THE JAMES GANG
Each month I interview an author or publishing insider who has “James” in his/her name. My July James Gang interview is with Samhain Publishing author, Lorelei James. Her popular reader group, the Lorelei James Gang, predates my James Gang interviews and is a yahoo group for “news, cool contests, and exclusive prizes for members.”
1. Let’s get the most important question asked first: Why James?
I was already published in another genre under my “real” name so Lorelei James is a pen name. When I was kicking around names I wanted something similar to my real name so I came up with Lorelei (pronounced Lora-lie not Lora-lee) Austin. Since Austin is a family name, I thought it was cool and clever. So I asked my husband what he thought of it—being the smarty that he is, his supposedly funny answer was: “You’re going to use the family name to write the dirty stuff?” (Imagine my droll stare) So I shot back—“Your middle name is James, right? Then I’ll use your name to write the dirty stuff.” And Lorelei James was born.
2. What fiction genre(s) and/or sub-genre(s) do you write?
I write contemporary erotic western romance, contemporary romance and mystery (the mysteries are under a non-James name, Lori Armstrong).
3. Tell us about your latest release.
Miss Firecracker is the second book (novella) in the Wild West Boys series, a sort of spin off series from the Rough Riders, featuring the McKays’ cousins on the West side of the family. As much as I love to write cowboys and westerns, I also like to write just contemporary romance, so this series allows me to write characters who have left Wyoming for greener pastures. Here’s a blurb:
...She’s the match, he’s the fuse...an explosive combination
One year ago Willow Gregory entered the Miss Firecracker contest on a dare—and ended up with the crown. As a working carpenter, she’s not exactly the tears-and-tiara type, and after a year of walking the straight and narrow she’s ready to cut loose.
Waking up in a sexy stranger’s bed with no memory of the havoc she wreaked the night before wasn’t quite what she had in mind. Nor was agreeing to his mandate—work for him at the tavern until she repays the damage. Or go to jail.
Blake West thinks he could possibly be the only man alive who could say no to a drunken, horny, naked beauty queen. There’s something about the former Miss Firecracker that makes him want to blow his Mr. Nice Guy persona all to hell.
It helps that Willow is ready to dive headfirst into a no-heartstrings-attached affair. Which fits in perfectly with Blake’s temporary gig managing his friend’s bar.
Every grinding kiss, every stolen touch leads to another…until a harmless little white lie becomes the detonator that could explode their chances at a happily ever after.
4. Is there a core story and/or a theme(s) in your books?
There is a core family, the McKays, and each book centers around a different family member. I call the Rough Riders a western “saga”. I’m telling a tale about a Wyoming family stretched out over a number of books. The heart of every story is about falling in love, but I try to add more…realistic elements. The dangers of living in the least populated state in the nation. A deeper look at ranchers and their lifestyles, while it’s not always politically correct, it is for the most part accurate. Bad things happen to good people—even in fiction. How they deal with issues, and overcome them or let it destroy them is what makes characters interesting, so I mix up every storyline. I figure if I’m bored with the same old same old, readers will be too—which was why I started writing contemporary westerns in the first place. I wanted more of everything, more sex, more details about their lives, more intricate family ties, so I set out to write my version of a hot western…and Long Hard Ride was born.
5. Do you have a favorite hero and/or heroine in your books and why?
Not to sidestep the question, but I’m always in love with the characters I’m working on at the time this question is asked. Yes, some heroes and heroines are easier to write than others, but I quite honestly do not have a favorite character—male or female—or a favorite book I’ve written. So right now, I’m crazy in love with Keely McKay and Jack Donohue, the h/h [heroine and hero, respectively] in All Jacked Up.
6. What do you enjoy most about being an author?
The actual writing. Oftentimes the pressure to Promote! Promote! Promote! can take a toll and leave little time for writing and finishing projects. For me, the writing always comes first. Period. I’m happier that way.
7. Do you have any awards, reviews or kudos you’d like to tell us about?
Cowgirl Up and Ride, the third book in the Rough Riders series, was a finalist for “Best Erotic Romance” in the Australian Romance Book Awards for 2008. The Three’s Company anthology, including my novella “Wicked Garden”, won the 2009 Eppie Award for Best Anthology. I’ve been nominated and even won some big awards in the mystery field.
8. How do you promote your books and your author brand?
Living in the west, where the closest bookstore besides my local Borders is either six hours north, six hours east, six hours south (drive six hours west and you run into the Teton Mountains), makes in-person promotion difficult, so I rely on online promotion a lot. And truthfully, that seems more personal. I’ve got members in my Lorelei James Gang who are not only staunch supporters of the books, but have become friends, friends who spread the word about the books and are there with a joke when I need one. I send out promotional material to bookstores and bookclubs. And I mention on my website I’ll send bookmarks and signed postcards if readers send me a self-addressed stamped envelope.
9. What is your next project?
I finished up book 7 in the Rough Riders series, entitled Shoulda Been A Cowboy, which is out as an ebook from Samhain Publishing on August 25th, and I’m working on book 8 in the Rough Riders series, entitled All Jacked Up, out in November from Samhain Publishing. After that, I’m on to the new Blacktop Cowboys series I’ll be writing for NAL, but that one won’t be out until September 2010.
10. Do you have a bit of wisdom you'd like to impart or a favorite quote?
This quote was sent to me last month when I was having…issues with the book I was working on:
“Writing a book is an adventure: it begins as an amusement, then it becomes a mistress, then a master and finally a tyrant.” ~Winston Churchill
Thanks, Lorelei! Next month I’ll interview Bookstrand Publishing/Siren Publishing author, Jami Davenport!
Dina James Interview
Lyric James Interview
Ava James Interview
Sandy James Interview
Tiffany James Interview
Angela James Interview
Kate St. James Interview
Jamie Leigh Hansen Interview
Jeannie James Interview
Jamie Denton Interview
Elle James Interview
Liza James Interview
Raina James Interview
Allyson James Interview
Marianna Jameson Interview
Sherry James Interview
Maddie James Interview
Marcia James Interview