Hi, M.J.! Welcome to Oh, for the Hook of a Book! It’s a pleasure for me to have you here today for an interview. Our time is obviously short so let’s get started!
A: A trip to Paris and Victor Hugo’s home there inspired me to read Les Miserables. I became obsessed with Fantine. I kept wondering if someone had inspired Hugo to create her? I started reading more and more about him. I read his poetry. Sought out his watercolors and drawings… But it was coming across a description of his belief in reincarnation and his experimenting with séances that made me decide to write about him… and the woman who might have inspired him to create Fantine.
Erin Comments: Fascinating!
Q: How is Seduction similar to your other novels? How does it differ?
A: Al l of my novels seem to be about how the past influences the present. Seduction is different in that it’s the first time I wrote from a famous person’s point of view. About 25% of the book is me writing as Victor Hugo – giving his first person account of his experiences with séances.
Q: What was your favorite part of writing Seduction?
A: The second draft. I love that part of every book the best. The hardest part is done – getting the book on paper – then I get to finesse for days and days and days.
Erin Comments: Totally understandable.
Q: What is one thing you want readers to remember or feel after they are done reading Seduction?
A: Hopefully how much they enjoyed reading the book so they tell everyone about it 🙂
Q: What other novels have you written and are they all historical thriller/suspense?
A: All the books are at MJRose.com – there are 13 novels all together. The Reincarnationist, The Memorist, The Hypnotist and The Book of Lost Fragrances all have elements of historical fiction – the others don’t.
Q: I like how you meld the senses, art, music, and the spiritual into your books. I can imagine you live your life surrounded by all things beautiful from the creative world. What would some of your favorite Pinterest boards say about you (if you have or would have them) or show us about your personality?
A: OH I HAVE THEM! Just visit MJRose at Pinterest – I love doing them. – some are very personal and some are even hidden that the public can’t see. I use them to create characters and work on stories.
Q: Who are your favorite heroines from history?
A: I can’t tell you – I have a list of them and a series of books planned about them – and don’t want to give it away 🙂
Q: How do you feel that the publishing world is doing now in accepting females as major novel writers, especially in the thriller genre?
A: Other than getting reviews – which mostly go to male writers in suspense and every genre – women writers in the suspense genre have done well for decades. Going back to Agatha Christie and even further, I don’t think there’s been any serious prejudice from readers or publishers against women writers.
Q: Do you think paranormal or spiritual themes are integral parts of your writing? Why do you feel these themes are so popular in the current culture?
A: I think magic is integral to my writing… I’m drawn to possibilities even when they are impossible ones. And I think they are popular because we’re living in hard times and the paranormal takes us out of our world and offers hope that there is more than we know about – more than we can see.
Erin Comments: I agree.
Q: You are an extremely well-known consultant and mentor in regards to self-publishing. I know you’ve opened a marketing company for promoting books. I’m in the same line of work in regards to journalism, PR, and marketing. I’m wondering, how do you manage to do all this and write novels too? How do you juggle it all?
A: I work on my fiction in the morning and then the afternoon is devoted to AuthorBuzz.com
Erin Comments: You make it sound so easy. Kudos to you for all you accomplish.
Q: What is some of your best advice for women authors who are balancing a family, life and writing novel(s)?
A: I don’t have any since I do not have anything like a balanced life!
Q: What is your advice about self-publishing versus looking for a traditional publisher? What about independent press?
A: All publishing is a lottery. Over 2 million books will be published this year. Most will sell less than 100 copies. I think everyone needs to educate themselves and not just talk to the successes in traditional publishing and self publishing but talk to the authors in the trenches in both camps and see which trench you’d rather be in. Self publishing gives you total control, you own all your own rights and you don’t share any of what you make on your books but I think you need to have an interest in running a business. Traditional offers you a lot of help, more distribution, financial support upfront and a chance at reviews that elude most self published authors. It’s all what you want to do and how you want to do it.
Q: What has been your biggest achievement or success? What has been your biggest challenge?
A: Staying alive. And staying alive.
Q: Switching gears, what is your favorite stage play and why? Movie?
A: Stage play Brigadoon – it is so magical.
Erin Comments: Also one of my favorites! I hardly hear anyone say this one!
Movie – Sabrina with Audrey Hepburn tied with Portrait of Jennie. It’s that magic again.
Q: What is coming up next for you?
A: I’m working on the 2014 book now but I think it’s bad luck to talk about it.
Q: What is the best way for readers to connect with you?
A: MJRose.com – there’s a form there.
Erin: It’s been an honor to have the opportunity to interview you, M.J.! I wish you even more continued success and welcome you here anytime! Best of luck to you in all your many endeavors.
M.J.: And a pleasure to visit with you here!
Readers, please stop back by on May 9 for my review of Seduction!
SYNOPSIS: From the author of The Book of Lost Fragrances comes a haunting novel about a grieving woman who discovers the lost journal of novelist Victor Hugo, awakening a mystery that spans centuries.
In 1843, novelist Victor Hugo’s beloved nineteen-year-old daughter drowned. Ten years later, Hugo began participating in hundreds of séances to reestablish contact with her. In the process, he claimed to have communed with the likes of Plato, Galileo, Shakespeare, Dante, Jesus—and even the Devil himself. Hugo’s transcriptions of these conversations have all been published. Or so it was believed.
Recovering from her own losses, mythologist Jac L’Etoile arrives on the Isle of Jersey—where Hugo conducted the séances—hoping to uncover a secret about the island’s Celtic roots. But the man who’s invited her there, a troubled soul named Theo Gaspard, has hopes she’ll help him discover something quite different—Hugo’s lost conversations with someone called the Shadow of the Sepulcher.
What follows is an intricately plotted and atmospheric tale of suspense with a spellbinding ghost story at its heart, by one of America’s most gifted and imaginative novelists.
Author M.J. Rose, Biography~
M.J. Rose is the international best selling author of eleven novels and two non-fiction books on marketing. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in many magazines and reviews including Oprah Magazine. She has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com. The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Renincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and runs the blog- Buzz, Balls & Hype. She is also the co-founder of Peroozal.com and BookTrib.com.
Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.
Promotion for Necklace from M.J. Rose!
1. Put the book on you To Be Read shelf on Goodreads and email me the link or tell me and send me your account name in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15802432-seduction
2. Pre-order SEDUCTION here: http://mjrose.com/books/seduction.asp?BookVar=Praise
Send your receipt to email@example.com and state you came from the Hook of a Book blog.
Twitter Hashtag: #SeductionVirtualTour