Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Left Hand Taketh Away

Coming into June after the madness of May, I’m not sure what to say.  Tom, my wonderful talented irritating artist husband has been in the hospital for more than a week.  He’s on a first name basis with the techs who draw blood and with the great people down in Nuclear Medicine.  If he hadn’t been glowing from the jaundice he would be from the x-rays.  They’ve established he has a blockage, they just haven’t identified it.  At this rate we’re going to be declaring it as a dependent.

I’ve found I’m not one of those driven people who can write no matter what.  I try, and I’ve been getting down scenes and plots but nowhere near the output I had before.  The house is just too darned quiet.  I’ve finished up my blog tour with a visit to the Book Boost, which will be up a bit later.  Tom reminds his nurses his wife has written a book, and hands out cards with the cover and links to order.  “My Killer, My Love” is doing well even when I can’t steal time to promote it.

Whatever the diagnosis we can deal with it.  Ranting, raving, hair pulling is non productive and has never cured the common cold much less anything else.  Certainly this, along with the natural disasters around the world, has brought so much into perspective.   It’s not how many times you’re knocked down, it’s how many times you get up and keep moving forward.

I can’t say enough good about the support system we have developed for each other as writers of relationship books.   We dance in joy for each other and we all join in virtual hugs.  We just rock



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The Right Hand Giveth

Since February 22, when Black Opal Books asked if I wanted them to publish My Killer My Love, life has been a roller coaster.  Incredible highs. Deplorable lows.  And I wondered whatever happened to my former  ordinary life.  Well, as ordinary as a life spent in a whirlwind of club activities, traveling, going to dog shows can be.

In the midst of edits, cover art, promotion and all things new book, I jumped in on the deep end with writing sprints, on line classes, and contest judging.  Life was manic but life was wonderful.  One of our favored dogs sired a lovely litter, my husband had more recognition for his artwork, and we had some really nice wins at dog shows.  Mountaintop highs.

Then last Saturday I noticed a new glow to my husband’s face, and by late Sunday he was beginning to look like an extra for the Simpsons.  Jaundice.  Since he is diabetic with some pretty severe kidney issues, we pay a lot of attention to these kind of symptoms, and he was calling his diabetes doctor early Monday morning. Deep valley lows.

Last week was spent going to doctors, to labs, to clinics where he could be poked and prodded and scanned.  He got progressively brighter and progressively weaker, and we finally got him admitted to the hospital yesterday.  Seems we had to see a specialist who wasn’t available right away.  When we finally got in, they said – “He’s really sick”  YA THINK???  They made noises about doing the necessary extra tests on an outpatient basis but then agreed he needed to be somewhere with a fluid drip in his arm.

Yesterday, while sitting by his bed in the emergency room willing the drip to go into his arm faster, I heard him telling the lab tech “My wife’s book is coming out this week.”  Which was the brightest light in the gloom.

At this point his condition is serious but not dire though I’m told recovery won’t be immediate.  While we were getting through last week, I was more involved in making sure he drank water frequently, in small amounts, than checking on whether or not my name had appeared on Amazon.  Since this doesn’t happen until your book is released, and my release wasn’t for several days, it was just a silly game. Until this morning, when I typed in Mona(space) Kar and saw the last two letter fill in.  I thought my cover was pretty before, it ROCKS on a bookshelf, virtual or not.

It looks like I’m outed all over the place.


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Looking our best for the signings

Martha Doster replied to the earlier post mentioning her lotions and potions. I’m going to put her answer in here so more people can see it.  We spend so much time rushing around, cramming our time with word counts and day to day life, we forget about skin care until it’s time to leave the house.  Living in a dry climate makes it even worse!  So here’s Martha to the rescue. Again.

Hi, Mona – thanks so much for your kind words about me! I love the idea of using all resources at hand as inspiration for your craft. I am in awe of anyone who deftly puts pen to paper.
Just a few words if I may re: quick tips for getting your skin to be radiant for your oh-so-popular book-signings –
*no harsh soaps – use softer glycerin soaps with added complexion savers like Shea butter, milk, oatmeal, or liquid cleansers without alcohol (have you tried the White Tea Shower Lotion?);
*use all-natural ingredients for moisturizing – NO mineral oil derivitives. I know you love my pure Unrefined Avocado Oil, & it is the perfect all-in-one product when hurried, but stop using the Extreme Foot Butter on your hands! My new Extreme Gardener’s Hand Cream is similar but lighter for working (read typing) hands.
Let me know if you’d like more tips!
*p.s. as for the “naughty wink-wink” section of my website (, if any of your readers want further info on specific items, just direct me as to how to do that!

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Welcome to Rebecca Forster

Rebecca Forster is joining us today from sunny California, where they don’t have snow storms on the first of May, to talk about her decision to go from a USA Today Best Selling Author to self publishing, and why this has been the best choice for her.  Rebecca’s “Before Her Eyes” is one of the strongest most intelligent books I’ve had the privilege to read in a long time.  And I can’t wait to read the next in the “Witness” series.  Josie defines the modern woman I like to read about.

Monica: The question all writers are asking is whether to self-publish or not. After a 26 year career why are you now self-publishing?
Rebecca: First, thanks for that great introduction. I love Before Her Eyes – for a lot of reasons but mainly because I pushed the ‘craft’ boundaries a bit. When New York balked, I didn’t want this book to languish. My writer’s gut told me it was viable and thankfully readers have really liked it. Sales have been great and the response to both the format and the characters has really made me realize that, sometimes, an author should take matters into their own hands.
Monica: You took your entire back list digital. Are you planning on publishing through New York again?
Rebecca: I’m not going to rule it out but the last year and a half has been focused on making my books available for digital access. Amazon, Smashwords. com, Barnes & Noble are making it easy for authors to post their work and begin building an audience.
Monica: What’s the drawback to taking this route?
Rebecca: First, new writers must realize that digital readers are as discerning as traditional readers – in fact, most of them continue to be traditional readers. They are expecting quality books even though the self-published do not have the advantages of New York’s editors, marketers, cover artists etc.  I work with a freelance editor because I know my self-published work needs to be of the same quality as my traditionally published. Also, marketing is difficult. No one is quite sure how to go about getting their name out there. Social media is critical to this step so it’s not just enough to write a book, an author needs to have the social media set-up to promote it.
Monica: Do you advise new writers not to approach New York?
Rebecca: No, definitely not. Who doesn’t want to hold their book in their hand? Plus, there is no training ground better than working with a New York editor. For me, the consideration was that digital seems to be the way of the future and I did not want to sign away my digital rights. I would caution new writers to look at their traditional contracts and see what the publisher is asking for in terms of digital rights. I understand the contracts have questionable benefits for the author in terms of e-rights. The other thing that struck me was that bookstores are becoming few and far between. Borders is in bankruptcy, independents have gone by the wayside. Distribution channels are drying up. So I had to ask what is best for my career. For me, the digital route seemed appropriate but there are times I would kill to get a call from my agent, pop in to see my editor, walk into a bookstore and see my book. I say go-for it with traditional publishing but keep your eyes wide open. Not only are times changing – they are changing by the minute!
Monica: What projects are on the table now?
Rebecca: I have one script, a romantic comedy, in development and we are still looking for a couple of ‘angels’ to round out the funding but we have incredible talent already signed. I also have a request for a script based on one of my thrillers and I’m working on Expert Witness, the fourth book in the Witness series.


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