JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Monica Marie Jones, author of FLOSS
(Hub Books Publishing)
Friends since childhood, Abel, Solomon, and Jabez strive to climb the social ladder. Cousins Dionysus and Torah strive to climb that same ladder, but they would much rather travel on the backs of men like Abel, Solomon and Jabez. Tyse wants to climb that ladder as well in the company of men like Abel, Solomon and Jabez while attracting women like Torah and Dionysus.
Will they all be able to get up the ladder without pulling some down or walking over others? Will the ladder be able to support all of their weight, or will jealousy, envy, and betrayal cause everything that they have worked for to all come crashing down around them? When the worlds of these six socialites collide and become intertwined the outcome is scandalous. Will the controversies that they encounter be worth the cost that it takes to FLOSS?
Joey Pinkney: What gave you the idea and inspiration to write FLOSS?
Monica Marie Jones: After losing 65 pounds I decided to give modeling a try. The modeling scene opened me up to a whole new world that I had not experienced before. I observed how many men and women were driven by money, material things and looks. They often used those things to measure their worth. I was so fascinated with the entire lifestyle and what it drove people to do that I just had to write a book about it.
JP: Why did you choose to use biblical names for the main characters?
MMJ: When I was in school I always enjoyed how literature and poetry often had underlying themes that we could analyze and interpret. For this reason I like to have a meaning behind everything that I do, right down to the names of the characters that I select.
Here is the reason behind each name that I chose:
Dionysus is actually the name of the Greek God of wine. I chose this name because like wine, this character is alluring, addictive and intoxicating. The name is also unique, so just like the character it stands out, grabs your attention, and makes you want to learn more. It is also difficult to pronounce, just as there are many layers to her which often makes it difficult for others to understand her.
Jabez was named after the character in the Bible because he experiences several devastation and traumatic events back to back. This book was really only an introduction to Jabez. I plan to continue his story in another book in the FLOSS series where he will be the main character.
Abel is named after the “good” brother in the Bible because the relationship that he has with Solomon and Jabez in FLOSS is like that of a brother. In FLOSS, Solomon is jealous of Abel, and it leads him to seek revenge. Abel’s story will also continue in another book in the FLOSS series.
With Torah, I just thought that was an interesting name. There was really nothing behind it, but actually The Torah is to Judaism what The Bible is to Christians.
With Tyse, I just like the name. I thought it was unique.
Solomon is also a name that I like. It is a Biblical name. When I chose it, there was no specific reasoning behind it. When I expand Solomon’s story, which will be in another book in the FLOSS series that he will share with Torah, I plan to do my research to tie in some themes from Solomon in the Bible.
I was also influenced to write in this way by bestselling Inspirational Fiction author, Jaquelin Thomas, who often takes stories from the Bible and turns them into modern day tales.
JP: What sets FLOSS apart from other novels in its genre?
MMJ: While FLOSS is considered Urban Contemporary Fiction it has several underlying themes that border on inspiration. It is very real and raw at times, but it is still literary in nature. I tell a story that not only entertains, but also leaves people with something to think about that may even add value to their lives.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish FLOSS?
MMJ: As strange as it may seem, I do not write sequentially, meaning I do not start at the beginning and write what happens one after another until the end. I see my books in scenes, sort of like a movie. I write the scene, then I plug it in where it makes the most sense in the story. From there I go through and make sure that everything has a smooth transition. I started writing FLOSS before I stepped out on faith and left my full time job, so it took me a few years to complete it. 🙂
JP: What’s next for Monica Marie Jones?
MMJ: Currently I am working on several new books. My focus is on the FLOSS series. The next installment is a book called SWAG. It is not the sequel to FLOSS but you will hear from Dionysus again and her involvement in SWAG sets up what goes down in the FLOSS sequel which is tentatively titled, Intrigue. I am also working on the sequel to my first novel, The Ups and Downs of Being Round. The sequel is called, The Flip Side of Fat.
When I am not writing I am touring the world to promote my existing books. I plan to continue to hone my craft by taking creative writing classes at UCLA next year as well as spending some time writing at an Artist Colony.
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