THE JAMES GANG
August James Gang
Each month, I interview authors or publishing insiders who have some form of "James" in their names or in their books. My August James Gang interviewee is multi-published author, Kristen James!
1. Let’s get the most important question asked first: Why James?
That one is an easy question for me. James is my married name, and I also like how it sounds.
2. What non-fiction or fiction genre(s) and/or sub-genre(s) do you write?
I mainly write emotional romance and women’s fiction, although I have two Native American stories and a few thrillers that I co-wrote with two other authors. I’ve also written three nonfiction books: Book Promoting 101, How To Sell More Kindle eBooks, and How To Be A Full Time Writer. You can read more about them at www.bookpromoting101.com. I’m working on a fourth called Lights, Camera, Conflict!
3. Tell us about your latest release.
I’d like to tell you about Embers of Hope, a women’s fiction novel, because I’m working on the sequel right now.
Embers of Hope—Savanna Thompson knows what it’s like when you blink and your life shatters. She’s been hiding her divorce from her best friend Cassie, but she knows she can’t any longer. Cassie’s husband, a firefighter, just died. Savanna rushes home, along with her one-year-old daughter to help, and now she’s staying with Cassie in a nursery meant for a baby that won’t ever exist.
She will fix their relationship, but it’s complicated with Jason around. He’s the firefighter who saved Savanna’s life two and a half years ago. He just lost his best friend, and like Cassie, he blames himself for Mike’s death. When he convinced Mike to remain with the department, how could he know Mike would die fighting a house fire?
Though hurting herself, something deep inside her won’t let her walk away. Jason needs her but she’s off limits on so many levels. She’s falling for this sexy firefighter but he confuses her to no end. Being stuck in the middle is enough stress, plus her own problems are festering behind her helping smile. Can Savanna find the balance between loving Jason, helping Cassie and taking care of herself and her daughter? Or is she going to lose this bet and her best friend?
Embers of Hope is available in print, Kindle (http://amzn.to/EmbersOfHope) and Nook (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/embers-of-hope-kristen-james/1112138645?ean=2940014955539).
4. Is there a core story and/or a theme(s) in your books?
I love wounded heroes and heroines—people who have been through a lot, like real life, and aren’t sure they’ll find true love again. I like women’s fiction because I can explore life and not just the romantic relationship.
I have cowboys, firefighters and police officers… There is just something sexy and enduring about a tough, brave man who will risk everything for the one he loves. These men are protectors, too. The cowboy is looking out for the ranch, the animals and any employees, and firefighters and police officers protect and rescue people. In The Enemy’s Son, Nick is a lawyer who loves justice, and he stands up to his mob-like family to help Cora.
I also think women also like to “tame” a man, and I don’t mean change him. Rather, women like to have strong man who is tender and loving toward them.
5. Do you have a favorite hero and/or heroine in your books and why?
The characters from Embers of Hope have always felt the most real to me. I worked on the book longer than my other works, so I can tell you every little detail about their lives. Savanna, the main character, is pulled into a mess between two hurting people. Jason just lost his best friend and felt guilty because he talked him into staying in a dangerous job—firefighting. Cassie just lost her husband. She’s a secondary character in the first book [Embers of Hope] and becomes the main character of the second [More Than A Promise]. There’s a lot going on, and everyone has hurts and hangs up to overcome. I had fun working with all the characters and helping them grow, and I’m really enjoying working on the second book.
6. What do you enjoy most about being an author?
I love creating characters and their world, and then helping them grow. Maybe I most enjoy escaping into another world, much like I do when I read, but this one I can explore, change and share with others.
I also love to hear from a reader that enjoyed one of my stories or was helped by one of my nonfiction books.
7. Do you have any awards, reviews or kudos you’d like to tell us about?
I feel honored when others ask me to guest blog or if they can interview me. (Like this interview; thanks, Marcia!) I recently had a guest post on The Creative Penn—one of my favorite blogs—called “Book Marketing: 7 Ways to Grow Your Readership.”
I placed in the top 100 in two different Writer’s Digest writing contests. One story was based on my Native American novel, The River People. The second story was called “In the Land of Huckleberries and Wokas,” another Native American story, and it placed 32nd out of over 12,000 entries. I’ve since expanded it into a novella with the same name.
Coffee Time Romance and More reviewed A Cowboy for Christmas and called it, “A Great Romance for the Holidays and Anytime You Like!”
The Fictional Bookshelf rated both A Cowboy for Christmas and More Than Memories five stars.
One of my favorite reviews is on Amazon UK and calls The River People “unputdownable.” That became my new favorite word!
I have to say the biggest kudos as an author is hearing from readers who loved my books.
8. How do you promote your books and your author brand?
I just keep writing. I think each book helps promote the others. I also connect with readers on Facebook (www.facebook.com/WriterKristenJames) and Twitter (@writerkristenj), and blog at www.writerkristenjames.com.
9. What is your next project?
For nonfiction, I’m working on Lights, Camera, Conflict!
For my next novel, I’m working on a sequel for Embers of Hope called More Than A Promise. Here’s the tentative book description:
Cassie escapes to Ocean View Stables on the Oregon Coast to cope with the three-year anniversary of her husband’s death. She’s starting to dream about her future again and possibly romance. A safe romance, that is, where people don’t die. She runs into Ethan Caldwell, the cute boy who teased her through grade school. He sure grew up—into a man who’d catch anyone’s eye. Now he’s a single dad to nine-year-old Isabel, who talks about her parents getting back together…as soon as her mom is out of rehab. Then maybe her mom can watch her while her dad goes on his work trips. Apparently Ethan has some kind of dangerous, secretive government job. This isn’t at all what Cassie is looking for! So why is she running full speed into another broken heart?
10. Do you have a bit of wisdom you’d like to impart or a favorite quote?
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." ~ Henry David Thoreau
I love this quote and try to live by it.
Thanks so much for interviewing me, Marcia!
Thank you, Kristen! My September James Gang interviewee will be Belgrave House author, author, Margaret James!
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