I started my first novel in November of 2008. As most of you know by now, I’d always been a writer. I still have friends tell me they used my stories to turn in for grades in school. That thought scares me, because most of what I wrote back then was a little frightening!!
In April of 2011, I was going through a bit depression. I can remember the day that I got my first contract from Astraea Press vividly. I’d been at home suffering from a migraine and feeling sorry for myself. When I opened the email and saw the contract attached tears of joy rolled down my cheeks. Someone out there wanted to hear my stories!
The Keepers was published in June of 2011. I can’t even begin to tell you what it feels like to see your work on Amazon or to hold your novel in your hand for the first time. For me, the biggest thrill was putting that book in my Dad’s hands and saying here, this if for you and me and all we have been through together. Also, this was a very personal book for me. One about a main character whose mother had died of breast cancer and the damaged angel that came along to save her. This tale was so close to home that I was extremely nervous about sharing it, but tickled that I had the chance.
Everything wasn’t perfect. No, my first novel was quite the roller coaster ride. Somehow, the edition that was originally uploaded was not the one that the publishing company and I had spent hours pouring over during edits. I got a lot of great reviews, but then the die-hard readers started to mention editing errors and after much thought and support from Astraea, I pulled the book and it went back to editing. We literally had to start over!!!
During this time, Astraea put out a call for short stories which would be published with all monies going to the Japanese Tsunami Relief. This is when the Mulligan Man was born. I’d had a dream one night that I was standing in my front yard screaming, “I want a Mulligan!”. My son, Colton, and I jotted down ideas and characters and this fun YA Folk tale came to life. It is different from anything I’ve ever written, but one of my pride and joys because my son played an integral part of developing it.
The contract for Jamais Vu with Astraea soon followed and it was published in October 2011. Whirlwind right? Yes! And so much fun. I can’t talk about Jamais Vu without either crying or beaming. As though the cosmos was trying to make up for all that had gone wrong with The Keepers, everything with Jamais Vu was easy. There are over 25 5 star reviews on Amazon for this book and several four star reviews. Knock on wood, not one person has ever slammed it!
This book also had deeply personal meaning to me. My mother was playing with a gun she thought was unloaded when I was a toddler. She was shot and spent years recovering. My main character, Darby, also suffers this fate in Jamais Vu. I wanted to pay tribute to my mom’s story but give it a huge paranormal twist and I think this book did the job.
In February 2012, the follow-up to Jamais Vu, Deja Vu was also published by Astraea Press. Blessings! Blessings! Blessings! By this point not only did I have four book in the marketplace, but I also had developed wonderful friendships with readers, bloggers, reviewers, cover artists, editors and publishers.
It is such a rush. There are people out there who want to read my books! Before I ever considered getting published, the one thing I said was, “If I could just have a few fans who enjoy my work, I’ll be happy.” I’ve far exceeded that goal, and to each and ever one of you, I am eternally grateful and humbled by your love and support.
So that brings us to the middle of 2012, back to the time where I started last year. On July 9th, Becoming Jolie, my first Adult Paranormal novel will be published by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing. Also in July, The Watchers, the sequel to The Keepers will be published by Astraea!
So what else is coming? I’ve written the first novel in a new series called Magia Rising. I’m considering self-publishing that one in October. Next year, I know for sure this book will have a follow-up as will the Jamais Vu series. I’m also hoping to self publish a novel that I’m currently offering chapters of on my blog, The Awakening.
I’ve had some hard moments in the last year. Sometimes, I’ve been frustrated and overwhelmed, but mostly I’ve been filled with joy and love. There is nothing like meeting one of your biggest fans for the first time, getting emails from people dying to read your next work, hearing from young authors who just want someone to talk shop.
I hope that I can continue to offer you all stories that capture your hearts and imaginations! Today, I just want to say thanks! Every time you mention my book to a friend, share my Facebook posts or Tweets you are pumping new life into my crazy brain.
As long as you will all have me, I’ll be around!
Monique O’Connor James
Author of The Keepers – http://www.amazon.com/The-Keepers-ebook/dp/B0054LO9E8/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1331129226&sr=8-6
Jamais Vu – http://www.amazon.com/Jamais-Vu-ebook/dp/B005SG02FE/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2
Deja Vu – http://www.amazon.com/Deja-Vu-ebook/dp/B006X3133G/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2
The Mulligan Man – http://www.amazon.com/The-Mulligan-Man-ebook/dp/B005ES06M0/ref=pd_sim_kstore_3?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2
Coming July 2012 – Becoming Jolie from Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing & The Watchers from Astraea Press!!!!