Monique Domovitch has had many careers, starting with being one of Canada’s top models. When she retired from modeling she moved on to a career in the financial services as an adviser and planner, specializing in helping women attain financial freedom. During those years, she was also one of the first women in Canada to host her own national financial television show. During all those years, Monique’s dream was always to someday become a writer. Ten years ago, Monique attended a writer’s conference where the first line of one of her novels was read out loud in a workshop, attracting the attention of a publisher and an agent.
Since that life-changing conference, Monique Domovitch has published nine books, four with Penguin using the pen name Carol Ann Martin, two with Harlequin using her own name, and another two with Lansen Publishing. Scorpio’s Kiss was previously published as two novels, Scorpio Rising and The Sting of the Scorpio. Scar Tissue, her latest, is her ninth novel and she is hard at work on her tenth.
A great believer in the energizing power of writers’ conferences, she says that if not for that first conference she attended, she would not be published today.
For More Information
About the Book:
Scorpio's Kiss is a spell-binding tale of love, ambition and greed that will keep the reader turning the pages until its surprise ending. Set in New York and Paris amid the glamorous and competitive worlds of art and real estate, Scorpio's Kiss takes the reader from the late 1940s to the 1960s through the tumultuous lives of its heroes.
There is Alex Ivanov, the son of a Russian immigrant and part-time prostitute. He yearns to escape his sordid life and achieve fame and fortune. His dreams of becoming a world-class builder are met with countless obstacles, yet he perseveres in the hope of someday receiving the recognition he craves.
Half a world away, Brigitte Dartois is an abused teenager who runs into the arms of a benefactor with an agenda all his own. When she finds out that her boss has an ulterior motive, she flees again, determined to earn her living through her art. This career brings her fame, but also the unwanted attention of her early abuser.
Domovitch’s novel is a compelling tale, filled with finely etched characters and a superb understanding of the power of ambition. Scorpio's Kiss promises to resonate with all who once had a dream.
For More Information
Thanks for letting us interrogate you! Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?
For me, it was when I realized that I had hit middle age. It came as a shock that I had already lived half my life. The shock brought home the hard fact that if I kept putting off my passion in favor of my successful career, I might live comfortably, but I would never achieve my life goal. I pictured myself on my death bed. I know that everybody imagines they would regret having spent too much time working, and too little time with loved ones. In my case it was a sense that unless I wrote, I would have wasted my life. Writing is what I was meant to do. It gave me the kick in the behind I needed to get going.
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?
Writing isn’t for everyone. The hours are long, and one never knows if there will be financial reward. On the other hand, I get such a thrill from giving life to characters, and creating stories that people later read. The demands are simple, sit and write. And keep doing it day after day after day. The perk, for me, is that I get to do what I love, and I get paid for it.
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 a bit of an oddball in that I have done both. I was fortunate enough to find an agent and a publisher right from the start, and had seven novels published in the traditional way. I decided to go it the self-published route for my two last novels because these deviate from my other novels, which were cozy mysteries. If I wanted to break free and write the kind of books I craved to write, I had to re-market myself. I was already a best-selling author, my publishers were not thrilled with the idea of changing from my original style. Self-publishing allowed me the freedom of writing whatever I wanted. If I crashed and burned, then so be it. My hope was that my readers would follow me to my new novels, and I’m happy to report that it looks as if they did.
What’s the snarkiest thing you can say about the publishing industry?
The snarkiest thing is that publishers are risk averse. That means they don’t take chances. Not that I can blame them. Their entire goal is to run a financially successful business. This means they don’t easily take risks, try out new authors, new genres, new voices, which is why true artists are often overlooked, and end up going the self-published route.
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?
I am so incredibly fortunate in that they are all behind me one hundred percent. Although, it wasn’t always that way, at least not in the very beginning. The problem many authors face is that in they spend enormous amounts of time on a project, and have no income to show for it. In this society, where a person’s worth is often measured by the amount of money they earn, it can be difficult for friends and family to look at writing as anything but a “cute hobby.” In my case, my help was important to my husband’s success in his real estate business, and it was rather challenging to make him understand that my writing was as important to me as his business was to him. It wasn’t until I pointed out that most new ventures don’t turn a profit until the fifth year, that he got it, that writing is, in essence, the same as manufacturing. An author’s product is his book. Then, when at the end of my first year, I had already found representation and signed a three-book deal, he was convinced. He’s been my staunchest supporter since.
What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?
The craziest thing was when I submitted one of my novels, written in the first person and in the present tense. My agent decided it should be rewritten in the past tense. So I rewrote it. It took me a bit over two months. Then, one of the BIG publishers decided they liked it. They loved the voice, they loved the characters, they loved the relationship between the characters, but they weren’t crazy about the murder. The asked me to rewrite it without the murder. In other words, turn a murder mystery into, what? I did it, but that was totally crazy. And in the end, it was published with the original murder. All that work...
How about the social networks? Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?
I’m a big fan of Facebook. I never quite got the Twitter thing. I do it, but have a hard time enjoying it. But that shouldn’t surprise me. To me Facebook is like a dinner party, where you can spend time chatting with one person, whereas Twitter is like speed dating. I like relationships, and I’m not a big fan of huge parties where all you can manage is a quick, “So nice to see you,” and a cheek brush.
Book sales. Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)? How are you making the sales happen for you?
I was lucky that through Facebook, I reached a large number of readers and that a few of them loved Scorpio’s Kiss enough to propose it to their book clubs. Book clubs create a lot of buzz, not only for the members but also among their friends and acquaintances. Whenever somebody asks, I will do the impossible to attend a book club. It’s amazing how many people this reaches. And while I’m in their city, I sometimes give readings at libraries and get interviews in local papers.
What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?
What I keep repeating is that, No, the main character in Scorpio’s Kiss, Alexander Ivanovitch, is NOT Donald Trump. True, back in the eighties I was a friend of Ivana’s, Trump’s first wife, and I met Donald on a number of occasions. As everybody knows, he is a bigger-than-life character, so I did model my main character after him, but the story is entirely fiction.
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?
I like to say that I am more of a storyteller than an author. That’s like being a singer rather than a song writer, and a singer needs an audience. What I love the most, what I live for, is the feedback I get from my readers. And the feedback I get time and again is how, once a reader picks up my book, they can’t put it down, that because of me people have sleepless nights because they simply must know what happens next. That is what I love the most. So please, please, all you readers out there, make my day. If you enjoyed Scorpio’s Kiss, leave me a review. You will make me a very happy writer.
Monique Domovitch is giving away 5 paperback and 5 ebook copies of SCORPIO’S KISS!
Terms & Conditions:
- By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
- Five people will be selected to win one of five paperback copies and five people will be selected to win one of five ebook copies of SCORPIO’S KISS
- This giveaway begins April 18 and ends on July 18.
- Winners will be announced on Monique’s tour page on July 19.
Good luck everyone!