Today I am very excited to welcome author M.J. O’Shea to the blog.  M.J. Is here to talk to us about her new book, Coming Home, which I reviewed here earlier today.  Welcome, M.J.!

Hi there! This is M.J. O’Shea. Thanks for having me stop by 🙂 I’m going to answer a few questions about writing, and my writing style in particular.  Here goes…

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

If randomness is a formula… 🙂 No, I’ll have one little idea, then roll it around in my head for a while until it turns into something bigger worth writing down. Sometimes a book starts with a character, sometimes a setting, sometimes an overall plot. The only formula I stick to consciously is to give my characters a happy ending and try to do things that I haven’t done already in other books.

If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?

Weelll… Rockstars? Vampires and Lycans? Rockstars who are vampires? I haven’t actually done that. Yet 🙂 I love writing series novels. The ones I’ve done so far in the M/M world have been more spinoff type, where you can read any one of them out of order, but I’m currently working on a few ideas for mainstream YA that would be an actual continuous series.

Do your characters dictate plot twists that you just run with, or do you keep them in line?

Both, actually. I have a plot that I try to stick to (at least to a point) so I don’t go off into odd writing land and never finish the book, but if a great idea comes up in the middle of the book, or something I originally planned for the character or plot doesn’t seem right I’m not one to rigidly stick to plan. Sometimes the best ideas are completely unplanned.

In an ideal world, how much time would you devote to your writing, as opposed to how much time you realistically have to devote to it around “real-life” and its demands?

Ideally, I’d write full time with no other full time job. Right now I do have a full time job that I’m slowly weaning down the hours. It’s something to work towards!

Do you ever push the envelope solely to test yourself, then edit it out of your final draft, or do you challenge your readers to keep up with you?

Well, I’d like to say a little of both. I wouldn’t challenge readers to keep up with me by any means, but I have written characters and plot lines recently that I wouldn’t have thought of two years ago. I hope in two more years I’ll be a lot better than I am now. I don’t want to be one of those authors who settles into a pattern and stays there.

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment thus far as an author, and what is the thing you want most to achieve in future?

I think my greatest accomplishment honestly was finishing my very first story. Writing that last word gave me the “I can do this” feeling. Of course that was 90 thousand words that will never see the light of day other than in a binder in my office, but I finished it. Then I went on to more…

What’s the funniest scene you’ve ever written?

Probably the scene in The Luckiest (with Piper Vaughn) where rock star Nick Ventura fills out his entrance questionnaire for rehab. I had a really good time making up obnoxious answers from someone who didn’t want to cooperate. [I love this scene – Jay]

How did you deal with rejection letters?

Just keep on keepin’ on, basically. It’s a numbers game. Until you’re already well known, you just have to submit your books to lots of people and hope they strike someone’s fancy. And I always try to remember it’s business, not personal. So a publisher doesn’t like this book? Try a different book later. Perhaps that one is not to their taste. Sometimes, though, a publisher doesn’t like your actual writing style. That’s something that you might just have to accept and move on to a different publisher.

Thanks for having me stop by today! Links are below, and the cover and blurb of my newest solo release from Dreamspinner Press.

Blog with Piper:

Tallis Carrington ruled Rock Bay with his gang of jocks and an iron fist—until a scandal destroyed his family’s name. Ten years later Tallis is dead broke, newly homeless, and on the walk of shame to end all walks of shame. He needs money and needs it fast, and Rock Bay is the only home he knows. But the people of Rock Bay haven’t forgotten him—or the spoiled brat he used to be.

The only person in town willing to overlook his past is Lex, the new coffee shop owner, who offers Tally a job even though he appears to despise Tally based on his reputation alone. When Tally discovers his gorgeous boss is the kid he tortured back in high school, Lex’s hot and cold routine finally makes sense. Now Tally has to pull out all the stops to prove he was never really the jerk he seemed to be. After all, if he can win Lex’s heart, the rest of the town should be a piece of coffee cake.