This interview originally appeared in Issue 27 of Redhot Romance
I am so excited to share with you a new feature that I started this month inside Redhot Romance. I invite authors to interview other authors so that you can get an inside track on their writing, characters and their publishing journey.
I was lucky enough to team up with one of my favorite authors, Aubrey Bondurant, to secure an EXCLUSIVE interview with MJ Fields.
Hi I’m Aubrey Bondurant, working mom, newbie author and like most of you an avid reader/fan of romance novels. I’m so pleased to be taking part in Redhot Romance’s Author spotlight where new authors have the opportunity to interview established authors with incredible talent and ask them not only about their books, but their journey around writing/publishing.
It’s an absolute pleasure today to welcome USA Today Bestselling author MJ Fields who was kind enough to take time out from her busy writing schedule to answer my questions and share an excerpt from her latest release Billy Jeffers.
AB: Tell us about your new book, Billy Jeffers, #4 in the Rockers of Steel Series. Will there be any more books to look forward to in this series?
MJ: Billy is the fourth and final book in the Rocker the Steel series. He is the reluctant rocker. His musical background was as a classically trained pianist. Billy never wanted to be in a band, but being the stand up guy he is, when he was asked to help start it up, he did.
When his best friend and lead singer, Memphis Black’s sister begins working for Forever Four, his life becomes…hard.
If you like a rocker romance, lots of hot sex, laugh out loud moments, a good hate fuck, best friends sister and enemies to friends read, look no further! But please head the warning before reading.
AB: For readers that are new to you and your books, how would you describe your writing and books?
MJ: I am told my writing is authentic, raw, and gritty. That the heat draws you in, but the heart keeps you coming back for more. I don’t deliver a character that is always likeable; the more flawed and fucked up they are, the more beautiful the fall is.
All my STEEL books, (Men of Steel series, Jase, Cyrus, Zandor, and Xavier. The Ties of Steel, Abe, Dominic, and Sabato. The Rockers of Steel Memphis Black, Finn Beckett, River James, and Billy Jeffers) end with a happy ever after. The journey getting there is one hell of an emotional roller-coaster ride, a gripping tale with laugh out loud moments. Moments that you may want to throw you kindle, or chuck your book, or even swear to never read me again. But from what I hear, and based on the success of the books, and the fact that regardless if it’s the Men of Steel originals, or spin off series, my readers keep not only coming back for more STEEL, they ask for more hot sexy tattooed, pierced, alphas. I am very much about pleasing my readers. I listen to them, always.
I am a huge lover of military, so the Norfolk series gives you the same feel. But the men in that series are less… raw, until between the sheets.
The Caldwell Brothers series are three brothers, Hendrix, Morrison, and Jagger, whose upbringing in Detroit, Rock City, was horrific. Their father was an abusive drunk. When their mother—who was their light, their good—passes, she makes them promise to be the good in the world of bad. These are men, who break the cycle of abuse and become heroes to one.
My other series’, The Love series, The Wrapped series, and The Burning Souls series, are… let’s just say still raw. The readers who love them would say they are full of angst and heartbreak and not always the HEA the reader expects. Some are suspense driven, and very dark.
AB: If your characters from any of your books were real people, which ones would be your best friends-which ones would you want to throat punch?
MJ: Can NOT pick just one – Momma Joe or Josephina Steel (Men of Steel matriarch) & Tessa Ross, the Love series.
As far as the men, all the Men of Steel, and the Rockers. The Ties of Steel men would intimidate me.
I would marry Brody Hines from the Wrapped series. Please don’t tell Jase, he would be crushed.
I would throat punch Sadi, Angel, and Elizabeth.
AB: What do you like the most about writing a series? Do you plan it out ahead of time how many books and which characters will be in each series or go with it as you write?
MJ: I love writing a series, if it isn’t totally obvious. I become invested in a character as soon as their name is on paper. I don’t plan anything ahead, it just happens. Men of Steel basically gave birth to every STEEL spin off. Each STEEL title was in the first four original STEEL books.(And there are at least five more that will get a book, but not necessarily with the name STEEL on it.)
My other books in Love, Wrapped, and Souls all follow each other, but can be read as a standalone. I refer to it as the legacy series. Again, It’s nearly impossible for me to name a character, picture them clearly in my head and not let their story be told.
AB: If your characters all got together for drinks, what kind of things would they say about you?
MJ: First they would say I’m nuts. I wouldn’t argue, 40 plus books in 39 months, that’s nuts.
They would without a doubt say family was the single most important thing in the universe to me (by blood or choice). Followed by loyalty.
Last but not least, orgasms, no explanation necessary.
AB: How has your writing or writing process changed from your first published book to this new one?
MJ: I am blessed to have this as a full time job, and income enough to support myself, my child, and the fur babies.
Changes, I use editors, lol. I hire out formatting, covers, tours, blitzes, etc. I had no clue what that all was when I began. I used Google and learned it all by myself. BTW, my covers SUCKED.
I still don’t use an outline, I still write with my heart and emotions, that will never change, if I’m not laughing, no one else will, if I’m not crying or feeling the emotions I am putting down, I can’t expect the reader to.
AB: If you were to do anything differently in your publishing/writing journey what would it be? What advice would you give to other authors just starting out?
MJ: Ask for help. Seriously there are some AMAZING people who do this thing called blogging, because they LOVE books like you do, and they are filled with a ton of information and most are so very willing to help. There are a lot of authors out there that will do the same.
This is where I still fail. It is very hard for me to ask for help. So don’t do what I do, lol. Never, ever, ever forget who allows you to do this. Whether you sell 1 book or a million, your readers are the second most important people in the world. They. Get. You. Did you hear me? They fucking get you. Treat them right.
The most important person in this process… you. Write what’s in your heart and imagination. Do not try to be someone else. Do not force yourself to follow a ‘trend’. Do. You.
Who has two thumbs and is very easy to contact? This chick. I love to help by pointing someone in the right direction.
I never wanted to be part of a band. From age three, I have been a pianist, and I excel at it. Regardless, it was not something I wanted to do as a career. I wanted to run my own business like my father.
I don’t love the stage and all the attention it brings like Memphis does. Music doesn’t live in me, and it’s not necessary to breathe like it is for Finn. I don’t crave the constant party, a warm body in my bed, or the distraction like River does.
Quite frankly, some of the warm bodies I have woken up to after too much partying have almost horrified me. Not because they aren’t attractive, but because, when they open their mouths to speak, I feel like I have lost a few hundred brain cells just from being in their presence.
I am attracted to women who are well-read, educated, and who can hold an intelligent conversation, a woman who dresses nicely and focuses on presentation. I value manners, confidence, and someone who isn’t overtly sexual.
I like women who are not drama because I have it in droves with my bandmates.
Madison Black—our lead singer Memphis’s sister, the travel coordinator for Steel Total Destruction, and in my case, resident cock tease—is drama. She nonstop checks me out, makes sexual innuendos, and acts like a little, spoiled brat when she doesn’t get her way.
I know she has gone through some troubled times—her parents’ divorce and the fact that her father was screwing around with her best friend’s father—but that is no excuse to act outlandish. Memphis and his mother seem to be fine, and she never mentions it, so I just assume that’s her nature.
Madison Black is beautiful—stunning, actually. She is without a doubt sexy. She has an hourglass shape; long, black, perfect waves of hair; and blue eyes framed by thick, black lashes that do nothing but make them shine even more.
If I allow myself the indulgence of watching her bend over a desk, a counter, using any excuse to shove her tight, little peach of an ass in the air whenever I am around, my dick chubs up in the blink of an eye.
She also has a habit of bending over, facing me, whenever I’m in front of her, flashing a peek of whatever lacey, little bra she has cupping her tits that day. I swear she never has the same one on. I wonder if there is a bra of the day club. If there is, there also must be a panty of the day club because, I shit you not, whenever she flashes me a peek, they match.
She makes my life … hard.
I would never fuck a friend’s sister or someone I work with. I would never date a woman who acts like she does. Do I want a woman to let loose in bed? Of course I do. What I don’t want is a woman others view as loose.
She used to pout, sticking out her bottom lip like a petulant child, when I avoided her, but lately, she has switched it all up and become a straight-up, little bitch.
My hands are normally clenched when she is around. I have to fight the urge to send her to the corner, to a time-out chair, or bend her over my knee and spank her ass.
Often, I find myself giving her a ride from whatever party we are attending since I normally am the only sober one. She used to be chatty, so fucking chatty. She would go on and on about music or the parties she went to when she was in college, before quitting and coming to work for Forever Four. Apparently, she and her friends would see how many guys they could make-out with, and whoever won didn’t have to do a damn thing, not even make her bed. And, as Madison Black says, she never lost. She bragged about it! Unreal.
If she wasn’t Memphis’s sister, I would ask her to lift her skirt so I could make sure she is truly a female.
When I started making her use the simplest manners, like “please” when she demanded a ride or “thank you” when I dropped her off, she seemed annoyed, pissed, even bitchy. Not that I give a care, but I would like peace in the work place.
Over the past few weeks, she stepped up the bitchiness and hit straight-up bitch. She glares at me, ignores me, does everything she can to avoid me, and when she and I have to be in the same room together, I can feel her stare at me. When I look toward her, she looks away. Then she has the audacity to wait until I watch for two seconds before she looks at me and rolls her eyes as if I have done something to offend her.
Yes, Madison Black is a spoiled, rotten, manner-less, little bitch whose face I have to stare at every day. Even worse, I have to be nice when others are around. Why? Because I am Billy Jeffers, resident nice guy.
About MJ Fields
USA Today bestselling author M.J. Field’s love of writing was in full swing by age eight. Together with her cousins, she wrote a newsletter and sold it for ten cents to family members.
She self-published her first New Adult romance in January 2013. Today she has completed six self-published series, The Love Series, The Wrapped Series, The Burning Souls Series, The Men of Steel Series, Ties of Steel Series, and The Norfolk series.
MJ is a hybrid author who publishes an Indie book almost every month, and is signed with a traditional publisher, Loveswept, Penguin Random House, for her co-written series The Caldwell Brothers. Hendrix is available now, Morrison was released on December 22nd, 2015.
MJ lives in central New York, surrounded by family and friends. Her house is full of pets, friends, and noise ninety percent of the time, and she would have it no other way.
MJ Fields Books & Series
The Men of Steel
The Ties of Steel
The Rockers of Steel
The Love Series
The Wrapped Series
The Burning Souls Series
The Norfolk Series
The Caldwell Series
About Aubrey Bondurant
Hi, my name is Aubrey and I’m a working mom who loves to read, write and travel.
If you were to describe my writing style, I’d say it’s “Adult Contemporary Erotic Romantic Comedy”.
How’s that for a mouthful? Picture chick-lit with the sex scenes or “smutty chick lit” and there you have it! 🙂
When I’m not working full time, or spending time with my family I’m on my keyboard typing away on my next story. I only wish there were more hours of the day!
I’m a former member of the military and passionate about veteran charities as well as giving back to the community. I love a big drooly dog, a fantastic margarita, and football.
The “Something Series” will consist of five books. The first one, Tell Me Something came out in June 2015. The second book, Ask Me Something came out in November 2015. Bet Me Something will be out in 2016.