Please welcome the amazing, M.J. O’Shea!! We’re thrilled you’re here!!
Thank you for taking some down time and spending it with us. Let’s start this off with a beverage. We have coffee, tea, some sort of juice (I think it’s been in here a few weeks) and soda. What would you like?
Haha I think I’ll take my chances with the juice! Hopefully It’s not too old:)
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hmm, let’s see. I write for a living (obviously) live in Washington, I’m not married but I do have two dogs:) I love going places and I haven’t traveled nearly enough. Other than home, Hawaii is my favorite place, so far at least, and I get there as often as I can. Music was my first love, I love painting, and I used to teach middle school!
When you received news that your manuscript had been accepted what were the first words that fell from your mouth?
You know, it was a while ago for the first one but I think some version of “holy shit!” happened haha. It’s always really exciting when my editors accept a pitch that I’ve put together, though. I always wonder if they’re going to like my idea, and even if they did like the idea, if they’ll still like the book when I’m done with it.
What forces brought you over to the MM Genre and what made you want to write it?
Originally, it was an experiment. I liked reading it, and I thought, hey I wonder if I can write this? So I tried, and tossed a few rotten apples away before I managed to write the one that eventually got me a contract (Unintended). That was back in spring of 2010 and I’ve been going ever since!
Would you care for some cookies? We have chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal with or without raisins and a package of mystery ones. We have cake too. Your choice.
Oh, no thanks! Unless they’re gluten free I probably shouldn’t. 😦
No problem, MJ! My sister is on a gluten free diet, so we always have gluten free chocolate chip cookies around. 😉
How many hours a day do you spending writing?
It depends really. Some days I’m rocking along and I spend quite a few hours. Other days it’s more editing and other paperwork type aspects of the job.
Do you write right through or do you revise as you go along?
I tend to write a chapter at a time and revise until I get to the end, then go through and revise a few times after it’s done.
When it comes to plotting, do you write freely or plan everything in advance?
I’m definitely an outliner. I find it really helps me to be more creative if I can think through the plot on an outline, add fun details, plan foreshadowing and character growth that way. I’ve written books freely before and they ended up feeling less complete at the end.
Of your characters do you have a favorite and why?
I do and it’s probably still Nick Ventura from the Lucky Moon books with a second place tie of Candy Scoop from Catch My Breath (which was the voice of a tabloid and written in article/press release form). Both of them pushed me to write in ways that are polar opposite from my own voice, and ended up being really fun because of it.
Writers often go on about writer’s block. Do you ever suffer from it, and what measures do you take to get past it?
I do! I didn’t get much done in 2013 at all. I think honestly the best thing for me at least isn’t to have a bunch of rituals that I need to follow to get into the right place, the best thing for me to do is just DO it. A lot of times, the stuff that I write in those times gets rewritten, but it’s the force that gets the ball rolling.
Do you have a particular spot in your house that you call your comfy zone? (The place where you write.)
I tend to write either in my office or out on my deck on my laptop when it’s nice. I like my big computer better but it also comes with quite a few more distractions!
When you’re in the mindset to write, do you put a sign up that warns others not to disturb you while at work?
Nah, I have my own house so that’s not really a problem. Although people do tend to stop by right when I’m getting into a scene if I write during the day, haha. Maybe I should put a sign up!
How would you describe your sense of humor? Who and what makes you laugh?
I tend to have a sarcastic sense of humor. I like wordplay and clever banter. I guess I really like British humor (Fierce Creatures is one of my all time favorite comedies).
What is the most frequently asked MJ O’Shea question?
Hmmm, usually it’s about sequels… and the answer is usually I have no idea:) It took me quite a while to write Rising Sun after Dark Sun came out in 2011. I’m glad I finally did though!
What kind of books do you like to read outside of the MM Genre?
I really like sci-fi, fantasy, and YA. I tend not to read a lot of romance outside of MM, and I love a good conspiracy book.
Pick one: Scientist, Astronaut, Retail, or Horse Trainer-
Probably horse trainer? LOL. I couldn’t imagine myself doing any of those.
Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy doing?
Tons of things:) Like I said music was my first love and I play a few instruments, I love to paint. It helps me think, and I really like to dance. I tend to go on a couple of long walks every day and when I’m in shape I like kickboxing. That’s not right now, though haha.
Any special projects coming out soon we should watch for?
I actually have a really full schedule coming up in 2014/2015. I laid it all out on my blog back in February, and I’ve added to it since!
Here’s my original schedule for anyone who’s curious: http://mjoshea.com/2014/02/14/coming-soon-from-mj-oshea/
And then Poppy Dennison and I came up with a really fun series of novellas that we pitched to Wilde City called Coconut Cove, which is about a gay teen drama, its cast and crew members and all the juicy drama that goes along with anything scandalous in Hollywood:)
Can you please tell us where we can find you on the Internet?
It was a pleasure having you here with us today. Please come by and let us know how you’re doing from time to time. OH! And before you leave, can I get your help here in the kitchen? Thanks!!
Thank you for having me!!