We are very happy to welcome MJ O’Shea to the Smoocher’s Voice blog today. O’Shea’s most recent novel Impractical Magic is available on Dreamspinner Press. Impractical Magic is the sequel to .
M.J. O’Shea grew up and still lives in sunny Washington state, and while she loves to visit other places, she can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. M.J. spent her childhood writing stories. Sometime in her early teens, the stories turned to romance. Most of those stories were about her, her friends, and their favorite cute TV stars. She hopes she’s come a long way since then…
When M.J.’s not writing, she loves to play the piano and cook and paint pictures, and, of course, read. She likes sparkly girly girl things, owns at least twenty different colored headbands, and she has two little dogs who sit with her when she writes. Sometimes her dogs comes up with the best ideas for stories… when they're not busy napping.
Visit M.J. at http://mjoshea.com.
Jodi: Thank you, M.J., for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers. I am a fan of your writing style, and I have read almost all of your books. I loved the Coming Home series. Will you be writing a series around the characters in Impractical Magic and Newton’s Laws of Attraction?
M.J.: I think that one will just be the two books. I don't see any realistic way to bring more characters into that set and expand on it and I have a lot of other ideas I want to try!
Jodi: According to your bio, you have been writing since you were a child, and in your teens you wrote romance stories focused on people you knew. Are the characters in your books inspired by people you know?
M.J.: Yep, all the time actually! Sometimes it's literally name only, sometimes it's name and everything else as well. I put my best friend Jeana in The Luckiest, her little sister Jani actually became the little sister in Impractical Magic. She's a different age and I made her look different, but the personality is the same. Amy from the Rock Bay books (since you said you like them:) ) really exists, completely the same other than her profession. And in a book I have coming up, a lot of the background werewolf characters are my friends from high school.
Poppy Dennison and I are actually putting quite a few familiar names and faces in our upcoming series Coconut Cove, with permission of course! We thought it would be fun to populate our television set with people in this genre.
The only thing I don't do is base the romantic leads on people I know. That would be a little weird for me!!
Jodi: Have you always been drawn to the romance genre? When and why did you decide to write exclusively in the m/m genre?
M.J.: I'll basically read anything that's good so while I've never been drawn particularly to romance more than anything else, I've always liked a good romance novel. So far that's the only thing I've been published in, but I'd be more than open to trying other things. Same with writing exclusively gay romance. I don't, actually only write that. That's just what I've had luck getting published.:) If all goes well, you could be seeing other things from me in the future as well. I'd like to keep doing this, but try other things too.
Jodi: In Newton’s Laws of Attractions, we meet Ben and Rory, who have a reunited after eight years of being apart. What was your inspiration for that story?
M.J.: Well, I'd like to say we've all had our share of dramatic high school romances, lol. I just thought, hey what if… and went from there. I decided they'd both be teachers, partly because that's what I did before I started writing, so it was something very familiar to me (also, guess who was the girls' soccer coach lol), and partly because I wanted a place where they couldn't avoid each other very easily.
Jodi: Fenton Keene is the focus of Impractical Magic. In the first book, Fenton is a colleague and friend of Ben. They are known as the “trouble twins”. Although Fenton likes to go to gay bars with Ben, readers are given the impression that he is straight. Will we learn more about what makes him tick and why he does not tell Ben the truth in the sequel?
M.J.: I always meant for Fen to be ambiguous. They made enough comments in the first book about how he likes to go to the bar that I hope people weren't very surprised that he might like more than the cocktails at the Sugar Shack. There will definitely be more about what makes him tick in Impractical Magic, and his reasoning for keeping his new romance a secret, although I'm not even sure he can verbalize it at first.
Jodi: Does the sequel pick up where Fenton is being cryptic about his new romance (while Ben is on sabbatical)?
M.J.: I go back a tiny bit so that the readers can see Fen meeting Kevin, but yes. A good part of this book takes place over the summer that they're together and then there's all of the things that need to happen afterward.
Jodi: Fenton tells Ben that he doesn’t want to talk about his new romance because it is too new. Is there more to it than that?
M.J.: Definitely! Isn't there always? It has a lot to do with his past and some internalized issues that he has.
Jodi: What was the inspiration for Impractical Magic? Did you have the sequel planned when you wrote the first book?
M.J.: Basically, I liked Fen and I needed someone to come in and rock his world. He'd been the comic relief in book one and for a lot of his life and I wanted him to get the chance to actually be something more than the best friend.
Jodi: Tell us a little about Kevin, the fireman.
M.J.: Kevin is both sweet and nice, but also more experienced than Fen who's quite a bit older. He's exactly what Fen needs at the time when they meet.
Jodi: What is your next project?
M.J.: After Impractical Magic, there will be some actual magic (lol) in the paranormal shifter book I have coming out in August called Loveblood. It's YA because I didn't think the story would work in an adult setting, but I had a great time writing it. And of course I got to get the yearbook out and do some werewolf casting. That was hilarious (at least I thought so!).
I have a lot of things cooking this year though! Here's a link to the blog entry where I talk about them: http://mjoshea.com/2014/02/14/coming-soon-from-mj-oshea/. Those are all pretty much in order of release. Right now I'm working on Corkscrewed:)
Sequel to Newton's Laws of Attraction
Physics teacher Fenton Keene is looking forward to a summer of doing nothing but hanging out with friends and maybe getting into a little trouble. With his best friend out of town, trouble seems like the best option and it comes in the form of his building's newest temporary resident, a gorgeous fireman named Kevin.
Fen's been attracted to men before, but this is the first time he's considered acting on it. And act he does.
Fen and Kevin have an intense summer fling. Just in time for Kevin to go home, more feelings develop than Fen can ignore, but they don't stop Kevin from leaving. Once Kevin's gone, Fen can't stop thinking about him. That's when reality sets in and Fen faces the difficulties of distance and fidelity, while Kevin balks at Fen's reluctance to tell his friends and family. They just need to find a way to make their magic more practical