Getting Intimate with MJ Summers
MJ Summers and I met through Facebook and forged a friendship that we have both nurtured. She is an amazing author and person and she’s pretty too.
Tell us your latest news.
First off, I’d like to say that Kelly has quickly become one of my dearest friends. She’s not only an incredibly talented writer, but she’s a kind and thoughtful friend. When I list the things I’m most grateful for, meeting Kelly Collins is on that list.
Now to my news! I’m putting out the fifth (and final) book in the Full Hearts Series on May 5th. It’s called The Break Up and it might be the sexiest stories I’ve written. It’s about an ex-marine and an actress who find themselves living together in the woods for several weeks. It absolutely broke my heart to write a few of the scenes, and I can’t wait to share it with the world.
What inspired you to write your first book, “Break in Two” which sold like a trillion copies?
Haha! A trillion? I wish. ;) Break in Two was the first fictional anything I’ve written, and it came out of nowhere actually. I read a few erotic romance books and really enjoyed them. One evening, the thought popped into my mind that I should try to write a really steamy romance, just to see if I could do it. It was a way to challenge myself. I wanted to know if I could write an entire novel start to finish.
Titles and covers are hard to nail perfectly. How do you choose yours?
Oh boy, that’s a tough question for me because I really struggle with both things. Break in Two was named by my husband. I couldn’t seem to come up with a title and he found a “Cowboy Dictionary” on-line. The term Break in Two is when a bucking bronco folds their body almost in half and it looks like it could break. I loved it. It was an homage to the cowboy culture and had meaning in the romance world as well.
I chose the title Breaking Love as a way to tie the series together. The next two titles were chosen by committee (because by this time I had an agent and two publishing houses helping to shape the series).
Covers are tricky. Trends change and what appeals to one person, won’t to another. I’m still playing with covers for the series. I made an entirely new set of covers for the series myself last month, and I have to say I love the new look. It’s very clean and simple, and I hope compelling.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
For me, it’s not letting self-doubt stall my writing process. Sometimes, it’s a real battle to override that voice in my head that tells me I don’t know what I’m doing. Self-doubt and fear are absolutely crushing to creativity. I think a lot of writers (if not most), have to find a way to fight it. For me it’s a matter of just sitting down and getting started on the next book, the next scene, the next sentence. Don’t think about it, just do it. Once I’m started, I’m alright.
As a hybrid author, both traditionally and indie published, what challenges have you faced?
I would say the biggest challenge has been trying to market the same book with three different covers and three different prices. I can’t do international marketing campaigns because of it, which can make it tricky to reach a global audience.
The traditional world moves a lot slower than the indie world as well, so I have to learn to be patient when everything doesn’t move at break-neck speed, like I want it to.
What does MJ Summers do for fun?
I have three children, a husband, and a dog, that get the bulk of my free time. We try to get out into nature with the entire gang, for walks or camping trips. We also enjoy family movie night almost every weekend, or sometimes a few of us veg out on the couch and read. I have a wonderful group of girlfriends that I meet for dinner on the last weekend of every month. We’ve been friends since Kindergarten, so it’s very special to have people who know where you came from and really understand you. We laugh and cry and talk until the lights are shut off and they kick us out. I believe that women need these types of friendships in their lives. It’s affirming and rejuvenating.
Tell us about your favorite fan experience.
I would have to say my favourite fan experience is when I hear from people that my books put a spark back into their marriage. I love hearing that. We all live such busy, stressed out lives, and it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important. People in long-term relationships often forget to work on the romantic side of their lives. If my stories can help a couple get that back, I’m thrilled for them, and honoured that something I wrote could have that effect.
What is your favorite movie and why?
Oooh, another tough question for me. I am a movie buff, so choosing one favourite is tricky. There are only a handful of movies that I could watch over and over though: A Few Good Men, It’s a Wonderful Life, Love Actually, the BBC mini-series of Pride and Prejudice. They all have brilliant dialogue and gripping, deeply emotional scenes.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
To stop worrying. To trust that things will be okay, and that I don’t have to always drive myself nuts to try to fix everything because more often than not, things work out. A gentle nudge in the right direction is always more effective than a panicky response to anything. I still have to remind myself of this most days.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
I absolutely LOVE hearing from readers. People can find me at:
Thank you so much, Kelly!