Jukebox Time got a chance to interview MJ Chance in regard to her book The Borealis Effect. We got insights into her book, tips and advice for aspiring writers, and much more!
Q. Welcome to Jukebox Time! Your new book combines elements of mystery, thriller, and science fiction. How did you manage to weave together these genres and maintain a cohesive story? Can you share with us any challenges or learnings from blending these genres?
Surprisingly, it wasn’t as difficult as I initially thought it would be. Likely because science can sometimes have enigmatic qualities. Science and research in particular are driven by the quest for answers to life’s greatest mysteries. Additionally, shows and books like The X Files, Fringe, and Dean Koontz’s ‘The House at the End of the World’ offered excellent examples that I attempted to emulate.
Q. Creating a gripping narrative with various emotional and thematic layers requires a lot of creativity. What routines, practices, or inspirations do you seek to keep your creativity flowing and ensure sustained enthusiasm throughout the writing process?
Writing something every day is how I encompass both routine and practice. But my enthusiasm is sustained through the process by the main character’s arc. I ask myself, ‘Where will Kat (the main character) be at the end of the novel?’ Not just physically, but emotionally. I love stories that show personal growth and want it to be as realistic as possible. It keeps me invested in her journey and the relationships cultivated along the way.
Q. Any tips or advice for aspiring writers?
First and foremost: Write! Even if a full novel feels daunting, experiment outside your comfort zone. Dive into poetry, short stories, children’s stories, or even a fan fiction.
Secondly: Read! Consume a diverse range of genres, from non-fiction to paranormal romance. You learn to recognize the patterns that work to keep a reader’s interest and enhance your own understanding of written words.
Q. Who are your favorite authors and why?
How long can the list be? Topping my favorites are AG Riddle, Greg Iles, Brian Nelson, Kishore Tipirneni, Nick Pirog, and Paul Tassi. Each has a knack for immediately capturing my attention with unique spins on familiar themes. Their characters resonate authentically, showcasing human imperfections in a profoundly beautiful manner.
Q. With such a captivating book making its way into readers’ hands, we are all left wondering – what’s next for you? Can you give us a sneak peek into any upcoming projects or the direction in which you’re headed with your writing career?
“The Borealis Effect” is the first book of a trilogy I aim to complete in the upcoming six months. Additionally, my novel “Brain Fog” launches this November. This thriller and hard science fiction story follows neuroscientist Dr. Allison Perez as she unravels a groundbreaking discovery: a nanocyte capable of eradicating degenerative brain diseases. It has the potential to revolutionize the field of medicine if completed, as long as those who wish to weaponize it for their own gain don’t get their hands on it first.
Brain Fog holds personal significance for me, stemming from my daughter’s diagnosis with a genetic condition causing brain tumors, which led to significant vision loss for her. My research for the book began simply to better understand her condition and its effects on her brain.
Though her prognosis is good, there were many times during her treatments that I wished there were medial advancements that would make chemotherapy a thing of the past. The theoretical nanocyte was born out of that idea.
Q. Lastly, as we ask all our guests on Jukebox Time, do you have any closing thoughts that you would like to share with the world and our readers?
Though it might sound cliché, Find a reason to smile daily. Your joy could be the highlight of someone’s day. Also, please consider donating to the Childrens Tumor Foundation at CTF.org. They are funding research on the genetic disease, Neurofibromatosis.
The Borealis Effect releases on November 1st but is available for preorder on Amazon today.
About the author: MJ Chance holds degrees in both Environmental Engineering and Information Technology. In her leisure time, she delves into the world of arcade cabinets and pinball machines, both building and repairing them. As a mother to four children, her home is a whirlwind of creativity and entertainment—from constructing intricate Lego structures and indulging in imaginative dress-ups to battling it out in various video games. Her profound affinity for technology is perfectly balanced by her passion for the great outdoors; when not behind a computer screen, MJ can be spotted surfing the Californian coast.
The book is now available for preorder on Amazon: The Borealis Effect