Multi-Award Winning Author and CEO of Make Your Mark Publishing Solutions, Monique D. Mensah is a native of Detroit. We were so excited when we heard of her latest release, Death’s Companion, we tracked down this Michigan beauty to see what she has been up to as of late.
SLM: So it’s been awhile since you’ve released an independent novel, what have you been up to, and how long did it take to write the completed draft to Death’s Companion?
MDM: In addition, to being an author, I’ve been a freelance copy editor for nine years. I always did both, writing and editing for other independent authors simultaneously, but three years ago, I decided to expand my editing business to include self-publishing solutions. So I’ve been focusing on growing Make Your Mark Publishing Solutions since then. I actually wrote the final draft for Death’s Companion two years ago and I’m just now getting around to publishing. It took me two years to write and then rewrite the manuscript twice before I got it the way I wanted it. That’s a long time for me. It usually takes me about six months to write a novel.
SLM: Death’s Companion sounds like a very intriguing read. The cover is hot to death as well. What is the concept of this story line?
MDM: I can’t share too much of the concept without giving it away, but Death’s Companion is perhaps the darkest installment in the Malignant Mind Series. Kameron Peace did the unthinkable fifteen years ago and now her guilt and shame are torturing her through alcoholism and attempt suicide. When she hires a psychotherapist to help her cope and follows her unorthodox treatment, she learns that what she thought was a psychological breakthrough, turns out to be her absolute ruin.
SLM: We know you all-to-well as a psycho-thriller novelist, would you ever explore outside of the genre? If so, which genre?
MDM: I would definitely veer outside of the psycho-thriller genre if I came up with a dope story idea. Interestingly, though, every story that comes to mind seems to be dark and disturbing. I would perhaps try mystery or paranormal.
SLM: What is it like to hear and see these characters in you head? Does it ever affect your real-life?
MDM: I love when I create characters who stick with me, day and night, who just won’t leave me alone because they have to tell me their stories. It gets me excited about the story! I try to make notes during the day on my phone or on a legal pad so I can keep up with all the ideas.
SLM: You main character, Kameron Peace, how is he/she similar to you and your characteristics? Who was the inspiration behind creating the character?
MDM: I don’t believe Kameron is similar to me at all. I don’t usually base my characters off of myself or my own experiences. My inspiration when inventing her character was to create someone who would act, live, and be in a way that was realistic to what she had been through in her past. I wanted to create a woman who was burdened by guilt, shame, and depression, and Kameron Peace was born.
SLM: What do you want people to take away from reading Death’s Companion?
MDM: I just want people to be entertained from beginning to end, that’s all. Readers may also walk away with some new knowledge about sociopaths as well.
SLM: Make Your Mark. Tell us about your company and why you started it?
MDM: I’ve been a freelance editor since 2007. But I noticed that after the editing process was complete, several of my clients would ask, “Okay, now what?” They knew that I had self-published books and wanted me to give them advice on how to complete the process as I had. So I figured I would just do it for them and that’s how Make Your Mark came to be. Make Your Mark Publishing Solutions is a sort of ghost publishing firm. We complete the entire self-publishing process for independent authors, from editing to print, and the author retains all rights and all profits from sales.
SLM: One of the most overlooked pre-publication factors is EDITING? There are so many new authors who skip this first step or are taking shortcuts. As an editor, can you explain the importance of this step and the importance of having it done properly such as finding editors who fit your genre?
MDM: Editing is the single most important step in the publishing process, especially for independent authors, who are already working against a stigma that says that their books aren’t of the same quality of traditionally published books. An author may have a great story, but with poor execution and copy editing, the readers won’t be able to appreciate it. Readers won’t take an unedited or poorly edited book seriously and the author loses credibility. This is not the step to cut corners. If you are serious about your work then hire an editor who can help turn your manuscript into a masterpiece.
SLM: Thank you so much for participating in our interview. Before you go can you tell us what’s next for the exceptional Monique D. Mensah?
MDM: Death’s Companion released on my birthday, September 27, 2016! Being that it was my first book in four year, I was so excited. I will continue to grow Make Your Mark and walk in my purpose as an author until I am no longer capable of doing either.
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