I enjoy writing romance and romantic suspense. I have gathered my books in three collections, the Rocking Romance Collection, Real Romance Collection, and Romantic Realms Collection. The Rocking Romance Collection, you might have guessed, has a character who is a rock star. I have four books out right now in this collection. Three have rock star heroes; one has a rock star heroine. The Real Romance Collection is about people with “real” jobs, as opposed to being rich and famous. I have teachers, construction workers, waitresses, an EMT, cops, musicians, woodworkers, artists, and realtors. My Romantic Realms Collection features characters that are royalty. You’ll flee from a palace coup with a desert prince, escape with the princess and blacksmith, and even join some space-aged Knights on their adventures with a princess. In my books, romance is for everybody!
Why do I write about rock stars, real people, and royalty? Well, I’m going to let you in on a little secret… I harbor a covert desire to be a rock star, which I live out by singing karaoke to intoxicated bar patrons who don’t know the difference between good singing and bad. Why real people? Because EMTs and cops are so hot with that whole rescuing people thing, construction workers are often built, and musicians…there’s just something sexy about a guy who can sing! The collection with royalty feeds my childhood love for fairy tales. But no matter the characters or the setting—be it outer space, the desert, or a kingdom far, far away—my books have commonalities. An M.J. Schiller book will have humor, heartbreak, and passion. I also like to bring in family relationships a lot—cause what family doesn’t have some humor, heartbreak, and passion of their own?
How do I write? Well, when my kids were little—I have a twenty-one-year-old and three nineteen-year-olds—it was by hook or by crook. I wrote in doctors’ offices, dentists’ offices, the waiting room while my car was being serviced…anywhere I could cram a couple of minutes in, I took advantage of it. I might even get thirty minutes on the couch after they went to bed if I was lucky. Now my little birds have flown the coop so I have reclaimed the boys’ bedroom and am making it into my office. I need to paint, hang up pictures, and get a futon, but I have a desk, which is the important thing. I’m trying to be patient, but I don’t do the whole patient thing well. So that gives you the general where and in what manner I write, but how do I come up with my inspiration? I find a lot of my inspiration in music. Trapped Under Ice was inspired by several Nickleback songs. I have one in the pipes that revolves around Breaking Benjamin’s music. And Blackout came from a Staind song.
MJ is a lunch lady in the heart of Central Illinois. My gosh! Can you get more folksy than that? She met her husband at the University of Missouri-Columbia and now she has a twenty-year-old (how did that happen?) and eighteen year old triplets! She loves to read, karaoke (where she can pretend she is a rock star) and spends WAY too much time on Facebook. She grew up in St. Louis and still has family there.