Yesterday I told you about a new book discovery for me – The Isaac Project – and my umm… book crush … on Luke, one of
the main characters. You can click the link in that previous sentence to read my review of this delightful book 🙂 Today I have the wonderful privilege of chatting with the author of The Isaac Project, debut novelist Sarah Monzon.
Welcome, Sarah! Around here, we start all our beloved authors out with a set of “fast four” questions.
Me: Apples or oranges? Why?
Sarah: Oranges. I grew up in FL. Enough said.
Me: You may be the first author I’ve interviewed to pick oranges lol. Lots of apple love around here, glad to see the oranges get a fighting chance 🙂
Skittles or M&Ms? Why?
Sarah: M&Ms. I’ll always choose chocolate.
Me: These questions always make me hungry. I think I need a new set haha.
Dogs or cats? Why?
Sarah: I’m actually enjoying my non-pet stage of life right now. We haven’t had a pet in 2 years. We had a dachshund that we had to rehome and my cat of 18 years had to be put down about the same time.
Me: Awww 🙁 That makes me sad. Zuzu sends her sympathies as well.
Coke or Pepsi? Why?
Sarah: Neither. I don’t drink much soda, but when I do it’s Sprite or Root Beer.
Me: You say that you wear several badges with honor. Tell us about your different identities 🙂
Sarah: The badge I wear the most is that of a stay at home mom. My kids are 4 and 15 months so they require all my time, attention, and energy. I’m also a pastor’s wife. My husband pastors 3 churches so you can imagine all that would entail.
Me: Whew! My goodness – when did you ever find time to write? lol You did though because you now can also wear the badge of published author!! SO excited for you! When/how/why did you start writing? (So. You know. Just tell us everything lol)
Sarah: Like most other authors, I’ve been writing since I knew putting letters together created words and words created stories. In elementary school, my stories would be chosen for the school’s Young Author program. As a teen, I won a few poetry contests. I could always be found with a book in my hand. It wasn’t until I was 21 and a student missionary in China that I began writing my first novel.
Me: Well your words have created a beautiful story! 🙂
Which authors have inspired you the most? Who are some of your favorite authors?
Sarah: Allegories are greatly inspirational to me. C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series, Hannah Hurnard’s Hind’s Feet on High Places, and John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress are some of my favorite allegories. These are books I’ve read over and over and will continue to read. There are so many hidden meaning and messages puzzled into the pages of these books.
As far as favorite authors, there are so many whose books I adore, in a plethora of genres, that would be impossible to pick a favorite.
Me: I am right there with you. Whenever someone asks me for my favorite author, I sorta freeze up and stare at them blankly. There are just too many to narrow it down well enough. I can see how your love of allegories influenced you as you wrote The Isaac Project – I saw it as a beautiful allegory too!
The Isaac Project – “Inspired by an ancient story. Driven by a dying wish. Threatened by what’s left unspoken.” WOW! What a captivating hook! Give us a summary of your firstborn novel 🙂
Sarah: 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?
Me: Who became your favorite character? Did any character or plot twist surprise you as you were writing?
Sarah: Definitely. I’m a pantser (I write by the seat of my pants—no outlines), so there were a lot of times I didn’t know where the story was going. What really threw me was the suspense thread in the story. I didn’t see that coming at all. As for my favorite character… that would have to be Luke. This guy is dreamy handsome but has the patience of a saint.
Me: Mmmmm Luke … be still my book-crushing heart 🙂 And I really enjoyed the suspense thread – I thought it added a new element of tension which in turn ratcheted up the romantical sparks as well. I’m so glad it sprung itself on you lol.
Sarah: That His ways are not my ways and His plans are not my plans. Once The Isaac Project had been through the editing process and ready to see the light of day, I began praying about the next step. Mainly, what agents I should query. I didn’t like the answer. I kept praying with the same negative response. A friend of mine decided to indie publish her book and shared with me her journey. Still I begged God, reminding Him of his promise to give me the desires of my heart. Finally I brought the idea of indie publishing to God and, surprise, he breathed peace in my soul and opened my eyes to His plan for my dream.
Me: Oh I love that, especially in light of one of the themes of The Isaac Project – trusting God even when He asks you to do something surprising, down a road where the end is uncertain. He is so faithful, isn’t He? His peace is so refreshing & His plans are always so much more than we could dream up for ourselves!
Sarah, I am so excited for you and expect such great things for you in the realm of fictiondom! Thank you for putting on the interviewee badge today and letting me chat with you for a while 🙂 What can readers expect from you next?
Sarah: Well, I’m in the middle of a rough draft on my next project so I don’t have a synopsis or blurb ready for you. I will say that I’m really excited about this new manuscript. The characters are fun and have a lot to learn on their journey. The story takes place with a dual timeline. A 17th century galleon of the Spanish treasure fleet ties the timelines together.
Me: Sign me up! I’m hooked already 🙂
Purchase a copy here. (It’s only $.99 right now for Kindle!)
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Sarah Monzon has graciously offered to give away a Kindle copy of The Isaac Project! Yay!! To enter, simply leave a comment on this post about the interview or Sarah’s book. For extra entries, follow my blog (readingismysuperpower) and/or share this giveaway on social media (facebook/twitter/Pinterest/etc). **Make sure you let me know in another comment what you did to qualify for extra entries!** (You can follow my blog by entering your email address in the box in the top left of this page or by clicking “follow” with your wordpress or twitter accounts.) Winner will be chosen by Random.org on Saturday September 12th after 10pm EST and notified by email. If I don’t hear from you within a week, a new winner will be chosen. Good luck and thanks for reading!!