Welcome to the Nice Girls Writing Naughty version of the A-Z Challenge! Today’s featured guest author is MJ Compton, brought to you by the letter W!
Here’s a little more about MJ:
MJ Compton grew up near Cardiff, New York, a place best known for its giant, which inspired her to create her own fiction.
Although her 30-year career in local television included such highlights as being bitten by a lion, preempting a US President for a college basketball game, giving a three-time world champion boxer a few black eyes, a mention in the Drudge Report, and meeting her husband, MJ never lost her dream of writing her own stories.
MJ still lives in upstate New York with her husband. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and Central New York Romance Writers. Music and cooking are two of her passions, and she enjoys baseball and college basketball, but she’s primarily focused on wine . . . and writing.
And here’s her interview:
1. Hi MJ! Thanks so much for joining us today. We choose the letter W for you not just because you’re a wonderful writer, but because you’ve written a series featuring Werewolves. Your series, Toke Lobo and The Pack, feature werewolves who are not only pack members, but also members of a country rock band. I loved the page on your website that spoke about the history of werewolves in the U.S. and also gave random facts about them. You must have done a lot of research on the topic. What is it about werewolves that appeals to you?
Research? LOL! It was all world building (Look! Another W!), which is something I love to do. But I digress.
Author Jayne Ann Krentz postulates that the paranormal genre is where the true alpha heroes fled when they were chased out of contemporary and historical romance novels. I agree. And I love alpha heroes. Who better to be an alpha hero than a creature from a society that is based on alpha male structure? And while a werewolf is inherently alpha (as opposed to a pure human male), he is also a victim of the moon and its phases. He can’t always control his instincts or his urges, which makes him vulnerable. A great hero is always vulnerable.
Another reason I gravitate toward werewolves is my fascination for secret identity heroes.
I grew up on the fifties black-and-white TV shows of Superman, Zorro, and the Lone Ranger. There’s something inherently sexy about a guy who disguises himself to do good things. (Okay, Superman is the reverse of that. Superman is who he is; Clark Kent is the disguise. But as an impressionable child, I didn’t realize that.) I can go on for hours about secret identity heroes vs. super heroes, who is and who isn’t, and so on, but I won’t. But if you haven’t read The Scarlet Pimpernel, you should.
Werewolf: human one moment, a wolf the next. Yeah. That’s a secret identity. Maybe the ultimate secret identity.
2. You’ve also written a number of sports-themed romances, specifically baseball: Summer Fling, Stealing Home, and your recent Masks series. Is baseball your favorite sport? How long have you enjoyed the sport?
I’ve been a baseball fan all my adult life. My first date with my husband was to a minor league baseball game. We now have season tickets to our local Triple A franchise. I confess I don’t go as often as I used to because I have book deadlines these days.
There’s something about baseball’s pace—the game taking as long as it takes—that appeals to me. The teams play against each other, not a clock. (Although recently clocks have been introduced to portions of the game. Travesty!) And I like the “circular” aspect of the game. The action isn’t merely up and down a field or court, but around the bases. Play is three-dimensional. There’s no one on the team whose sole purpose is to knock down other people. There is no intentional violence.
Some studies have led researchers to believe certain aspects of baseball culture come out of the “feminine tradition of oral history, storytelling, and gossip.” One author/fan wrote, “Baseball loans [sic] itself to storytelling.”
Jean Hastings Ardell wrote: “Baseball is always about hope.” And so are romance novels, which makes baseball and romance a perfect alliance.
3. Your bio also mentions your love of wine–another W! Can you speak to this a bit more?
I’ve been a wine drinker since I was old enough to purchase it legally. My tastes have matured since my Annie Green Springs Country Cherry (loved the imagery of the name) quaffing days. The wine world is filled with snobs. Yes, I admire a person who can identify a wine’s varietal, vintner, and vintage in a blind tasting, but really, what’s the point? You’re drinking a beverage. If you’re clever, your wine choice will be a component of your meal. Let’s say you serve a mix of peas-and-carrots with your mac-and-cheese. The textures, colors, nutritional values, and so on work together to create a harmonious whole. Wine, too, should complement the meal, not be the focal point. It’s all about balance.
I enjoy making fun of over-the-top wine tasting notes, which I do every Tuesday on Twitter.
And a few random fun facts:
When did you know you first HAD to write?
There has never been a time in my life when I wasn’t telling stories. One of my earliest memories is of tracing the lassos of the cowboys on the wallpaper in my bedroom and inventing stories about what they were doing.
What excites you most about your current work-in-progress?
I’m toying with a dystopian love story (but not a romance) that is unlike anything I’ve written before. The plot involves a lot of world building, which I adore doing.
Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
Introvert. Look it up in the dictionary. My photo is there beside the definition. Being an introvert allows me to live inside my head, which is a treasure-cave for my plotting process. Thriving in solitude is a necessity for an author. As much as I love my local RWA chapter—those people are my tribe!—I am exhausted the day after a meeting. Yet when I get together with other authors, and we are all writing at the same time—as on a writing retreat—I’m energized. I think this is because while we’re all in the same room at the same moment, we aren’t all in the same place. Each of us is involved with our characters and our fictional universes. It’s a mental thing.
How do you deal with real-life distractions (job, kids, cats, birds chirping…)?
I’m addicted to RWA workshops. I purchased them for many years. I listen while I’m at my Day Job, if only to block out all the chatter around me. Sometimes, I miss what’s on the workshop because I’m focused on my work, but there are many times when something will grab my attention, and I can apply what I’ve heard to my work-in-progress.
This was so much fun, MJ. Thanks again for joining us. Before you go, please tell us a little about your newest releases.
MASK OF THE KING by MJ Compton
Injured baseball player Tag Gentry and caterer Skye Schuyler are both lured to a Mardi Gras house party by false promises of work. Skye is waiting for her contract with the baseball team to be renewed, but the front office is giving her the runaround. No one knows how bad Tag’s leg injury really is, but speculation says it career ending. He’s not telling…and he hasn’t reported to spring training. He’s starting to wonder if there is life after baseball.
When Tag’s reporter ex-lover shows up in New Orleans, Tag pays extra attention to Skye, telling himself it’s only to deflect his ex’s attention. But his ex hopes the truth about his injury will be her next big story, and nothing is going to stop her, not even Tag’s involvement with another woman.
Skye realizes the promises that brought her and Tag to New Orleans are lies and wants to leave before things get any more complicated.
The only problem is they’re both targets for revenge, and Tag’s jealous ex may be part of the plot. Everyone is wearing mask, and not just for Mardi Gras. Tag and Skye don’t know who to trust—including each other.
Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2mwPWRZ
Google Play http://bit.ly/2lp8HTo
Mask of the Queen by MJ Compton
Skye Schuyler’s business is failing because of a reporter’s lies, yet telling the truth about baseball player Tag Gentry’s injuries would destroy him. She loves him too much to betray his confidence. But his marriage proposal is only damage control, suggested by his agent, and Skye wants more from a relationship than Tag seems willing to offer.
Tag won’t take no for an answer. It’s bad enough an injury cost him his career, but now he seems to be losing his best friend, too. He can’t figure out why Skye won’t marry him when marriage to him should convince everyone she didn’t betray his secrets to that reporter. Wanting to fight every man who comes into contact with Skye doesn’t mean he’s jealous, despite what his brothers think. He wants to protect her the way she’s been guarding his secret.
But when a vicious attack on Skye’s business also threatens her life, Tag is forced to reevaluate not only his feelings for her, but also his plans for the future. Now all he has to do is convince Skye to unmask her true feelings and join his team…permanently.
Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2mQ0Sul
Google Play http://bit.ly/2n56xtZ
MJ COMPTON SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS