Author Interview with MJ Vieira!
Hi, MJ Vieira welcome to the Indie Publishing Group website! Introduce yourself to us. Tell everyone who you are, where you’re from, what you enjoy doing, hobbies and interests.
My name is MJ Vieira. I’m originally from Maine, but just recently moved to Missouri with my son, two cats and a St. Bernard. My childhood was spent showing/riding horses and snowmobiles, exploring rivers while my parents dredged for gold, graveyard hopping while we tracked our genealogy and helping at the sporting camps we stayed at. I graduated from the University of Findlay in Ohio with a Western Equestrian Sciences Degree but currently work as a medical biller at an optometry surgery center. I have a lot of different interests but my major passions other than writing are music, horses, and reading.
When did you start writing and why?
I started writing when I was fifteen as a way to escape life. My mother was battling breast cancer and writing let me focus on something other than my fear she wouldn’t make it. Another key influence was my grandmother who bought me the first Harry Potter book when I was a kid. She used to read to me every chance she got and loved dragons/fantasy. Her passion helped fuel mine.
Which is your favorite book you have written and what gave you the idea for it?
That’s like asking which child is my favorite. Just kidding, ha-ha. But that’s a hard question for me. All my stories share a piece of me. But, if pressed, I’d say Lux. It was my first published book and has so many personal ties, it’s hard for me to read it at times. The pain I poured into the book still stings when I read it.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
The Veritas series are all Latin words that tie with the themes of the book. Lux means light, Veritas truth, and Aequitas means justice. These words were introduced to me by my father. He taught me the meanings and as a child, their ideals stuck with me. The Manjian Chronicles are similar, where the titles tie into the book. Fireweed is a plant in Maine that blooms after a wildfire while Pyre’s significance will be released in the story. I haven’t published it yet, so don’t want to spoil it. Route 201 is named after a highway in Maine, also the location for the story.
Who helped you with the cover? Or did you design it yourself? What was your inspiration for your cover design?
My first cover, Lux, was a premade a friend bought for me. The rest of my covers were designed by Reaper Designs, Francesca Vance. She designs all my covers now, but Fireweed’s image was a painting commissioned by artist Victor Holecek. He also created Pyre’s cover image.
What are some of the themes of your story?
The Veritas series centers around spiritual turmoil. One reviewer wrote I may offend some people with the second installment, Veritas because my mythos rewrites Christian doctrine. However, the Manjian Chronicles is more of an epic fantasy inspired by JRR Tolkien. Route 201 sends an anti-bullying and courage in the face of adversity.
What’s your process when you sit down and decide to start writing a book and do you have a system?
Oh man, this answer will probably make me appear dumb, but my process is to be a scattered mess. I joke that my spirit animal is either a dragon or a squirrel depending on the day, more often than not, the squirrel wins. Most of my books stem from an idea inspired by a song. I have a playlist for each character and then others for scene moods. Lux’s intro was written after I watched the music video for Skillet’s song, Monster. Then, as life unfolded around me, I took my personal strife and used writing to work it out. Typically, I write whatever scene pops into my head and tie it into the entire book later. As I’ve released more work, I’ve become better at planning but generally, I have a base idea and I grow the book from there. One way or another, I get it tied in. That’s what editing is for. If I feel a scene I wrote doesn’t fit, I take it out. If the transition is to abrupt, I blend. But, I’ve found that the more I try to force a character to do a certain thing, the less likely it is to work. I do better just letting the story flow.
Who are some of your favorite characters and why?
I really don’t have a favorite. I love Jade, the lead character of Veritas, because she is what I wish I could be. Aton, again from Veritas, is the reincarnation of a character I wrote as a kid, Siete. He was born to help me deal with being bullied in school. His cold logic made me see past my teenage angst into the root of the real issues surrounding me. Arashi and Sita, from the Manjian Chronicles, again were characters I wrote in the beginning. I guess it’s easier for me to answer this way: My least favorite character to write is Malum because he’s such an arrogant bastard. But even then, he can be fun at times.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Mainstream: JRR Tolkien, JK Rowling, Stephen King, Karen Slaughter.
Indie: Francesca Vance, Keri Lake, Summer Davis
Have you got anything you’re working on now?
Oh yes, way too many projects if I’m being honest. I have my werewolves, WIP named Jayce; a witches project called the Dirigo Series; more from the Manjians; a few anthology pieces; and a cross over series.
If you could have any superpowers what would they be?
All of them? LOL, sorry, had to. Um, I’d love too be able to have super strength.
If you could travel to any location in the world where would you go?
I really want to travel when I’m older. I want to see the world. But, my first stop would be Ireland. The emerald isle has always been a draw to me.
Where do you hope to be in 5 years’ time?
In Ireland! Well, I want to be writing full time with a publishing contract. I’d love to be able to ditch the 9-5 gig.
Thanks so much for taking the time to do an author interview, MJ Vieira! Take a minute and check MJ Vieira out on the links below! If you would like to do an author interview, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
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