This month’s Q & A session is with the impeccable Ms. Meka James. She is one of the hardest working authors I know breaking down multiple barriers in an unassuming way. Ms. James started as an indie author and has since secured two contracts with publishers. Her traditionally published books ANYTHING ONCE and BEING NEIGHBORLY will release in early 2019. Despite this, she is still an indie girl at heart and recently (as in yesterday!) released THE LISTS, a companion novella for her 2017 full length manuscript NOT BROKEN.
Ms. James has an awesome and super generous giveaway located at the bottom of her interview. Read on to check out the awesome wisdom this hybrid author has.
Hey everyone! Amelia, thanks so much for inviting me to your blog. I’m excited to be here and to share a little insight into the hodge podge-ness of my world.
First, a soft ball question: Coffee or tea? Tea! I have a cup nearly every day. I’ve never been a fan of the taste of coffee though I do love the smell.
While we’re on the subject of drinks: Have you ever written drunk? (okay yes I realize I jumped from morning beverages to late night ones, but they’re both drinks so sorta fits right?) The answer would be *possibly* it’s not that I don’t know, it’s just that I wouldn’t say I was full on drunk per se, but more tipsy. Nothing like using a little “liquid courage” to get through what might be a difficult scene.
That brings us to the next topic and a much smoother transition. Was there one scene that you found harder than most to write? If so, what was it? Um…yes, yes there has been. And actually I would say I’ve had more than one. In FIENDISH, there were a few scenes that were hard to get through, but for the sake of this interview, I’ll go with the “reveal” scene. It was the lead up to it. Calida and Seth had a rocky relationship (understatement of the century) but when we hit the big moment of her learning just how much of a “monster” he really was, the deflation of her in that moment gutted me. Immediately before that, the tattoo, how her heart broke from having her trust trampled. There’s a lot of stuff that happens in that story that was hard for me to write, but those combined scenes got me.
Okay, let’s shake off the dark and move on to something a little more light and fluffy. Do you write in comfy clothes or treat it more like a “job” and wear more professional attire? Comfy all the way! For me putting on a pair of jeans is considered dressing up.
Next up, something near and dear to my heart, the covers. How important is a cover? For me cover design is the BEST part of the process. I actually start thinking about cover options early on. Seriously I have partial WIPs with no clear direction yet, but I’ve spent time scouting stock images for possibilities. Having a cover for my story makes it “real” and seeing the idea I had for it be translated into something tangible, I get all giddy with excitement!
We’re gonna take a break from your regularly scheduled interview for a little woe-is-me moment with this next one. Has there been a bump in your journey that, looking back, was a gift? Yes, there was a three year gap between the release of FIENISH and NOT BROKEN even though I started writing the latter before the first actually went out into the world. There were hiccups that took major shots at my self-confidence. If you’re on Twitter, or Instagram, or any other social site and follow writers, you’ll probably have seen them talking about finding their squad. I was a lonely soul for a while. I’d try to find a home so to speak, but never quite fit. I’ve had writing partners that would back out, most times without even saying anything, completely ghosted. Then I found IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group), and their monthly blog hops nudged me back into the writing game. From there I started branching out again, and again I kissed quite a few frogs in my hunt for a home. But thanks to the #authorconfession hashtag game on Twitter, a semi-woe-is-me tweet got the attention of Tia Barber who invited me into a chat of romance writers and those ladies have been a serious blessing! I’m convinced that if I had written NOT BROKEN to completion it wouldn’t have been the same as it turned out. My RChat squad is to thank for that.
I can combine these last few questions into one big answer because they are related to my writing process. I’m a pantser! I will get the basic idea for the story, characters, and location, then write out the first chapter or two because being new, they are typically most chatty at the beginning. Being a pantser also means I edit as I go, which is against the grain of *most* writing advice. I can’t “word vomit”, meaning I don’t just get the story out and worry about fixing it on edits. It’s why events like NaNoWriMo aren’t for me. In fact, I spend more time editing while writing so I can cut down my time in #editinghell because I really REALLY dislike the editing phase.
Being a pantser also means I need to have proper motivation to write and that comes in the form of music most times. I have a weekly segment on my blog called Music Monday where I showcase different songs. Some relate to my writing, because each project has a playlist, and others are just fun songs I like. I’ll end this interview by sharing the song that inspired NOT BROKEN’s title. The lyrics speak to the entire relationship between Calida and Malcolm. It came up in my playing rotation by total accident and it made me pause. I listened to it on repeat for several cycles because I was like “YES THIS IS THEM!”
“Not Broken” by Skye
Sorry this got wordy, but if you’ve read my first two books, you know I’m a wordy gal. LOL Anyway this was fun, and I want to thank Amelia again for hosting me.
Until next time
To enter for the chance to win one of the THREE fabulous prizes our guest this week is offering, head over to her website and fill out the CONTACT ME form https://www.authormekajames.com/contact.html. In the comment section enter how many pieces of candy are in the jar. The closest guess wins the jar (and, most importantly, the candy!) as well as paperback copies of both NOT BROKEN and THE LISTS. The next two closest guesses will win free ebook copies of NOT BROKEN. This contest is only running until 12/1/18 so hurry to get your guesses in!