Interview with Sarah Monzon via SLB
1-How long does it typically take you to write a book?
Well, my first manuscript (which will never see the light of day) took me 5 years to write. I started it when I was 21 and a student missionary in China. I kept writing while finishing my degree in elementary education, through graduation, getting married, my first teaching position, and, finally, my first child. You could say life happened during those pages! The Isaac Project didn’t take quite so long–about 2 years–although morning sickness and taking care of a toddler kept me busy. I’ve been working on my current work-in-progress for about a year and hope to finish in a few months. My family comes first, but I do try to spend about an hour a day writing. My goal is to be able to write and publish a book a year.
2-When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I started it when I was 21 and finished when I was 26. And that was only the first–and only–draft.
3-What suggestions would you give potential author to help them become a better writer?
Read! Read! Read! It’s my favorite way to learn the craft of writing. I just love to soak up a good book. Another thing that really helped my was joining ACFW and participating in their critique program. Getting feedback from other authors really helped to point out my weaknesses and things I could do to polish and tighten my manuscript.
4-How frequently do you hear from your fans?
I love to hear from readers! It’s so fun to talk books and characters. I’ve been able to connect with some readers of Facebook and hope to hear from even more.
5-As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did becoming a writer ever cross your mind?
I’m a pretty practical person, more logical than dreamer, so I never thought of becoming a writer because, well, you know, starving artist and all. I did always love to read and write and spent a great deal of time doing both. As far as a career goes, though, I always wanted to be a teacher. I’m a stay-at-home mom now and have the tow cutest “students” ever.
6-What hobbies do you enjoy when you are not writing?
Reading of course! In the summer time I really like going camping and hiking with the family. I’d love to be able to travel more as well. There’s a great big world out there, and I want to see it all.
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?
The Isaac Project Book Snippet
“How could do that to me?”
“Now don’t scold a dying man, Rebekah Anne.”
“You’re no more dying than I am.” Oh, how I wished that were true, but the evidence lay before me in that hospital bed. At least he was looking better and no longer required the use of an oxygen mask.
“Come here, sugar.” Poppy patted an empty spot on the bed next to him. “Tell me about your fella.”
I propped my hip on the mattress and took Poppy’s hand in mine.
“What would you like to know?” I asked, trying to keep the trepidation out of my voice. I had no intention of telling Poppy a bold-faced lie, but I also didn’t plan on telling him the complete truth. I was walking a fine line, which was why I’d hoped this conversation wouldn’t take place.
“Where did you two meet?”
“Lisa introduced us a while back.” As in, two weeks ago. Over the phone. Being vague was not lying.
“When did you know you were in love with him?”
I swallowed hard. Love? This would be a tricky one to answer. “Does anyone ever know the exact moment they fall in love?” Answering a question with a question seemed the safest bet.
“How did he propose?”
Finally, a question I could answer for real. I smiled. Even though Luke had just proposed yesterday, with all the events that took place since then, it felt like forever ago. When I’d first asked Lisa to find me an “Isaac,” I thought having someone propose to me was something else I was giving up. But I was wrong.
“Well, he took me to a restaurant”—no reason to tell him it was the diner—“and in front of everyone”—about five people— “got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.”
I caught Poppy staring at me, and the pressure on my hand increased.
“Are you happy, sweetheart? You sure this is what you want to do? You and James just broke up not that long ago.”
I tried not to blink. Or twitch. Tried not to gulp down the saliva that was gathering in my mouth, or wipe away the sweat beginning to form on my palms. Nothing that would give me away. How could I tell him I wasn’t sure? That I had only met Luke the day before, and even though I felt God’s guidance, there was still a sinking sensation in the pit of my stomach? That my chest felt like it was in an ever-tightening vise, and I couldn’t take a full breath? That I was scared spit-less, but I was doing it all because of him? For him.
I could never say any of that, so I plastered on what I hoped was a believable smile and a lovesick expression.
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.
What a refreshing take on a romance book. The Isaac Project is such a wonderful change to the romance books that are on the market today.
I loved the characters in this story. This book is filled with love, faith, determination, heartache and pain. Becky and Luke are sure to
delight you in their story. A most unlikely modern day romance. A story that lives up to its name The Isaac Project.
A must read. 4 stars!
I received a copy of this for free for my honest review.