Wednesday 1 February 2012


Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?

I don’t think I ever made a conscious decision to be a writer.  I just wrote from the time I was very young right to adulthood.  I was in my mid-twenties when I wrote my first novel and I have been writing ever since.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
The Knight and Maggie’s Baby is a modern day Cinderella romance about a pregnant coffee shop and an English Knight who needs a wife for a year.

Who is your publisher? or do you self-publish?
I write for Harlequin Love Inspired.  But I’ve written for Avalon Books and for some small presses.  But I self-published The Knight and Maggie’s Baby as book 3 in my Fate with a Helping Hand series, also available in a box set with all 3 books in the series.

Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?
Every book is different.  The first book in my Texas Hearts series, Her Heart for the Asking, seemed to write itself.  It seemed to just come to me and I was able to write that book in just 2 months.  I didn’t have time to obsess about everything.  I let the story come to me naturally.  It was a lot of fun to write it as well because I spent most of my writing time “in the zone” and not editing as I went along.  But The More I See, book 3 in that series took about 8 months because of all the research I needed to do for the hero, who was a blind cutting horse trainer who needed the use of a guide dog.  It was fun to do the research, but definitely out of my comfort zone!

What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
There are a lot of things in the work for 2012 and readers will be able to find more books by Lisa Mondello, including the Texas Hearts series I just mentioned.  I will also have a new romantic suspense by L.A. Mondello released later in the spring/early summer.  That’s called Material Witness.

What genre would you place your books into?
I write so many different things.  My traditional books were with Avalon Books.  I write inspirational romance and romantic suspense for Harlequin Love Inspired.  The Marriage Contract is romantic comedy, which I love to write.  If I’m laughing, I’m always hoping the reader will laugh too.  But then something like Material Witness is a bit more gritty and I’ve even stepped into writing a YA fantasy.

 Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
There is something special to me about all my books.  If I’m not connected to a story, it’s really hard to write it and I think readers can feel that I have no connection with the story.  Once I’m connected, I begin to fall in love with the characters just like the readers do.  I love the story and the romance in The More I See.  And I love the characters and romance in The Knight and Maggie’s Baby.  Wow, I feel like you just asked me which of my kids I love more.  Can’t do it.

Where do you get your book plot ideas from?What/Who is your inspiration?
Ideas come from everywhere.  I got the story idea for a screenplay I’m writing from book reviews and piped in music in a restaurant ladies room.  That’s how whacked getting ideas can be!  And the wonderful thing about ideas is that they start out as a little seed and grow into something big and many times don’t look anything like they started.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
Must have a cup of coffee. <G>  I sometimes listen to music and I do make a “soundtrack” for my books that sometimes helps me get in the mood.  But sometimes music is distracting.  I find that writing outside my house, at the library or the coffee shop, is sometimes easier because there is no house noise I have to deal with.  Outside noise is like white noise.  You just tune it out.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Yes, if someone wants to write a review of one of my books and post it online I’ll send a free copy.  It’s the least I can do.  And it’s a nice way to introduce my new books to readers.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Yes.  I always say I’m not going to because 1 bad or lukewarm review can ruin my day and make me forget the 20 good reviews I received.  But if I didn’t read the reviews I would never have had the pleasure of reading some of the truly awesome reviews I’ve gotten from readers all over the world.  And that truly does outweigh the occasional bad review.

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
No.  What good is a review if it isn’t honest.  While I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of people tell me they’ve enjoyed my stories, I know not everyone will.  As long as the review is honest and not deliberately mean for the sake of being mean, that’s fine.  People all have different preferences.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
It’s hard not to bring life experiences to your writing.  I think character traits from family members have worked their way into some of my stories.  I have used some of my husband’s marine stories in books before.  And the entire Fate with a Helping Hand series, which The Knight and Maggie’s Baby is part of, takes place in places I’ve either lived or spent a great deal of time. 

What is your favourite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
I’m more likely to watch movies over and over again.  I don’t usually read a book more than once.  I may read parts of a book again.  But not the whole thing.  There are too many books out there!  Like many readers, I have a keeper’s shelf of books.     As for a favourite…we don’t have enough time for me to get through all the books I’ve read!  I have a few Nora Roberts books that I really loved.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst book to movie transfer?
As a screenwriter as well as a novelist, I can say that there are some books that do translate well to movies.  But a lot don’t.  Have you ever heard someone say the book was better than the movie?  That’s because the book affords you so much more room to develop character and plot. 

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
By the way my kids use their phones and computers to do just about everything, I would say that ebooks are going to dominate book buying some time in the future.  But printed books won’t go away. I just think the ease of reading an ebook makes it so much more attractive not just to the younger generation, but also to older readers who either have difficulty holding a book or reading the small print on book.

Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?
I know my kids were!  We loved reading books and creating stories.  I used to work in grades 1 and 2 in special education.  With inclusion classrooms, I was in the regular classroom for a good portion of the day with the general class.  Although some kids resisted reading because of difficulties they were having, many of them devoured books and that was exciting.  I also loved the writing classes.  Kids have such fabulous imaginations and I loved seeing the stories they came up with. 
 Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
This is one of the things that is wonderful about ebooks.  If you need to make a change, you just change it and upload the new version.  You don’t have to worry about X number of copies sitting in a warehouse and needing to sell those copies before you can make a change.  I love The Knight and Maggie’s Baby and was happy with how the story unfolded.  I don’t think there is anything I would change at this point.

What do you think about book trailers?
I don’t watch them.  I know some authors love to have them made, but I haven’t made one yet for my books.  Who knows if I will in the future though.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
I have always used my maiden name as my professional name.  When I release a few of my books that are a little grittier than the traditional romances I’ve written I’ll use my initials instead of my first name in order to differentiate them a little for readers.   I don’t see a need to use another pen name at this point.

Where can readers follow you?

Your blog details?

Your Twitter details? @LisaMondello


  1. Great interview! I linked to this today on my blog:

  2. Thanks Jessica! And thanks for the link!