I had the pleasure of speaking with MJ Compton, a very talented romance writer and sports ethusiast. She’s here to talk to us today about here latest release and new series, Fantasy Baseball. If you’re a baseball or a romance fan (or both!), definitely check out her work.
E: First off thank you for speaking with me today. Your latest work is about baseball. How did you come up with it—was there any particular inspiration? Are you a baseball fan yourself?
MJ: Thanks, Evee. I am a huge baseball fan, especially of minor league baseball. While I was researching baseball groupies, I ran across an interesting study that was a goldmine of ideas for future baseball books. My current release, Summer Fling, explored the statement that players in the minor leagues will sexually share the women who hang around the clubhouse; some players even hide in the closet and watch while the roommate and groupie have sex.
E: I know when I write, I have a routine I go through. What kind of routine do you go through when writing? Any certain rituals that you perform or do you just jump right in? Do you listen to music when you write, and if so what kind?
MJ: I create a music sound track for every book I write. I listen to those songs in the car; I have the mix on my mp3 player and listen while I’m at my Day Job. The songs help keep the story simmering in the slow cooker of my brain. But I don’t listen to music while I’m actually writing. I usually get up early, do social media and promotion, then try to squeeze in words before heading off to Day Job. I will also write on my lunch hour and when I get home from work, too. My children are grown and gone, which freed up a lot of time.
E: What would you say is the hardest part about writing a romance novel? How do you overcome these obstacles?
MJ: Creating a believable romantic conflict that keeps the characters apart.
I have the world’s greatest ‘critique’ group—we’re actually more of a plotting/brainstorming group—and if I have misgivings about something, I reach out to them.
E: Did you have to do any research for your story? How did you go about doing so?
MJ: Oh, yes! My husband and I had season tickets to the local Triple A baseball team for three years. I took copious notes during the games; I developed relationships with some of the players, several of whom very graciously answered questions for me. One of the people who sat in our section is very knowledgeable about minor league baseball, and he was more than willing to instruct me. Through him, I met a man who provides short-term rental housing for players. One of my husband’s colleagues boards players in his house. His wife has some wonderful stories to tell.
E: What is your favorite scene in your latest work? Any reason why you like it the most?
MJ: Oh, there are several. I think when the hero learns the heroine’s dark secret is my favorite. I cried while I wrote it. I cried when I edited it. The scene shows both characters’ flaws, but then they pull together to work through the problem.
E: How do you approach writing sex scenes? What would you say are some taboos when it comes to sex scenes (both as a reader and writer)?
MJ: I believe sex scenes need to be more about the emotional connection than insert Tab A into Slot B. I dislike a lot of slang terms for body parts, especially the female bits. I think sex scenes should flow naturally from the story, but the story shouldn’t be about sex. Sex isn’t love. I think a lot of authors equate “good” sex with love; a lasting relationship needs to be based on something other than how many times the hero/heroine can climax in a single session.
E: Are there any other projects you’re currently working on that you want to share with your fans?
MJ: My critique group has been working on an anthology we’d like to self publish. My hero is a baseball playing werewolf, and I’m having a blast with him. Any new releases or future endeavors that we can look forward to? I have two more books in the works in my Toke Lobo & the Pack werewolf series, and three plotted out in my Fantasy Baseball series. I hope to get the second baseball book in shape to submit to my publisher in the next month or so. Oh, and another publisher was asking if I’d like to do a series with lacrosse players. I’m excited about all of it!
E: Lastly, do you have any pearls of wisdom you’d like to share with our readers? Any advice for aspiring writers who are trying to break into the market?
MJ: Readers: you have no idea how much a review can help an author. Any review—if you loved the book or if you hated the book, please write a review!
Sit in the chair and write. Define what success looks like for you, then pursue it. Join a writing group—no one else will ever understand you as well. And in the immortal words of one of my favorite movies, “Never give up! Never surrender!”
EXCERPT for SUMMER FLING
I never thought the indiscretions of my youth would return to bite me in the butt by walking through the door of the Susie Buddha Café in Syracuse’s trendy Armory Square district, but they did. Or rather, one did. Winslow Winthrop Winston the Whatever, commonly known as Win.
I don’t know if I lost my ability to breathe because I was terrified he’d recognize and expose me or because he was just so darned good-looking. Probably the result of both. Win had always had a paralyzing effect on me.
Chuck somebody or other, one of the Syracuse Saltboilers baseball team board members, accompanied Win. They headed straight for our table.
There was no escape. Life as I knew it was about to end.
YOU CAN GET SUMMER FLING AT: