When Monique Bucheger isn’t writing, you can find her playing taxi driver to one or more of her 12 children, plotting her next novel, scrapbooking, or being the “Mamarazzi” at any number of child-oriented events. Even though she realizes there will never be enough hours in any given day, Monique tries very hard to enjoy the journey that is her life. She shares it with a terrific husband, her dozen children, an adorable granddaughter, a son-in-law, three cats, and many real and imaginary friends. She is the author of several books and plans to write many more.
Welcome back to my blog, Monique. Being West Is Best: A Ginnie West Adventure is the 4th in A Ginnie West Adventure series. Please tell us about your new book.
I’d love to, thank you. This is my back cover blurb: Twelve year old BFFs, Ginnie West and Tillie Taylor, are matchmaking geniuses. Together, they maneuvered Ginnie’s widower-dad into proposing to Tillie’s divorcee-mom. Sweet! Certain they are well on their way to sisterhood, each girl is floored when Tillie’s lousy-excuse-for-a-father puts in an appearance after a six year absence. Ginnie's job will be to kick Tillie’s father to the curb or “Operation: Secret Sisters” may have to be renamed: “Operation: Not Gonna Happen.”
If that's not bad enough, the biggest bully in seventh grade comes over often and wishes he could call the West's farmhouse home. When the bully's abusive dad shows up as well, Ginnie thinks it's time to change her family's motto from "When you're here, you're family" to "There's no more room at the West's."
This sounds like a fun teen book. Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?
This novel: Being West is Best: A Ginnie West Adventure follows along several storylines I started in the three previous books. It adds new information and lots of new plot twists. I just finished an ending chapter where—even I—didn’t know what was going to happen. A story arc came to me that I have never considered before and it is going to cause a huge ripple throughout the rest of the series. I thought I knew what was going to happen in the next couple of books—but I may find out differently when I write them.
Haha. That is great. That has happened to me before and to many other authors. You have The Secret Sisters Club, Trouble Blows West, Simply West of Heaven, and Being West Is Best in this series. Can each book be read separately or do we have to read them in order?
I started out writing my books pretty standalone. They contain the same characters, but the plots are not dependent on one another. The feedback I have gotten from people who have only read Simply West of Heaven have said it felt complete.
This book: Being West is Best: A Ginnie West Adventure, picks up where book 3 ended. It also re-introduces us to Pierce Owens, the bully from Trouble Blows West (Book 2) and lets the reader catch up on what’s going on in his life. I have several beta readers who have not read Trouble Blows West that have said they are keeping up fine.
If anybody is interested in beta reading Being West is Best and reviewing it—email me at Monique.firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send it to the 1st three people to respond. I am still looking for feedback from those who have kept up with my series and those who would like to check it out. Both insights are valuable to me.
I think it’s interesting when authors add real life situations to their stories. Did you put real experiences in this book?
Yes, but I had to change the details to protect the guilty—er—innocent. J I was a foster parent for 12 years to over 120 kids, so I have a little experience with a lot of issues. I also have 12 children and a sweet little granddaughter.
Snippets of their lives and experiences, as well as my own may show up here and there, but my characters are not based on real people. They are their own brand of fun, crazy, endearing, energetic, and courageous whatever they are.
Thank you, Monique, for this great interview. Wow! I bet you’ve had experiences that the average mother has never had. You can find more about Monique and her works at: www.moniquebucheger.blogspot.com.