Monday, November 1, 2010

Interview with M.J. Rose (The Reincarnationist)

So, Thrillers Rock Twitter decided we really wanted to talk to M.J. Rose (author of The Reincarnationist series) and she graciously (or foolishly, depending on your outlook) agreed.  She had some fascinating things to say, and also told us that she's willing to give away a copy of The Hypnotist (3rd in The Reincarnationist series) to one of our lucky readers. #score!

Thrillers Rock Twitter:  Okay, tell us you REALLY write every single day?  REALLY?? :)
M.J. Rose:  Nope. And I never said I did
There are stages for me in writing a book.
First stage – research. Up to 3 months. I don’t write pages at all – but I make a scrapbook for my characters and take notes and have fun getting them and their lives in my head.
Second stage – first draft.  6 months. I try to write 6 days a week at least 3 hours a day. I just make a mess and keep going. I usually mange three weeks like that and then flake off for 4 or 5 days in a row and have to force myself back.
Third stage – 3 months. Right before I give it to my agent – and I’m really fixing every single sentence and reorganizing and obsesSING. And I do write 6 or 7 days a week for at least 4 hours sometimes 6 or 7.  And then I have to force myself to take time off because I really am crazed with the book and so frustrated that I can’t get it right.
What are your favorite excuses...ahem...reasons for not writing?
Any excuse will do in stage 2.

Now, we've all heard the "what got you into writing" question.  I want to know, what nearly kept you out of writing?  Just about every writer has it...that moment where you could go either way.  What was yours?

Oh I gave up. For three years. I’d had it with my agent not being able to sell my first two novels despite all the rave rejections. I’d had it with the rave rejections. I just didn’t want to hate walking into bookstores anymore. So I quit and didn’t even look back for those three years. It was really very freeing in once sense.  Scary in another.

Again, we know the "what's your favorite character" thing.  Do you have a least favorite?  Or, even better, one that you love to hate?  Both?

If I don’t like a character I don’t read past the first 10 pages of the book.  I’m not very patient. Too many great books to read to bother with the others. 

We'd love hearing about what your inspirations are, but I think even more telling is where you choose to write.  Does it change, or do you have a writing cave?

I had to reach myself to write anywhere. A bunch of family medical issues forced me to learn to write in waiting rooms. My cave is inside the laptop.
Be totally straight with us...when you were deciding upon a genre, did future sales enter into the equation, or was it fully a passion of yours from the start?

I didn’t decide on a genre.  I wrote what I wanted to read. And what came out was a mishmash of genres. Still does. I don’t fit any genre well. And that’s why I still have a day job. I often wish I could write to the market but seem incapable.  

As far as the thrills you deliver in your novels, are you drawing at all from real life, or do you use up all the adrenaline in your stories and then cuddle up with a nice mug of hot cocoa afterward?

I’ve actually had some terrifying experiences and emotionally draw on them… held up at gunpoint… walked into a double shooting… caught in an explosion… but my life is thankfully dull 99.9% of the time.

Was there ever a novel you were writing where afterward you just thought, "Wow.  That was unexpected."?

Yes, all the time. Thank God. I don’t think I’d keep writing if I didn’t have those moments.

Okay, this one's for the budding authors out there.  If there were one thing that you wished you had known (or that someone had told you) "back then", what would it be?

I was so stubborn I wouldn’t have listened. HOPEFULLY THEY WON'T EITHER. YOU'VE GOT TO MAKE YOUR OWN MISTAKES.  (But in my case it would have been not to leave my first publisher after that second book and follow my editor to a new house.)

Finally, if there's something you could tell your readers that you know will never come up in another interview, NOW is the time!  Carte blanche!

Yes, I want to live in a Frank Lloyd Wright house and was left back in 7th grade.


We at Thriller Rock want to thank Ms. Rose again, both for writing some majorly kick-butt novels and also for letting us ask her off-beat questions!  For those that would like to participate in the give-away, please follow our blog and comment below (make SURE to leave either your email address or your Twitter handle so that we can get in touch with you).  The winner will be announced on Sunday Nov. 7th at 7 pm Pacific Standard Time!

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE this interview. I really felt like I got an idea of who MJ Rose really was. I would also like to be entered in the give-away. My email address is Thanks!