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 eighth birthday, her mother bought her a journal and said "write whatever you want, just write." And so, a love affair with words was born. She wrote poetry and short stories in high school and college, until 1993 when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
After her mother's death in 1998, deep in depression, she found herself unable to write. Nine years passed, and only on rare occasion did she attempt to write, with no luck.
Finally, in 2007, under the urging of friends, she sat down and pecked out her first novel. It was raw and unpolished, but the process had been unquestionably cathartic. The next three years were spent filling her hard drive with seven complete manuscripts.
At the beginning of 2011, Monique decided it was time to edit the work and share it with the world. She hopes you enjoy the ramblings of a deeply southern girl raised in a state rich with heritage and love.
Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance with a Cajun Flavor!!!! Check it out!
>>>Excerpts from each of her books that have been featured this week are available on her website at http://www.moniqueoconnorjames.com/
1. Where do you get your writing inspiration from? My inspiration comes from many different places. Some of my first books—The Keepers and Jamais Vu—were based on real life events. My mother died of breast cancer just like the main character’s in The Keepers and she also shot herself playing with a loaded gun when I was a child—like the girl in Jamais Vu. I have two short stories that are based on dreams I’ve had. Also, sometimes I’m just listening to a song or watching a movie and one line can give me the idea for an entire book!
2. Did you have to do any research for your books? If so what? I’ve had to do lots of research for my books. I always say if the FBI ever confiscates my computer, I’m going down! I’ve had to research black market babies, brothels in the eighteen hundreds, kidnapping, drugs, drug cartels, gods, Templar knights, majic, voodoo, devil worship, possession, demons, etc… As you can see my browser history may raise a few eyebrows!
3. What are you working on now? I literally just finished a novella/novel called A Knight’s Sin – It’s about a girl who is the reincarnation of Pandora and about how Christianity and the belief in gods could be tied in together. There are Christian knights and pagan gods and it is a really fun story!
4. What is the hardest part of writing for you? I used to think editing was the hardest part, but I’ve come to love editing as much as writing. The hardest part is the plot, because I’m not a plotter. I tend to plot a chapter at a time and sometimes I just have to start writing and let the characters tell the story.
5. What can readers expect next? In mid-June I’m releasing The Veil. It’s a story about a girl who goes missing in Mexico and how her brother and his love interest go about finding her. There is a paranormal twist though as her brother was experimented on by the Marines and can leave his body.
6. What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview and how would you answer that question? I think one of my favorite questions is…if you could have dinner with any of your characters who would it be? I have had a mad crush on Matt from Jamais Vu and Déjà vu since I wrote those stories. I’d love to have dinner with him!
7. If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be? Finding Monique – because that’s what life is about right, finding out who we are?
8. Who is your favorite author? After all these years, I still adore Anne Rice. I can get lost inside her books and for someone with ADHD that’s a huge thing!
9. What is your guilty pleasure? Laffy Taffy and Coca Cola!!!
10. Highest point of your writing career? I would say that seeing one of my books at the top of the Amazon charts would be up there at the top. I’ve had two go up that far—The Keepers and Black Water Bayou and there is nothing like that feeling. Now if we can just get on the USA Today and NYT Best Sellers lists!
11. Advice for aspiring authors? My advice is just to write as much as you can. Don’t let other people who have no dreams crush your dreams. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, if you never put yourself out there, there is no chance your dreams will come true.
12. Last song that was stuck in your head? Imagine Dragons - Demon
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