Saturday, August 24, 2013

Tour Kick Off - Meet and Greet - The Marriage Pact by M.J. Pullen

Contemporary Romance
Date Published: July 2011

Marci Thompson always knew what life would be like by her 30th birthday. A large but cozy suburban home shared with a charming husband and two brilliant children. A celebrated career as an established writer, complete with wall-to-wall mahogany shelves and a summer book tour. A life full of adventure with her friends and family by her side. 
Instead, Marci lives alone in 480 square feet of converted motel space next to a punk rock band, hundreds of miles from her friends and family. She works in a temporary accounting assignment that has somehow stretched from two weeks into nine months. And the only bright spot in her life, not to mention the only sex she’s had in two years, is an illicit affair with her married boss, Doug. Thirty is not at all what it is cracked up to be. 
Then the reappearance of a cocktail napkin she hasn’t seen in a decade opens a long-forgotten door, and Marci’s life gets complicated, fast. The lines between right and wrong, fantasy and reality, heartache and happiness are all about to get very blurry, as Marci faces the most difficult choices of her life.

#1 – Do You See Writing as a Career?

Definitely. Sometimes. J For me, writing is a vocation: more a calling than a career, and I have answered that calling in a variety of ways, my whole life. Sometimes it pays the bills, sometimes it just feeds my soul. Either way, I don’t have any choice. I have to write.

#2 – What was the Hardest Part of Your Writing Process?

The hardest part for me is, and probably always will be, time management. Writing takes focus, discipline and dedication, especially when you get stuck at a tough spot in the story or you’re doing the not-so-glamorous parts like revising. It means you have to choose to give up other things in your life that might provide more immediate gratification, in order to do the work. Also, you have to be able to steer yourself away from the internet once in a while – taking your brain from passively receiving information to creating something new. It’s a different kind of energy, definitely a challenge. 

#3 – Did you have any One Person Who Helped You Out with Your Writing Outside of Your Family?

Yes. I had several friends and family members who served as moral support and beta readers. Among them, however, my good friend Ryan stands apart. We were English majors together at UGA and studied at Oxford University in England one summer as well. We have the kind of long-standing friendship and mutual respect that allows for total honesty. Ryan happens to be a guy, and a lawyer – very analytical! – not exactly the target audience for a contemporary romance. I actually think that makes him a better critique partner in some ways. He sees things from a different perspective and helps bring texture to my writing. I owe him a lot. Of course I get lots of great feedback from my girlfriends, too! 

#4 – What is next for your writing?

Right now, I am finishing up the third novel in The Marriage Pact series, for release in November 2013. After that, I have several projects in the hopper: including a mystery/adventure series for women and a nine-part YA paranormal series (ambitious much?). There are some other romantic comedies taking shape in my head, too, and a non-fiction project I’ll be working on with a friend of mine. Add blogging and raising kids to that list and I think I have my work cut out for me!

#5 – Do you have an addiction to reading as well as writing? If so, what are you currently reading?

Definitely. I’m very ADHD in my reading habits and I always have several books open, plus an audio book I listen to in the car or while exercising. I read across genres, anything good. Right now I am reading The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult, Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner, and listening to A Clash of Kings (Book #2 in the Fire and Ice Series) by George R.R. Martin. For writing instruction, I’m also reading 179 Ways to Save a Novel, and of course I re-read my own books to continue revising and to make sure each one is consistent with the last.

DESCRIBE Your Book in 1 Tweet:

Age 30 has arrived. Will their old promise bring a happy ending, or end their friendship forever? THE MARRIAGE PACT by @MJPullen

This or That?

#1 - iPd or Mp3? 

Both. I’m a music addict so I have to have something on every platform.

#2 – Chocolate or Vanilla?

Chocolate. Preferably soft-serve in an old-school cake cone if you have it.

#3 – Mashed Potatoes or French Fries?

Fries. With mustard.

#4 – Comedy or Drama?

Both. In my view, it’s hard to separate them. Comedy is hollow without drama, and drama without an element of laughter is too intense: like staring directly at the sun. Even the most decadent sweets need salt to bring out their true flavors.

#5 – Danielle Steel or Nicholas Sparks?

Can I say Jodi Picoult, Jennifer Weiner or Helen Fielding instead? I guess my writing is more like Nicholas Sparks than Danielle Steel.

#6 – Fantasy or Reality?

There’s a difference? Oops.

#7 – Call or Text?

I prefer calls, but I have to admit I probably text more often.

#8 – Public School or Home School?

For our family, public school. I admire the patience and dedication it takes to home school; I just don’t have it. My kids would revolt. 

#9 – Coffee or Hot Chocolate?

So. Much. COFFEE. 

#10 – eBook or Paperback?

Paperback in the bathtub, eBook almost everywhere else.

When she’s not chasing two little boys or trying to wipe something sticky off the floor, M.J. (Manda) Pullen is the bestselling author of two contemporary women’s fiction novels: The Marriage Pact (2011) and Regrets Only (2012). She is working on several new projects as well, including more women’s fiction and a YA paranormal adventure series.

M.J. grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. Writing has always been a big part of her life, both professionally and personally. She studied English Literature and Business at the University of Georgia in Athens, and later Professional Counseling at Georgia State University in Atlanta. She practiced psychotherapy for five years before taking a sabbatical to spend more time writing and raising her brood. Since high school, she has also been an executive assistant, cashier, telemarketer, professional fundraiser, marketing guru, magazine writer, grant-writer, waitress, box-packer, HR person, and casual drifter.

M.J. loves creating true-to-life characters who are flawed, relatable, and most importantly redeemable. She tries to explore all aspects of relationships, from romantic entanglements to battles between mortal enemies, and everything in between. She reads and writes across many genres, and learns something from everything she does. No matter what she’s writing, M.J. believes that love is the greatest adventure there is, and that hopeless romantics are never really hopeless.

After years traveling and living in places like Portland, Oregon, and Austin, Texas, M.J. has now returned to her home city of Atlanta (actually Roswell, for hard-core Roosevelt fans and connoisseurs of suburban culture), where she lives with her husband and two young sons. She loves to hear from readers and other writers – so drop her a line!

August  25 - Pink Fluffy Hearts - Review
August  26 - Rose & Beps - Excerpt
August  27 - Inside BJ's Head - Review
August  28 - Alway's Jo Art - Guest Post
August  29 - Lauries Thoughts and Reviews - Interview
August  30 - Book Suburbia - Excerpt
August 31 - Reading Past My Bedtime - Guest Post
September 1 - Faerie Tale Books - Review
September 1 - Lets Get Booked - Review
September 2 - What's On The Bookshelf - Guest Post
September 3 - The Book Faery Reviews - Review
September 3 - Up all Night Reviews - Excerpt
September 4 - Dalene's Book Reviews - Interview
September 4 -  RABT Reviews - Review

1 comment:

  1. It's great to meet everyone. Thanks so much for having me; can't wait to hear from you guys. Looking forward to a fun tour!