My name is M.J. Kane and I am a stay-at-home mom, turned Amazon Bestseller of The Butterfly Memoirs published by 5 Prince Publishing. My debut novel, A Heart Not Easily Broken was published September, 2012, and has had a great response from readers. The second novel, Jaded, is scheduled for release in March!
When not listening to my creative muse or characters, I write a blog, Author M.J. Kane, where I share advice and what I’ve learned about writing, querying, life, and my experiences of being an author. I also introduce authors from a wide variety of genres to my readers by conducting interviews and sharing guest post and promotions to help promote my fellow writers.
Now for the questions:
What do you feel is critical to developing a novel that will glue the reader’s ebook device in their hands until the last page?
Telling a story that engages the reader’s emotions and touches on personal experiences is key. Spending too much time on back story or setting up a scene will lose a reader. Witty dialogue that showcases the main character(s) personality is also important. No one wants to be read about a boring character.
Women relate to women and, more often than not, we’re left shaking our heads at men. As a woman, how do you write your male characters in their point of view and make them the hot alpha heroes us romance readers fall in love with?
Wow, men are a challenge to write. I take the time to get to know my heroine first. From there, I deduce what type of man would aggravate them, yet demand their attention at the same time. Then I take those qualities and imagine what type of reaction that man would have to this woman. Lots of personality research and imagination goes into this! It also helps to have a variety of males to watch, so people watching and movie watching also helps.
Why romance? Do you believe it exists in the real world?
Romance exists, but not the fairytale kind. Everyone is searching for someone they can relate too, take comfort from, receive and give encouragement to in their lives. Some are looking for it more than others. Some never know it’s what they truly want until it smacks them upside the head. Either way, the journey and discovery of finding love can change our lives for the better….or worse, if we’re not careful.
What is your idea of the perfect hero? Heroine?
Perfection is not all about looks or bank account. I like a bit of imperfection to. A little jealousy, insecurity, making mistakes, and watching a character learn what not to do to avoid them in the future, it’s what makes characters interesting. Let’s not forget about those little quirks that could get on your nerves! The more realistic they are, the more endearing they can be. That’s what makes a hero/heroine perfect to me.
If you had access to a time machine, what year would you travel to and why?
Without a doubt, it would be the early 80’s when my father was still alive so that I could take more time to enjoy having him in my life and remember what it was like to have two parents in who loved and cared for me.
If you could have dinner with any three people in the world, who would they be and why?
J.R.R. Tolkin, J.R. Ward, and George Lucus. I know that’s a very diverse group of people, but ones I admire. Tolkin was a literary master. His ability to take his personal experiences and create a world that doesn’t exist, but not only that, create races, language, and cultures is amazing! For Ward it’s all about her ability take the ‘vampire’ novel, in my opinion, to a whole new level with stories that are not just about sex (it’s Erotica) but be about true and deep character development. Her guys are not only warriors, they are tortured souls who battle daily with insecurities, drubs, and personal demons, yet manage to find love that changes them. And for Lucus, his ability to take an idea and turn it into a multi-million dollar business is one you can’t help but respect, whether you like the movies or not. Who wouldn’t want to learn from that???
Who is your favorite character that you’ve created and why?
Yasmine Phillips, the heroine of my second novel. She is my favorite because she is a bit misunderstood (intentionally written that way) in my first novel, A Heart Not Easily Broken. Her story, Jaded, allows readers to get to know her and explore the depths of a woman’s heart and soul who has been misunderstood for a majority of her life. Because of that, it’s made her callused when it comes to the idea of romantic relationships. Despite it all, she silently fights with the idea of being alone without love for the rest of her life. I don’t make her attempt at love easy. She has to work to get her HEA…it involves tears, sacrifice, and the willingness to trust another with her heart. I love the ride and I hope readers will feel the same.
You wake up one morning and realize you’re suddenly a kid again, but you remember everything about being an adult. What advice would you give yourself?
Oh wow…Listen to others and don’t be so determined to do stuff your way all the time. You still have a lot to learn and no, you won’t know it all by the age of 18…25…32…or even 38! The point is, you NEVER STOP LEARNING! So get use to the idea and start listening!
Did you have a predetermined plan when you began your writing career and, if so, has that plan changed since your books have been released?
The only thing I predetermined was being determined to write a complete novel, from beginning to a satisfactory ending. The first time I wrote the words, “The End”, I cried, because I had started a project and saw it through to completion. Now, I write those words and sigh in relief! Everything has been about learning the art of writing and discovering myself along the way. Yes, my plans have changed as I aim for bigger things. One day at a time.
Aspiring authors are always eager to hear advice. What would you say to them?
Don’t give up, no matter what anyone else has to say. If people read your stories and tell you they need work, ask them what they didn’t like and listen. Put on a thick skin! They may not be saying they don’t like your work, but only want to offer you ways to improve it. Sometimes having that outside opinion can make a HUGE difference in your writing!
Where do you think is the most romantic place on Earth?
Hawaii or any island for that matter. Just give me a beach and beautiful sunset and I’m ready for love!
You’re writing your latest romance novel when things start heating up. Do you ever get the urge to open the bedroom door and see what’s going on inside?
I do open the door!!! In fact, since I write in 1st person, I’m already there! But I don’t focus on the erotica part of it, I focus on the erotic. Mindset, mood, feelings, and emotions. Believe me, it’s as hot and heavy as describing exactly when point B slides into slot A!
You’re sitting at a bar or walking through the grocery store when you spot Mr. Hunk-a-licious. What’s the first thing he can say or do to sweep you off your feet?
‘I’ve read one of your books. Care to act out one of those love scenes?’ ROTFL!!! No, seriously, ‘Can I pay for your groceries?’ Oh yeah, that’s hot! J
If you could choose any man to sit with by a warm fire on a cold winter night, who would it be and why?
It would be my hubby. We’ve been married for nearly 19 years and I still love him. I couldn’t imagine being with another man.
If you knew the world would end tomorrow, how would you spend today?
Available at 5 Prince Publishing
Ebony is a smart, sexy, career-oriented black woman who wants nothing more than a summer fling with a man who challenges her mind and body. What she doesn’t expect is a blond haired, blue-eyed bass player—who won’t take “no” for an answer—to accept the challenge.
More about M.J. Kane:
M.J. Kane stumbled into writing. An avid reader, this stay at home mom never lost the overactive imagination of an only child. As an adult she made up stories, though never shared them, to keep herself entertained. It wasn’t until surviving a traumatic medical incident in 2006 that she found a reason to let the characters inhabiting her imagination free. Upon the suggestion of her husband, she commandeered his laptop and allowed the characters to take life. It was that, or look over her shoulder for men caring a purple strait jacket. And the rest, as they say, is history.
No longer a television addict, if M.J. isn’t reading a book by one of her favorite authors, she’s battling with her creative muse to balance writing and being a wife and mother. She resides in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia with her high school sweetheart, four wonderful children, and two pit bulls. MJ can often be found hanging out at the local library where she is director of a local writer’s group, or online connecting with readers and other authors. Other activities she enjoys include: creating custom floral arrangements, assisting her children in their creative pursuits of music and art, and supporting her husband’s music production business, 3D Sounds.
MJ’s debut novel, A Heart Not Easily Broken, Book one of the Butterfly Memoirs, became an instant Amazon Bestseller in Multicultural Romance and African-American Literature and Fiction within hours of publication. It has also spent time on the African-American Women’s Fiction and African-American Romance Bestsellers lists.
You can find MJ on social networking sites, sharing writing tips, talking about music, life, and family. She’s always excited to meet new people. Connect with her via the websites below.