Thank you for doing this interview for us at bookpimpers.com
What is your name or Author name if different and tell us a bit about yourself?I’m MJ Carnal, or as my friends call me, Mel. I’ve lived all over the place, including South America. My claim to fame before The Moretti Novels? Swimming in the Amazon River. I live in South Carolina, AKA, the pits of hell! It’s still 105 degrees here.
When did your 1st start writing?I’ve been writing my whole life. (My mom is a writer) But, I didn’t get serious about it until 2013. I had been reading anything I could get my hands on. I had two back surgeries in 3 months and was pretty much stuck in bed. I started writing Taming the Bachelor in February 2013. And the rest is history.
What is your intended audience when writing your books?Anyone insterested in something steamy that involves amazing men. I love creating your next book boyfriend. I love meeting the little old ladies that come see me at signings. THEY ARE HEROS to me!!
How did you come up the the titles of your books/series?My newest series, Liquid Regret, came to me while I was talking to one of my girlfriends over margaritas. I wanted something that represented sorrow and liquid regret means tears. My Moretti Novels started out as the Taming Series. But, I fell in love with Mark Moretti (And Alex Turner, Cover Model) so I changed the name. All of the Moretti Novels have Taming in the title. EXCEPT for the final Moretti Novel, Untamed. That one I did a contest and had my readers pick the final name.
Which writers/authors inspire you?Rachel Van Dyken really inspires me. Her books always help me out of a writing slump because they are either full of suspense or full of comedy. My mom also inspires me. From her poetry to self help articles, she’s a genius.
Who is your favorite male and female characters from your books?Andi and Kevin from Taming Casanova. They have the wittiest banter. They are funny and completely in love but are in denial about it. They have a bunch of one liners that make me laugh.
What do you find to be the hardest part of writing your books?Not rushing it. I have a lot to say but I don’t want to put too much in. It’s about finding the right balance between what’s important and what’s implied.
What are all the books to date that you have written?The Moretti Novels: Taming the Bachelor, Taming the Playboy, Taming the Boy Next Door, Taming Casanova and Untamed. Liquid Regret will be released 10/13/14. Have you seen my cover models? WHEW!
What are you currently working on?Liquid Regret, book one of the Liquid Regret Series. The release date isOctober 13. (God help me!) The other books in the series are Liquid Courage, Liquid Assets and Liquid ???
Do you do research for your books/series?Not alot. I do google things if I need some general information. I also have access to MDs so anything health related, I stalk them with questions.
Give us some interesting fun facts about your books/series?Mark Moretti was based on a man I had a huge crush on growing up. He was my brother’s friend and OFF LIMITS! I want to be Andi Allen when I grow up because she’s strong and powerful and won’t put up with anyone’s S&*T. Kevin Merck is in honor of a special friend that I lost in a car accident 8 years ago. I wrote the first five novels lying down in my bed. No desk. Just my stomach. There’s a lot of it so I could have written that way forever if my damn wrists wouldn’t have started hurting.
Did you have support from your family and friends while writing all your books?My friends are AMAZING. They push me every day. I feel like I have my own cheerleaders. I am so blessed. My family has been great too. My mom has read my books. (HOLY CRAP! No, we do not talk about the subjects. EVER!) My daughter loves to tell people her mommy writes “chapter books”. My goal for 2014 is get my husband to read one. HA HA
Tell us something we don’t know about you?I was adopted. I have no idea who my birth parents are and have never really looked for them. I had an amazing childhood with my adoptive parents and I can’t imagine life any other way.
Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?I sing. Don’t laugh. If you hear my speaking voice, you would never believe it. Hello nasal midwest accent. I grew up in musical theater and I still love it. I will put on an entire show in karaoke if you’d let me.
What can readers do to help continue success for you as an Author?Leave reviews on Amazon. The more reviews a book has, the more often Amazon will recommend it. That’s the biggest gift you can give an author. 🙂
Are you inspired by people in your personal life for certain characters?Actually, my cover models all inspire me. I find my cover model before I write the book. That way, I can write in their quirks and their hobbies. I also describe their tats, etc. I enjoy getting to know them so much. I have such an amazingly humble group of men that I work with. I am honored to call them all friends.
What can we expect from you in the future?I hope lots and lots of bestsellers. HA HA. BUT, if a few people buy my books, my job is done. The Liquid Regret series is about a rockband. All of them have similiar pasts and got together over mutual interests. They are a dysfunctional group that find love and comfort through music. Book one is an erotic suspense. Not sure what I will work on after that. Anything is possible.
Do you have any tips for new authors/writers trying to get published?Just do it! Put yourself out there. It’s a huge risk but it is SO worth it. The indie community is amazingly supportive. Open yourself up and believe in yourself. It’s a risk worth taking.
What is one thing you have learned from writing all your books?People are amazing. I have met the most awesome people. My readers are the best. They really are. They are friendly and I love to get to know them. Don’t be shy. Come up and talk to me. Every single one of you makes my life more complete.
Is there anything else you would like to add?There is an amazing anthology coming out in December to benefit the Marine Corp. Stay tuned.