Fans, please welcome Monique O’Connor James, author of The Keepers, to Moonlight Beauty Books!
We are entering Monique’s world, a place filed with angels, spiritual connections and first and above all, love.
I hope you enjoy my interview, I loved having the chance to talk to such a talented author!
What is the plot behind The Keepers?
Jess denies God. In his infinite wisdom, he's taken everyone she's ever loved. Moving to the French Quarter was a ploy to erase the guilt she felt for rebuking her faith. Perhaps, if she hadn't met Justin, an angel preoccupied with getting back into God's good graces, and drowning in his hatred for humanity, her plan would have worked.
Justin's general disdain for the human race makes him difficult to like, but some higher power has appointed him her keeper. Justin's convinced he can mend her broken relationship with her maker, but in the process he learns a thing or two about his own humanity.
Never mind falling in love, that's not supposed to happen. In fact, it may even be forbidden. Jess just wants Justin to understand her plight, and he wants to protect her from a world she doesn't know.
If neither are equipped to save the other, then whose soul will live and whose will perish?
Hi Monique! Please tell us a bit about yourself! What are your interests, hobbies, passions, etc?
I work outside of the home full time so anytime I get spare time I’m writing and editing! Besides my husband and kids writing is my great love…and music.
When and how did you find the inspiration for writing The Keepers?
My own mother passed away about thirteen years ago from breast cancer. A lot of the emotion that Jess has about the death of her mother comes from my own experience with losing someone so close to me.
3. The Keepers focuses a lot on religious aspects, specifically relationships with God. Can you tell us why? I’m not an especially religious person, but I am deeply spiritual. If I didn’t feel that there was a higher power and something waiting for us after this life, I don’t know that I could have survived some of the tragedies that I’ve faced in life. I think because of what the religious organizations have done in this world, a lot of people are afraid to say they believe in God. I’m not afraid to admit that without my faith I’d be lost. I never wanted The Keepers to be a preachy novel. I don’t feel like it comes off that way at all. I just believe that everyone is entitled to their own spirituality and sometimes that spirituality goes through times when we doubt it and then believe again.
4. What are other themes that appear on The Keepers?
Breast Cancer, siblings who are close enough to love each other unconditionally, the attraction of opposites, Angels and their worlds, the connection between heaven and earth, alcoholism and romance
5. How did you choose the book’s name?
Originally the book was called The Fallen. However, there were several books out by that name and because Jess had both Guardian Angels and her angelic keepers on earth, I thought it was fitting. It’s the idea that no matter what, we are never alone, someone is always watching out for us.
6. Which were the easiest and the hardest parts of the book to write?
For me one of the hardest parts of the book to write was the scene where Jess visits her mother in Heaven. I had envisioned this fantasy with my mom many times and as I wrote it and then edited it over and over it was painful. Writing about the way Jess felt about her mom and how hear death had left her emotionally was easy. I still had all those emotions and feelings bottled up inside just waiting to be shared.
7. Your main character is Jess, a woman who denies God for taking away everything she ever loved. Can you tell us where did you find the inspiration to create her?
Of all the characters I’ve ever written, Jess shares the most similarities to me. Neither one of us cook, we both lost our mothers to breast cancer, we’ve both dealt with issues with our siblings who we loved, and we’ve both been angry with God for taking the things we cared about most.
8. Angels are the supernatural creatures that inhabit the pages of The Keepers. What can you tell us about their participation on the book?
Of course, I have a love affair with the angels in this book. For me Justin and his brothers helped me rectify the reason that life doesn’t always turn out the way we want it to. I adore the relationships they have with each other and the fact that even though they are heavenly beings they are still imperfect.
Do you have any favorite quote from your book? Which?
I love when we first meet Justin and he’s so sure he hates humans:
“It was difficult not to feel sorry for himself. He was utterly surrounded by the stench of humanity. He had asked for this very thing. He'd wanted to commune with them, be part of their world, but he’d soon discovered they repulsed him. He watched the human race and wondered how they managed to take their faultless existence and make it complete crap.”
1. Lastly, is there anything you would love to say to our readers? I just want to thank all the loyal fans and readers for showing me so much love and support. The Keepers ebook is currently available but I pulled the print copy for two weeks while my editor corrects a couple of problems I found. The print copy will be back up by September 1st. I also want to thank you for having me! You guys rock!
On behalf of Moonlight Beauty Books, I just want to thank Monique and all my readers for visiting and commenting!
Here are some links for you to visit!
Monique’s Twitter: mjames13