M C Domovitch - Thrillers and Suspense with a Paranormal Touch

M C Domovitch - Thrillers and Suspense with a Paranormal Touch
author of the day

After years of being a top model, successful entrepreneur, financial planner and TV host, M C Domovitch decided to step out of the lime lights to a quieter life of writing and beekeeping. In this interview, Domovitch chats with us about her passion for writing, what inspired her latest book, Scar Tissue and how her own characters often surprise her.

Please give us a short introduction to Scar Tissue

Scar Tissue is a thriller with a touch of paranormal. The main character, Ciara Kelly, wakes up in hospital and learns that she was missing for a week. She can’t remember where she was, or how she got the scars on her body. According to the police, she was a victim of the Cutter, a killer who had already murdered two other victims. And he is still out there.

What made you go from hosting a TV show to writing?

Some people live for the spotlight. I don’t. Sometimes I think I must be an introvert because I get my energy from my alone time, my writing time. Yet I also have a very social side, but I couldn’t function without retiring to the safety of my little writing nook. I think that’s why I was able to make the transition from TV host to writer so easily. I’d had enough of being in the spotlight. I was craving some me time. Now, I enjoy it so much you can’t get me out of my private space.

In your opinion, how have you evolved creatively as an author since you published your very first book?

I hope I have. People are often surprised when they learn my first language is French. I’ve been speaking English since I was a child, but all my education was in French, leaving me with a few weaknesses in English. I often write sentences with a French twist, or use literal translations of French expressions. When I had my TV show, in English by the way, my director would often correct my pronunciation and make me do another take. I feel more comfortable now, after eight years of full time writing. I think I’m slowly getting the English language. Maybe by the time I’m in my seventies, I’ll be really good at it. :-D

Why do you enjoy writing thrillers and suspense novels?

I just love a good suspense movie or novel. Don’t you? And I guess I gravitate toward writing what I enjoy reading. I love books that keep me glued to the pages, dying to know what happens next, books I can’t put down until I’ve read the last line. That’s the kind of novel I aim to write, and I must be doing it right because readers seem to love them.

Your main character wakes up with amnesia, something that must be terrifying to her. Why do you think do we humans treasure our memories so much?

What distinguishes us from most animals is our self-awareness. We are made up of our memories. Our past is what molds us, what defines us. If we can’t remember, we lose our very selves. The very fabric of our awareness is gone. In Ciara’s case, she can’t remember what happened to her, or who kidnapped her. For all she knows, her assailant could be anybody in her life.

Because of her scars, Ciara can no longer be a model. Do you think this is an issue that more models are struggling with? Knowing that their modeling career won't last forever and they will need to find a different source of income?

I used to model. God, that was so long ago it almost feels as if that life belonged someone else. Having said that, I can confirm that models are very aware of the fragility of their careers. A pimple can cost you thousands of dollars in lost revenue. When the tiny wrinkles begin to appear, a model knows her days in the industry are counted. There are, of course, models who remain in the industry, working into their fifties, sixties and beyond, but they are the exception. In fact, they are so rare that the few who do model beyond a certain age, regularly make headlines.

I left modeling the day I turned thirty. I didn’t want to lose my self-confidence the way I saw others do. I naturally gravitated toward what I knew best, and opened an agency. Eight years later I sold it and moved on.

Scar Tissue has quite a couple of unforeseen twists. Did you plan them all out before you started writing, or did some of them just "happen"?

Whenever I begin a novel, I have a clear beginning, a middle and an end fairly well developed in my mind. But my characters often surprise me. They will react in unforeseen ways, make unexpected decisions and often, the scene I was so excited about, changes entirely. Characters grow as I develop them on the page. This is how they take shape in my mind. It is natural that the story changes along with them. I believe that the more a character surprises me, the better the story becomes.

Although Scar Tissue's story unfolds over years, the book is quite fast-paced.  What is your secret to keeping readers on the edge of their seats throughout the book?

Thank you for saying that. Suspense is what keeps readers on the edge of their seats, suspense that keeps them going through a full range of emotions from terror to relief. The trick is to create the right proportions of all those emotions. I like to start a book with a shocker of a scene, and that is what happens in Scar Tissue. The scene of Ciara running for her life, convinced that her captor is just behind her. She comes so close to freedom only to get hit by a car as she climbs onto the highway. That scene captures the reader’s attention from page one.

Apart from being a thriller, Scar Tissue also contains some Fantasy and paranormal elements.  Why did you pick this approach?

I like adding a touch of paranormal to my stories, maybe because my mother had a bit of a gift, if you can call it that. She always knew who was calling, or showing up at the door. I’m talking about before caller display existed. She’d wake up in the morning and say, “I’m worried about so and so.” And sure enough, we’d later find out that person had just had an accident.  Of course the paranormal abilities Ciara develops in Scar Tissue are a little more advanced, and in her case they become an integral part of the plot.

Tell us a bit about the cover of Scar Tissue and how it came about

I love the cover of Scar Tissue. The shattered glass, apart from representing the car accident, also represents the main character’s shattered life. The single eye in the center of that shattered glass is representative of the paranormal ability she develops, sort of like the all-seeing eye.

Why did you decide to use different points of view to tell the story from?

I used the third person to write this story, and that gave me great freedom as a writer. I was able to delve into the minds of so many characters. Knowing what a monster is thinking and planning, adds to the suspense in a story. It can be tricky, however, to give enough of every important character’s thoughts without revealing which one is the killer. A few of my readers wrote that they really enjoyed trying to guess who the killer was. A number of them guessed right, but nobody was able to guess the identity of the accomplice.

How will the story of Seeing Evil tie in with this book?

Ciara returns, of course. After selling her house in Seattle, she has relocated in New York, where she has a job working part time for another funeral home. David lives nearby, so everything should be wonderful, right? But, unfortunately there is a killer in the city, preying on teenage girls, and Ciara decides to use her gift to help the police find the killer. When she gets a warning letter from the killer, it becomes apparent that he has to be someone she knows. How else could he have found out about her helping the police?

What do you have planned once you are done with Seeing Evil?

I’m juggling a few stories in my mind, each vying for attention. There is one in particular, I can’t wait to get to. You guessed it, it’s the third and last installment of Mindsight.

Where can our readers interact with you or discover more of your work?

The easiest way to get in touch with me is either through my website, MoniqueDomovitch.com or through Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/authormoniquedomovitch/

This deal has ended but you can read more about the book here.