Today I'm joined by Monique Bucheger, author of the Ginnie West series. Monique's a fun person and a great author, so I'm more than happy to help spread the word about her middle-grade books. They're unique because they deal with real family issues in an age-appropriate way, giving readers tools for when things might get tough in their own lives. And yes, there are horses in them.
TRISTI: What's the craziest thing you ever did as a teenager? Probably strolling through cemeteries to find unusual names. As I recall, my car had a bad habit of dying there in the middle of the night as well. One time a deputy sheriff actually stopped by to see “what the problem was.” Thank goodness he was also one of my 4-H leaders. Did you know that being in a graveyard after dark is illegal? Who knew? I sure didn’t. But if you’re going to break the law—I guess that is a harmless way to do so.
TRISTI: What are you favorite writing snacks? Normally I don’t snack as I write—unless you count drinking ice water or Dr. Pepper. But for you, I decided to try something new—s’mores with peppermint marshmallows. YUM! They went well with a cup of peppermint hot cocoa. On a side note—I have found an easy way to make s’mores: line a cookie pan with graham crackers, add chocolate bars and marshmallows. Then place in the oven under the broiler for 2 minutes or so. Voila! Instant s’mores without smoke in your eyes!
TRISTI: What's your favorite Christmas tradition? I like adopting a family I know needs a little extra support, having my kids help me pick out and wrap gifts, then sneak over and deliver the gifts on Christmas Eve. My kids love doing a “ring and run,” then hiding where they can see the faces of the families discovering a bag of unexpected gifts.
TRISTI: How did you get the idea for your series? It kind of emerged over the years as I wrote each book. Now that I have 4 books written and have started the 5th book, I have a clearer picture of what I want to do with my series and where I want it to head. Originally I had planned to write 7 books over a 6 year span in my characters’ lives. I have written 4 books in the space of 6 weeks of their lives. The story has dictated the time frame more than I thought it would when I began.
TRISTI: If you could meet any former president of the United States, who would it be, dead or alive? I would like to meet Abraham Lincoln for a number of reasons. His wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, is a direct cousin of mine, so he is family. I’ve always had an affinity for the Civil War era and wonder how it would be to live in pioneer times with simpler technologies. I have a deep admiration for the early settlers and peoples who built this great nation that we live in. I especially admire that people took greater pride in keeping their word, and that a handshake and a promise was all that was needed for great and wondrous things to happen. Abraham Lincoln was a good man who made decisions unpopular at the time because he felt it was the right thing to do. Decades later, he is still held in high esteem.
TRISTI: Are you a morning person or a night person? I’m actually both. Afternoons are what I have a hard time with. I would love to nap them away so I could be more productive, but having 12 kids makes that a little difficult. :)
TRISTI: Do you see yourself writing in other genres? Why yes I do, thanks for asking. I have two other series: a family drama and a middle-grade fantasy series.
You can learn more about Monique's books - and order them - by clicking here.