Today we’re featuring Sarah Monzon on the blog. I love the theme for her upcoming release and believe this is something everyone, especially Christians, should internalize.
Sarah Monzon’s Book & Writing Process
Table of Contents
Q: What is the title of your book and what is it about?
A: All’s Fair in Love and Christmas. Mackenzie Graham’s work crush, Jeremy Fletcher, has barely noticed her—until they compete for the same much-needed promotion. But winning has less to do with work performance and everything to do with showing the most Christmas spirit. As their yuletide duel progresses, it might be more than a job they risk losing.
Publication date: September 5, 2023
Q: What genre is All’s Fair in Love and Christmas?
A: Christian Christmas Romantic Comedy
Q: What inspired you to write your book, and how did you come up with the idea for it?
A: I started writing All’s Fair in Love and Christmas after taking a writing break. 2020 was a rough year for everyone, our family included. We moved from WA to CA at the beginning of the year. My kids started a new school, and my husband changed commands. COVID hit, my husband deployed, and I decided to homeschool.
It was a season where writing had to be set aside. But seasons change and things eventually settled and there came a point when I could pick up my pen again. But I needed something fun and joyful to write, and what’s more joyful or magical than Christmas? The idea of a story where coworkers compete for a promotion by trying to out-Christmas the other popped into my head and the rest, as they say, is history.
Q: What scene was the hardest one to write and why?
A: I’m not sure if there was any particular scene that was harder to write more than another. Honestly, all aspects of writing are hard!
Q: What are some themes and tropes that are included in your book?
A: There’s a strong theme of mental health and faith in the book. Mckenzie, the heroine, struggles with social anxiety and how that struggle correlates with her faith.
Q: Who is the ideal reader for this book?
A: Anyone who loves Christmas and is looking for a light, but not shallow, book.
Q: What’s the one thing you want readers to take away from reading your book?
A: Mental health is not a measuring stick of your faith. There is no shame or stigma to receiving help.
Q: Plotter or pantser? Share a bit of your writing process.
A: I’m very much a pantser. Usually, I have no idea where a story is going to take me. I start writing when I have the first sentence hook in mind and then strap in for the ride the characters take me.
Q: What does a typical writing session for you look like?
A: I need quiet to write so I sit down at the computer or with a notebook and pen when my kids are at school. I often get distracted and take tiny breaks to scroll social media. When I get stuck on a scene and I don’t know how to progress, I’ll take my dog for a walk or take a shower. I don’t know what it is about a shower, but my brain can usually untangle where the story needs to go while I’m standing under a hot stream of water.
Q: What was the most challenging aspect of writing and publishing? How did you (do you plan to) overcome it?
A: The most challenging aspect of writing for me is the self-doubt. I’m not sure I overcome it as much as simply push through it.
Q: Why do you write?
A: I write because I can’t NOT write. After a couple of months of not writing, the characters in my head become too loud and I get too antsy and I need to sit down and pour it all out on the page.
Writing Advice from Sarah Monzon
Q: What advice would you give to someone who’s just starting out?
A: Read a lot then write a lot. That’s the basics of learning the craft.
Q: What’s the best piece of writing advice you ever received? How has it impacted your life?
A: Comparison is the thief of joy. Put on blinders and don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s. Of course, this advice can encompass so much more than just writing.
Q: What’s the worst piece of writing advice you ever received? Why do you think this was not good advice?
A: Don’t use adverbs or EM dashes. Haha. This isn’t necessarily the worst advice, but I love adverbs and EM dashes and don’t plan to give either up anytime soon.
Q: If you could go back and change one thing in your author career, what would it be and why?
A: I’m not sure if I would change anything. Have I made mistakes? Undoubtedly. But mistakes are one way we learn and I wouldn’t be where I am if I had tread a different path.
What is one writing resource that you couldn’t do without?
A: Books. I devour books and they fuel my creativity. I don’t know if I could write if I didn’t also read voraciously.
Just for Fun
Q: If you were not a writer, what would you want to be and why?
A: I think being an audiobook narrator would be fun! I’d still get to immerse myself in books and share the love of story with others.
Let’s Connect with Sarah Monzon
Q: What are you working on next?
A: Another Romantic Comedy! This time featuring a matchmaking librarian who doesn’t see herself as heroine material.
About All’s Fair in Love and Christmas
Two workplace rivals. One festive competition. And a romance that upends it all.
Every December two things are guaranteed for graphic designer Mackenzie Graham—Christmas celebrations and the annual promotion at her workplace. Those two things are by no means mutually exclusive. In fact, the better an employee is at harnessing the Christmas spirit, the more likely they’ll win the new job. With her social anxiety, Mackenzie never thought she’d be a contender in her company’s holiday competition, so how exactly has she found herself dueling her workplace crush with wrapping paper tubes and using tinsel as her weapon of choice for a much-needed raise?
Jeremy Fletcher’s life is meticulously planned out, including how to win this year’s promotion at work. Not only will the new position fulfill some of his career goals, but as a single guardian to his twin niece and nephew, he needs the salary increase to support his family. Jeremy has barely noticed Mackenzie Graham around the office, but now that she’s his rival, he can’t stop thinking about her. Her quirkiness intrigues him, and he’s afraid that if he can’t get his head on straight, the promotion isn’t the only thing he’ll end up losing to Mackenzie.
About Sarah Monzon
Winner of the Holt Medallion and Selah Award, Sarah Monzon is a stay-at-home mom who makes up imaginary friends to have adult conversations with (otherwise known as writing novels).
As a navy chaplain’s wife, she resides wherever the military happens to station her family and enjoys exploring the beauty of the world around her.