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Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Writer's Inspiration: Belarus


From where do you get the ideas of your stories?



How do you decide where to set your plot?



Are your characters real?

Writers often hear these questions from their readers.


I have three books out on the market. Let me tell you how I got the ideas to write these books. Today I will tell you about my first book TO LOVE A HERO which is on sale at Amazon.com


My first book TO LOVE A HERO was actually born five years before I wrote it. In a different life, or more precisely ten years ago, I was a Ph.D. in chemistry, Director of an environmental laboratory and a workaholic. I spent a boring predictable life supervising a staff of chemists who analyzed drinking water, hazardous waste and other polluted materials. Iworked twelve hours in the lab and often brought boxes of files at home.










Suddenly everything changed when I won a contract to refurbish a military laboratory in Belarus and traveled fifteen times to Minsk.



[Downtown Minsk, capital of Belarus]









[The Russian Orthodox cathedral. It was destroyed during WWII and rebuilt only fifteen years ago]










[the covered bazaar]









I didn't mind braving the ruthless cold of Belarus.






I was so well received by everyone, officers, directors, chemists, journalists, I fell in love with this country. Five years later while writing my book TO LOVE A HERO I practically lived again my fantastic trips to Belarus.










My story highlights the hospitality and warmth of the gorgeous and gallant Belarusians officers who sing, toast with vodka and make a woman feel like a goddess.



I had a lot of fun writing this book and I hope you will discover a new country and interesting culture while reading TO LOVE A HERO.








In this fictional love story between an American scientist and a Belarusian General, I related some of my experiences in Belarus. I included my fall on the broken escalator of the airport. I was rescued by my lab manager while my heroine (the smart woman) fell into the arm of a hero to die for, the handsome Major General Sergei who made her pulse race and stole her heart.







From where do you get the ideas of your stories?

How do you decide where to set your plot?

16 comments:

Joanna Waugh said...

I loved reading the excerpts from "Hero" and now I understand why you wrote the book! I hope you continue with the international settings.

Molly Daniels said...

Thanks for clearing up where Belarus is located! Yeah...too lazy to look it up myself...(hanging head in shame)

Great pics!

Mona Risk said...

To be honest Joanna, I am tired of running around the world. But there is no way to tie my hubby down.

Molly, I should have mentioned Belarus is surrounded by Poland on the West, Russia on the North and East and Ukraine on the South. When I signed the contract to refurbish a lab in Minsk I didn't even know where Belarus was exactly.

Skhye said...

You are fortunate to have had such fascinating adventures!!! Thanks for sharing all the photos and interesting cultural information you do. ~the geeky anthropologist

Bray said...

Just the thought of falling into the General's arms sounds romantic. I'll be checking it out. I loved all your pictures as well.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Aw, Mona, I knew you were a chemist and traveled but not to this extent. No wonder you had to write that story - my favorite. What an interesting journey for you and I am so glad you have shared it with us. Looks like those guys surrounding you in some of those photos loved having you there as well. The photos are great!! You know how I love to travel to faraway places.

JACLYN said...

JUST FINISHED READING MONA RISK’S **TO LOVE A HERO.**
MARVELOUS! A WONDERFUL STORY FILL WITH LOVE, AND DETERMINATION FOR ONE TO FULFILL A PROMISE AND THE OTHER TO SUCCEED IN HER FIRST OVERSEAS JOB.
A LOVE THAT HAD NO FUTURE, OR SO THEY THOUGHT.

MONA BRINGS OUT THE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS IN BOTH HER HERO, SERGEI AND HER HEROINE, CECILE. HER VIVID DESCRIPTIONS OF THE CITY OF BELARUS, I TRULY FELT I WAS THERE, SHIVERING ALONG WITH HER HEROINE.

I SALUTE YOU, MONA WITH A SHOT OF MY GRAY-GOOSE VODKA INTO MY CRANBURY JUICE AND MARVEL AT YOUR WONDERFUL WAY WITH WORDS.

NAZHTROVIA, MOY DROUK

JACLYN

Mona Risk said...

You know Skhye, everytime I look at these pictures I enjoy my trips over and over. Two books came out of this Belarusian experience. Other than to Love A Hero, there is a medical romance between an American pediatrician and a Belarusian surgeon. I just finished writing it and betowed the rest of my adventures on my new heroine.

Mona Risk said...

Bray, I just fell and screamed. Luckily two of my chemists caught me. Imagine breaking my neck on my first step in Belarus. But a heroine needs a worthy hero. LOL

Mona Risk said...

Oh Paisly you read the first draft. I hope you enjoy the final product. Thanks for the support.

Mona Risk said...

Jaclyn, you made my day when you wrote that you read it again. I am so glad you enjoyed it. Nazhtrovia.

Helen Scott Taylor said...

Wonderful pictures, Mona. That must have been such an interesting job. You use the experience so well for the story and setting in To Love a Hero.

ddurance said...

Sounds pretty exciting to me, Mona. As always, nice pictures. I received my lacquered box by the way and it's gorgeous. Thanks so much!

Deidre

Mona Risk said...

Helen, good to hear from you. I am in Chicago for three days to celebrate Thanksgiving with my son's family. For some reasons (!!??) I can't access my emails.

Mona Risk said...

Deidre, I am so glad you like your lacquer box.

The contest was fun. We may do it again.

Sandra Cox said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Mona.
Good blog!;)