THE JAMES GANG
Each month I interview a writer who has "James" in his/her pen name. My April James Gang interview is with Marianna Jameson.
1. Let’s get the most important question asked first: Why James?
Jameson is just another fine old Irish name, and I’m frequently asked if I’m related to the makers of Irish whiskey by the same name. Unfortunately, I’m not, but there are enough colorful characters in my own family to make up for it!
2. What fiction genre(s) and/or sub-genre(s) do you write?
I write contemporary romance (with a fun, witty edge to it), techno-thrillers, and women’s fiction.
3. Tell us about your latest release.
CATEGORY 7 is my latest release. It was also my first techno-thriller and my first hard cover release. It’s about a huge, man-made hurricane that is steered toward New York City by a billionaire control freak with revenge on his mind, murder in his heart, and absolutely nothing on his conscience. It was great fun to write and encompasses a few of my favorite things: weather, high technology, and political intrigue. The process of writing it taught me that I have a dark side I never suspected. Who knew writing murder and mayhem could be so much fun??? CATEGORY 7 came out in July 07 in hard cover and will be released in paperback later in 2008. My next thriller will be released in early 2009 and promises just as much mayhem on a global scale.
4. Is there a core story and/or a theme(s) in your books?
Broadly, I think the theme in my books is that good triumphs over evil. It’s something I believe in personally and, although I don’t consciously work it into my books, I think it always ends up coming through. What can I say? I’m just a sucker for a happy ending.
5. Do you have a favorite hero and/or heroine in your books and why?
My favorites are my firsts: Chas Casey and Miranda Lane from my very first book, a romance entitled, MY HERO. I like Miranda because she’s a smart, sassy romance writer (like so many women I know and love!) But what really has put her close to my heart is that she had to do so much growing up on her own, having been abandoned by her mother through death and then emotionally by her father. She covered all that hurt and bewilderment with a prickly personality, and it took someone as wonderful as Chas to get through those briars to the real woman. And I adore Chas because he is a combination of the two men I admire most in the world--my husband and one of my brothers--with some fiction thrown in for good measure.
6. What do you enjoy most about being an author?
The lack of rules. The hours. The fact that it’s a great, catchall excuse for having a messy house/bad hair day/wrinkled clothes/no food in the house. The realization that I am doing what I love to do more than anything in the world. The reward of seeing my stories come to life. The fan mail.
7. Do you have any awards, reviews or kudos you’d like to tell us about?
My romances have received some lovely awards, including the Aspen Gold, the Desert Quill, Holt Medallion, and a few others. I was delighted to get positive reviews by PW, Booklist, RT, and Kirkus. Actually, I’m delighted to get positive reviews from anyone! The best “reviews”, though, are from fans who email me to let me know how much they enjoyed the book. There is no better feeling than that.
8. How do you promote your books and your author brand?
I send signed books and bookmarks to writers conferences, and I do some speaking engagements, like workshops, etc., and I have a Web site.
9. What is your next project?
I’m in the final stages of polishing my second thriller, which will be released in hard cover in early 2009. Other than that, I’m just dreaming up more ideas for future books.
10. Do you have a bit of wisdom you’d like to impart or a favorite quote?
I have a favorite quote from Mark Twain on the white board over my desk: “Of course Truth is stranger than Fiction. Fiction has to make sense.” I love that quote because it keeps me on track when I’m writing, but also because it helps keep me open to the absurdities of life when I’m doing that other thing writers do--observing the world around me and making notes about what I see.
Thanks, Marianna! Next month, I’ll interview Allyson James!
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Marcia James Interview
Maddie James Interview