Author: Monica McCabe
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Blood diamonds, corruption, and undercover spies are no match for the chaos of one stubborn veterinarian…
What happens when a dental zoologist flies to Botswana to give a rare albino hippo a root canal? She lands smack in the middle of a diamond smuggling ring and right in the way of an undercover agent for International Diamond Security—one who knows firsthand the horror of conflict diamonds. Determined to bring down the cartel, he accepts the veterinarian’s help. But when the past catches up to him and the stakes skyrocket, he must risk all to save her from an evil that has haunted him for fifteen years.
Diamond Legacy is available for order at Amazon, B&N, Kobo and Google Play
Q: Please tell us about DIAMOND LEGACY, and what inspired you to write it.
A: Diamond Legacy is my debut novel and a romantic suspense that faces the harsh reality of conflict diamonds. It’s a serious subject and I try to do right by it. There’s all the fast paced action you’d expect, including gun battles, explosions and government corruption. But my writing also has a humorous undertone. I can’t help it. It just happens. And I didn’t start out to write a serious novel about gun runners and blood diamonds. I had this idea about an animal dentist. I saw a newspaper article where our local zoo had an orangutan in need of a root canal and they had to fly in specialist. I was fascinated. Before I knew it, I’d hatched a plot with a dental zoologist heroine who flies to Botswana to help a hippo in need, and ends up clashing with an undercover agent on the trail of diamond smuggling.
Q: What themes do you explore in DIAMOND LEGACY?
A: There are two main themes… My heroine is a wild game veterinarian, a zoo dentist, and passionate about animal welfare. The setting is an animal education center in Botswana so there is a lot of detail about the International Peace Parks, some behind the scenes zoo work, and the battles African wildlife face. The hero has his own demons and battles the use of conflict diamonds as the preferred currency of arms dealers.
Q: Why do you write?
A: It’s not my fault. I come from a long line of writers and artists, so the creative gene runs rampant in my family. I inherited a vivid imagination and have always made up stories of people and places. I never really questioned the why, it’s just something I love to do.
Q: How picky are you with language?
A: Not very. I have a love affair with words. Wait…there is this one word that I just can’t stand. Makes me grind my teeth every time I hear it. Irregardless. It’s a double negative, sounds weird, and I bet it was even hatched on the wrong side of the grammatical blanket.
Q: When you write, do you sometimes feel as though you were being manipulated from afar?
A: Not really, though that might make the process easier! But every now and then the subconscious does get sneaky and takes over, like it has its own agenda. You don’t notice when you’re writing it, but down the road when other things happen in the story, the serendipity of it all comes together and you’re amazed that you actually wrote something so good. I love that. I even have a term for it - accidental awesomesauce.
Q: What is your worst time as a writer?
A: Hmm. This whole business is crazy. It’s full of highs and lows. You learn pretty quick to develop a thick skin, because sending your work out to contests, critique partners, and even on the submission trail can be a painful process. I’ve tried hard to learn something from every experience, good or bad. It’s not an easy thing to do though.
Q: Your best?
A: When I finally connected with an editor who loved my work and was willing to go one on one with me to make the story all it could be! That’s an overwhelmingly fantastic feeling. But it’s also a lot of work, because when that first round of revisions hit your inbox, the reality of that recognition begins to sink in. Still, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Q: Is there anything that would stop you from writing?
A: Probably not. Except maybe a trip to Italy, or maybe Australia. Well, anywhere really, because I’m an absolute travel junkie. I think I’m part gypsy. I absolutely, positively, must go somewhere every year. But the funny thing about that…going places, experiencing new sights, sounds, and tastes, only fuels the creativity. It’s the circle of life (cue the Lion King music). Maybe I should be a travel writer?
Q: What’s the happiest moment you’ve lived as an author?
A: Probably the same as the best moment as a writer. Finding that amazing editor who connected with the story you spent countless hours perfecting and they loved it enough to offer a contract. That’s followed closely by the day when a box of books with your name on the title arrive at your front door.
Q: Is writing an obsession to you?
A: Not unless you call a genetic proclivity for the written word an obsession. Maybe it is. I’m pleading the 5th.
Q: Are the stories you create connected with you in some way?
A: Absolutely. I always pull from experience in one way or another. Plus I’m a researchaholic. I love to learn new things with each project, so I have to find the subject matter fascinating, give the characters jobs I’d like to have myself. If I didn’t find it interesting, there’d be no way to endure the time commitment needed to create the story world.
Q: Ray Bradbury once said, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” Do you agree?
A: I think I do! People read to escape. Writers do the same thing. We escape into story worlds that we create, where we have control of every situation. I hadn’t really thought of it before, but I’m willing to bet it’s a coping mechanism. Either that or readers and writers just like good entertainment. Ray Bradbury was a master at creating entertaining story worlds.
Q: Where is your book available?
A: It’s available at most all online book retailers. Here’s a few…
Q: Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about you and your work?
A: Sure do! www.monicamccabe.net Stop by and say hello!