Thursday, January 24, 2013

An Interview with Missy Jane

Q: When did you decide to become a writer?  

A: Maybe ten years ago I actually sat down to write my first novel. At that time I didn't really think about being published, I just had to get the story out of my head. Then in 2008 I attended a readers/writers conference that really changed my perspective from reader to writer. I realized I really could get my work published and finally submitted my first book. That was when I decided I was truly a writer. 

Q: Who has been the biggest influence in your life, so far? 

A: Hmm, that's a tough one. I would have to say as far as just being a writer it would be Judi McCoy. She taught a beginning writers course at the convention I attended in 2008 and was very inspirational to me. Losing her to diabetes last year was very hard.

Q: Tell us a little about your latest/upcoming books. 

A: My most recent release is from Ellora's Cave Publishing and is available as an ebook. It's called Too Hard to Break and is the third in my Love Beyond Barriers Series. It's a contemporary romance about a woman who is learning to live beyond the abusive relationship she had been in for years. Her new hero takes her in and teaches her to be strong again. Also, I was just offered another contract from Ellora's Cave, my eighth with them. It will be for my first "cougar" story. It's also a contemporary but with erotic elements. 

Q: Which is easier, writing the paranormal or the "adult" stuff?

A: Originally when I started writing the paranormal came more naturally to me. But once I started writing the "adult" stuff I find those voices are easier to write. I love writing both. 

Q: Where do you get the inspiration for your stories? 

A: Honestly, I can get inspired by just about anything. Sometimes I'll be listening to the radio and a line of lyrics will spark an idea. Or even everyday situations can inspire me. It's almost too easy sometimes and I have a lot of works in progress.

Q: What do you hear from your readers? 

A: At first I had a lot of questions about my paranormal world. With my first book I realized I didn't answer all of the questions the book brought up. After I took care of that with a prequel, I started getting questions about a possible sequel. It was wonderful knowing my readers wanted more. I still get those questions as well as about what I'm working on next. 

Q: What do you like to read? Do you have a favorite? 

A: I like reading ALL genres of romance, as well as horror, science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction. I'd have to say horror is probably my favorite with fantasy being a very close second. Paranormal romance is kind of the best of a few genres so I really like that one too.

Q: How important do you think being a reader is to the writing process?

A: I think it's VERY important because how else can you know your audience than to be a part of it? I don't understand the authors who refuse to read the genre they write in either. I can understand the concern of being influenced, but I think there are ways around that if you're careful. When I get an idea that I think might have the slightest similarity to something I've read I'll read that book again. I take plagiarism very seriously but I don't think it's something that would just happen without a conscious choice on the writer's part. I learn a lot from reading even in genres other than what I write.

Q: If you had to grab three things (and ONLY three things) from your house to evacuate due to a zombie invasion, what would they be? 

A: Lol, well assuming all four of my daughters and my husband were able to get out safely on their own, it would be my camera, my flashdrive (with ALL of my writing on it), and my purse. You wouldn't believe half the stuff in my purse. It's my lifeline.

Q: What advice do you offer to someone who wants to write a book?

A: The best advice I was ever given is also the hardest to put into practice on a regular basis. Just WRITE! Ignore the online games and social media, ignore the phone, ignore the self-doubt, just sit your butt down and get it done.

Q: Anything else you would like the readers to know?

A: One of the things that has been in general discussion a lot lately are book reviews. There has been a lot of back and forth over whether they're for readers or writers and whether or not they're good or bad. My opinion is every single review serves a purpose. If I see only stars with no explanation that's okay. If nothing else I'll know someone took the time to read my book and I sincerely appreciate that. So if you have the time (And really how long does clicking on some stars really take?) every writer appreciates a review. If this is something you do already, THANK YOU!

Thank you so much for your time, Missy! We look forward to seeing you at the festival.