Marcia James, author of hot, humorous romances

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The James Gang


May 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 May interviewee is author Lisabet Sarai, who has a character perfect for the James Gang!

1. Let’s get the most important question asked first: Why James?

My characters tend to name themselves. When a character shows up in my imagination, I'll ask him or her: what's your name? Usually, they tell me.

In the case of James Norris (I only learned his last name recently!), the name fits. He's a software developer and entrepreneur with a serious streak—definitely not a "Jim." His interactions with the heroine Isabella and his best friend Greg (Isabella's husband) have a hint of formality that seems to go along with the name, too.

So far I've written four stories featuring James, Isabella and Greg, which have been published in two volumes: Coming in Costume and A Contract for Christmas. Here's the short blurb for Coming in Costume:

When her dominant husband Greg proposes that they attend a company Halloween gala, Isabella is too excited to be suspicious. Unlike her introverted master, she adores parties and dressing up. Only after they arrive does Bella learn her Dom has planned a kinky, semi-public scene involving both pain and pleasure―a Halloween masque that includes a starring role for Greg’s best friend James.

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

I write almost every variant of erotic romance and erotica: straight, gay, lesbian, ménage, BDSM, science fiction, paranormal, a bit of historical. Really, about the only thing I haven't attempted is Western. New genres attract me. I'm always interested in experimenting. I also enjoy mixing genres, and upending genre conventions.

Based on the number of titles in each category, though, I guess I'd have to say that BDSM is my first love. Both the books that feature James and my latest release have elements of kink, though they're very different.

3. Tell us about your latest release.

My latest release, The Gazillionaire and the Virgin, is a perfect example of what I mean by upending conventions. This contemporary M/F erotic romance shreds all the tropes in the popular "kinky billionaire/naive virgin" subgenre. The hero Theo is the virgin. He's a brilliant but socially awkward computer scientist who has made a thorough study of BDSM but never had the opportunity to put his knowledge and instincts into practice. The heroine Rachel is a self-made billionaire entrepreneur whose normally bossy behavior hides her submissive sexual desires. She is not the sort of woman who lets pleasure interfere with business, but when she meets reclusive genius Theo Moore, she can’t resist his geeky appeal.

The book has been getting amazing reviews. To be honest, I think it might be the best thing I've ever written, or at least the most popularly accessible.

Amazon US:
Amazon UK:
Barnes & Noble:
All Romance:

Google Books:

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

Given the diversity of my back list, that's a hard question to answer. I guess I'd say that most of my books advocate the freedom to follow your heart and your sexual instincts, regardless of societal conventions. I think we need to explore, to discover what kind of life and love is the best personal fit. Quite a few of my books chronicle this sort of emotional and sexual journey.

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

It would be hard to pick one favorite. I am very much in love with Theo at the moment, though! He's sweet and vulnerable, yet strong and protective. And smart. I find intelligence to be a huge turn on.

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

Connecting with readers. There's nothing as intoxicating as getting an email or a review in which the reader tells me my story touched her personally.

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

As I mentioned earlier, I've received some true rave reviews for The Gazillionaire and the Virgin, including several from fellow authors.

For example, there's this one by Lola White, who says:

"I was skeptical. I hardly ever read BDSM or Billionaire Romance, but the author almost literally dared me to try this one. I’m glad she did. Lisabet Sarai sent me an ARC [Advance Reader Copy] of The Gazillionaire and the Virgin. I checked out the first paragraph—and didn’t stop until I’d finished the story. I read the entire thing in one sitting, a matter of hours where everything I was supposed to do went undone."  (

Or this one that just arrived this morning, by Juliet from JJ's Kinky Book Reviews:

I just love it when readers "get" what I'm trying to do in a book!

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

Badly. LOL. It's almost impossible to get noticed these days. In addition, I work full time at a "real" job, so I have pretty limited time for promotion.

I do have an active blog, and I recently joined Twitter and Triberr, which has bumped up my blog visits. I invite readers to join my VIP email list, sweetening the offer with regular exclusive contests. I do a lot of giveaways, including free books. Hey, I just want people to read my stuff!

One problem is that I don't really have a "brand," in the sense of a consistent genre, topic or style. Each of my books is quite different from the others. I've never written a series—the James/Isabella/Greg stories are actually the closest I've come to this. So readers don't have any sort of label for me. They don't know what to expect (other than decent writing and correct grammar LOL).

9. What is your next project?

At the time I'm writing this (in mid-March), I'm still contemplating that question. Aside from several short stories pending for anthologies, I haven't yet decided on my project. That's one of the consequences of not writing series!

I have a notion for a new novel called The Werewolf and the Vampire that brings my penchant for trope-shredding to the genre of paranormal romance. I already have the characters. Now I have to find the time to write it!

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

When I was in my early teens, my mom told me, "Don't be a sheep." She meant that I should be willing to be an individual, to discover what's right for me, rather than blindly following fashion or bowing to authority. At the time I found her view frustrating. Like all kids, I wanted to "fit in." Now, though, I recognize the wisdom in her words—and I live by them.

Lisabet's Social Media Links:

Lisabet's Fantasy Factory (Web Site)
Oh Get A Grip! Blog
Lisabet's List (Yahoo Group)
Amazon Author Page

Thank you, Lisabet! Stop by next month, when my interviewee with be author Carra Copelin, who has a character custom made for the James Gang!


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