Interview with Paranormal Romance Author, M.J. Penn

by | May 17, 2024 | 0 comments

Author M.J. Penn just recently released a new paranormal romance titled Rejected Princess. It’s the story of a princess who was born into a family of royal werewolves, but she is fully human. She is removed from the royal life until she discovers a book that draws her back into the supernatural world of her parents. Here’s our conversation with Ms. Penn (Maia):

ILVN: Hi Maia, great to finally meet you!

MJ: Hi everyone. This is Maia, writing as M.J. Penn. My family and I live in southern
California. I write paranormal and fantasy romance books. I like that there’s a significant
overlap between the two genres. In my new series, The Eternal Queen, we meet the
heroine living her life among the humans, and by the end of the series, she’ll enter another
realm. As the series builds, the fantasy elements increase, too. Okay, no more spoilers…

ILVN: How long have you been writing or when did you start?
MJ: I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a child, but I have only recently been able to act on
my childhood dream. In 2020, I left my job as a professor to pursue a career as an author.

ILVN: Why paranormal/urban fantasy? What drew you to the genre?
MJ: I’ve always read fantasy and paranormal adventures, so I write what I love to read about.
I’m drawn to the opportunity to write about human emotions through extraordinary
circumstances. Writing fantasy stories allows me to break free from the constraints of

ILVN: What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?
MJ: The characters, definitely. Usually, I come up with the heroine and hero first and the type
of relationship they’ll develop over the entire series. Then, I build the world and the plot
around these two main characters.

ILVN: What’s your favorite type of paranormal creature and why?
MJ: It seems to change, but who doesn’t love an alluring vampire hero who is a little bit dark
and a little bit bad, but with the heroine, he’s gentle and protective? Immortality is another
aspect I like about vampires. It allows me to write about life and love from a different
perspective. My vampire hero, who has been waiting for his fated mate, is not about to let
her go easily when he has an eternity to live alone.

ILVN: Tell us about your heroine/hero. What inspired her/his quirks and struggles?
MJ: This question is difficult to answer without giving away too much from the series, but I’ll
try. In the first book of The Eternal Queen, we meet the heroine and her two mates. This
is not a reverse harem book. In this series, there is only one fated mate. Both heroes are
supernatural and dangerous. One is easy to love, and loving the second hero is painful.

I wanted to write about heroes who only, on the surface, appear arrogant Alphas, but
underneath the mask they wear are layers and layers of secrets and experiences that make
them vulnerable. I wanted to write about male characters grappling with internal conflicts.

ILVN: Would you and your main character get along?
MJ: Absolutely. We’d be best friends. My heroine and I would rather spend Friday night at
home, eating pizza and watching a movie, than go out partying.

ILVN: Which of the characters do you relate to the most and why?
MJ: The heroine is Breanna. We’re both introverts, but we’re not afraid to stand up for
ourselves. Also, Breanna and I make decisions based on our gut feelings and intuition.

ILVN: What is a significant way your book has changed since the first draft?
MJ: I only focus on developing the story when I write the first draft. Usually, I have to finish
the first draft of all books in the series before I make major revisions. Only after I finish
writing the entire series do I go back to the first draft of Book 1 and include the
events/things/items that foreshadow revelations and plot points in the following books.

ILVN: Where can our readers find you? (Social media, website, etc.)
MJ: I’d love to connect with your readers. They can find me on Facebook:
And my website:


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