MMY: Michelle, you ended up moving to my hometown! How is it for you? What’s your favorite thing about it?
CMJ: I keep joking with my hubby that every time we move we go to a smaller town. I’m not moving again! (Castle Dale is a tiny berg of about 1,800 people and about 2 miles square.) My hubby moved us out here and my first thought was “patch of green in the middle of the desert”. I honestly feel a little isolated. The shopping isn’t the greatest but I like the slower atmosphere. My favorite thing about it is my kids love it here and they are thriving. I can’t argue with it.
MMY:Your first book is coming out, but I know you have several more in the works. Share what information you can, will you?
CMJ:My first published novel EMERGENCE will be out in the next couple of weeks. That book is my passion and many years of effort. I do however have my hands in more than one thing at a time. (Kind of ADD that way.) I have a short story in a Christmas Compilation book called SING WE NOW OF CHRISTMAS, Compiled by Michael Young. And I have a middle grade book about manners taught by fairies tentatively called ENCHANTED ETIQUETTE. Both EMERGENCE and ENCHANTED ETIQUETTE will be through Walnut Springs Press.
MMY: What drew you to your particular genre?
CMJ: I’ve always liked the “special team” or “average guy with technology” TV shows, (think A-team, Battle of the Planets, Knight Rider) and would create stories in my head after watching them. I like a good suspense but want a little romance in it. I also like science fiction so my books are a mish mash of these styles. I have also found a new passion (for me) which is Burn Notice. Love ( times ten) that show.
MMY: When you and I met, we hit it off immediately. Why do you think that is?
CMJ: I think we have so much in common, kids, kids with special needs, love the odd and un-normal, and love to write. I do think there’s more to the connection than that though. I believe that souls are bound together in ways not seen. Threads that indicate to me that there was something there from before we existed in physical form.
MMY: I’m amazed by your productivity, especially with children running around the house. How do you do it?
CMJ: I covet naptime. It is one of the few times I can get anything done. I really hate TV and I hate using it as a babysitter but sometimes (like now) I use it when in a pinch. My family is really understanding of the “I have to finish this proof before tomorrow” thing and I get all sorts of cooperation from them if they are available to help. Otherwise my house falls apart and I occasionally stop the madness and we just clean house for a few hours so we can resume the wild ride that is my home.
MMY: Butterflies. I know you’re into butterflies. Share.
CMJ: Butterflies represent change, or metamorphosis. Changing from one level of consciousness to another. Butterflies to me are like my characters, an atheist assassin becoming a prophet, a former DEA agent left for dead who lets thoughts of revenge go in order to serve the more noble path. I like to think of my story characters being “bad boys going good”.
MMY: What are you currently working on?
CMJ: I’m working on a few amazing projects. One is a young adult scifi/steampunk/urban fantasy about a boy who is given a medallion for his birthday and runs away from home when he realizes that monsters are looking for and willing to kill for this tarnished medallion. The second project, and I say “project” lightly is a number of books that all tie into the Emergence story in some way. They’re called parallel books. Same themes. characters, and settings but different stories. I am also toying with a field guide for these parallel novels. That would be a blast to write.
MMY: You and I are doing a joint book signing in Price and Castle Dale on Friday, November 2, 2012. Say that somebody comes up to you at the signing and starts a conversation. What would you LOVE to talk about?
CMJ: I love to talk writing, I love to talk to aspiring writers and tell them the methods I have found that work for me. (My husband would say I just love to talk period. ) Don’t even get me started on Story Structure and Master Chapter Outlines.
MMY: Then I’ll definitely get you started on Story Structure and Master Chapter Outlines! Thanks so much for dropping by, Michelle. Catch you in town next month!