Monique Domovitch has had many careers, starting with being one of Canada’s top models. When she retired from modeling she moved on to a career in the financial services as an adviser and planner, specializing in helping women attain financial freedom. During those years, she was also one of the first women in Canada to host her own national financial television show. During all those years, Monique’s dream was always to someday become a writer. Ten years ago, Monique attended a writer’s conference where the first line of one of her novels was read out loud in a workshop, attracting the attention of a publisher and an agent.
Since that life-changing conference, Monique Domovitch has published nine books, four with Penguin using the pen name Carol Ann Martin, two with Harlequin using her own name, and another two with Lansen Publishing. Scorpio’s Kiss was previously published as two novels, Scorpio Rising and The Sting of the Scorpio. Scar Tissue, her latest, is her ninth novel and she is hard at work on her tenth.
A great believer in the energizing power of writers’ conferences, she says that if not for that first conference she attended, she would not be published today.
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About the Book:
Scorpio’s Kiss is a spell-binding tale of love, ambition and greed that will keep the reader turning the pages until its surprise ending. Set in New York and Paris amid the glamorous and competitive worlds of art and real estate, Scorpio’s Kiss takes the reader from the late 1940s to the 1960s through the tumultuous lives of its heroes.
There is Alex Ivanov, the son of a Russian immigrant and part-time prostitute. He yearns to escape his sordid life and achieve fame and fortune. His dreams of becoming a world-class builder are met with countless obstacles, yet he perseveres in the hope of someday receiving the recognition he craves.
Half a world away, Brigitte Dartois is an abused teenager who runs into the arms of a benefactor with an agenda all his own. When she finds out that her boss has an ulterior motive, she flees again, determined to earn her living through her art. This career brings her fame, but also the unwanted attention of her early abuser.
Domovitch’s novel is a compelling tale, filled with finely etched characters and a superb understanding of the power of ambition. Scorpio’s Kiss promises to resonate with all who once had a dream.
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What made you decide to become a published author?
First, let me start by saying that, yes, I am a published author, but foremost, I am a storyteller. Comparing a storyteller to an author is tantamount to comparing a singer to a songwriter. As a storyteller, I need an audience. The only way I can get any kind of an audience is by publishing my works. Without publishing I’d be much like the person dreaming of being a singer, but singing only for himself in the shower. So I guess you could say that I decided to be published because I was in search of an audience.
Would you consider your latest book, Scorpio’s Kiss, to be a one of a kind? How so?
Someone very wise once said that all stories have already been told, the difference is in the telling. Having said that, I can safely say that, no, my novel is not unique. But I took a universal story of love, ambition, greed and betrayal and made it into a BIG story, with characters that are bigger than life. I had a great time writing it, and whenever I skim through it, I still get a thrill. To this day it still makes me want to keep turning the pages.
Where is your writing sanctuary?
My husband and I own a farm in BC Canada, and I had a she-shed built on the property. It’s set up with everything I need, desk, chair, internet and computer. I even have a La Z Boy recliner and a bookshelf, so I can take a break when I need to. From the window I look out at the gold-fish pond and the fruit-tree grove. It’s my own little corner of heaven. Once in a while, a bird flies by and sings me a song. That’s where I write. I can spend hours working and feel as if it was just a few minutes.
What do you believe a writer should not do as far as getting his or her book published?
Marketing is important. But the danger of getting involved in the marketing is that it can so easily drive a writer away from his primary focus, which is writing. It’s a real challenge nowadays. Publishers expect their authors to do much of the promoting and marketing themselves, yet they still want that next novel to come in on time. It is very challenging for an author to stick to his main goal.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by strong people facing difficult situations. I love to challenge my characters and see what they are really made of. That’s why my readers love my novels. It’s one thing to write nice scenes, but quite another to write scenes where danger lurks, while still keeping the characters engaging.
What is one thing you learned about your book after it was published?
What I learned is that readers loved my novel as much as I did. That was the best thing any author could possibly hope for. I recently met a neighbor from a few doors down. It turns out that he used to be the president of one of the largest publishing houses in Canada. Somehow he had gotten hold of Scorpio’s Kiss and he showed up on my doorstep unannounced. I was thrilled, when he told me that if he still owned the company, he’d sign me on in a New York minute. I already have had contracts with two of the big publishers, but this compliment meant more to me than any other because it was for a book I had written and published myself, in a genre for which I am still unknown.
Why do you love to write suspense?
Although I enjoy literature, I couldn’t write a literary book if you gave me all the time in the world. What I love to read are books that make you want to keep turning the pages even when your eyes are burning from fatigue. That is also what I like to write. I want to get that feeling of needing to know what happens next. If I don’t get it as the author, the readers won’t get it either.
You’re concocting a recipe for a bestselling book. What’s the first ingredient?
The first ingredient is engaging characters. If you can’t get your readers to care what happens to the people in the story, they won’t care about the book. The next challenge is to imbue your story with the right balance of suspense and hope. Too much of one or the other, and the story will fall flat.
What’s one fun fact about your book people should know?
What readers enjoy the most is learning that the main character, Alex Ivanovitch, was directly inspired by Donald Trump. Back in the eighties Ivana and I were friends, and I had the pleasure of meeting Donald on a number of occasions. He was such a colorful personality that I decided to base a fictional character on him. Having said that, let me add that all I did was borrow a few of his traits. The story is entirely fictional.
Did any real life experiences find their way into your book?
I have to say that there is a little piece of me in each and every character. Let’s face it, we are all made up of thousands of facets, some nice, and others not so nice. When I write, the characters have to feel real, so I find myself constantly asking myself, if I was a real bitch what would I do in this situation, or if I was a real pushover, or if this was my husband…You get my drift.
Aside from writing, what’s your passion?
I have a passion for dogs. If I had my way, I’d rescue every dog that needs rescuing, but then my husband would probably leave. We’ve had three dogs at one point and that made it difficult to travel. So I keep my helping to my two little dogs and a regular donation to a dog charity.
What’s next for you?
More books. I am working on a sequel to Scar Tissue, and I am also working on another novel in the same genre as Scorpio’s Kiss, this one also happens in the 50s and 60s, this time in Key Largo, Florida during Hurricane Donna.
Monique Domovitch is giving away 5 paperback and 5 ebook copies of SCORPIO’S KISS!
Terms & Conditions:
By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
Five people will be selected to win one of five paperback copies and five people will be selected to win one of five ebook copies of SCORPIO’S KISS
This giveaway begins April 18 and ends on July 18.
Winners will be announced on Monique’s tour page on July 19.
Good luck everyone!
ENTER TO WIN!