THE JAMES GANG
Each month I interview a writer who has "James" in his/her pen name. My March James Gang interview is with Sherry James.
1. Welcome, Sherry James! Let’s get the most important question asked first: Why James?
Well, my married name is rather hard to pronounce, and I was afraid people would have trouble not only remembering it, but spelling it. And, even though my maiden name is simple, people always mispronounced it a lot, too. So, after a lifetime of struggling with difficult names, I wanted something that was simple to spell, remember, pronounce, and put me in a nice spot on the bookstore shelves. Building a readership is hard enough the way it is, I didn’t want to make it tougher with a difficult last name, although Janet Evanovich has proved a unique name does have its advantages. I also chose James because I write western romance and I wanted a name that could sound western, but not be so much so in case I decide to branch out into other subgenres. As for a family connection, I have an uncle whose first name is James, and my son’s middle name is James.
2. What fiction genre(s) and/or sub-genre(s) do you write?
Right now I write western romances for Ellora’s Cave and romantic comedy for Black Velvet Seductions. I have one book currently out with Ellora’s Cave and two books out with Black Velvet Seductions. But I love historical romance as well, that’s what I started out writing way back many moons ago, and I hope to one day return to historicals.
3. Tell us about your latest release.
My latest release is Woman in Charge, the second book in my Studs for Hire series. The Studs series is a fun, romantic comedy series that tells the stories of three women who were once college roommates. Tired of the male-dominated corporate scene, the three of them combine forces to start their own business, Studs for Hire. Studs is a unique construction company whose carpenters, architects, and electricians just happen to be really sexy, hunky men.
Woman in Charge was especially fun for me to write because I’m a big Elvis fan. When I first plotted out the book, Elvis really had just a minor role, but the further I got into the story and the more I got reacquainted with my inner Elvis, the bigger role he began to play in the story. If you’re an Elvis fan, I hope you’ll get an extra kick out of the story. And, since I’ve been a fan of Elvis’ since I was a kid, Woman in Charge is my small way of paying tribute to him and all that he accomplished in such a short lifetime.
Studs for Hire: Woman in Charge
Blurb for Book #2 of Studs for Hire series
(ISBN #0-9774682-9-1, Black Velvet Seductions)
Has Elvis really left the building . . . or is his spirit playing matchmaker?
Alex Roy is used to building classy timber frame homes for the elite, but his last business association with a woman left him in debt and his heart in shreds. Is he so desperate to earn a paycheck and reclaim his business that he’ll swallow his pride and design a shrine to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll in a widow’s mansion? And what about Casey Burrows, the woman who wants to hire him to do the job for the wealthy widow? Alex has an eye for good lines—and Casey’s are curving in all the right places. But can he handle the job and walk away with his heart and reputation unscathed? Or will he end up as a permanent resident Heartbreak Hotel?
Are You Lonesome Tonight? . . . the classic Elvis song seemed to be the story of Casey Burrows’ love life. As co-owner for Studs for Hire, she’s got a great career—now she needs a man who will truly love her and not leave her with a shattered heart, and a maxed out credit card. When she meets Alex, she’s determined to keep their relationship strictly business, but she soon discovers immortalizing Elvis in Omaha isn’t the only project she’d like to undertake. Alex rocks her predictable world and Casey is ready to risk her heart one more time.
4. Is there a core story and/or a theme(s) in your books?
Hmm. I write romance so finding true love is the theme in all my books. I just hope I write it in a fun way in which readers can escape the realities of life and be entertained for a few hours.
5. Do you have a favorite hero and/or heroine in your books and why?
Really, I like them all. I can’t say that I have a favorite because Sydnie and Trevor, Casey and Alex, and Paige and Lane, are all made up of character traits that I love to read. I like my heroines to be strong and independent, and my heroes commanding, yet gentle, and once they meet their heroine, totally committed to her whether he realizes it or not.
6. What do you enjoy most about being an author?
Oh, there are so many things I enjoy about this business. First off, I love the creative process. It’s so much fun to brainstorm characters and plots and then watch them come to life on the page. I also love the fact my job is something I can do at home. I’ve always hated punching a time clock! Writing lets me work around my personal and family schedules, and I don’t have to dress up, drive, or take orders from a boss. Woo-hoo! And there is always something to look forward to in this crazy occupation, too, like finishing a manuscript, selling a manuscript, getting the cover for my next book, or going to writers’ conferences and getting to network with other writers. It’s all a blast. And you know, it took me a long time to sell my first book, so when I finally did, I decided to enjoy every minute of the adventure.
7. Do you have any awards, reviews or kudos you’d like to tell us about?
Studs for Hire: Woman on Top has received 5-Star reviews from Fallen Angel Reviews and Red Roses for Authors. Cowboy Fling was a 2006 Ignite the Flame Contest Winner in the Erotic Category, and has received 5-Star reviews from Fallen Angel Reviews, Loves Romances and More, and Two Lips Reviews. I’m also a Molly finalist, a JABBIC finalist, and a MERWA Golden synopsis finalist.
8. How do you promote your books and your author brand?
“Sherry James—Sizzling Romance.” Well, right now I’m working to up my online presence. Naturally, I have a Web site (www.SherryJames.com), and I try to keep something new and fun up there all the time—I have a contest going on this month. I started my blog (www.SherryJamesromanceauthor.blogspot.com) last fall and am trying to get in the habit of blogging on a regular basis. I also try to visit a handful of romance review sites and their message boards at least once or twice a week. I take part in chats, and I do interviews like this as often as I can. I’ve done booksignings, mailings, and have done interviews for local media. And of course, the best promo of all is writing the best book I can every single time. If I can do that the readers who have found me will recommend my books and my readership will grow via word-of-mouth. Hopefully!
9. What is your next project?
Right now I am working on Country Fling, my second book for Ellora’s Cave. Country Fling is the sequel to Cowboy Fling, which was released last May. The two books tell the stories of twin sisters, Paige and Dorie Holister, who are now, at age 30, faced with fulfilling a sexual fantasy bet they’d made five years earlier. Cowboy Fling was shy, practical Paige’s story, and now sophisticated, impulsive Dorie gets her chance to live out her three sexual fantasies in 72 hours in Country Fling. I hate to say too much because I don’t want to give it all away! But here is a little teaser for Cowboy Fling:
(ISBN # 978-149910-920 ~ Order at Ellora's Cave)
One Sexy Cowboy…
Cowboy Lane Hart isn’t looking for love, but when a Georgia Belle offers him a weekend of no-commitment sex, he can’t refuse.
One Bookish Nurse…
Shy, practical Paige Holister made a bet with her impulsive twin sister that if they hadn’t each found Mr. Right and married by their thirtieth birthday, they’d both indulge in three of their sexual fantasies.
Three Sultry Days…
Paige finds her fantasy man in rugged Wyoming, but if she can’t convince Lane to mount up with her for a three-day ride of hot sex, she’ll being paying up, and will never live it down.
Three Sizzling Fantasies…
Together Lane and Paige explore her fantasies and soon discover they’ve gotten more than they bargained for when their sex becomes more than just a fling.
10. Do you have a bit of wisdom you’d like to impart or a favorite quote?
Well, for unpublished writers still working to realize that first sale I say, NEVER GIVE UP! Keep writing, keep submitting, and eventually you will hit. You will find that one editor who gets your writing and who will take a chance on you. It’s a tough business, there are no guarantees, so you need to be determined and persistent. And be nice, professional, and never burn any bridges.
Thanks, Sherry! Next month, I’ll interview Marianna Jameson!
Marcia James Interview
Maddie James Interview