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Indie Author Interview: Asia Monet

Hello My Bookish Gremlins! This week's Indie author interview is with Asia Monet, author of The Cartel Elements Series, a Mafia Romance series for all of your scary romance loving peoples out there. So let's get to know the mind behind the novels.



Get to know you Section


A simple question to start, what are your pronouns? We don’t want to assume.

She/Her/Hers


Can you tell us a bit about your background? How does this affect your writing? I ask because

we like to support Indie authors from diverse backgrounds here and it is not polite to assume

one’s identity.

I was born in New Jersey, but I grew up in Pennsylvania in one of the suburbs surrounding

Philadelphia. As a kid, I was always an active reader. I rarely left home without a book in my

hands. However, as a black girl, I rarely ever saw myself represented in the books I read. My

favorite genre back then was paranormal romance, and there was hardly ever a female main

character of color. This influenced me to write about BIPOC characters in my books and

incorporate experiences of people of color into my works.


Have you always wanted to be an author? If not, what made you want to be one?

I didn’t know I wanted to be an author until middle school. I was heavily inspired by the

paranormal romance books at the time (i.e. Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, Fallen, etc.), and

wanted to create my own stories with characters I could relate to.


What is your favorite Genre to read? What are you currently reading?

My favorite genre to read is mafia romance and paranormal romance. Currently, I’m reading

Easy Like Sunday Morning by Kenya Koree Bell.


Audio, Physical, or E-book, which do you prefer?

I prefer E-Books.


Is there anything you’re passionate about outside of writing?

Outside of writing, I am passionate about teaching. I work as a special education teacher, and

I’m adamant about helping my students see their potential and working towards their academic

goals.



On Writing in general


How do you push through writer’s block?

When I have writer’s block, I try to find other modes of art to inspire me again such as music,

and photos. Listening to music helps me envision new scenes and emotions for my characters,

and making Pinterest boards helps me visualize the story when I’m stuck.


Are you a planner or a pantster?

I’m a planner!


What comes first? Plot or Characters?

I usually start with having a sense of who my characters are. It’s easier to write a plot when I

understand what my characters will and won’t do in situations.


What part do you feel reviews play in an author’s success? How do you handle the bad

reviews? Do you even read your reviews?

I think reviews play a big role in an author's success. Word of mouth is the best kind of

promotion, and when it’s positive feedback, more people are likely to buy the product. I tend to

peek at my reviews here and there, but I’m often tagged in them as well. I enjoy hearing

people’s comments on my work and sharing in their excitement when they’ve enjoyed

something I’ve written. For the bad reviews, I’ve been trying to change my mindset to think of

them as constructive criticism rather than a negative thing. Instead of taking it personally, I try to

think of the things I could change that others didn’t like to create a better story the next time

around.


Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Write the story that you want to write. It’s alright if it’s not a popular genre or if it’s not something

you’ve seen before. When you craft the story you’re passionate about, your authenticity will

shine through your writing and your readers will connect with that.



Book Specific


What was the inspiration for this book? When do you get your best ideas?

I was heavily inspired by the renaissance of black mafia/crime shows such as Power and BMF

for the Cartel Elements Series. I loved the idea of educated, successful people of color reigning

both in the corporate world and in the underground crime realm.


Who is your favorite character? Or a favorite scene from your book?

My favorite character from the Cartel Elements series so far is Lexie Ruiz. She is so

headstrong, intelligent, powerful, beautiful, and hilarious.


When you were writing your book did you make a pinterest/mood board for your book? If so,

would you share it with us?

I did make pinterest boards for each book in the Cartel Elements series. I am considering

sharing them by putting the links in my Linktree eventually.


What is the key theme or message in your book?

A key theme in all of my books is “The right person will love you unconditionally.” In each of the

books, the main characters have flaws or reasons they think they cannot be loved, and the love

interests work hard to tear down those walls and show them they are worthy of love.


What do you hope readers get from your books?

I hope readers resonate with my characters - that they’re able to see themselves and connect

with the experiences detailed in these stories.

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