INTERVIEW | Monica Carter

Monica, describe yourself for our visitors.

I am a small business owner and, of course, author. Aside from business, my interests are pretty varied. My husband and I enjoy playing tennis and swimming, both of which are relatively new hobbies for us. We also have recently joined a new church and are excited about the opportunities there. In fact, our life group has already become a treasured part of our lives, as we enjoy weekly fellowship and study.

How do you find time to connect with God?

Well, I connect with God in formal and informal ways. The formal ways include regular worship and study, of course, but the informal ways include maintaining a constant state of prayer. That doesn’t mean I am always on my knees, of course, but it does mean that I pray throughout the day as I go about daily tasks. I also connect with Him through music — not my music, as I am not a singer! — but by listening to contemporary Christian and gospel music. I can instantly get into a hallelujah frame of mind with some good music going!

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?

Favorite authors and books are always interesting questions for me. That is because my favorites often depend on my mood and what I am doing at the time. I enjoy a variety of reading choices. I enjoy exploring questions of faith and spirituality. In my new release, Scandalous Truth, the spiritual theme is actually an exploration of faith: What exactly is it? Is faith the trust that God will work something out on our behalf without our “interference” or is it a belief that we do “our part” in our human way and then God does the rest?

But I digress. Let me share some of my favorite books and authors. John Grisham has long been one of my favorite authors, as I like his legal thrillers. At one time had read them all, though I don’t believe that holds true any longer. I also like Victoria Christopher Murray’s Christian fiction. I enjoy Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad business book series.

Tell us about your journey to publication.

My journey to publication began a long time ago, even before I published my first book. I knew from the fourth grade that I wanted to be paid to write. And since the only surefire way I knew at that time to do so was to become a journalist, I set out to do that.

While working at a newspaper, I formed my publishing company. I self-published my first novel while working a full-time newspaper job, dashing out of town on the weekends to do book signings across the country. I worked both careers — newspaper and self-publishing — for two years before exercising my faith and leaving my steady, safe newspaper job to run my own business full-time.

My company, RootSky Creative, is now going into its seventh year, and it has evolved over time, just as my career has. It began as a self-publishing business just for the purpose of publishing my own books, then evolved into copywriting as well as self-publishing because I found I was very good at writing content — book, newsletter, brochure, Web site — for others to help them market their ideas and businesses. RootSky Creative eventually evolved into what it is today, a premium marketing and design company. We create a whole range of content and design projects — books (ghostwriting, editing, design, project management), newsletters, brochures, Web sites, and more.

I landed a traditional publishing deal, but I didn’t abandon my self-publishing roots. My Christian fiction is published by Urban Christian/Kensington and RootSky Creative publishes my nonfiction.

While I enjoy being published by a traditional publisher, self-publishing is very much a part of my recipe for success. Self-publishing is what got me into business for myself and I am so grateful for the opportunity God presented for my husband and me to build our own business and have the freedom to do what we feel led to do. I didn’t know when I set out to publish my first novel in 2002 that I’d fall in love with business and build a company that has not only seen my dream come true but has helped others as well. But I guess that’s the beauty of God — He guides us and if we listen, great things happen!

Tell us about your current book.

Scandalous Truth is a family drama with a touch of suspense. Nikki is a housewife who has put her career on hold to take care of her family. She doesn’t mind the sacrifices — well, not much — but sometimes it does seem a bit like she is the only one who is giving up anything, as her husband’s time with her becomes even scarcer when he runs for political office. But that’s only the beginning. Suddenly under the glare of the media’s spotlight, Nikki’s past — from back in the day, before she got married and before she got saved — threatens to resurface and destroy the life she has so carefully built.

It’s easy to talk about faith and forgiveness when everything is going well, but what happens when a family is tested? Does love really cover all? Or can a wife’s past bring up something too bad to be forgiven — even in a Christian family?

How did you come up with ideas for this book?

I get all of my ideas from everyday life. I don’t preach in my fiction, so I’m not really trying to beat people over the head with theology or doctrine. But I show how ordinary people live out the triumphs — and trials — of their faith. Just because a person is a Christian doesn’t mean he or she is perfect or always makes the right decisions. And I’ve seen plenty of Christians make some bad calls — we all have at one point or another. So my stories explore the good and the bad calls we make, even as we try to live out our faith.

List your three most recent books.

My fiction works are As If Nothing Happened, Sacrifice the One and Scandalous Truth. (Sacrifice the One and Scandalous Truth are Christian fiction).

What’s next for you?

Well, Scandalous Truth has just been released, so I’m quite excited about returning to the fiction scene with another great story full of drama, twists and turns. I look forward to visiting with book clubs, attending speaking engagements and all the other elements that go with sharing a new book.

Where can visitors find you online?

I’m easy to find. Just click on over to www.monicacarter.com. You can even enter the Tell Us Your Scandalous Truth contest while you’re there!

Thank you for allowing me to tell you about Scandalous Truth and my work.

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