Today we have Monique O'Connor James, author of several intriguing novels such as Magia Rising and The Keepers. Today she'll chat with us about her written works, her hidden quirks, and her process.
You’ve published through a small press house. Would you say it is more advantageous for writers to go through smaller press houses so that they can receive the attention they need? Or would you encourage completely independent publishing for creative direction purposes?
I’ve done both and I don’t regret either. I think sometimes it’s nice to start with a small press – you do get individualized attention, if it’s a good press then they teach you about editing and what is important when you present yourself to the public. Sometimes, writers who go directly to self-publishing don’t know the importance of a well edited manuscript, they don’t understand what head-hopping is (POV change) and they have a problem staying in the same tense.
I totally agree with you there. Too many writers forget that good writing means good editing. Can you talk about that a little bit?
Through the small press, I met a fabulous cover artist—a content editor I can’t live without—a proofreader who whips my work into shape—and a wonderful lady who formats my work before I post it on the various sites for sale. If I hadn’t gone through the small press first, I wouldn’t have met these talented people who knew how to do all the things I didn’t.
Now that I have self-published, of course, I have more creative freedom. I can choose what will be on my book covers, my content, and when and for how much I sell my work. I really enjoy the freedom I have gained through self-publishing, but I wouldn’t trade the experience I got from working with a small press for anything – (I am published by Astraea Press and my publishing company Bayou Brew Publishing).
What is your favorite novel that you’ve authored?
I really can’t answer that! Usually, the one I’m writing is my favorite, but they all are special to me for different reasons – The Keepers, The Watchers, Jamais Vu and Déjà vu were all very personal stories and I’m proud of them and the nod they give to my life. The Mulligan Man was a short story I wrote with my son – you can’t beat that. I wrote Becoming Jolie in eighteen days (not including editing) and some think it’s my best novel. Magia Rising has characters that I adore. My short story Musical Scares was a little out of my comfort zone and I love it. And currently, I’m writing Black Water Bayou—and for now it’s my favorite :D
We’ll keep an eye out for that one! What is your favorite novel by another author?
You know, I read Anne Rice’s vampire chronicles when I was fourteen. After that, I read everything I could get my hands on by her—I still love this woman. There are several indie authors that I adore and I’m not going to list them all, but Alexia Purdy, Crystal Ward & Missy Lee just to name a few.
What are you working on now, and how can we find out more about it?
I’m currently working on a novel called Black Water Bayou. You can check out my website for information on any of my books at www. Moniqueoconnorjames.com – I haven’t really given any details about this new one, but it’s about a little hottie from New Orleans that has the power to pull demons from the souls of the possessed; he meets a girl whose family is in trouble and the twists and turns begin!
Let’s pretend finishing a novel is like scoring the winning touchdown; what is your touchdown dance? Here’s where you know how bizarre I am – I don’t dance when I’m done! I’m always sad…I go through a little let down period, because I know I won’t be spending time with those characters every day. I find at the end of a novel, I slow down and draw the end out because I just don’t want to say goodbye!
Wow, we don’t want to say goodbye either, but we’ve gotta let Monique go.
Thanks to Monique O’Connor James for all of her helpful tips and info on what she has in store for her fans!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Monique is the mother of two beautiful children and lives in a small community outside of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She currently works full-time as an insurance agent, but her favorite jobs are mother, wife, and author. On her ninth birthday, her mother bought her a journal and said, "Write whatever you want. Just write." And so, a love affair with words was born.
ALL BOOKS AVAILABLE AT AMAZON AND BARNES AND NOBLE!
BOOK GIVEAWAY CONTEST:
We're very excited to announce that Monique is giving one lucky fan the chance to win either of her published books! To be entered to win, simply comment below with the title of your personal favorite book, and we’ll enter you in the contest! (Be sure to include your email address in the request box or we won’t be able to send you the notification!) We will randomly select a winner.
My favorite book ever is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Don't wait.... Contest ends on January 24, 2013, 12pm CST!
Winner will be emailed before announcement.