Interview with MJ Vieira

So how’s our new reality treating you? Ha! Well, besides going stir crazy, it’s going ok. Trying to homeschool has been hard but we’ve managed.

So you just released the third instalment of the excellent Veritas series “Aequitas”. How do you feel about being finished and do you feel like the series is finished or will you come back to it? It was hard to end this book. This series is very personal and to close out this arc, well, it took a lot. However, no, I don’t think the entire series is over. I have a feeling there is a lot still in store for Jade.

What is it about the Fantasy genre, that appeals most to you? Being able to escape reality in a story of imagination.

Having read the Veritas series I noticed that there was significantly less sex and romance in Aequitas. Was this a conscious choice or just something that came about as you were writing? I’m a firm believer in going where my characters take me. Lux and Veritas we very different stages of Jade’s journey. The sex wasn’t needed in Aequitas and didn’t fit like it did in the prior two sagas.

How much of you is present in Jade, your protagonist/anti-hero? I would say a great deal. I didn’t plan it that way but Jade became a way for me to work out a lot of things going on in my life. Plus, she shares my hatred for socks ?

How would you describe the series for readers that are intrigued by the awesome covers and looking to jump in? The Veritas series is a dark, paranormal tale of learning the meaning of real love and the valuable lessons of self-growth and doing what’s right opposed to what we want. In an epic battle between good and evil, what parts of yourself will you loose along the way? What will you gain? Caught between angels, demons and gods, Jade must find out her own path.

Aside from Jade, who was your favorite character to write and why? In Veritas? Onyx. He’s an ass but I enjoy playing Devil’s advocate with him.

Describe the journey that led to your very first published work. Well, Lux started because I was listening to Skillet’s “Monster”. I began to consider what it would be like to be trapped in a hospital, to fall asleep and wake up to find yourself a prisoner of your own mind. Lux took on a life of it’s own after that. I found it was more helpful than a therapist and with the encouragement of some friends, I kept going.

Who would you say are some of your biggest writing influences, and in what way have they influenced your work? I draw a lot of inspiration from those I’ve written with in the past such as Francesca Vance and Sara Brackett. The stories we used to work on for fun helped shape some of my worlds and develop my characters. Reading wise, I draw a lot from J.R.R. Tolkien, Karen Marie Moning and Meredith Ann Pierce. These authors fuel my imagination and muse.

Do yo write with a specific audience in mind, or are there any specific morals or themes that you want to convey in your work? I fluctuate to be honest. I tend to write for me, which to some may sound selfish but I’ve found if I try to write for other people, the story is weak. I’m to busy worrying about what people will think and it gets in the way of my “voice”. All my books have some moral or two to convey but I like the reader to interpret and take what they will from the story. Everyone sees art in a different way; that’s what makes it universal and so powerful.

What takes up most of your time these days when you aren’t writing? The day job and my raising my son.

How important is reader interaction to you ? And how do you most enjoy interaction with readers? I think reader interaction is huge and I enjoy it immensely. There is nothing better than hearing from readers.

Have you done any reading lately? If so what can you recommend for the Fantasy/Sci-Fi Focus community? I’ve been reading mostly crime novels. If I read a lot of fantasy while I’m writing, I tend to start writing like who I’m reading. However, I have recently started reading Robert Cano’s book, Dark Archer, and love it! I’d also highly recommend Cheryl Rush Cowperthwait’s work; her Dragon Rider’s School is a fun, engaging read.

So what’s next for you? What can readers expect in the next year writing wise? Currently, I’m working on the next installment of the Manjian Chronicles as well as a YA vampire novel, Familiar, and my werewolf saga, Beskytte. I also have a couple anthology projects in the works.

What one piece of advice would you offer to new and aspiring writers? Grow a thick skin. Sadly, there are a lot of people who want nothing more than to degrade others rather than lift them up. Learning not to take the criticism to heart is a valuable lesson.

Do you think Bob the Pangolin would make a great novel hero…and why? Bob is much more of an anti-hero. Him and his little Panglion feets.

Blue Broccoli? Fact or fiction? Fact! The mythical blue broccoli is out there!!! It just needs believers.

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