Joining me today in The Loft is author Joz Maxel. Joz writes contemporary romance. When moved to write, the music is loud, the thoughts are plenty, and her fingers have a hard time keeping up with all the words flying out of her head. The mother of three children and a fur baby, Joz enjoys cheering her kids on in swimming, hockey, and baseball, as well as binge-watching Sons of Anarchy, Yellowstone, and Netflix documentaries. She lives in Alberta, Canada.
S: Good morning, Joz. Thanks for joining me today.
What do people get wrong about romance?
J: People get stuck on romance being all smut and nothing of substance. In the book world, people are very open to say what they like and some don’t, but outside that, it’s so secretive and it really should be embraced and enjoyed openly by everyone.
S: Are there any characteristics your lead characters share?
J: All of my men are playing with a toothpick in the mouth. My father, even now, always has a toothpick in his mouth and I didn’t realize until a few books in that I always wrote that into my books. All the men are rough around the edges when out to the world, but have a softer side for the women in their lives, just like my husband does with me.
S: I am always surprised how many conversations with my father wind up in my books. His words and advice are firmly locked into my subconscious.
What genres do you write?
J: I write mostly contemporary romance. I wrote an MM romance as the second book in my first published series, The Absolution series. I love reading the MM genre, but writing it is a whole different ball game. I stick with romance because that’s what I’m comfortable with but never say never.
S: What was your worst date ever?
J: I was 19 or 20 and started meeting people in chat rooms online, I met this guy who was a year or two younger than me so we decided to meet for a date. After the movie, he admitted he was only 16 and needed a ride back to his grandma’s house. Never saw or talked to him again.
S: Wow. That must have been a shock.
What would you like people to know about you?
J: I’m writing because I enjoy it. I love hearing back from readers, good or bad and hope to one day make one of my books into a movie. However, I’m not writing books to make any lists or become a big name in the book world. It’s an expensive hobby right now and if it stays that way, I’m okay with it.
S: What inspires your stories?
J: My inspiration comes from everything. My current series was sparked by "Sons of Anarchy." When COVID hit and everything was shut down last year, there wasn’t much to do but watch Netflix. I searched for something to watch and got into the series again--I had already watched it two or three times already--and the idea was born. I also have a hockey series on the back burner for now. That was inspired by my daughter playing hockey.
S: What's the best advice you have ever given?
J: My oldest daughter was having issues with friendemies and I just told her to stick to her guns and say what she wanted or what she didn't want to do and she did. Cost her a day without that person but she gained a bit of confidence in herself for the next time.
S: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
J: My greatest achievement is how respected and well-adjusted my kids are. They aren’t afraid to ask questions, be their silly selves, and love everyone for who they are.
S: Complete this sentence, "When one of my books is released, I..."
J: I have a good cry and then plan an adult night out with my husband and a few friends to celebrate.
S: Is there anything you would like people to know about your latest book, "Purple Haize?"
J: It's my proudest achievement because I wrote it during a time when everything was so uncertain. I had five people I tried with every fiber in my being to keep healthy and mentally well. There were many times I wanted to give up writing altogether, but I stayed with it and held myself accountable. I believe it’s my best work yet.
S: As a writer, that's a wonderful feeling.
Joz, thanks for joining me today. If you would like to learn more about Joz and her books, please visit--
Amazon Author Page: bit.ly/AuthorJozMaxel