Welcome friends! This is Sinner back with our October Pink Diamond interview!
Our guest today is Ms. M.J. Kane author of the recently released A Heart Not Easily Broken. Minnie and I met Ms. Kane when she responded to a blog post Minnie wrote about a lesson learned and they became fast friends.
In preparation for this interview, we read M.J.'s release A Heart Not Easily Broken and here is our review.
It is with great pleasure, that I introduce you all to Ms. M.J. Kane!!
Before we begin, tell us about the newest member(s) of your family. You recently became a “grandma”, isn’t that right?
LOL, well, by doggie standards anyway! If my kids were to pop up pregnant right now there would be a problem! Our Pit Bull, Ivy, is due to give birth any day now. Her ‘unplanned’ pregnancy has taken us by surprise, but we’re looking forward to our new family members!
Please tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to begin writing.
I started writing in 2009 after my husband suggested I pull a short story I’d written out, dust it off, and give it another go. Until then, I’d always been a reader and never thought twice about becoming an author. It’s taken me four years to learn the art of writing. Tears, yep a lot of them, some cussing, and determination….but my first novel, A Heart Not Easily Broken, Book One of the Butterfly Memoirs, was published on September 20, 2012!
Here are some reviews from amazon.com:
Punkin8187 says: "This was one of the best books I've read in a while..."
Romanceallday says: "...I liked the cover, it was refreshing to see a romance novel that didn't have two people in the throws (sp) of passion on the cover..."
and S. Williams says: "I enjoyed watching Brian convince Ebony that the difference in their races didn't matter...."
Brava woman!! Congratulations!!
Please share with us what your experience has been in getting A Heart Not Easily Broken published.
My journey to publication has been a very interesting experience. I’ve blogged about it, but for the most part, every bit has been fun and an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything! My decision to become an author has given me the opportunity to meet many talented authors, from New York Times Bestsellers, Suzanne Brockmann, and Jamie Rush, to amazing Amazon Bestsellers, Carmen DeSousa and Bernadette Marie, and the bold and brave Bestselling Authors self-published authors Chicki Brown, Delaney Diamond, Candace Shaw, Sharon C. Cooper, and so many more. Each experience has taught me a little bit more about myself and helped me continue to define and develop who I am as a writer, my writing style, and my writing voice. I am now taking the knowledge that has been shared with me and sharing it with other authors through my blog, This Writer’s Life, and the writer’s group I host at my local library. It’s my way of giving back the same way these amazing women have given to me!
Tell us how you came up with the idea for this story.
A Heart Not Easily Broken came about from watching women around me deal with life changing experiences (myself included) of various types that could have had a negative effect on the way they viewed themselves and the world around them….they could run and hide, give up on life and their dreams, or they could fight back, push a tragic past behind, and continue to fight to follow their dreams and become the women they want to be.
Ebony’s story (I’ll avoid spoilers!) went through several stages of evolution before I found the perfect way to tell it. I also wanted to put a twist on the typical love story and delve deep into the hero’s side and not just have him present as eye candy for the heroine.
Brian goes through his own evolution of character, experiences a few things he never thought he would, and has to change his outlook on life as well. Apparently I’ve done a good job because numerous women have told me that they wanted a Brian of their own when they were done reading! (Thank god he’s stuck on Ebony or else girlfriend would have some serious competition!)
We know that you are big on plotting and that you use visuals for inspiration. Tell us your process in this area.
Oh man where to begin?
Yes, I gave pantsing a try, but my stories were never deep enough to grab my beta readers. They wanted more plot, more realism, more of presenting my characters on so many different levels that they became living and breathing individuals instead of just a person on paper. So, after about two years of fighting it, I gave up and plotted…not just writing a general outline…
I took a month to develop both of my main characters, getting to know them from the inside out. That included using visual aids, or pictures of how (or who) I envisioned my characters to look, sound, and act. I also pulled images relating to their daily life…home, work, car, etc….those little things we never think about until we focus on the editing portion of writing after the initial dialogue and plot have been written. Those little details are what make your writing stand apart and come alive.
Do you edit as you go along?
No, that was a habit I had in the beginning, but I’ve learned to stop. I ‘throw up’, LOL, on paper, letting the story that’s been plotted come alive. I write it out, chapter by chapter, ignoring the misspelled words, descriptive tags, research of minor details and let the characters voices flow though me. Once that is done, I go back and clean it up, then I focus on consistency, making sure everything flows right. It’s a time consuming process and usually results in about 5-6 stages before I’m ready for my beta readers to even take a peek at it!!!
How do you handle writer’s block? Do you ever feel like giving up?
I have only had one really bad case of writer’s block, and that was after I’d been told my story wasn’t real enough. I took a solid month off of writing, refusing to think about my story or the characters and decided writing wasn’t for me. After about two weeks, the characters came back, invading my dreams (day and night) refusing to let me give up. I took a writer’s course at my community college, read more books, looked up information online, and listened to my beta readers and critique partners, then tried again.
Since then I’ve had to make myself take time off! I have six stories planned in the Butterfly Memoirs series…the next five already have their character pictures chosen, bits and pieces of their story written for later use. If I ever run out of inspiration for my current couple, one of the future ones never hesitate to step in and wrestle my creative muse to bend to their will! Once their story has received attention, they disappear into the back ground and I can revisit my current couple with a fresh set of eyes. I know…straight jacket is coming isn’t it???? LOL!
Your next story in the series is “Jaded” and will focus on Yasmine, Ebony’s friend and roommate. What can you tell us about her and her story?
Oh man, my girl Yasmine! Where to begin?
If you’ve read A Heart Not Easily Broken, you got a taste of her and how her mind works.
She and Ebony are complete opposites! I introduce her near the end so you can see where her head is at and leave you wondering how she’ll recover after Ebony finds her happy ever after. Yasmine has a story that will have you looking at her from a new light. As her diary post says…no one will ever be able to understand her…or so she thinks. The man for her is someone she least expects.
Yasmine’s biggest hurdle will be discovering information that is not only devastating to her, but will also affect the man she’s involved with in a way that will change him for the rest of his life.
Does she keep it in and stand by his side, or does she tell him and run the risk of having her heart broken for the third and final time?
Every time I do another round of edits on this story I find myself crying. Yep, it’s just that good.
If you could offer up words of wisdom to those embarking on a writing career, what would you tell them?
Never give up. No matter what others say about your writing, take the negative, the ‘you can’t do that’s’ and put them to the side. Continue to learn how to become a better writer, learn the rules of your genre, then bend them and break them until you create something that is yours. Don’t be afraid to stand apart. Different is what the readers want. Give it to them!
If you could choose one superpower, what would it be?
The power to write perfectly without the need for edits!
Good one!! What would friends say is your best trait?
I like to laugh and have others around me laugh. It’s got to be a very bad situation to keep me from having a smile on my face!
I know that's right!! What’s your favorite place in the world?
A few years ago I would take my kids to this park where we had to walk about ½ mile to get to this river. They’d play by the water’s edge; I’d sit on this huge rock that lay half on the river bank and half in the water and read or just stare at the water and enjoy the sounds of nature.
I miss that place! We no longer live near it. Once day I will go back!!!
I'm positive you will!! Who do you most admire or what quality do you find most admirable in people?
Resilience, perseverance, and the ability to overcome obstacles most people would run from. Those are strong character points that everyone can learn from. Those are also qualities I strive for my characters to have by the time their story ends.
Chocolate or vanilla?
And there you have it folks. Come back tomorrow when Ms. Kane returns with a special guest blog post!