Tag Archives: fiction

Interview with author Monica M. Brinkman


When I read a book, or when I’m thinking of reading a book, I find that I would love to know more about the author.  What do they think about? Why should I care about what they have written? What insights can they give me about their process, characters, and reasons for even putting their words on paper and sharing with others? Here are some questions I have asked some of my favorite authors. I hope you enjoy their responses as much as I have.

Are you a cat or a dog person?

Definitely, a cat person. From my earliest memory, I was able to tame the proverbial ferret cat without getting my eyes scratched out of my face.  In fact, most who know me call me the “Cat Whisperer’.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

Caught me off guard with this one as my latest book, The Turn of the Karmic Wheel, is a mixed genre containing suspense, spirituality, horror and the paranormal with a touch of romance. In this instance, I suppose I didn’t quite balance them but included them.

How long have you been writing?

Ever since I learned the English language. Even as a small child I wrote poetry and songs. Believe it was a way to deal with my extreme shyness and family situation. We had a very dysfunctional family.

How does your book relate to your spiritual practice or other life path?

The Turn of the Karmic Wheel embodies 100% of my spirituality as well as allowing me the freedom to express, in written form, my path to justifying an unjust world. Without giving the plot away, let’s just say that you had better re-think the acts, deeds and choices you’ve selected in your life.

What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

As you will find in all my books and writings, my goal is to open the readers’ mind to seek other possibilities and choices in life. I am a bit of a rebel when it comes to writing.  Tell me I can’t write about it, write it in that format, or include certain types of characters and you better bet that is exactly what I am going to do.  To me, it is insulting to the intelligence of the readers of the world to put them in some sort of ‘readers’ box’.

What are some day jobs that you have held?  If any of them influenced your writing, share an example.

You chose the right person for this question.  I think I’ve held more jobs and variety of types of jobs than most people I have met.

A few of them have been a Singing Telegram, Radio Commercial Voices, Claims Adjuster, Operations Manager, Theatre Producer/Director and even a Window Washer.  The list goes on but it would bore you to death.

How I look at jobs is that whatever job you do, do it well and of course we learn much from each position we hold. In holding a diversity of positions, I ultimately came to see that life is not fair, nor perhaps was it meant to be so. One thing for certain is that life is hilarious.

Take the Singing Telegram, for example, it more than impacted my writing, it allowed me to actually write and be free of the fear of failure or looking the fool. I found out that looking the fool is what allows you to go after your passions and conquer fear of any endeavor you wish to accomplish.

After experiencing such things as knocking on a customers door and having a  stark naked

bi-sexual male with a smile spread across his face open the door…hey, you can’t write that material, it has to come from real life.

My philosophy is-Laugh at me all you want, just buy my books and enjoy them.

Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two?  Summarize your writing process.

What process? Only joking but I must say that I honestly just sit down and write. I’ve heard of other authors structuring their story, selecting the characters and actually having an outline before they begin the writing. That’s not me. It flows from my mind into the fingers and I just type, type, type. So, I must pick intuition on this question. My dreams bring forth fantastic stories. I hear people say that their dreams don’t make sense yet my dreams are so adventurous I could make movies out of them.  Sometimes they are so real, I must remind myself it is just a dream.

What projects are you working on at the present?

That’s an easy question as I am writing the sequel to my latest novel called ‘The Wheels Final Turn’. Believe it will surprise many due to the content. I’m not giving any secrets away just yet, let’s merely say it will be full of surprises.

What’s your favorite art form (excluding writing)? Why?

Painting in the oil medium is my favorite, though I do use acrylic or water-based oils on occasion. What intrigues me about painting is the process itself.  You start with what looks like dark blobs of color and by adding lights and darks; you bring the blobs to life in the form of beauty.  It as if you are creating life itself, from nothing.

What trash item did you see that inspired you to write a story?

A piece of glass that broke in such a way it held prisms. Such a simple piece turned into an object of beauty. It became a spiritual object at that moment.

I used it to write a wonderful bit of poetry and at that instant I decided I would always include a bit of poetry within each of my books.

I can’t get the poet out of my blood, as you will see in my novel. Each section has a bit of poetry before the first chapter.


Monica M. Brinkman, is a freelance fiction writer and poet.

Born and raised in the Philadelphia, PA area, she relocated to San Jose, CA, where she co-wrote and appeared in a small musical, How Lucky Can You Get. All proceeds were donated to The Muscular Dystrophy Association. She is a lover of all arts and has performed as a singer, actress, and voice of various radio commercials, along with dabbling in oil and acrylic painting.

She now resides in the St. Louis, Missouri area, which inspired her current fiction novel, The Turn of the Karmic Wheel.

In June of 2009, she released, Into the Tunnel of Darkness, a short poetry/prose book. It has received five-star reviews and was a featured book selection for the month of February 2010 on the Manic Readers site. You may find this book on-line at Barnes & Noble. She is a current member of The Writers Center and Writers3group.com., along with various other authors related groups and donates much time to reviewing new books for various Writers sites.

Please visit her web-site or contact her at radmmb@fidnet.com


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Check it out

“The Swindler” by Michelle Kaye Malsbury
Publisher: All Things That Matter Press
ISBN 978-0-9844219-4-7
Genre: suspense, thriller, mystery, fiction
How easy is it for an investment broker to deceive clients? Very, particularly if his personal hero is Bernie Madoff. Skip Horowitz, along with his old pal A.J., has created what they believe is a foolproof scheme using commodities trading, bookmaking, and various other businesses as covers. Their plan has served them well for decades, surviving the scrutiny of government agencies lacking solid proof to support any allegations of wrongdoing. But luck can’t hold forever…or can it? Catherine O’Reilley, newly sponsored in the high-risk world of investment strategy by Skip Horowitz, is about to find out.
About the Author
Michelle Malsbury was born and raised in Champaign, Illinois. Currently she resides in Florida. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Management and a Masters Degree in Business Management. She has just completed her first year of doctoral studies in the discipline of Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies with high hopes of helping to build nations and sustain peaceful interactions around the globe.

Here’s What Others Are Saying About “The Swindler”:
1. Judy Ramsook from the Austin News Service, Austin, TX 4/9/10 Review for “The Swindler”:
In The Swindler, by Michelle Malsbury, you will find yourself being pulled in to a fictional tale of romance and a lot commodities swindling through the eyes of a third person narrator.

So come along and meet true to life and memorable characters such as: Catherine, The Realtor/Commodities Broker, Connie, Catherine’s best friend, Shamus, Real Estate Broker and the man who thinks he is the right man for Catherine and last but not least, Skip Horowitz, a ruthless Ponzi Schemer who is being investigated by the Feds.
It’s a gripping tale that will make you want to keep turning those pages to see what happens next.

Set in Key West, Florida, the author displays her vast love for and knowledge of the area so well, that if you have not been there and know nothing about Key West, perusing The Swindler by Michelle Malsbury will indeed give you a rich education into that paradise.
So come on and enjoy this well written and detailed tale and see if Catherine really thinks Shamus is the right man for her, and if the elusive Skip Horowitz gets the justice he so deserves.
I enjoyed it and I think you will too.
2. Mike Fentem, longtime friend of Michelle Kaye Malsbury, review for The Swindler on 5/21/10:

I’ve known Michelle since she was fifteen or sixteen years old. We grew up in the same small town in Illinois and went to the same schools, pools, and parks. She was always fun and had a good imagination. I’ll be the first to admit that back then who would have thunk that she would become a author? However, I have had the pleasure of reading both of her books and have found them to be well written and fun reading! The characters are inventive and interesting. The stories take places in fun and exotic locales. The plot builds from chapter to chapter keeping the reader engaged in what may occur next and how it will all end. The main character, Skip, is a enigma himself with a ego larger than life. His thirst for money and fast women was second to none, but I liked getting to know him while reading this book. Besides having little, to no, scruples, he does manage to keep his ponzi scheme and other illigitimate business endeavors pretty secret for a number of years while he rakes in oodles of cash and stashes it all around the globe. However, can he outlast the SEC and other regulatory agencies, who is hot on his tail or is his time up? I truly enjoyed The Swindler and I believe you will too!
3. Thomas Keyes Review for The Swindler by Michelle Kaye Malsbury, 5/14/2010:

The Swindler is a fast-moving, hard-hitting account of a swindler who, with his batch of subalterns, ran a Ponzi scheme in Key West and elsewhere. The tale is so realistic and convincing that you can hardly believe that it didn’t really happen and that the authoress is not in there somewhere, perhaps as Catherine, the honest realtor who gets embroiled in the mess.

The racket consisted of selling counterfeit commodities futures mostly to fairly well-heeled middle class types, and following up by generating bogus statements showing earnings. It may be difficult to feel overly compassionate for someone worth several hundred thousand dollars who gets stung for fifty, but there are a lot of smaller victims too.

The most touching was a young girl in Central America whom Skip, the swindler, got pregnant. She was hoping this pregnancy would bind them together and enable them to live a beautiful life. Then the blow fell. Skip was arrested and prosecuted, and the girl’s dreams flowed away in tears.

The pages are full of unsavory characters, and the action moves from Florida to the Bahamas to Costa Rica to Las Vegas.

The language is earthy. Read it, you’ll like it.

4. Billy O’Toole Pre-review for The Swindler by Michelle Kaye Malsbury, BSBM, MM
All Things That Matter’s Press, ISBN 978-0-9844219-4-7: 2/22/10
Hi Michelle,

During a long and successful career in the trucking business, I always carried a stack of books to entertain myself and hopefully learn a little something also. One of my favorites was Steven Frey because he always had some insights into the dark side of finance along with great characters. Move over Frey and make room for Michelle Malsbury!

The Swindler has great characters, some lovable, and some not, but all believable. Indeed, I felt like I already knew many and were acquainted with several others. There were the obvious evil ones but the mindset of good ones being led along and seduced by money and the good life was particularly poignant.

When my business blew up because I had no customers anymore, I began to study finance moved to being a Senior Financial Consultant. In the process of interviews and study I felt like I met many of her characters, things just didn’t feel right, but oh so seductive!

All this set in quirky and sultry southern Florida, I could feel the humidity, see the pastels, and revel in the ambience. What more could anyone want in book?

Bill O’Toole
Senior Financial Consultant
Southern Commercial Corp
Columbia, Mo.

573 808 2122
5. Marilou Trask-Curtin Review for TheSwindler:

Michelle: First of all, congrats on an absolutely incredible book!!! Have you also written this as a screenplay????!!!! Would be amazing to watch and the timing seems right as well.

I only found a couple of blips but after I wrote them down lost the note where I had written the page numbers. The main one: There was mention of the basketball team the KNICKS…you had it written as the NICKS…that would need to be corrected as we New Yorker’s who are KNICKS fans would probably retaliate by throwing soggy basketballs your way–LOL…otherwise, an incredible story…!!!

The Review: “The Swindler” – an incredibly fast-paced roller-coaster ride through the world of illegal commodities trading with enough sun and sin to heat up every reader’s day (and night.) Michelle Malsbury at her finest! A definite must read!
Marilou Trask-Curtin, Author of “In My Grandfather’s House:
A Catskill Journal”

Thanks again for the opportunity to read “The Swindler” and I wish you all the best with it. Also, sorry it took so long….

Take care,

PS: I love the way you got MJ into the story with the crotch grabbing episode :-]

Purchase Information:
http://www.amazon.com link for The Swindler and Kindle Reader orders (see above)

Author Links:


Tags: investment fraud, ponzi schemes, investment schemes, investment scams, commodities trading, SEC, NFA, CFTC, mail fraud, crime and punishment, Wall Street, Main Street, money and finance, Bernie Madoff, Florida, Key West, Ft. Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Costa Rica, gambling, trading, book making, financial sector reform, NYSE, CBOT, ALL THINGS THAT MATTER PRESS, THE SWINDLER, MICHELLE MALSBURY

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