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in the energizing power of writers’ conferences, she says that if not for that first conference she attended, she would not be published today.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
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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Before you started writing your book, what kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?
Scorpio’s Kiss is a BIG story. Not only does it have an amazing cast of characters with a story line spreading over decades and set on two continents, but it also brings in a lot of detail about architecture and art. There was tons of research to do, everything from learning about Paris in the sixties--loved that part--the fashion of the time, the famous people who lived then, and so on. There was also New York and Brooklyn to study. Wherever possible I used real locations, galleries, restaurants, and stores that really existed at the time. I wanted readers to feel transported to another era, another place. As they say, the devil is in the details, so there was a lot of fact checking to do.
Did you pursue publishers or did you opt to self-pub?
Scorpio’s Kiss is not my first novel. I’ve had nine novels published, seven of which through traditional publishing houses. I completed a murder-mystery series for Obsidian, an imprint of Penguin, and another series for Carina Press of Harlequin. With Scorpio’s Kiss, I decided to self-publish. It was a leap, but I felt that this novel was not what most publishers were looking for. It is big, and one of my worries was that publishers would want to cut it down by about a third. I felt strongly that the book had to be told the way it was. Self-publishing allows authors so much more control.
If self-published, did you hire someone to format the eBook version for you or did you do it yourself? Can you tell us what that was like?
Ugh. Formatting is a nightmare. I did it myself, but I swear, never again. I had cramps in my hands for weeks from the repetitive movements.
If self-published, how did you determine the price?
For the eBook version the decision was easy enough. The book is twice the size of a regular novel. It is actually two books--a short series condensed into one. As most successful self-published novelists charge about 6.99 per novel, I thought a few dollars more was a fair price considering its length. So I priced it at $9.99. As for the paperback version, the cost of novel the size of Scorpio’s Kiss is extremely high. I decided to price it to just cover its costs.
Did you purposefully choose a distinct month to release your book? Why?
I decided to release Scorpio’s Kiss after the Christmas rush because I didn’t want it to get lost among the thousands of books that are published at that time of year. I felt it had a better chance of being noticed during a slower season.
How did you choose your cover?
Now that I will be focusing on suspense as my genre of choice, I needed to come up with covers that will be readily recognizable as mine. I used a different name, M C Domovitch versus Monique Domovitch and Carol Ann Martin which I used for my cozy mysteries. Also, I picked a dark cover with a cameo sketch of the New York skyline in the center and put the focus on the title and on my name. Whether this will be successful or not, you’ll have to tell me.
Did you write your book, then revise or revise as you went?
I tend to be an organic writer. I start my work day by revising what I wrote the previous day. By the time I get to where I finished, I am back on track and the story just about writes itself. Writing is easy for me, probably because I’m so passionate about it. But the editing is endless. I must have edited a hundred times, not counting the work of the professional editors I hire.
What’s your opinion on giving your book away to sell other copies of your book?
I believe the more people read the book, the more others will hear about it. There is no advertising like word of mouth. So I give away tons of books.
What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do before their book is released?
Edit the hell out of it, then put it aside for at least a few weeks, then reread and re-edit one last time.
What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do after their book is released?
Start writing the next book. These days, authors do everything from the writing, the editing, the publishing and the promoting. By the time they’ve done all that, they’ve forgotten that they are foremost authors. I aim to put out one book every eight to ten months. In order to do that, I have to focus more on my writing than on my promoting. If I do a good job of writing, the word will get out.
The second thing they should do is devote a bit of time each day to marketing. This can be anything from posting on social media, finding bloggers to review your book or even sending out press releases.
Another important thing is hire professionals, professional editors, and professional marketers. Remember that an author is in essence a manufacturer. His product is his book. He should make the best product he can.
What kind of pre-promotion did you do before the book came out?
I put the words out on social media, especially on my website and on Facebook, and I booked book-blog tours.
Do you have a long term plan with your book?
My plan is to follow this novel with another in the same genre, this one set in the Florida Keys, back in the sixties when hurricane Donna destroyed much of Key Largo. The story revolves around an event that happens the night of the hurricane that forever changes the lives of every character in the story. The tentative title is Under a Libra Sky.
What would you like to say to your readers and fans about your book?
I’ve been asked a number of times, if it’s true that the main character, Alexander Ivanovitch, was inspired by Donald Trump. The answer is yes. Back in the early eighties, when Donald was just beginning in New York real estate, I was a friend of his then-wife Ivana’s, and I had the privilege of visiting them at their homes in New York, Connecticut and Florida. Needless to say, Donald made a big impression. He is such a bigger than life personality. He is exactly the kind of character I wanted to create in my stories. So I borrowed a few of his traits, mainly his ambitious nature. The story, however, is pure fiction.
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!