Monday, May 28, 2012

Interview with Author Denise Moncrief

I had the opportunity to speak with newly-published author Denise Moncrief today about her short story, Eye of The Storm.  

Denise Moncrief Biography

Writing is my passion. I tell people accounting is a skill I learned to earn some money to support my writing habit. I've been writing off and on since I was seventeen. I have a wonderful husband and two incredible children. They not only endure my writing moods, but also encourage me to indulge my passion.

I wrote my first "novel" when I was seventeen. It was seventeen handwritten pages on school-ruled paper and an obvious rip-off of the last Harlequin I read. The urge to write wouldn't let go of me. In my twenties, I started another novel, only to abandon it after Chapter Four or Five. I started writing seriously about eight years ago and now I write every chance I get.

Eye of The Storm
Kieran Talbot’s problems as a resident at a Tallahassee hospital force her to take a leave of absence and escape to the beach. One stormy night, a bruised and bloodied man collapses in the front doorway of her borrowed house.

A storm blows in off the warm Gulf waters, promising to drench the coast with the first downpour of a very hot summer. Kieran retreats to the beach house as the deluge begins. Just as she gets comfortable, the door bursts open. Rain soaked and bloody, Davis Jackson falls through the doorway. He needs a hospital, but he doesn’t want the cops involved. Danger follows Davis wherever he goes. Kieran won’t tell him her story and Davis won’t tell her his. Together they must fight for their lives during a Class Three Hurricane on Florida’s Gulf coast.

Thank you so much, Denise, for agreeing to be here today.  You must be very excited about releasing Eye of The Storm.  Thank you so much for having me here.

Tell us a little bit about Eye of The Storm. I enjoyed writing this story so much. The characters sort of defined the drama. The dark situation evolved from their dark past. The tension seemed to create itself.

 I wrote Eye of the Storm for a prompt. The publisher was looking for a beach romance. So I thought to myself, “Everyone will be writing those fun and sun, meet at the beach romances. I wanted to do something a little different. What if there is a hurricane to interrupt their romance?” After that the story wrote itself.

Eye of the Storm didn’t end up in that anthology, but rather was published a stand-alone story.

How very neat that something so wonderful came from a publisher's prompt! I've never thought of trying anything like that before. 

Who is your favorite character from the story and why? Oh no doubt my favorite is Davis, the hero. Despite his obvious physical and emotional scars, he still has a sense of mischief. He’s direct, a mean what you say and say what you mean sort of guy. And…he’s hot.

Hot men are always a plus! :-)

Where does the inspiration for you stories come from? Almost anywhere. An overheard conversation. A picture. A movie. A news report. An abandoned house in Arkansas jump-started a new plot for me once. Some little something will capture my imagination.

What made you decide to publish short stories versus novel-length books? Well, actually my first submission to Still Moments Publishing was a full-length novel which as of now I’m in the process of working my first edits. Between the time I submitted Deceptions of the Heart and when they offered me a contract, I submitted the short story Snow White and the Seven Dogs  for their Unleashed Hearts anthology. I’ve written quite a few full-length novels and queried more than a few agents. But I’ve spent a lot of time on writers’ critique sites writing to short story prompts for contests. So writing to a specific prompt on a deadline is not new to me. I think writing the shorter lengths helped honed my skills for writing full-length novels. I like both and will probably continue to submit in all lengths.

We will be sure to be looking for your novel in the future as well as more shorts!

What do you have planned next as far as writing goes?  I would like to stretch my writing by mixing other genres with romantic suspense. Right now, my focus is suspense with a healthy dollop of romance. My work in progress adds a paranormal element that I’m really excited about.

Paranormal is hot right now. Sounds like a great plan!

Most writers I know (myself included) love to read.   Are you a reader as well, or do you prefer to wait for the movie? I would rather read the book. I am an avid reader. My Good Reads profile doesn’t even begin to list all the books I’ve read. Seldom do I think the movie is better than the book. The most recent exception is The Hunger Games. I might have done myself a disservice by watching the movie first.

What is your favorite book (or movie if you’re not a reader)? Favorite book and movie is without a doubt Gone With the Wind. And yes, I liked the book much better.

What advice do you have for other aspiring writers? Write, write, write. Don’t stop collecting ideas and creating stories for them. Don’t let rejection or strong criticism keep you from doing what you love. Most writers do what they do because they want someone to read what they wrote. Find someone to critique your stories. Hone your craft. Go to seminars. Read books on writing. Network with other writers. Join critique sites. But mostly…don’t stop writing and don’t stop submitting to agents and publishers. I waited eight years before I signed my first contract. It was well worth the wait. During that wait, I perfected my writing skills. That moment when I put my signature on my first contract was priceless.

That is wonderful advice, Denise!

Have you released any other titles?  Tell us a little bit about them.  Still Moments Publishing released my first short story in April. Snow White and the Seven Dogs appeared in the Unleashed Hearts anthology. All of my pending released will be published by Still Moments. Sleepless in St. Lucia will be released by in the Something Borrowed, Something Blue anthology in June 2012. My first full-length novel Deceptions of the Heart will be released in the fall of 2012. My short story Trail’s End will be released in the Bullets and Boots anthology in September 2012 and my short story Ghost in the Garden will be released in October 2012 in the Haunted Shadows anthology.

Wow!  Your upcoming release schedule sounds to be busy.  That's terrific! 

Anything else you’d like to talk about? I’m a Southern girl. I’ve lived in Louisiana all my life. And yes, I have a drawl. Writing is my passion. I tell people accounting is a skill I learned to earn some money to support my writing habit. I’ve been writing off and on since I was seventeen. I have a wonderful husband and two incredible children. They not only endure my writing moods, but also encourage me to indulge my passion.

Thank you so much for being here today, Denise Moncrief.  I appreciate you sharing with all of us.  Best of luck in your writing career moving forward!

If you would like to follow Denise and keep up with what she is working on, you can get in touch with her at the following sites:
twitter @dmoncrief161

Once again, Denise's stories are available at the following links:
Unleashed Hearts buy links
Eye of the Storm

Both stories can be purchased directly from Still Moments Publishing

Have a terrific week everyone! Thanks for reading!


  1. Thank you so much for having me here, Chantel. I enjoyed answering your questions very much!

    1. Thank you, Denise! It was fun and I appreciate you being my first author interview and being so patient with how new I am to all of this. I wish you every success! Have a fantastic day!


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