Friday, March 23, 2012

Monique O'Connor James Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview  

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.

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What fiction most influenced your childhood, and what effect did those stories have on your writing? 

I guess what I remember most is reading The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice when I was a very young teenager. I remember being drawn into the world and loving that I could escape inside the paranorma realm she created. I've always written dark fiction, even when I was young, and I think the creation of a place that is nothing like our day to day lives made me want to write that way also.

Where were you born and where do you call home? 

I was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I have a deep love of my home state and the rich culture we have here. That is probably why all my novels up to this point have been set in Louisiana, at least partially.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way? 

When I was younger I saw my mom writing all the time. She would sit down with a notebook and jot down stories because she really wanted to write a novel. She passed away in 1998 long before my first novel was published, and I wish she'd been around to enjoy it with me. I think her memory and the knowledge that she shared my passion keeps me writing.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer? 

Well, I'm not happy unless I'm juggling ten balls in the air. For me, I have to keep myself organized. I work full time, I'm a mom, a wife, etc., and then on top of that I write. It's important for me to keep a list of what I'm working on and prioritize it or I will get so many things going at once that I never complete anything! I have a bit of ADD that way. So, staying sane involves knowing what I want to accomplish first and working from there.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing Jamais Vu? 

Jamais Vu's plot came from something real. My mother was playing with a loaded gun when I was an infant and it went off and shot her. I think what I learned by writing this novel, was that you could start off with something factual and turn it into something completely fictional. It was really a fun novel to write.

If you could introduce Darby to any character from another book, who would it be and why? 

Hmmm. Is it wrong to want to introduce her to another one of my characters? I would introduce her to Justin from The Keepers. He is a fallen angel, but he has a way of helping people heal.

Why do you feel you had to tell this story? 

As I said before, the story came from something real. My mom talked about what it was like to be shot and recover from that accident. I felt like I wanted to honor what she went through in some way without writing her story.

Which character have you enjoyed writing the most? 

Oh I love Darby, Kasey and Matt in the Jamais Vu series. Each one of them has their own distinct personality and I felt like they truly came to life as I wrote the stories.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series? 

Yes this book is part of a series - Deja Vu is the follow up. There may be a third in the series. I just haven't worked that far ahead yet.

In May, I have a new paranormal, stand-alone novel called Becoming Jolie coming out.

I'm working on a new series called Magia Rising about witches in New Orleans and the follow up to my first novel, The Keepers. Besides that, I have three or four other manuscripts that I haven't touched. Also, currently I'm offering a free read over at my blog, - I'm posting a couple of chapters every week of another story I've been working on.

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters? 

I love aternative rock. I was listening to Breaking Benjamin and Seether alot when I wrote this story, so any of their songs would probably fit.

What are your current projects? 

The one I'm working the hardest on is the first book in a new series called Magia Rising. However, as you can see above, I have several irons in the fire.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? 

12? They haven't all been published yet, but I'm working on it! I think my favorite is Jamais Vu/Deja Vu, but that's subject to change depending on my mood :)

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie? 

The older I get, the more prone I am to lie about my age....oh and my weight!

What question are you never asked in interviews but wish you were? 

I don't know that's tough! I think you did a pretty good job!

If you could be any mythology creature, what would you be? 

I'd definitely want to be a vampire. I think I could handle living forever if I had someone with me who was also immortal.

What’s the worst job you’ve had? 

HA! I've been pretty lucky. I've always liked what I do. I sell insurance and have since I was 18. Just like every job it has good times and bad times.

What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed? 

Oh! I just really got into The Walking Dead! Me and my husband watched ever episode this past weekend and I loved it!

Where can readers stalk you?

Twitter: mjames13
Author Page:
All books available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

A gunshot echoes, thrusting Darby Lambert into a near death experience. Inside the confines of an ambulance, she meets “the man in white light”. He takes away the guilt, but makes her question everything. “You will see them,” he whispers, as he catapults her back into the real world where she is plagued with dreams of demons, nurses, and rock stars.

Why has He sent her back? Does she have the courage to rectify her sins? Given the chance, could you erase it all?

You can purchase Jamais Vu at these following Retailers: 

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Monique for making this giveaway possible.
3 Winners will receive on e-book copy of Jamais Vu by Monique O'Connor James.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you so much for having me Jean!

  2. I loved that book :)

  3. Very thorough appearance: interesting interview questions, brief blurb, and review.
    Enjoyed it.

  4. I've been wanting to read this! I read The Keepers and thought the writing was great! Thanks for the giveaway :)

  5. I learnt that... Hm... Creative thinking is bad at school and you just need to be nice to teacher. XP

  6. The greatest thing I learned at school is to read and write. It made me able to read all the wonderful books I'm reading now.

  7. My seventh grade science teacher introduced us to the world of UFO's.

  8. The greatest thing I learned at school? life sucks XD

  9. the greatest thing i learnt.... how to read!!!!!
    thanks for the giveaway