Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Interview with Author - MJ Kane


 Please tell me, what does the M.J. stand for in your name? I’m dying to know. : )
Lol, nothing actually, it’s just my initials. Sorry!

OMG!! That book was great! I stayed up past my bedtime to finish it and I was NOT disappointed. 

Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed it!

A Heart not Easily Broken, what was the motivation for this book, was this a case of art imitating life?

The motivation was a wide variety of things. Mostly, it’s a ‘what if” situation. ‘What if this happened to me, what would I do?’ ‘What would be the ramifications if I decided to (fill in the blank)’. It’s sad to say many of us know of women, young and old, if not ourselves, who have found themselves in positions that lead to the same circumstances as Ebony.  The problem is that most choose to keep it a secret and not tell. I wanted to address the subject and write a story about a woman who struggles to overcome the after effects without giving up on her goals. I also wanted to show that rape can affect not only the victim, but those around them as well. How you choose to handle the situation is not nearly as important as seeking help for your own mental and physical well-being. But above all, I wanted women to understand that regardless of where you are or how you dress, it’s not your fault.

Which character do you identify with the most, Ebony, Yasmine or Kaitlyn?

All of them!  There’s a little bit of me in everyone I write.  Ebony’s determination to reach a goal, Yasmine’s desire to stand apart and be happy, and Kaitlyn’s attempts to make a difficult situation a little easier. All of these traits are things you’ll learn about the characters as the series continues.

How much research went into the preparation of your book, especially considering Ebony, the main character’s, goal to become a veterinarian?

Google and Ehow.com…wonderful sites and an author’s play land! Zoo websites, television shows about zoos and caring for animals in the wild also helped. Not to mention it was fun to visit my local zoo with my kids! Nothing like seeing the animals and veterinarians in action!

Ebony is a very strong and independent woman until the tragic event of her rape, how difficult was it to write this portion of the story? Also touch briefly on how she went into a cocoon and why you chose that route.

Writing that particular chapter took a lot of time. I wrote three versions until I found one that I felt addressed the issue, without forcing my readers to live through it. As I stated before, rape has affected more women than we care to think about. Spousal, a relative, a friend, a boyfriend, a care giver, someone that we thought we’d be able to trust…My point is, a majority of the victims never speak out  due to fear or shame. Some go into cocoons and loose themselves, while others pretend it never happened. No one can say a victim is right or wrong with how they handle it. Hopefully, anyone who can relate to this will find encouragement and seek help. Ebony’s choice to keep it a secret was because of shame for the decisions she’d made and because she felt everything that happened was her fault. She feared her actions would ruin the lives of those around her.

What would you say right now to a young woman who may have suffered that type of abuse?

It is your choice on how to handle it. Whether you report it, or choose not to…the one thing you cannot avoid doing is seeking help for yourself.  Get checked for sexually contracted diseases and seek help to heal emotionally.  It doesn’t matter if it happened yesterday or 5 years ago. Seek help!

One of the Goodreads reviewers chose Paul Walker and Lauren London as how she envisioned Brian and Ebony.  Who were the inspirations for those characters? How did your vision of these characters compare to her choices?

 I love her review! For those who would like to check it out, follow this link: Goodreads .  She was dead on when she chose Paul Walker because he was my first choice.  Several actresses ‘vied’ for the ‘roll’ of Ebony Campbell…lol, but in the end I chose Paula Patton.  She comes across as a woman who is very secure in who she is, yet has a vulnerability that made it easy for me to ‘see’ her respond the way Ebony did to the situations I put her in. As far as Paul Walker, I happened to be watching Too Fast, Too Furious for the 100th time when I was trying to decide what type of man would attract Ebony’s attention. A scene came on and he had this confident swag and mischievous smile. That did it for me! A guy like that who is determined to have what he wants would be impossible to resist!  

Yasmine. Yasmine. Yasmine.  She has quite an interesting take on relationships and love.  Where does she develop such a cynical perspective?
If I told you, I’d be giving away the secrets of her story, Jaded, which will be available on March 22nd.  You’ll have to read it, then ask me again!!!

What is the significance of the series title The Butterfly Memoirs?

My stories are meant to not only entertain, but encourage those who identify with the characters. My characters are everyday people, like you, me, or the neighbor next door. The situations they encounter deal with real life situations that force them to make life-altering decisions.  Butterflies represent change, evolution, shedding of the old and donning the new. Memoirs are a person’s thoughts, their opportunity to tell their story. I write from both the hero and heroines Point of View. Doing so allows my readers to get emotionally involved in the characters’ lives and feel every emotion that they feel, therefore pulling you deep into the story.

What influenced your decision to publish with a small Indie publisher as opposed to becoming a self-published author?

I wanted the backing of having a publisher in my corner, someone who read my story and could see its full potential. 

I read that your husband was very encouraging and supportive of your gift, how do you find the balance of life, writing, parenting, blogging?  It appears you really have it together.

Why thank you! I am still a work in progress! I have my good weeks where everything is running smoothly, then others where I am shooting from the hip!  But mostly, it’s having a game plan as far as what I want to accomplish on a daily bases.  Scheduling (again, work in progress!) and sticking to that schedule works wonders. I have a team, my husband (marketing/promotions), and cousin (manager), who keep me on the right path. They stay on top of me by making sure I meet deadlines and don’t waste time. You can accomplish more when you’re not sitting online everyday ‘posting and watching paint dry’, as my husband says. Taking advantage of the social networking tools that are free and available is key! Put in the work, step away, and you will be surprised what can happen when you stop stressing about it.

Would you say social media has had a tremendous contribution to your success as an author?

Without a doubt! If it wasn’t for networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, or my blog, no one would know who M.J. Kane is! It hasn’t been an overnight thing either. I’ve been blogging and talking about my journey to become a writer since 2010, all the while sharing things I’ve learned as well as talking about the story I was writing. Along the way I’ve met and picked up authors as friends and readers who expressed genuine interest in my work. By the time I became a published author, I already had a fan base which made it possible for A Heart Not Easily Broken to break into the Amazon Bestseller list in Multicultural Romance and African-American Literature and Fiction within hours of its publication.

What are your words of wisdom for aspiring authors/writers?

Never give up, no matter what family or friends have to say. If writing is your passion, do your best to learn as much as you can and write, write, write!  When you’re ready to publish, don’t skip the query process and jump straight to self-publication.

I support authors who self-pub, but I feel every author owes it to themselves to go through the process. Even if every agent/publisher says no, it’s a learning process. Most times you get a ‘no’, not because your story is not good, but simply because it’s not the type of story the publisher is looking for at that time.

If you’re trying to break the mold and write what’s not popular at the time, (i.e. vampires, wizards, and erotica), then chances are, you’re going to get a ‘no’ before they even attempt to read the first page. I had that told to me several times, yet along the way I got valuable advice that made me make changes to my story that made it even better. Think of it as a way to solicit ‘free’ publishing advice. Then, if you decide to go the self-publication route, your manuscript will be even better.

And above all else, DO NOT avoid using an editor! The better your final work is, the better a read it will be for your readers. Publishing an ill-formatted, or edited work will force readers to think twice before spending money on another one of your books, no matter if you spend a ton of money on editing the second time around.

I can’t tell you how many FB post I have read that  speak ill of an author, not because the story itself was bad, but because it was hard to read due to the amount of errors.  The details, every last one, are important if you want to have a career that lasts.  And also, writing takes time.  A good story will take a minimum of a year to write. No lie, I thought that was the craziest thing to hear, until I lived it. A Heart Not Easily Broken took me nearly 4 years of writing, editing, re-writing, scraping, and starting over before I was ready to start the query process. It was well worth it.

What is the most interesting thing people should know about you?

I am a self-taught author who is determined to be the best I can be. I ask questions, research, practice, and keep trying until I get it right. I don’t rush to write my stories. I plot, plan, and listen to my Muse. I don’t share my work until I am sure it’s the best I can make it. Good storytelling takes time because it is truly a work of art.

Thank you so much for taking time away from your busy schedule to “chat” with me. 

Your welcome! Thank you so much for having me!  I look forward to sharing more about my writing journey with you and your readers!         
M.J. Kane Social Media World

Facebook     Twitter     Goodreads     Blog & Website     Google +     LinkedIn      Email

Ebony is a smart, sexy, career-oriented black woman who wants nothing more than a summer fling with a man who challenges her mind and body. What she doesn’t expect is a blond haired, blue-eyed bass player—who won’t take “no” for an answer—to accept the challenge. 

When Ebony’s attempt at a brief fling turns into more, despite negative reactions from friends and family, she finds juggling love, family, and career are nothing compared to the ultimate betrayal she endures. Now her dreams spiral into lies and secrets that threaten her future and her best friend’s trust. 

Available now from 5 Prince Publishing! Buy Now!


  1. This was beautifully done! A wonderful write up.

  2. Thank you very much Arlena. I'm glad that you enjoyed it. Please visit often for more interviews and great guests!

  3. I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect!

    1. Hi Martha! Thanks for stopping by and connecting. I look forward to visiting yours too!

  4. Okay, I'm glad I dropped by again because I posted a thank you the day of this post....Don't you love cell phones??? LOL

    Thank you, Shirletta, for having he stop by! I enjoyed answering your questions and had a good time. I can't wait to drop by again!

    1. :)
      Hi MJ! I love my cell phone for uses other than a phone. hahaha

      Thank you again for allowing me the opportunity to interview you. I truly enjoyed reading your answers and had a great time learning more about you...except your elusive name! LOL!!!