March 30, 2014

Getting to know Monique O'Connor James #IndieAuthorSpotlight

*What would you be doing right now if you were not an author? Well, when I was 19 I fell into a job selling insurance to businesses.  I suppose I would be doing that full time, but I can tell you, it's not as much fun as writing.  I really can't imagine my life without telling stories.  Writing down my thoughts and ideas has always been my therapy!

*5 years ago: what were you doing?  Actually, about five years ago is when I started writing my first novel, The Keepers.  At that time, I was just writing it for friends and family, but it was definitely the story that gave me the courage to publish my work.

*Do you have a certain writing ritual?  I usually (but not always) write everything out long hand.  For some reason, I feel like the creativity flows better with a pen in my hand.  (A brightly colored pen!)  I also must have a Coke nearby and sometimes I listen to music if I need a little extra inspiration.

*What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? From the very beginning, I've had a tough editor (Kay Springsteen).  At first, it was hard to take any criticism, but as time when on, I sort of became addicted to having someone that I knew would really point out my weaknesses.  If you are putting your work out there, you really want for people to see it as the best it can be.  Once when I was writing a sequel, my editor pointed out things that would make the book stand alone so that if someone picked up the wrong book first, they wouldn't be confused.  It was probably a little hard to take, because I had to add quite a bit to the book, but in the end it made it so much better.

I have found that when you put your books up for free, you are asking for trolls and others to post reviews that make no sense and are just cruel, but I've come to accept that because I want to offer them for free sometimes, and I feel that real readers listen more to word of mouth and what their friends are reading.

*Ever fangirled over another author? Who was it?  You know, I tend to fangirl over Indie authors.  I'm so amazed at all the writers that have regular lives and juggle kids and sometimes jobs and other things that life throw their way and there is no one backing them big publishing company marketing their work.  However, these writers always find away to reach their readers.  I love that.  I adore Lila Felix, Casse NaRome, Rachel Van Dyken, oh the list is long....

*Is there an author you'd like to meet? I started reading Anne Rice novels when I was about twelve or thirteen.  My dad would wait in line to get the next one when it came out.  I think I would probably lose my ability to speak if I met her

* Do you read other's reviews of your books?  I used to read them when I first started writing.  However, as time has gone on, I try not to unless they post it on my Facebook or twitter.  I think everyone has the right to their opinion, but there are times when people are mean just to be mean, not because they actually didn't like your book.  The few unflattering reviews I've gotten have mostly started with phrases like this:  "Well this isn't the type of book I usually read..."--kind of makes you wonder why they chose yours?  Why they expected to like it?  As writers, we are very emotional and sensitive and sometimes those words can spur our own insecurities.  So, I guess the final answer depends.

Click on the books below to see my review....

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