THE JAMES GANG
Each month, I interview authors or publishing insiders who have some form of "James" in their names or their books. My February James Gang interviewee is Total E-Bound/Pink Petal Books author Jaime Samms.
1. Let’s get the most important question asked first: Why James?
Actually, a friend picked the name for me. She thought it would be a nice variant on my real name; enough to still feel like myself, but different enough to give a bit of separation. I've really grown into it, I think, to the extent that I would probably answer to either 'Jaime' or my real name without blinking an eye.
2. What fiction genre(s) and/or sub-genre(s) do you write?
I write Gay Romance, for the most part. Lots of my work is contemporary, but I also write some paranormal and some fantasy. At the heart of all my stories, though, is the beat of romance and the certainty that love can heal and make a life worth living to the fullest.
3. Tell us about your latest or upcoming release.
My latest solo release is from Total E-Bound. It's book two of my 'Rainbow Alley' series, and is the story of a man trying desperately to find himself in the confusing and potentially dangerous world of the Dom/sub lifestyle.
Finders, Keepers book blurb:
All his life, Rory Sanders just wanted please the people he loves and always thought he failed, until the day Gabriel Stark rescues him from Kane's abusive hand--and Rory's own misconceptions of what it means to be submissive.
His search for a way into the world that lets him live out his need to serve others has left Rory Sanders estranged from his family and without a lot of friends. When he meets Kane, he thinks his dreams have come true. Those dreams are shattered when he discovers Kane is less interested in his submission than his total subjugation and humiliation. Unable to figure out how to please Kane, Rory is left in a dangerous and humiliating position, bound and helpless in a fetish club where he at last meets people who understand.
Gabriel Stark is not only the private investigator called in to figure out who Kane is and why he has been abusing submissive men, he's also a professional Dom and the man of Rory's dreams come to life. It remains to be seen if Gabe can overcome his own losses and mistakes and be the Dom Rory needs, or if he will let his own past be the ruin of yet another submissive who needs his help. That Rory is physically, emotionally, and intellectually everything Gabe has been looking for only makes Gabe more determined not to get emotionally invested in Rory's recovery.
Keeping Rory safe from Kane might be more than Gabe can manage on his own, and the result of failure could cost the submissive his life.
4. Is there a core story and/or a theme(s) in your books?
I think a lot of my work revolves around that hurt/comfort theme, both emotional hurt and sometimes, physical. I have a tendency to break my heroes rather thoroughly before I give them the power to heal themselves and each other.
5. Do you have a favorite hero and/or heroine in your books and why?
I do, and the way you've phrased the question is rather appropriate. The most interesting (and fun to write) character I've ever invented, so far, I think, is Leland Price, otherwise known as Lil. He's a cross-dressing Dom with a passive but loyal sub named Brian. He's had a hard life, but found his happiness despite his past. He was a secondary character in Fight, the novel I co-wrote with Sarah Masters. We have a plan to write his story one of these days.
6. What do you enjoy most about being an author?
Making sh*t up. :) Sounds flippant, but it's true. I love exploring the 'what if' of relationships and broken hearts. I have a grand time forcing untenable situations on my characters, writing through their struggles and seeing what it takes to overcome the difficulties. It's nice when people enjoy my work, but really, for me, it's a rather selfish endeavor. I just do it because I love it.
7. Do you have any awards, reviews or kudos you’d like to tell us about?
Fight has received some really nice reviews. I was nervous about the visceral content (Sarah's imagination is not one I'd like to meet in a dark alley!) I thought that book might be a bit too heavy for a lot of readers, but it's been received really well. We're both very proud of it.
8. How do you promote your books and your author brand?
Um...I don't, really. I spend probably way too much time on loops chatting, I might throw a promo or two out now and then, but mostly, I just talk to readers whenever I get a chance. I don't know that I really have an author brand.
9. What is your next project?
Right now, I'm working on book three in my 'Rainbow Alley' series available at Total E-Bound. I hope to get that done and released before the end of the year.
I'm also working on a number of projects for Pink Petal books, including book three of 'The Ageless' series and a novel for their 'Spellbound Treasures' line.
10. Do you have a bit of wisdom you’d like to impart or a favorite quote?
Words of wisdom...Don't know about that. Maybe, if I were to tell a new/aspiring author anything I think they absolutely need to know, it would be this: Do it because you love it. Trust yourself. Put your heart into your work, and readers will see it, appreciate it, and you'll know you did your best. That's all that really matters. That and listening to a good editor. :)
Thank you, Jaime! Next month, I'll interview Harlequin Blaze author, Tawny Weber, whose latest hero, Max St. James, is a wonderful addition to the James Gang!
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