Adrienne Monson – Mother, Wife, Supernatural Romance Writer
About Adrienne Monson
Mother. Author. Heroine. Three words that best describe talented, local writer Adrienne Monson. The Utah native sat down with me after FanX17 and we talked about everything from family, to convention-going to writing. Adrienne is a professional writer and a dedicated, full-time mom and wife, which makes her own story more compelling. She is the author of the paranormal romance novels Dissension, Defiance and Deliverance, which form The Blood Inheritance trilogy. She also wrote the paranormal regency novel Eyes of Persuasion. Adrienne earns heroine status because she wrote these novels and more as a wife and full-time mother of two kids. She continues to manage family and be a successful professional writer. It is no easy feat and she credits her success to planning and sticking to a routine.
When asked why she writes, Adrienne says she has always dabbled in writing. “I’d get bored in school if the subject didn’t intrigue me,” she says. “My brain would go to stories. I would entertain myself by making up stories in my head. And I became obsessed with reading. I’ve always loved reading. As I matured, I learned that reading and writing go hand in hand. If you’re a voracious reader you tend to be a writer, too.”
Reading was and is key to Adrienne as a writer. She lived among books as a youth. “My dad had a library of books,” she explains. “If any of us kids wanted a book to read we would go to dad and he’d say, ‘what are you in the mood for?’ We’d tell him and he’d say, ‘okay, let’s find you a book.'” She confesses that she was introduced to Stephen King while in seventh grade. “My dad handed me Carrie and I read it and loved it. Now that I have kids,” she explains with a laugh, “there is no way I’d let them read Stephen King as children.”
As usually happens life took over after school. Adrienne says, “I went to work in a corporate office and did not have time to read, let-alone write.” She said she was working ten and twelve-hour days and reading and writing became a fuzzy memory. She was fortunate enough to get serious about it again when she became a stay-at-home mom. “I quit work six months after my son was born and started to read again and decided to write.” Her freshman novel, Dissension, was published in 2013.
Time is still her biggest challenge to writing and it is a common thread for many authors. With four books over the last four years, I asked when she does her writing. “Well, I sacrifice sleep,” she says, laughing. “I am not a morning person, but I get up at 6:30 am to give myself sixty to ninety minutes before my kids wake.” When I suggested that I am going to tell the world she is not a morning person, Adrienne laughs again and repeats, unequivocally, “I am so not a morning person! I would love to sleep in till eight o’clock.” However, she sets apart this precious morning time and another block in the afternoon for writing. Writing is her craft and she is dedicated to it. To that end sleep and much beloved late morning snoozing is out. “If you do not make time you are not going to do it,” she says. “Now that I’ve started on this path of being an author I feel like I can’t stop. Readers are constantly asking for books and I don’t want to disappoint them. If I’m going to have a career as an author I must treat this in a professional manner. So, I’m up early writing.”
The Blood Inheritance series is in the paranormal romance genre and Eyes of Persuasion is in the paranormal regency genre. “These genres are pretty straight forward,” Adrienne explains. “These are stories with any kind of paranormal element like witches, ghosts or vampires with romantic overtones. The regency genre, of course, represents stories in that era – 1800s England, with the paranormal element being a psychic character.”
We talked about genre because several panelists at the 2017 Life, the Universe and Everything writing symposium suggested that potential authors need not worry about choosing a genre. One panelist stridently said, “Let Amazon worry about which genre to put your book in!” I found that notion confusing and Adrienne sympathized. “Letting someone else choose can be a waste of your time and money,” she says, “because allowing someone else to choose your genre can potentially expose your writing to the wrong audience that may hate your work. And, you may waste time trying to get book sales you’re not going to get.” So, for the budding authors out there, pay attention to genre and consider where your audience is and where they may browse for books relative to genre.
Adrienne has other advice for aspiring authors. “When you get to college,” she says, “get a business degree or marketing degree or something in entrepreneurial studies. You’ll get an education in writing from reading, writing and going to conferences.” Adrienne grows serious when commenting on knowing the book business. “Whether your self-published or traditionally published you need to understand how the book business works. Ask people who write to help you navigate this business.”
Reading is the second piece of advice Adrienne shares with new authors. She echoes exactly what author Rick Riordan of Percy Jackson fame told me, “You write what you know. As an author you must read as much as you write.” Expand your knowledge and interests by continually reading.
We also discussed conventions and writing conferences. She sees them as a great way to meet fans, get a pulse for what folks are looking for and as a tremendous way to market one’s self. Adrienne offers a word of caution for authors at the convention scene. “You need to budget,” she emphatically says and shares a real-life example. “Say you go to ComicCon. As an author, you should host a table or a booth. But remember that you must buy your books for the convention ahead of time. Then you must factor in gas and food. And this is important: be wary of going all out with offering candy and buying costumes portraying a person from your book. At the end of it all the new author will have spent too much money on this convention experience and only net a few hundred dollars in sales and wonder why they only broke even or maybe lost money on the event.” This kind of thing really happens, Adrienne says.
With that said, however, Adrienne enjoys conventions and writing conferences and has often been a panelist to discuss all aspects of the craft. She would like to see more panels that deal with the business side of the writing profession. “I don’t think the business aspects of writing have been touched on enough.”
Adrienne’s latest project is writing as one of the Fairy Tale Five, in which she and four other authors put new spins on the old fairy tales. Most recently they’ve released a retelling of Beauty and the Beast called Fractured Beauty. Her character in the series, Arabella, explores an enchanted castle where she intends to pay her father’s debt. But, Arabella encounters a mysterious beast in this paranormal regency story featuring werewolves and witches. The Fairy Tale Five’s next installment shall be a retelling of Cinderella expected in January 2018 and the Little Mermaid the following summer.
Adrienne shares some of her reading interests. “I really enjoyed The Strain,” she says. This 2009 book by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan one of a series, followed by The Fall and The Night Eternal and popularized by a television series of the same name in 2011 on FX. “They’re not your obvious vampire books. I like to read things that are a little bit different and The Strain series is certainly that,” she says and encourages readers to check them out.
She also likes Christopher Pike’s 1993 novel The Season of Passage, a blend of science fiction and vampires. “This book,” she explains, “is a futuristic book that takes place in 2014, which is pretty cool.” Adrienne admits, “Pike was actually one of the first vampire authors I fell in love with in fifth grade.” This is a common refrain from many of Pike’s readers and puts this book solidly on Adrienne’s must-read book list.
Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series also makes her list. “I love what Sherri did with her vampires in that series,” Adrienne says. She also has praise for and recommends Kim Harrison’s The Hollow series.
Of course, there are the classics that we both recommend and you can see a larger list of vampire must-reads below.
Keep up with Adrienne on social media as described below and read The Blood Inheritance trilogy for starters. It has a very unique and interesting vampire origin story and is a great read.
www.adriennemonson.com where you can send her an e-mail
On Facebook at facebook.com/adriennemonson
On Twitter as @adriennemonson
On Instagram as adriennmonson
On GoodReads.com as Adrienne Monson
What are Adrienne’s and Don’s other favorite books? Find out here.