Marcia James, author of hot, humorous romances

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The James Gang


December James Gang Interview

Each month, I interview authors or publishing insiders who have some form of "James" in their names or in their books. My December interviewee is author Angela Wren, who has a character perfect for the James Gang!

1. Why Jacques

That's very simple, I just like the name! Also, in French, "Jacques bonhomme" means, among other things, "friend," and I think my character is the kind of friend we all want to have with us when the going gets tough. And there is a humorous side to him too, which fits with the French phrase, "faire le Jacques," meaning to play the fool or to try to be amusing.

2. What fiction genre(s) and/or sub-genre(s) do you write?

Messandrierre is a murder mystery and is the first of four stories featuring my central character, Jacques Forêt. Although Jacques is a rural gendarme, the book is not a police procedural and I never intended it to be.

I really enjoy the challenge of plotting and planning different genres of work. My short stories vary between contemporary romance, memoir, mystery and historical. I also write comic flash-fiction and have drafted two one-act plays that have been recorded for local radio.

I wouldn't like to think that I was confined to only one or two specific genres for my writing.

3. Tell us about your latest release.

Messandrierre is due to be released as an e-book on December 8th and can be downloaded from Amazon and other similar outlets. Just as a taster, you can find the blurb below.

Sacrificing his job in investigation following a shooting in Paris, Jacques Forêt has only a matter of weeks to solve a series of mysterious disappearances as a rural gendarme. Will he find the perpetrators before his lover, Beth, becomes a victim?

4. Is there a core story and/or a theme(s) in your books?

The central story revolves around the disappearances of a number of travellers who pass through the village of Messandrierre. It is Jacques who takes the details of the first person to go missing and, even though his boss tells him there is other work to do, Jacques can not let the case go. He has to solve the mystery, and ultimately he does.

Alongside this is the story of the developing romance between Jacques and Beth. He knows his own mind, but Beth is listening to her head and not her heart. She also becomes a suspect in relation to the disappearances. The reader will have to get right to the very end to find out if Jacques can win Beth.

5. Do you have a favorite hero and/or heroine in your books and why?

That has to be Jacques. He's kind and caring, but also determined and steely in relation to his work. He has history, as we all do, and some of that comes out in the book. He considers himself to be a man of his word and is always ready with a helping hand when needed - and in a tiny cévenol village, that attitude is important and comes through in the story.

6. What do you enjoy most about being an author?

Wow! That's a big question. I suppose, if I had to distil my answer, it would be having the capability to create anyone and anything. To me, there is something truly awesome about being in my "writing shed" (actually a room in my house that is full of books, a desk and a computer), but in my mind, living in a completely different place and time and then bringing those mental images, those thoughts and feelings to the e-page. And of course, I don't restrict my mind to only thinking fiction when I'm in my shed. I'm often in my other world when I'm doing non-intellectual tasks, like ironing or hoovering. I suppose being an author is really just a work-out for the brain, and you don't even need to go to gym!

7. Do you have any awards, reviews or kudos you’d like to tell us about?

I don't even win raffles, so an award is way out of my league, I think!

8. How do you promote your books and your author brand?

I've already started publicising my work. I've been interviewd on local radio for the "Bookit!" programme, and the podcast of that show can be found at I've also done other guest blog posts similar to this.

I was at an event in Doncaster on November 26th along with a number of other authors, which went really well.

I'm planning to write to all the local Readers' Groups in the area to ask them to read my story and review it, and I will be giving talks at libraries - as many of them as will have me!

There are also a number of Writers' Groups that I will be contacting to ask if I can come along and talk about Messandrierre.

In addition, I have my website ( that I've only just finished building, and there is my blog ( So, a lot to do over the next few months!

9. What is your next project?

I have some modern fairy tales that have been sitting on my hard-drive for a while, and I want to add to those and self-publish an anthology in the first half of 2016. I've already commissioned the art-work for the cover, so that is on track at the moment.

I'm working on the second Jacques Forêt story, which I'm planning to submit to my current publisher (Crooked Cat Books) next year.

10. Do you have a bit of wisdom you’d like to impart or a favorite quote?

I think there are far more experienced writers out there than me, and I'll leave providing wisdom to those much more qualified others! Below is a quote instead.

"I died beneath a clear autumn sky in September, late in September when warm cévenol afternoons drift into cooler than usual evenings before winter steals down from the summit of Mont Aigoual."

Thank you, Angela! Stop by next month, when my interviewee with be author Adam Mann/Mike Lord, who has a character perfect for the James Gang!


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