THE JAMES GANG
Each month I plan to inverview a writer who has "James" in his/her name. I'm kicking it off this month with an inverview with myself.
1. Welcome, Marcia James! Let’s get the most important question asked first: Why James?
When I chose my pen name, I wanted to recognize the love and support I receive from my husband James, so I combined my first name and his first name into “Marcia James”.
2. What fiction genre(s) and/or sub-genre(s) do you write?
I love mixing comedy, mystery and sensuality into a cross-genre blend I call “sexy comic romantic mystery/suspense”.
3. Tell us about your latest release.
AT HER COMMAND, a humorous, R-rated romantic suspense, was released in trade paperback from Cerridwen in 2007. The back cover copy gives you a feel for the tone of the book:
DEA agent Domino Petracelli is chasing a career-making promotion and nothing will keep her from getting her man. Okay, so she’d rather infiltrate a Columbian drug cartel than go undercover as a dominatrix at D.C.’s Xecutive Branch sex club. But she’s up to the task. As the leather-clad Mistress Bella, Domino investigates the club’s drug ring while juggling a surreal roster of kinky submissives—and resisting one sexy client who’s not what he seems.
Police detective Dalton Cutter is a man with a mission—avenging his partner, who was murdered investigating the Xecutive Branch. Retracing his partner’s steps, he goes undercover as a club client. Dalton’s handled killers, junkies, and pimps, but can the Alpha-male cop act submissive long enough to fool Mistress Bella? And will their sexual chemistry, crackling louder than Bella’s whip, derail Dalton’s investigation?
At Her Command, a comic romantic suspense, pokes fun at the alphabet soup of D.C. law enforcement agencies. When the DEA, the FBI and the DC police unknowingly put operatives undercover at the same club, sexy sparks fly.
4. Is there a core story and/or a theme(s) in your books?
I like to explore what happens to relationships in which the heroes and/or heroines put their jobs before their personal lives. When my protagonists are in law enforcement, they might be undercover or have an important reason to lie to others. The Dark Moments in my books often follow the revealing of such lies.
5. Do you have a favorite hero and/or heroine in your books and why?
I particularly enjoyed writing about D.C. police detective Dalton Cutter and DEA agent Dominique Petracelli in AT HER COMMAND. They’re both fish-out-of-water when they go undercover at a sex club, and putting them into a series of sexually charged situations was a blast. They were way outside their comfort zones, which contributed to their character growth and to the humor in the book.
6. What do you enjoy most about being an author?
Writing love scenes! ;-D Actually, I enjoy penning everything from the hero and heroine’s first kiss to their sometimes twenty-page sex scenes. An author can reveal a lot about characters’ personalities and vulnerabilities during the physical moments in their relationship.
7. Do you have any awards, reviews or kudos you’d like to tell us about?
I finaled in eleven writing contests before selling AT HER COMMAND. I was very pleased that this book, my first, received great reviews. My favorite kudos come from readers who email me to ask when I’m writing a sequel to AT HER COMMAND.
8. How do you promote your books and your author brand?
I like reaching new readers through guest blogs, interviews and booksignings. I’m an extrovert, so meeting people in person is especially fun. I also present PR workshops (the next one will be at April’s Spring Fling conference in Chicago) and write PR articles, thanks to my public relations and marketing background. My brand is as an author of “hot, humorous romances”, so the tone of my Web site and PR materials reflects that. My logo is a cartoon of a Chinese Crested hairless dog, a unique animal who turns up in all of my books. For example, Smokey, in AT HER COMMAND, is a tiny DEA drug-sniffing dog who provides comic relief.
9. What is your next project?
I just finished SEX & THE SINGLE THERAPIST, the first book in a comic romantic mystery series featuring a sex therapist/amateur sleuth. The manuscript is currently at Avon, Berkley and Dorchester. The book is set in Las Vegas, so if it sells, I can write off my “research trips” to Sin City to play video poker. ;-D
10. Do you have a bit of wisdom you’d like to impart or a favorite quote?
I don’t know who said it, but I love this quote: “My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog thinks I am.”
Next month I interview author Maddie James!