Monica James spent her youth devouring the works of Anne Rice, William Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson. Listening to the likes of Elvis to Fiona Apple and everything in between has been her inspirational tool to write.
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.
2. What is your process for writing a book? Do you have rituals, writing times etc? How long does a book usually take to complete?
I don’t have a process per se. But I do like to write while listening to music, as music in most circumstances helps me get into a certain frame, and allows me to get lost in my writing. I listen to certain artists/songs, sometimes on a loop to help me get into the ‘zone’. If the song I am listening to helps me draw out inspiration for a certain scene/character etc, then I will listen to it continuously until I have figured out what about that particular song has drawn me in.
I am so so lucky, because 99% of the time I can write anytime, anyplace, anywhere.Writing each book varies ridiculously. I wish I could put a time frame on each of my books, but honestly, it’s the reworking that sends me loopy. Getting the story down, only usually takes me a few weeks, but the reworking and overanalysing is my problem. Seriously, I am my own worse critic.
3. Do you ever write more than one book at a time?
Yes, I do. In most circumstances I don’t have a choice. These characters of mine, they are extremely demanding, and don’t care what I am working on, what time of the day it is, or what I am doing!
4. Where did the idea for I surrender come from?
It actually came to me at a ridiculous hour in the morning, and I wrote the first five chapters in about two hours. I finally succumbed to sleep, and when I woke the next morning, I read what I wrote and thought, gee, I should write at 3am every morning! I loved the characters, and I felt compelled to tell their story to anyone who would listen. And thankfully someone did, and I can share I Surrender with you all.
5. Do you have a dream cast if I Surrender were ever to be made into a movie?
That’s a hard question because when I write for each of my characters, I don’t usually have a particular actor/model in mind.
I guess if I were to choose though, I see Phoebe Tonkin as my Ava. Zooey Deschanel as her best friend V. Channing Tatum with messier hair, is how I see Lucas. Alex Pettyfer as Harper, and for the menace that is Indie. I guess I see Ashley Tisdale playing her well. Now for Jasper... that’s tough. I really want to know who the readers see as Jasper ;)
6. What are your favourite books/authors?
I have so many it is actually beyond ridiculous. I love the classics though, so works by William Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens are works I revisit often. But if I am in the mood for a bit of horror, I love reading Anne Rice and Poppy Z Brite. And then of course I love all the amazing talented authors such as Colleen Hoover, Tammara Webber, S.C Stephens, Jessica Sorensen, Sylvia Day, Gena Showalter etc.
But if I had to choose one; it would be Dr. Seuss lol
7. Which of your books are you most proud of?
I am proud of all my work as I am a bit of a perfectionist, and won’t submit unless I am 100% happy with it.
I loved writing the I Surrender Trilogy, but my most favourite of the series is book 2- Surrender to Me.
8. What writing support network do you have and how do you utilise them and their skills?
My publishers, theEDGEbooks are a wonderful bunch of people, especially the amazing author Kailin Gow. Without them, I Surrender would have remained a dream, and for that, I will be forever thankful. Another important part of my writing support network are the amazing bloggers, readers, reviewers, followers etc who support me unconditionally by promoting my work, and supporting me through thick and thin.
9. What do your fans mean to you?
They mean everything to me. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am now. It’s because of their 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 them. And the only way I can repay them is to continue writing stories I hope they will love.