this blog post and your comment will be randomly drawn by me (Alexis). The winner will receive a Kindle edition of Sarah's novel. The contest starts today (Sept. 1) and ends on Sept. 15. The winner will be announced here and notified by e-mail so please remember to leave your name AND e-mail address with your comment. 

Excited, aren't you? I hope so! Enjoy my interview with this new author whose fictional love story captivated me from the first page!

*Words from Alexis are in bold, words from Sarah are not in bold.

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Alexis: “The Isaac Project” is quite a clever title for your book! Tell us about it. What or who was your inspiration for this delightful, fictional story?

Sarah: I’m glad you like the title! The story came about from a conversation I was having with my friend who lives in a different state than I do. She was bemoaning her singlehood and the lack of male prospects in her area. She jokingly said she should just let her friends find her a husband, and—voila!—the beginning of a plot formed in my mind.

Becky, your heroine, loves horses and her dear old grandpa. Why is family—horses and human—so important to Becky?

Poppy, Becky’s grandfather, is everything to her. Her parents died when she was young and Poppy raised her. He was there for every knee scape, every breakup, every horse show, and everything in between.

The horses, well, in Becky’s mind the best view on earth is the one between a horse’s ears. There is healing for both body and spirit when one spends time with and on a horse.

Luke, your hero, doesn’t appear to have much luck in love until he encounters Becky. What makes Becky different from all the other women Luke romanced? What makes her stay in his heart?

The other women Luke has had encounters with only think about themselves and their own desires, but Becky has a sacrificial spirit that snags Luke’s attention. The fact that she would put someone else’s happiness, in this case her grandfather’s, above her own happiness has him intrigued. Of course the thought that anyone would ask her best friend to find her a husband has him shaking his head and calling her all kinds of crazy…at first.

What is the most major challenge your leading lady (Becky) and leading man (Luke) face before and after meeting each other?

Their biggest challenge boils down to communication. Or lack thereof. Because of her past, Becky is hesitant to trust and jumps to unfounded conclusions regarding Luke. The fact that the newlyweds are also strangers definitely doesn’t help matters!

As a writer, what was the most difficult aspect of writing this story?
For me, the most difficult part was finding time to write. I started writing the story with a one and a half year old and finished with a three year old and a one year old. I think you can imagine how hard it was to find time to it down at the computer and write.

What was your favorite scene to write in this debut book of yours? Why?


Oh! How do I answer this without a spoiler alert? Let’s just say my favorite scene involves Luke and a very sweet and romantic gesture right before the wedding.

What do you want readers to remember most about The Isaac Project?


I don’t want to oversimplify anything, but the resounding message in The Isaac Project is that love is a choice. God is love, and even though none of us deserve it, He chose to love us so much that He died on the cross for us. He continues to choose to love us every day. Even when we give Him the silent treatment, cheat on Him with other gods, or demand from Him a spiritual divorce. We can take this concept and apply it to our own relationships. Our feelings may ride high and low like a rollercoaster but through the ride we each need to decide to choose to love each other.

What are you working on next? You do plan to write more books, right?

My current work in progress is still in a very much rough draft form, so there isn’t a blurb or synopsis yet. That being said, I am very excited about this story. I’m having so much fun with these characters! What I will divulge is that the story has a dual timeline with the connecting piece being a 17th century galleon of the Spanish treasure fleet.

Why did you choose to go indie for The Isaac Project? Will you continue being an indie author or do you entertain thoughts of being traditionally published?

The simple answer to this question is that God led me to go indie. My manuscript was finished and I was praying fervently for the next step. Was it time to query agents? The answer whispered in my soul. “No.” I was shattered. What about my dreams? Again a whisper. “He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalms 37:4). “Your ways are not my ways” (Isaiah 55:8). I was gently led towards indie publishing and brought that before the Lord. I felt His blessing. There are a few other logistical reasons why indie works for me for now, but it all boils down to God’s leading.

When did you “know” that you were born to be a writer?


My answer is the same as most writers'. I’ve always loved reading and writing and making up stories. My elementary school had a Young Author’s program and my stories were chosen every year to be printed in their “book.”


What can you tell us about yourself as a new author that no one else knows?

Hmmm… something about myself as an author that no one else knows… *thinking, thinking*. Oh! Someone famous once called me on the phone because of something I wrote. That’s right. Mrs. Clause called me to tell me I won my second grade essay contest and got to ride on the float in the Christmas parade with Santa. It was pretty awesome if I do say so myself!

Thanks for the interview, Sarah! Please leave a question for my readers to respond to which will qualify them to enter the contest. 


Sarah's question: As a reader, what is it that makes you “take a chance” on a new author?

~*~
Author bio:

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.

Book blurb for 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?

Buy The Isaac Project:
Amazon.com - http://amzn.to/1NeHGMJ

Connect with Sarah:
Blog/Website - http://www.sarahmonzonwrites.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/authorsarahmonzon
Twitter - https://twitter.com/monzonwrites

11 comments:

  1. I take chances on new authors when there are mostly good reviews. =)

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    1. Reviews are so helpful to writers as well. 😊

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  2. I really enjoy discovering authors that are new and I watch for their reviews and also if the description on Amazon sounds like one I would be interested in. I would love to win a copy of this one. It sounds like a really good one. abilene_nana@yahoo.com

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    1. I agree. A good description is a clincher.

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  3. I'm willing to "take a chance" on a new author when the cover catches my attention, and the blurb is well-written. But most of all if I've learned a little about the author and "see" them as a real person, like Sarah is now after this lovely interview. :) Katy Jones kjones78@windstream.net Congratulations on your new release, Sarah, ESPECIALLY writing with very young children--bravo!

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    1. Dear Katy,
      Congratulations! You won the copy of Sarah's book, "The Isaac Project"! Look out for an e-mail from me connecting you with Sarah so you can claim your prize.

      God bless you! :)

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  4. I'm excited for you as an author. I look forward to reading your book and would love to win an e-copy.

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  5. I am most likely to take a chance when an author I love endorses a new author. I also like recommendations from friends who read the same type of books as I do! Katie Edgar katie07edgar(at)gmail(dot)com

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  6. Oh yes! I have been known to pick up a book based solely on the endorsement.

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