Author Interview - Zee Monodee

Bad Luck With Besties

I'm excited to welcome a very special guest today. Zee is my content editor for Delicious Delay, and I dare say we got along fabulously. When she's not busy beating my "was" and "were" habit into submission, she writes her own romances, is the Managing Editor for Decadent Publishing's Ubuntu Line and enjoys life on the multicultural island of Mauritius. When she sleeps is a bit of a mystery. Zee is here today to promote her own recent release, a sweet contemporary romance set in a small town. You can buy Bad Luck with Besties directly from the publisher, or at other major eBook retailers such as Amazon and B&N.

1. Okay, this is for my own selfish vacation planning purposes but--is Mauritius as fabulous as the pictures suggest? What are the perks of living in a place most people only ever plan short trips to?

LOL! Actually, Mauritius is even more beautiful than what the pictures suggest. There’s a quality of light – clear and utterly bright – that images fail to catch; it’s something you gotta see with your own eyes. The beaches are amazing, the sea almost always warm (though it takes some getting used to in winter!), and the people do live well with one another, never mind the ethnic and religious origins of each one. The perks – well, like most people would plan to come visit to enjoy our beaches, we can simply hop into our cars and be at one such beach within 45 mins to 1 hour. And then there’s something about seeing beauty every day; it kinda humbles you, makes you marvel at everything around you – this ability to be amazed is a blessing. ☺

2. I have to say--your cover art is absolutely gorgeous! While I usually give the artist all the credit, I know Decadent authors get to make quite a few "suggestions." Being a cover designer yourself, did you ask for anything in particular?

Thank you! *chuffed to hear this!* Well, Bad Luck With Besties was written with a category romance feel, so I wanted the look and feel of a category romance cover that would immediately suggest what the story is about. I’ve always loved the covers from Harlequin’s KISS line or Mills & Boon Modern – you know, the ones with a single couple on the cover and the position they are in already tells you so much about the story? This is what I asked for when I was consulted for the cover. And since Decadent Publishing is awesome enough to have every author involved in the cover art decision, I also had the opportunity to look for stock pictures I believed perfect for the cover, and that’s how I landed on this image of a young man giving this young woman a piggyback ride. The girl could’ve been a dead ringer for Honor, the heroine, and the sentiment evident between this couple struck me as the kind of abiding friendship that existed between her and Liam.

3. Ehm...I have to admit, you were a lot more involved in the process than I was. I sort of said "I guess there should be a plane." Category-ness aside, to me, your cover screams "romantic comedy". Can you tell us about one of the funnier moments in your book?

LOL! Thanks – that’s the effect we were going for (Scott Carpenter did a fabulous job putting this cover together, btw. Totally ‘got’ my vision!). Funny moment.... The relationship between Honor and Liam is rather fraught with conflict – after all, fifteen years earlier, when Honor loved him from the sidelines, he went and got another girl she trusted as a good friend, pregnant. She ran away, and in all these years, they haven’t met or spoken to one another. There’s also the matter that Liam has a grown daughter, Andrea, whom everyone calls Andie. And the funnies came mostly through Andie – she became the comic relief in this rather ‘heavy’ story between these reunited former besties. Like, there’s this scene where she is arguing with her dad about the merits of a One Direction song, and in typical family style, she ropes Honor in. Liam finds himself alone against two girls who are both defending boy bands (Honor was a huge Boyzone fan!) and he has to beat in retreat. I love this moment because it spells the family dynamics between them and also shows the possibility of Honor fitting in with them if this were a perfect world....

4. I'm sucker for the best friends to lovers trope. Can you give me a few hints about Honor and Liam's first kiss?

*grin* Funnily enough, the only kiss in this story happens at the very end! Honor and Liam both have so many issues to work out and trust has to be built again. Honor is wary, while Liam doesn’t want to push her too soon. Then I found out Honor, who is pregnant in the story, suffers from a low placenta blocking her cervix and also irregular bleeding (yes, I didn’t plan this! It just sprung up on me when I was writing!), so there went the prospect of her getting any action before her baby is born. Let me just say their first kiss is something well worth the wait. ☺

5. I bet--and I didn't know doing that was an option. Will file that nugget of info. away for future use. I always end my interviews with this question--How did you get your start as an author? We all seem to arrive at this point from different paths, so it's a fascinating topic.

Well, I always knew I wanted to write – or tell stories, more like. When we were little and my cousins and I got together to play with dolls or make believe, I was always the one who’d come up with the scenarios. In school, I excelled at storytelling in English and French classes, so the ‘bug’ was always there. Then I finished school and knew I needed to get a ‘real’ job, so I went into corporate. Dropped out when I found out I was pregnant and my husband was willing to become the sole bread winner so I could stay at home with the baby. Still no hint of writing there yet, and then when my son turned two, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At 22 years old! That jolted me, made me realize there’s no time like the present to go for what you want and reach for your dreams. And that’s how I got started writing. In a way, writing became my coping mechanism while I went through chemo and radiation therapy for much of that year of 2005. Haven’t looked back ever since!☺

Oh wow. Talk about a jolt, and I'm glad it all worked out for the best. Don't you just love husbands who are willing to be sole bread winners?

Since Zee is a very busy lady (she wears more hats than I can count), I won't keep her. For more information about the book and author, just scroll down. Comments are always much appreciated.

Bad Luck with Besties

Honor Whelan always trips into bad luck with male best friends. Abandoned by her bestie of eleven years who got her pregnant during a one-night-stand, she finds herself destitute and alone, with no other choice but to head home to the Surrey village of Daimsbury.

Fifteen years earlier, Honor left Daimsbury because her then best friend and the boy she loved, Liam Morelli, got another friend pregnant.

Honor had run...but today, she can no longer hide. Especially not when fate knocks her straight into Liam's path, and he starts to show signs of wanting a second chance. Will her luck finally change or will she continue to fight bad luck with besties?

About Zee Monodee

I'm an author; a wife still in love with her husband after more than a decade together (and Lord knows how we haven't strangled each other in the meantime!); an in-over-her-head, perfectly-flawed and imperfect mum to a tween boy; a best-buddy stepmum to a teenage lad; a total bookaholic and book junkie with an exponentially growing TBR pile; an incompetent housewife desperate to channel Bree van de Kamp & Nigella Lawson (and failing miserably!)... Though my cooking has gotten better... Just don't ask me to enjoy cooking. It's a chore. *grin*

...That being said, I'm 30 years old and I hail from the multicultural, rainbow-nation island of Mauritius, in the southern Indian Ocean. Recently, I became the holder of a BA in Communications Science, but the corporate world has no grip over me because I tried that life and found I was totally allergic to office politics, one-upmanship and the back-stabbing culture prevalent in Corporate today. I gladly settled to become a SAHM when my son was born.

Since then, the call of words and the prospect of meeting handsome, passionate heroes in between pages of a book have lured me with their siren song, and I've never been happier.