A Year in the Life of an Author

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!

Cheers!

Monique O’Connor James

Website:             www.moniqueoconnorjames.com
Facebook:          https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=511255176
Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/moniqueoconnorjamesauthor
Twitter:  mjames13

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!!!!

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Win a Copy of Jamais Vu (signed) on Goodreads!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Jamais Vu by Monique O'Connor James

Jamais Vu

by Monique O’Connor James

Giveaway ends May 21, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

 

Enter to win

Deja Vu Debut 1/12/12 Giveaways!!!!!

You probably know by now that Jamais Vu’s follow-up, Deja Vu, will be coming out tomorrow 1/12/12.  I have lots of giveaways going on right now and just wanted to do a little run down so you don’t miss anything.

Okay first,  if you purchase Deja Vu on 1/12/12, email the receipt to nique313@yahoo.com and I will give you the choice of a PDF of The Keepers , Jamais Vu or The Mulligan Man!  Two for One!!!!  This is for 1/12/12 only.

Next, Rachel Van Dyken had a fabulous write-up about the books on her blog.  If you comment on her blog, I will draw someone on 1/12/12 o receive a PDF copy of Jamais Vu or Deja Vu (Your choice).

Okay last one for now.  We are playing throw me something mister on my facebook page.  Change your profile picture to the cover of Deja Vu above and yell “Throw Me Something Mister” on my page!  On Saturday, 1/14/12 I’ll draw for several winners and the prizes are the collectors beads below and maybe even a couple of PDFs!

Have Fun! Thank you all for always supporting me!

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers, The Mulligan Man, Jamais Vu and Deja Vu published by Astraea Press

Coming Summer 2012 – Becoming Jolie published by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing

Ghost Stories Part 1 – The Myrtles

I’ve decided to insert a series of ghost stories into my blog purely for your enjoyment.  I’ve gathered these from here and there, and as far as I know they are told in earnest.  If you’re like me the thrill comes just as much from speculation as seeing or hearing something!

I’ll start with one of my favorite places in the world, The Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana.  The Myrtles websites touts it as one of America’s most haunted homes.  Here in Louisiana, it’s a popular place to spend Halloween night, if you have the cojones. 

The home was built circa 1796 and the stories about the ongoing hauntings have websites dedicated to both debunking and proving their validity.  Whatever you believe, visitors and paranormal investigators alike claim to have witnessed the sights and sounds of a truly haunted house.

Here are some of the ghost who haunt The Myrtles:

1.  Chloe – A slave who allegedly poisoned two children and was subsequently hung on the property.

2.  The ghost of those children have been seen playing on the Veranda.

3.  William Drew Winter – lived at the Myrtles in the Mid 1800’s.  It was reported that he was shot on the porch by a stranger.  William left the porch just after the shooting and began to make his way to the second floor.  It is said that he died on the 17th step and that the sound of his footsteps can still be heard.

4.  The ghosts of several slaves have approached visitors asking if there is any work for them.

5.  People have reported that the grand piano in the home often plays by itself.

Even with all the spooks who hang around, The Myrtles is one of the most beautiful plantation homes in South Louisiana. Put this one on your list of must see locations should you find yourself in this neck of the woods!

Cheers!

Monique O’Connor James author of The Keepers, Jamais Vu and The Mulligan Man available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Coming Early 2012:  Deja Vu; Coming Summer 2012:  Becoming Jolie

Jamais Vu Contest!

Jamais Vu is coming out in September and I am super stoked!  This one is gonna be a cult classic and I can’t wait!  If you haven’t seen the trailer – check it out – it may help with you with the contest.  Here is the link:  http://youtu.be/PSJ_sFF2hxg

So there is an alternative rock band at the center of the book named Machine Gun Butterfly! (Thank you Kimberly Alverez Shaw! – I can’t take credit she blurted it out one day).  Anyway, this band needs an album cover and I know all my talented fans and readers can make one! 

Drawings, pictures, digital art…whatever you want to do to produce an album cover (That’s CD’s to those of you that don’t know what an album is lol) is welcome! 

I think the name itself lends to some pretty exciting covers but I’m going to give you the run down on the boys just so you can have something to go on for band members. 

Kasey Kibodeaux – Kasey is the lead singer – tall, light brown wavy hair,  and blue eyes. He’s prone to wearing beanies and baseball caps occasionally.  Kasey has a tat sleeve 😀

Matt Blaze – Matt plays bass.  Black hair, green eyes, tall and tattooed.  He’s always brushing his black bangs from his face.

Joel Milon – Joel plays drums – dark brown hair that sweeps his shoulders.  He’s tall and lanky and a ball of energy.

Chris Kibodeaux – plays guitar.  Chris is basically a shorter version of his brother Kasey 🙂

Have fun with you have the entire month of August to play with it.  I will post a winner on the release day and post the winning pic all over the place.

Now for the good stuff.  I’ll let the fans vote and the top two will win.  2nd place will win a copy of the Jamais Vu PDF.

1st place will win a PDF and the Jamais Vu Fan Necklace.  I’ll post a couple of pics below of the shell casing necklaces!  Good Luck and have fun I can’t wait to see the pictures!!!

Emily made these and you can check out her stuff on ETSY:  http://www.etsy.com/people/emilyuts.

Don’t forget to check out The Keepers and The Mulligan Man on Amazon while you’re waiting for Jamais Vu to come out!  http://www.amazon.com/The-Keepers-ebook/dp/B0054LO9E8/ref=pd_rhf_p_t_2

http://www.amazon.com/The-Mulligan-Man-ebook/dp/B005ES06M0/ref=pd_rhf_p_t_1

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James