Friday, March 22, 2013

Interview with YA Author Monique Bucheger

Monique is a happily married mom of 12 kids and Grandmama to a sweet little girl. She has written several books, though only three are published. Her passions include her kids, writing, scrapbooking, and causes which empower kids. Monique appreciates a kind word, a good joke, the occasional power nap, good chocolate, and hopes to brighten her corner of the world with a good story.

Hello, Monique. Trouble Blows West was written for young adults. Please tell us about your novel.

Trouble Blows West is about a spirited 12 year-old girl named Ginnie, who gets on the wrong side of the biggest bully in 6th grade when she knocks him on his rear while defending her twin brother, Toran. She quickly figures out that Toran doesn’t appreciate being rescued by a girl any better than Charlie likes being knocked down by one. When Charlie seeks revenge on Ginnie, Toran sets aside his anger and helps her plot a playback prank at Charlie’s house. Sadly, Ginnie learns that Charlie has a reason for being a bully when she sees his dad drop him to the floor like a ragdoll. Realizing he's a boy in big trouble, Ginnie switches gears and decides to be his ally, even if he won’t let her be his friend.

This sounds like a wonderful story for children to read. Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

My husband and I fostered 120 kids over 12 years and have some experience with child abuse. I wrote the Ginnie series to empower kids and adults on all sides of the child abuse issue: victims, abusers, and those wanting to help both.

Tenacious as a bulldog, Ginnie is a spunky kid who isn’t afraid to try new things or stand up for the people she cares about. She doesn’t always think before she acts, but she is loyal to friends and family … and those who need a friend. She is courageous, impulsive, and a lot of fun.

The first book in this series is called The Secret Sisters Club. What is it about?

The Secret Sisters Club has been described as “Parent Trap meets An American Girl.” Ginnie’s best friend, Tillie, wants her mom and Ginnie’s dad to date. They come up with a plan to make it happen: Operation Secret Sisters. Ginnie is fine with the plan until she finds her deceased mom’s journals and realizes that getting a new sister will come with a new mom. While finding her mom’s journals gives Ginnie a chance to get to know the mother her dad doesn’t talk about, it also makes her wonder what life would be like if her mom had lived. When her dad takes away the journals, Ginnie isn’t sure what to think, she only knows she has to get them back, no matter what.

What does your family think about your writing?

My husband is my biggest fan. My nine-year-old loves Ginnie and Tillie. My children who are bookworms think it’s kind of cool that I write. When I recently introduced some of my children to Kevin J Anderson and his wife, Rebecca Moesta—they were impressed by the wide variety of fantasy and sci-fi books they had written. Being an author got elevated some that day. It was fun to see my kids get excited about meeting real authors and in turn, they are more supportive of my writing as well.

That’s wonderful. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

On September 11, 2001, I scheduled an induction so that I could give birth to my 9th child, who also happened to be my 11th pregnancy. My husband worked a lot and I wanted to make sure he could attend the birth. I fully expected to be able to tell the tale of having a “9-1-1 baby”, having no idea that the events of the day would change my son’s status as a “9-1-1 baby” forever to a “September 11th baby.”

While I would change what happened that day if I could, I wouldn’t change my son’s birthday. I consider his birth one of the many miracles that happened on that eventful day. I have collected many stories of strangers helping one another, and of kindnesses rendered within the depths of such horrific tragedy, that Sept 11, 2001 is a day I recall as a day that has re-awakened the intrinsic goodness of most people, as they looked past differences to help one another reconnect as brothers and sisters in humanity.

Thank you so much, Monique. I have learned a lot about you and that makes this interview so much fun. Thanks for sharing your life with us.


Dena McMurdie said...

120 kids! My goodness that is a lot of children to care for, even if it's not all at once. I have tremendous respect for foster parents. The book sounds great!

Dena McMurdie said...

I forgot to leave my email.


teena3940 said...

I had a Grandson born on Sept.11 2001 too.. Great interview..Tina M

Meghan said...

Good interview! Thanks for the great giveaway!

mestith at gmail dot com

Alenette (Ari) said...

This is the first interview that I read from top to bottom! Sometimes when I read interviews, I get uninterested while reading it and stops. This is a really great interview. The "September 11th baby" talk amazed me! (I actually made my sisters read it. I never heard a story like that and they were utterly amazed!) This is a really great giveaway! I would love to read this.
Thank you very much! ^_^
Btw, my grandma (in my mother's side) has 9 kids, including my mom! My mom is the 5th child. Raising that much children... I'm amazed.
-Alenette B.

Dede said...

Wow, I can't believe how many children she fostered. What a generous woman! I love that she wrote the series to reach those at-risk children.


Library Lady said...

I would love to win a copy of this book to give to the church library.
Janet E.

Monique said...

Thanks everybody for reading and commenting. If you don't win the book--and still want the book, email me at and mention this contest. (Or message me on FB)I'll give you Book 1 (Secret Sisters Club) free if you buy either Trouble Blows West or Simply West of Heaven in e-book form. Trouble Blows West can be read 1st, 2nd or 3rd without issue. Reading Secret Sisters before Simply West of Heaven is probably better, but not absolutely necessary. :) Thanks again for all of your thoughtful comments.

Vicki said...

Sounds like a great book!

RILEKAT said...

I like how the author has put child abuse plot in the book and then has the characters react. Empowerment is great.
rilekat2 at gmail dot com

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations, Alenette! You are the winner of this awesome book. I know you'll enjoy it.

Monique said...

Thanks everyone for participating.

Congrats Alenette! I've sent your book. If anyone is interested in my 2-for-1 deal (on ebooks), please email me at: and I'll hook you up. ;) Thanks again!

(And this ISN'T an April Fools!):)