Name MJ Harty
Where are you from Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc I have an amazing husband Alan, who I absolutely worship! He is my biggest fan and pimps me endlessly. I have three boys and a little girl who I fall more in love with every day! I am a figure skater, have skated in eight ice shows, and started at the young age of thirty. And…I absolutely LOVE sports.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I am publishing my debut Motorcycle Romance Novel, Sunset Vibrations very soon! It is the first book in the Aloha Love Series.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing at the age of six. Writing has been a huge emotional outlet for me, and has given me the art of expression helping me weather many difficult times and also celebrate the beauty of life.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
At age six, ha ha. I have been published as a poet many times. But…I didn’t consider myself an Author until April 2014, when I took the plunge and became a full time writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My life. My books reflect overcoming great difficulty, no matter what it may be, and standing at the top of that mountain looking down, saying, “Yeah, I did that!”
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I do. I have been told many times that I possess a “unique voice.” I think it comes from my poetry and prose background. I have transitioned into storytelling, but some of my poetic style has stayed with me.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My husband has a Harley, I love the sound of when he opens up the throttle and roars off. I can feel the vibration in the air as he rides off into the sunset. There you go, Sunset Vibrations…
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Romance is a genre that we are able to express so many emotions on many different levels. My message to my readers is that as much as life can be filled with intense difficulty, can be painful, tragic, and harsh, it is equally lovely. When you finally find that person who has the ability to turn your whole world upside down, to hold you through the worst and to make you strive to be the strongest person you can be, that is what I call a Happily Ever After.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Much of my book is realistic. But some of it isn’t, to make things a bit interesting.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I derived events from my own life for sure, but also many from people I know or have known. I take everything that goes on around me, store it in my heart, and when I write it just flows.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
That’s a tough question. I have so many books that have influenced me, and many different genres. I will limit it to one… JB Salsbury . When I first read this authors book I had never read a Romance Novel. I was going through one of the most difficult times in my life, and her words transformed my world. I fell in love with the Romance genre, became personal friends with JB, and she has been my mentor every step of the way. JB Salsbury’s Fighting Series, brought out the fighter in me, and I was able to find my wings to fly and make my lifelong dream come true, to call myself an Author.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Cristin Cooper check her out, she is releasing early this year!
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Hawaiian Storms is the next book in the Aloha Love Series. I also write under the name Ami Beth Cross, and plan to release a book early 2015. It is my personal journey of overcoming pregnancy and infant loss. It is called The Return to Happiness.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Amy McCoy Crull, my PA, my rock, my very best friend.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Writing isn’t just my career it is my heart light.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Sure. But I don’t focus on that. I did the best I could in the moment I wrote it. That is all we can ask of ourselves in anything we do in life.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I saw the movie Star Wars, (the original) and I came home, asked my grandma for a pen and paper and wrote all day, and have never stopped.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Here is the blurb from Sunset Vibrations:
Burying emotions keeps her heart safe.
Cali Charmical is powerful, but sometimes power comes with a price. She is used to being in control except for the past that haunts her, trapping her in her own mind. Trying to escape her demons, she escapes to Hawaii with her only friend. Little does she expect the sexy, dominant man that awaits her.
Secrets can hide in tough exteriors…
The son of a powerful Motorcycle Club president, Zev Severe falls for a beautiful, feisty woman. Suffering from a history of his own, Zev deals with his torture in unconventional ways. Every day is a struggle to keep his past locked away. With two alphas conflicting and neither willing to back down, will it destroy them or will they go on a ride of a lifetime?
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Balance. But I’m sure that will come in time.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favorite author is constantly changing depending on where I am at in my life. Right now I truly am inspired by Gayle Forman author of If I Stay, and Where She Went. What strikes me about her work is the ability to take a tragedy so realistic you feel like you can touch it, to a place of healing despite the unthinkable. Her work is brilliantly intense.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet…But I’m hoping to!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Cassy Roop from Pink Ink Designs. She takes my breath away every time she shows me the final product.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The transition from poetry to storytelling. I had a lot of help from honest people saying, “MJ too flowery, cut it out!” I’ve got it now, but it took time.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
What didn’t I learn?…haha…I learned that the characters I created took on a person of their own and they chose their story. I really had to listen and follow them on the road they had to travel to get to their HEA!
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Be authentic! Don’t be afraid to be unique, to be YOU! Do not allow outside influences to steal your dream, and NEVER compare yourself to other authors. We are all beautifully talented in different ways. Embrace your style, and let it flow from you!
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you thank you thank you! There are so many that have taken this journey already, without me even releasing yet. I love you all so much and thank you for believing in me!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Rocky by Sylvester Stallone, changed my little self forever.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Humanity. Held by moments that leave you breathless at its resilience, and also broken by its sorrow. Equally powerful, both having the ability to make you chose to grow into what your life story is meant to be.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Sylvester Stallone, I would tell him that the Rocky series gave me the strength and inspiration to fight and that an underdog always has a chance at greatness!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Eye of the Tiger, baby, Eye of the Tiger! Anything I do in my life I see as a challenge to make it into something magnificent, and in that it takes a lot of determination! It takes the Eye of the Tiger!
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Figure Skating. I’m no pro but I can jump, spin, and smile in front of a thousand people, skating my poetry on ice.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t watch TV, but have Netflex, and my friends have tricked me into an unhealthy obsession with Sons of Anarchy.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I love Beetohavan, I write to it all the time. Yup I’m a dork.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’d love to be a singer. Not a famous one, but my oldest son is a leader in a band and dang it is so cool!
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? My Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/amibethcross?fref=ts
Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/MJ-Harty/1443925335868853?ref=hl
Great interview Ami love how you let people into your soul!