Marcia James, author of hot, humorous romances

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The James Gang


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

1. Let’s get the most important question asked first: Why James?  Why did you name your character "Jamie Lost"?

I always feel like a fraud when things like this come up, just happened.  :)  There was no grand plan for his name—it just came to me as I was writing a scene, and his friend called him Jamie, and I realized right away, “Yes, right, of course that’s his name.”  In fact, my working title for the story was the "Jamie Story"!

2.  Tell us about Defiant.

Let’s’s a little blurb:

On the eve of Magna Carta, Jamie Lost, the king’s commander, is sent to retrieve an exiled priest before the rebel forces close in.  It’s a simple mission, until he meets a beautiful woman on an desperate errand of her own.  She upends all his plans, and when a band of mercenaries abducts the priest, they are forced to form a volatile alliance.  As civil war unfolds around them, they embark on an epic journey that betrays the truth about who they are, their unexpected loyalties, and the simmering attraction that could seal their fates forever.  Their love can save a kingdom.  Or destroy it.

3. Tell us about your other books.

I write sexy medieval adventure-y stories, so they all fit that bill.  Strong women who sometimes make mistakes.  Heroes whom I call ‘the good alpha,’ i.e. strong, in charge, confident leaders who are unafraid to be impressed by the heroine and let her shine.

My previous release, The Irish Warrior, won RWA’s ® 2008 Golden Heart Award for Best Historical Romance, and released last summer.  It’s a story about an inhibited wool merchant who comes to Ireland to finalize a deal that will save her faltering wool business.  What she gets is a cunning English lord with dangerous ulterior motives.  Forced to rely on her wits not her ledgers, Senna frees an Irish warrior chained in the prisons, and together they flee across the war-torn land of medieval Ireland, forging a partnership of passion and respect.  But this roguish warrior is more than he seems, and has a formidable agenda of his own.  And it just might involve her...

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

I’d say so.  I love fish-out-of-water stories, especially for heroines, and I love the tortured hero.  I also have a great fondness for the story of two unwilling adversaries joining forces against the world.

I think I write about people who need to come to terms with who they are—and who they have the capacity to be--right now in their lives.  No more living because of what others have done, no more making choices—and excuses—because of choices made in the past.  Fulfilling their potential.

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

Not to be trite, but I love them all.  :)

I love Griffyn from The Conqueror because he’s a good man who’s been battered by the world, and still tries to be decent in a world where he must be hard.

I adore Finian from The Irish Warrior, because he’s fatally charming and highly dangerous, but never uses the latter against the heroine.  {He always uses the former on her.  :)  }  He seems so light and easy in the world, but he’s got a darkness that makes him very dangerous too.  But mostly, he’s loyal even when it hurts.

I love Jamie from Defiant deeply, because he’s so tortured and torn, and noble nonetheless, although few can see it at first.  He’s the reluctant hero.  Darkly honorable, dangerous Jamie, who finally meets his match in a dark-haired waif who stole his quarry and changed his life forever.

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

Writing stories, of course!  :)

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

Let’s see, Defiant recently received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, which was a real honor.  And The Irish Warrior was the 2008 winner of RWA’s ® Golden Heart Award for Best Unpublished Historical Romance, and made several ‘Best Of’ lists from bloggers/readers when it released in 2010.

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

Gah, my weak spot.  I love talking story, but I’m not the best self-promoter.  In fact, I pretty much stink at it.  :)

That said, I have a newsletter at the website (  I’m also on Twitter (@KrisKennedy) and have a Facebook page (, and I love, love, love talking stories with readers, so stop by and say hi—no introductions needed!  :)

9. What is your next project?

I’m hard at work on another sexy medieval, about a con man and a bankrupt silk merchant.  Those details could change without notice, of course, in the crazy world of muses.

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

Hmmm...if it’s for writers, I’d say two things:

1) If you love it, be persistent.

2) Focus on being a great storyteller.  Learn what captures people’s attention, and do more of that.

And if it’s thoughts for readers and other, non-writers..hey, you know what?  Same goes!  :)

Thanks for having me by today!  I hope people stop by the website ( to check out excerpts, sign up for the newsletter for info on upcoming releases, or drop me a line saying hi.

Thank you, Kris!  My July James Gang interviewee will be Grand Central Publishing author, Jennifer Haymore, who has a character tailor-made for the James Gang!

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Sherry James Interview

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Marcia James Interview


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