M.J. Kane stumbled into writing. An avid reader, this once stay-at-home mom never lost the overactive imagination of an only child. As an adult she made up stories, though never shared them, to keep herself entertained. It wasn’t until surviving a traumatic medical incident in 2006 that she found a reason to let the characters inhabiting her imagination free. Upon the suggestion of her husband, she commandeered his laptop and allowed the characters to take life. It was that, or look over her shoulder for men caring a purple strait jacket. And the rest, as they say, is history.
BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work?
M.J.: JADED is the second book in The Butterfly Memoirs series and can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, ARe, Smashwords, and Kobo.
BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special?
M.J.: JADED is Yasmine’s story. If you’ve read the first book, A HEART NOT EASILY BROKEN, you were introduced to her carefree and confident personality. She knows what she wants out of life and has no problem going after it. Zachariah, the male lead, is what I like to call a ‘quiet hero’. At first glance, he’s not the type of guy outspoken Yasmine would go for. But after experiencing heartbreak, he’s the perfect man for her.
BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
M.J.: Yasmine Phillips is one of the most misunderstood characters in the series which is why I loved featuring her in her own story. Some readers don’t like her brash personality or dislike what they feel is a ‘conceited woman’ who gets on their nerves. But that isn’t who she is; it’s the mask she puts on for the world to see in order to hide the heartache and betrayal she’s experienced. Once readers get to know who she is; their minds and hearts open up and are able to relate to some of her experiences. Reading her story will bring you to the heart of the character.
BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
M.J.: I loved having the opportunity to take a misunderstood character and turn her into a woman people can understand to the point that it makes them rethink their first impressions about the people around them. First impressions should not be the only thing you base your opinions about people on!
BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven?
M.J.: My stories come from looking at the things that we all go through. Life is all the inspiration I need. Regardless of the color of our skin, where we live, or how much money we have in the bank, at some point, we all are faced with the same life altering circumstances. We’re all looking for love, have family that gets on our nerves, and unfortunately, suffer from illnesses that don’t discriminate. What makes us who we are is how we react to whatever life throws at us. This is what makes my stories so character driven.
BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? If so, discuss them.
M.J.: No, there are no special groups featured in this story. The topics addressed deal with women as entrepreneurs, dealing with family issues, friendship, recovering from a broken heart, and life-threatening illness.
BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation or journey?
M.J.: So far I have five novels and each character has had a bit of my life experiences interjected into their personality or story. I like to think of my female characters as different facets of my personality. The woman I was, the woman I am, the woman I strive to be, and occasionally, the woman who I wouldn’t have a nerve to be, but man would it be fun if I did!
BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
M.J.: Yes, I did, and believe it or not, it wasn’t the female lead, Yasmine, it was the male lead, Zachariah Givens. Writing a character who is pained by the fact that he can’t remember a much as he would like to of his father who passed when he was younger is so me. My father died unexpectedly when I was ten-years-old and to this day, I have a hard time remembering his laugh or his smile. The same is true for Zack. I guess I worked through some unknown emotional issues on this book which is why to this day, when I read it, I still get teary-eyed at the same spots.
BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?
M.J.: This book didn’t need a lot of research in order to develop these characters. Mostly it was memories of my father while growing up and my grandmother and aunt who suffered from breast cancer. In fact, an incident that happens to Zach’s mother is the exact same thing that happened with my grandmother.
BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
M.J.: My goal with Yasmine and Zach’s story was to help readers to understand that a person cannot be judged by their looks or skin. Just because a person may be beautiful in appearance does not mean they are living a happy life. Everyone has some secret floating just below the surface as to who we truly are. Also, the person we are meant to be with for the rest of our lives maybe the exact opposite of what we think we need. Our hearts are what should guide us to finding love, not our eyes.
BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
M.J.: I am currently wrapping up the fifth novel in The Butterfly Memoirs series, ALONE. This is a story that has been hovering in the back of my mind since 2011, when I was writing the first novel, A HEART NOT EASILY BROKEN. The series isn’t about one set of characters, but rather characters who know each other in some way either as friends or family. Each story is about a different couple, and each story can be read as a standalone novel or from beginning to end.
BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
I can be found all over the web: