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Tuesday 19 March 2019

ℚ♫ Mona Lisas and Little White Lies - John Herrick

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with returning author to talk about his latest release, Mona Lisas and Little White Lies (, Segue Blue Publishing, 276 pages), a Romantic Comedy.

"A delightful romantic comedy develops and would be popular for fans of Nora Roberts, Kristan Higgins and Nicholas Sparks." - Michelle S.

"Well this was unexpected. I read this book expecting to love it, but I FELL in love with it." - Adrianna A.

"The writing was so beautiful that I went back and read many paragraphs again and again." - Peachygirl

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome back to John Herrick; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!
"Thanks for letting me stop by, BooksChatter and readers!"
Here at BooksChatter we love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in Mona Lisas and Little White Lies , or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?
"I create a soundtrack for each of my books on Spotify! Each soundtrack is a playlist of songs that appear in the book, inspired me during the process, or help illuminate the characters further. The soundtrack playlist for Mona Lisas is here."
What was the inspiration for Mona Lisas and Little White Lies?
"Years ago, I had to get some work done on my car and leave it at the shop for the day. The individual working the front counter was a woman around 22 years old. At the risk of sounding sexist, you don’t find an overwhelming number of women working in auto shops. She was attractive and had a fun personality. She even gave me my shuttle ride to where I needed to go.

As soon as we parted ways, my mind filled with questions: Does she ever feel out of place as the only woman among men? Does her job define her? Does she view it as her permanent career, a source of genuine interest, or just as a way to pay the bills? How do the men interact with each other, particularly in terms of humor, and how does it make her feel? No doubt, she holds her own among them, so how does she do it?"
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Of all my novels, Lily, my main character, is probably the least like me.

I related to Ryder as an artist—I have no ability for visual art, but I’ve long said that when you write, you paint a picture with words. Artists often feel, perceive and process things differently, which makes us misfits in many scenarios. Many of us also write from points of pain in the present or the past.

However, I do believe, if you invest your heart in a novel, then aspects of you will find their way into the book subconsciously, and that results in emotional parallels between the author and a character or theme in the story.

Ryder is a guy on a search. He’s been searching for years to find a missing piece in his life. He loves his life, he enjoys what he does, yet inside, the restlessness never ceases. He hides a perpetual yearning. I seem to deal with the same thing."
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating this book?
"I wanted to add something special to the book. When I craft my characters and their bios, I often come up with things that may or may not end up in the story, like childhood memories.

A friend of mine’s father is from Thailand and lives there today, and my friend used to travel there as a kid. It intrigued me. I asked him about the culture, the sights, the sounds, everything. I asked about the nuances that he noticed as an American who is also part Thai. I also talked to a woman I work with, who was born and raised in Thailand, and she gave me more details.

The beauty, the things that make the culture special—listening to it was like walking through a dream. It was very visual, very sensory, and I realized it would be the perfect thing for Ryder to hide in his heart. He would be sensitive to the nuances, and the visuals would inspire him. So, in the story, after spending some in Thailand as a teenager, the people and country became a hidden piece of his heart."

The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The artist’s name is Sarah Eischer. She’s an awesome designer. I’ve worked with her professionally on a lot of projects in my “day job.”

We both combed through images. I had a tough time finding any, but she found several possibilities, mocked up cover designs, and showed them to me. As soon as I saw the cover you see today, I knew it was the one. I thought, “That’s it! That’s Lily!” The colors are gorgeous, but the woman’s pose captured Lily’s attitude. Captured it so well, in fact, that it makes me laugh every time I look at it. It’s SO Lily."
Can you tell us something quirky about Mona Lisas and Little White Lies, its story and characters?
"The Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, located in downtown Cleveland, served as my original inspiration for the hotel setting. However, I created a different floor plan for the novel.

The last time I stepped foot there was in 1990, when it was owned by Stouffer. And the lobby carpet with the giant rose prints mentioned in the book? That was the actual carpet at the time. It turned out to be perfect for the opening scene: a Lily walking on a bed of roses."
Renaissance Cleveland Hotel lobby in 2012
Who would you recommend Mona Lisas and Little White Lies to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Some early readers have described Mona Lisas and Little White Lies as a modern fairy tale. If you enjoy romantic comedies, sweet love stories, or novels by Nicholas Sparks, my book should be a good fit for you."
What has been your greatest challenge as a writer?
"Remaining patient until the arrival of each book’s breakthrough point, where the creative flow unlocks and the whole story comes pouring out. I usually fight a lot of frustration and depression to get there, but the key is to show up even when you feel like a failure. Eventually, it happens."
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
What has been the best compliment?

"I wrote a nonfiction book called 8 Reasons Your Life Matters. It was written during a season of personal hurt. I realized many people hurt much more than I did at the time, some even on the verge of suicide—my cousin even committed suicide when he was 16—and I wanted to write something that would help keep people pressing through one more day, whether they were at rock bottom in life or if they simply felt dull.

It was an honest effort to give something. Thankfully, it was received well by most readers. But I’m an optimistic realist, so I read all reviews, looking for constructive criticism. So when I read a review that said they could come up with better reasons their life matters “than this jerk,” that shook me.

I thought back on what I’d written and hoped it didn’t come across that way, wondering if I’d made a mistake writing the book. But I needed to remember that the book was written, above all, for hurting people, and hurting people tend to hurt others, albeit without intending to.

Nine years ago, one blogger/reviewer posted something about my books and started her post by saying, “I like kind authors.” I don’t know who she had dealt with in the past, but wherever life takes me, my dream is to remain kind, always and to everyone."
What is in store next?
"I’ve finished the first draft set in Manhattan and Queens. It’s an ensemble drama that pulls together love, loss, family and the paranormal. And I’m so excited to share it with readers! Meanwhile, I’ve also started sketching another novel, which, if all goes well, has the potential for its characters to spin off into two very different series.

To see the latest on my books, follow me on my social networks. You can find the links at, along with my other books."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... Can you tell us about your hero or main influence? Did you ever get a chance to meet them?
"My main influence are songwriters who have perfected the craft of writing consistent Top 40 songs.

Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s songs taught me how to turn lyrics into poetry that paints images in listeners’ minds. But I learned how to write popular songs by studying Diane Warren’s work. Not only does she have a Midas touch for writing golden songs, but she’s a master at conveying emotion through accessible lyrics. She writes the way people speak. I owe much of my ability to craft effective, emotional dialogue to studying her lyrics.

The opportunity to thank Diane, Elton or Bernie would be a dream come true for me."
Thank you for sharing! It was a pleasure meeting up with you again :-)

An "Artfelt" Romantic Comedy You Won't Want to Miss

Mona Lisas and Little White Lies
ONLY 0.99!

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John Herrick said...

Thanks for hosting me!

Kim said...

I enjoyed the interview.