Fast Facts About Monica:
Monica James resides in Melbourne, Australia, with her wonderful family, and menagerie of animals.
She is slightly obsessed with cats, chucks and lip gloss, and secretly wishes she was a ninja on the weekends!
If she could attempt any other profession in the world other than writing it would be as a ballerina but would hate to be a deep sea diver!
Her most favourite indulgence is smooth strawberry licorice – Yummy! 🙂
Her favourite movie is Harry Potter and she loves chocolate ice cream (Who doesn’t?)
So Monica A Few Questions……..
When and why did you begin writing?
Life inspired and still inspires me to write. I never really had a moment where I was like, ‘Yes, I want to be a writer.’ I just loved being able to express myself onto paper, as writing came so naturally to me. It started out jotting down simple phrases, quotes, thoughts, and then it extended into poems and short stories. Then it just exploded and went from there. I love being able to tell a story, and share my vision with everyone who reads my work.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I didn’t have much of a choice with I Surrender, as it pretty much wrote itself. I had all these characters demanding I put pen to paper, and share their story with anyone who would listen. Thankfully, someone did listen, and I am able to share their tale with anyone who reads I Surrender. People, places, time, situations, all of these things, inspire me daily to write. And with I Surrender, I wanted to write a story that was real and raw- A story my readers could relate to. I guess at the end of the day, I Surrender is my explanation of the philosophy of life and love, pleasure and pain, and how they all intertwine so closely, that sometimes, the line blurs between them.
How did you come up with the title?
I came up with the title, Something like Normal, as that’s what my main character is hoping to achieve by making the decisions that she does. She’s trying to find her normal in a not so normal world, so she’ll settle for something like normal.
Did you learn anything from writing your first book and what was it?
I sure did. I think you learn so much along the way. Regardless if you’ve written 1 book, or 10, I still believe you learn a new thing, each and every time you take a step on this crazy journey. I guess the number 1 lesson I learned was to trust your gut instinct, and be truthful and honest with yourself. Don’t be someone you’re not.
Who designs your covers?
Something like Normal was designed by my amazing publishers, Limitless Publishing. And the I Surrender Trilogy, which is actually being re-released July 1st 2014, was designed by the ever talented, Morgan Black from Cover Up Designs.
Are there messages in your novels that you want your readers to grasp?
I try to be real in my writing. The things I write about are essentially emotions, experiences that we have all experienced once or twice in our life. Rejection, naiveté, inexperience, belonging etc… These are things we can understand, and I hope my readers connect with my characters because of this.
How much of your books are realistic?
I try to be at truthful as possible.Even though the storyline for Something like Normal is quite extreme, sadly, when I did some research, it was hard to digest that it wasn’t as far-fetched as I originally believed it to be. I do a lot of research, and try for it to be as ‘factual’ as possible. I Surrender, I believe, is a book everyone can relate to. We’ve all had our hearts broken, and can understand my characters, Ava, journey of starting new.
Are the experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I Surrender, we all can relate to. However, Something like Normal is purely fictional. I would never wish that life upon anyone.
What books have most influenced your life most?
What a great question. Every book I read, good or bad, influences me. I take something from everything I read. Whether small or big, I always come away from reading a book with a new piece of knowledge, and that’s why I love reading!
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
There is only one, and that is Anne Rice. What an intelligent, articulate writer and person. I love all of her work. She is truly a genius.
Who is your favourite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Well, Anne Rice obviously. But I do really love Virginia Andrews. Flowers in the Attic broke so many taboo rules when it was written, and it still, till this day, remains one of my favourite books.I love writers who are willing to take a chance, and write something different.
What book are you reading now?
I just finished reading, The Beautiful Bastard series by Christina Lauren. Wow, loved it! I am looking for a new series to read, so any suggestions, please let me know!
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
There are so many good authors out there; honestly, I’m always amazed when I stumble across an author who can blow me away with a good story. There isn’t one person in particular, but the one author who has stuck with me is C.J Roberts. The Dark Duet series… WOW!
What are your current projects?
At the moment, I am busy writing Book 2 of the Something like Normal Series, and also… a standalone.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Just keep at it. Seriously, all those cheesy clichés sometimes hold some truth. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Best piece of advice ever, as I can totally relate to it. We all can.
If you have a dream, don’t let anyone tell you you’re not good enough to achieve it.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
You guys mean everything to me. Without you, I wouldn’t be where I am now. It’s because of your enthusiasm and loyalty that I am able to do what I love, and for that, I will forever be grateful to each and every one of you. The only way I can repay you, is to continue writing stories I hope you’ll love.