THE JAMES GANG
Each month I interview a writer who has “James” in his/her pen name. My November James Gang interview is with Jamie Leigh Hansen
1. Let’s get the most important question asked first: Why James?
My name is really my name. LOL. It seemed too simple and boring when I was little, everyone was named Jamie, but I’ve since come to see how special it is. I was named after both my grandfathers, James Morris and James Fife. Leigh is the middle name of four generations of females on my mom’s side. My grandma, mom, me and my youngest daughter. Then there’s the name I chose: Hansen.
2. What fiction genre(s) and/or sub-genre(s) do you write?
I write paranormal romance, largely contemporary. I like to weave fantastical paranormal gifts and heart-wrenching human realities with a touch of the Divine. In this case, I have Angels, Nephilim and Demons all playing, affecting normal human life. Sometimes the humans have no real idea they are even there, but there are actions, decisions and consequences that span them all.
3. Tell us about your latest release.
Cursed is special to me. A story I had to write, even though it seemed to have so many things readers might not like. For instance, ten children. But they are hardened, cynical kids who are faced with one last chance to believe the world is a good place. Their hearts and their lives depend on their aunt’s choices. It’s a responsibility my heroine, Elizabeth, takes seriously. Which is why she tries to distance herself from Alex, my hero. But despite all his charm and sense of humor, he’s impossible to resist. Especially once she discovers his serious, protective side. He’d give anything to save them from the irredeemably evil demoness who’s threatened them, and he’s willing to prove it.
The official blurb is:
For twelve years the seductive dream has always been the same—a candlelit room, satin sheets, and a mysterious woman. Then, one night, everything changes. A mysterious entity shows Alex Foster a vision of his dream woman in danger from demonic forces.
Elizabeth Raines has returned home to Spokane to care for her dying mother and abandoned nieces and nephews. With their family home ready to crash down around them and no help from her siblings, she carries the weight of the world on her shoulders. Until the day Alex shows up, unwilling to love her only in their shared dreams.
But the real world is much bigger than a dream. An ancient enemy has awakened, and only Alex and Elizabeth’s combined supernatural gifts can save them.
4. Is there a core story and/or a theme(s) in your books?
There is a continuing story of Silas and Draven, two Nephilim who have united their efforts. First they watched Dreux and Kalyss, trying not to interfere with their decisions while stopping the fallen angel, Maeve, who cursed them. Their interference in that curse put Maeve in a deep sleep, along with several other unexpected side effects. In Cursed, Maeve is awake and seeking vengeance. Silas and Draven vow to do all they can to aid the human-raised Nephilim against Maeve’s schemes, but it’s a deep game and keeps getting deeper.
I like the threads of reality that run through the books. They speak to me. The characters don’t get so wrapped up in paranormal events that it becomes a stretch to suspend disbelief. First, the basic setting is in Spokane, WA. A real place. In Betrayed, Kalyss battled her own inner psyche as a woman who’d survived abuse and remade herself into an independent woman she was proud of. But that strong warrior didn’t have room for love, at first. In Cursed, Elizabeth has this unrelenting conviction that if she keeps going, keeps trying, then it’s possible for life to get better. Despite her mom slowly dying, her siblings abandoning their children and a sister addicted to drugs.
5. Do you have a favorite hero and/or heroine in your books and why?
That’s like asking if you have a favorite kid. LOL. I love each character, even my villains. They each have something special to them. I love Alex’s endless capacity for both humor and love. I love Elizabeth’s unsinkable spirit. I mean, me being me, I tried to sink her. I wanted to see what it would take to crush her so I could really see her heart. At the end of writing the book, I realized, she’s unsinkable. That is her heart. No matter how much she is hurt, scared, or devastated, she won’t stay down. I love people like that.
6. What do you enjoy most about being an author?
Sharing stories from my heart that other people want to read. To have someone devour my book in however long it takes simply because they enjoyed the story is a privilege.
7. Do you have any awards, reviews or kudos you’d like to tell us about?
I’ve been really blessed with great reviews and quotes. They are all on my Web site (www.JamieLeighHansen.com), but I will share what I have for Cursed:
“A tantalizing world of angels, demons, and destined love that’s sure to keep you turning the pages!” -Deidre Knight, author of Red Fire
4.5 Bookmarks from Wild On Books: “Jamie Leigh Hansen had a wonderful debut with her first novel, Betrayed. With Cursed, the sequel to that first story, she proves she is no one-hit wonder as she delivers a paranormal romance that is even more compelling than its predecessor. The never ending battle of good vs. evil has never been more heartrending or heartwarming than it is in Jamie Leigh Hansen’s book Cursed. This sexy paranormal romance is definitely a must-read!” - Jennifer A. Ray
“Readers who love paranormal stories similar to that of Nalini Singh will enjoy the dreamscapes created by Jamie Leigh in Cursed. An intense, action-packed stories that will appeal to Sci Fi readers as well. Don’t miss book one, Betrayed, although they both stand on their own.” – Romance Reviewer, Borders
8. How do you promote your books and your author brand?
Predominantly online with my Web site and My Space. On my Web site, my events page covers my online activities. Other than that, and hanging out at my local Borders, I write the best books I can.
9. What is your next project?
I am currently bouncing between two. One I am slowly developing and not talking about, other than to my dear hubby. The other is Damned, book 3 after Betrayed and Cursed. This paranormal romance features a couple who only need to sign the divorce papers to end fifteen years of marriage when their youngest child is diagnosed with cancer. During her treatment, they go through the worst sort of crucible, including a serial killer hiding in the hero’s dreamscape. Featuring all my previous characters, especially Betrayed’s villain, Kai, this book is intense, emotional and I plan to have a lot of fun with Kai’s dark humor.
As a mom of a childhood cancer survivor, (my daughter was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor at age 8), I am looking forward to shedding some light on what our children suffer and how important it is for them to have parents in love. I’m hoping to show the full scope of Angels and Demons and Humanity.
10. Do you have a bit of wisdom you’d like to impart or a favorite quote?
Never quit. Everything else falls into place eventually if you practice that skill.
Thanks, Jamie! Next month I’ll interview author Kate St. James!
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