It’s such a pleasure to welcome M.j. Kane to my blog today. I first learned about her work when Jaded appeared as one of the books on RNIC’s list of book review requests a few months ago. I have to admit that before I selected Jaded, I went on to amazon.com to get a sneak peek of the first few pages, and I have to tell you this: M.j. had me at the first two lines of the prologue. Seriously! I absolutely loved this story. Click here to read my review of Jaded, and you may also find out if Zach, the hero, made my list of Roxy’s Top Ten Heroes for 2013.
But as usual, I digress…
Today you’ll find out lots of things about M.j. For instance, you’ll hear about a few of her beauty secrets, as well as something which most people don’t know and would be surprised to know about her. Of course, you’ll also get an opportunity to learn about Jaded. So let’s start the ball rolling.
I’m delighted to have you here. Tell us, who is M.j. Kane, and why did you decide to write?
Thank you for having me, Roxy! I am a stay-at-home mom with an over active imagination. I guess the ‘voices’ in my head never really left once I quit playing with dolls, lol. But seriously, I have always had scenes, or mini stories going through my head to keep me entertained. I’ve always been an avid book reader, and never thought about writing. One day, my husband challenged me to take a short story fan fic I’d written and give it some more life. One thing led to another and my first novel, A Heart Not Easily Broken was born.
What do you do to stay grounded?
Family does that all the time! Honestly, I see myself as a mom with a passion for writing. I often forget that there are so many readers who love my stories and that I have fans. I work from home and most days walk around the house with a headscarf on, wearing leggings and a big t-shirt!
Do you have any beauty secrets you wish to share with your fans?
Hmm….from the mom who only wears makeup when I have to…I’d say the best one I’ve got is how to clean your skin naturally without using store brought products. The best exfoliate is a spoonful of sugar with honey. Talk about cleaning your skin! It gets rid of all the dead skin cells and leaves your skin soft and smooth. Follow up with coco butter to moisturize and heal damaged skin and lighten up dark spots.
Who are your role models?
My writing role models are women who made a living and career from being home to take care of their families and turned writing into a career, authors such as Nora Roberts and Danielle Steel come to mind.
What are some things most people don’t know about you?
I would say the one thing that most don’t know about me is that I survived having a stroke and paralysis several years ago. It’s been a long road back to recovery, and I honestly feel that writing has become a way to help myself heal emotionally and mentally. Physically, I was better within a year, but I will never be the same. I like to think I have improved, or evolved into who I am meant to be, I just didn’t know who that was until I started writing.
Which authors inspire you the most?
I am inspired by every author I read. Every author has their own style of storytelling and a message that is shared in their books. Some do it blatantly, while others hide the message in the story. Authors such as Beverly Jenkins, Michael Crichton, J. R. Ward, J.R.R. Tolkien, and even George Lucas are great sources of inspiration.
Are there any books you’re currently reading?
My plate has become full over the last few weeks, so reading a book is hard to do! I’ve found myself sneaking a way for a few minutes at a time with the paperback version of my second novel, Jaded, to refresh the characters voices in my head as I work on the third novel in The Butterfly Memoirs series, Lonely Heart. After taking months off from writing to focus on marketing and promotions, finding the character voices again are a must. Not to mention I get lost in the story and have to remind myself that I was the one who wrote it!
What message(s) you wish to convey in your books?
There is always a message in my stories. Since my own medical experience, I’ve learned when I tell someone what happened they look at me and think I’m lying. It made me realize we often don’t know what’s really going on in the lives of those around us, even if they are our best friend. We often let first impressions be what steer our thinking instead of taking the time to get to know someone. My stories focus on universal themes such as women’s health, independence, and relationship worries that everyone faces. I don’t write my stories for one particular set of readers. The themes addressed affect male and female readers from every national and ethnic background.
What is your greatest learning experience as a writer?
My greatest learning experience? Keeping up with the correct and most current versions of your manuscript is key, especially when it’s time to send it to the publisher!!!
If, for one moment in time, you were able to switch places with a character from one of your books, who would it be? Why?
Oh, that’s a good question!!! I’d say Yasmine, from the second novel, Jaded. She’s a woman who is more than confident about her body, her looks, and what she wants out of life. She’s free to express herself sexually, and doesn’t care what other think about her….at least on the outside. Inside, she’s got a few issues to work on, but that’s where the love of her life comes in.
At the risk of showing favoritism, who has been your favorite hero/heroine to write?
Yasmine and Zachariah from Jaded! Don’t get me wrong, I love Ebony and Brian from A Heart Not Easily Broken; I learned a lot about writing and character development when writing them. But Yasmine and Zack’s story hits a little closer to home because a lot of my personal experiences were put into both characters. I held on to that story for two years before it was released, and to this day, I can still feel every emotion, every tear, and laugh at every crazy thing that happens. I have another set of characters who may compete, but that’s a few books down the road.
Finish this sentence: I want to be remembered as…
…a storyteller who brought truth and reality to the world of romance novels.
Tell us about your latest release.
My latest release is Jaded, the second novel in The Butterfly Memoirs. Though it is part of a series, it is also a standalone novel. In it the concept of friends-with-benefits relationships is touched upon, but with a twist. We know that eventually the couple will get together, but what happens after the Happily Ever After? Were they really meant to be together, or will the relationship fall apart when real life, heartache and deception become the new reality?
If this story was made into a movie, who would you cast as the hero and heroine?
Easy! I love to use actors as my templates when writing my characters. Zoe Seldana would be the perfect Yasmine because she exudes confidence and sexuality. Columbus Short makes the perfect Zachariah because he too has a confidence that is comes across on screen, but he’s not one to boast about it.
So you’ve finished this story. What can readers expect from you next? When?
The next book in the series, Lonely Heart, follows the third roommate introduced in A Heart Not Easily Broken, Kaitlyn Rodgers. Like her friends before her, Kaitlyn’s story is uniquely her own, and is introduced within the pages of Jaded. Lonely Heart will also be a standalone story, but as always, you’ll get a little background about the characters and what led them there by reading the previous stories, it’s up to you! The release date will be announced later on this year, so be sure to follow my blog to stay in the loop!
Now here’s an opportunity for us to get a glimpse of this fascinating story.
A devastating breakup leaves Yasmine Phillips in shambles. Unable to trust another man with her heart, she focuses on the one thing she can control—starting her own business.
When her computer crashes, taking months of hard work with it, she must rely on computer genius Zachariah Givens to save her. A complete opposite of men from her past, she doesn’t expect the passion that ensues. But just as she finds happiness, she learns the truth about the other women in Zachariah’s life.
I’ve been called a slut, a ho, easy, and a few other words that I refuse to even write on paper.
Since middle school, people have taken one look at my light skin, grey eyes, and the shape of my body and assumed that’s who I was.
The first three letters of the word described them. How dare they judge me? Nobody is perfect.
It has never mattered what I’ve done in my life. Being the daughter of a bi-racial marriage has always haunted me. With my fusion of graceful features I’d inherited from my white mother – the slender nose, cat-like eyes, vibrant smile, and the take-no-shit attitude of my black father, people didn’t know how to deal with me.
Guys in school wanted to date me as if I were a trophy. Girls hated the color of my eyes and the texture of my hair.
Things got worse as I got older. Why? Because I love my body, and I love sex.
But I never used either to earn money or favors from any man. I am a confident, educated woman who goes for what I want, regardless of what anyone around me has to say. If that means I want a good lay every now and then, I’m damn well entitled to it. But one thing I’d never be is a home wrecker.
My philosophy on love and relationships is simple: sex isn’t love, but it’s nice while you’re waiting.
Well, that’s what I used to think before the man that I fell in love with trampled all over my heart.
And raped my best friend.
Love will never happen for me. No man will ever understand me…the real me.
Not my parents, not my brother, not even my best friends.
My life, my experiences – both good and bad – are what define the real me.
Connect with her via the websites below:
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.