Books-n-Kisses is pleased to welcome Jennifer James to the blog today
Jennifer, can you please share with us a little about yourself
I’m a secret agent living undercover in the Midwest, fighting crime in my fuzzy blue slippers while singing the theme song to Blue’s Clues and making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with the crusts cut off.
Actually, I’m the mother of two, still in college (senior year! Yay!) getting a bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, have been married to an amazing guy for the past 13 years, and only recently left my job as a dental assistant because my mother became ill. If you’d like a long explanation of why dental floss would be in my “must have” items if I was on a deserted island, I can go on and on.
Or not. *grin*
Have you always wanted to be an author?
Yes, but I don’t think I realized it for a long time. I would mention it to my husband now and then, how I wanted to be an author and he’d say “Go do it then!” but I never finished the stories I’d start on yellow legal pads. I was intimidated and scared by the process of submitting a book, heck, even finishing one. (Which I still think is the hardest part.)
Once I got down to it and realized that the ideas in my head weren’t going away and that people I knew actually liked my stuff, I got down to it and haven’t looked back.
Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?
Oh boy. Jeaniene Frost, Ilona Andrews, Karen Marie Moning, Kresley Cole, Lois McMaster Bujold, Anne McCaffery, Kristen Britain, Charlaine Harris, Keri Arthur, Seanan McGuire, Laurell K. Hamilton, Cinda Williams Chima, JoAnne Kenrick, Nalini Singh, Ann Mayburn, Laura Kaye, Sandra Bunino, Tom Winship, and of course my critter gals, (you might not have heard of these ladies yet, but they’re amazing!) Ellie Heller, Eden Summers, Sarah Cass, Mary Terrani, Tonya Cannariato, Sabrina Garie, and Fiona Druce.
That’s a crazy mix of UF, PNR, Sci-Fi and Fantasy with some contemporary romance thrown in for fun. I also like horror novelists like Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Kathryn Meyer Griffin.
How did you get into writing in this specific genre? Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre?
I really love Urban Fantasy. It can range from dark to light, but if you asked me, that’s my favorite genre. But I also love happy endings and romance. So while LOVE KINECTION is a most definitely a contemporary piece, I actually tend to drift to things with paranormal elements.
I have story ideas for books that are more sci-fi and fantasy oriented with only sprinklings of romance in them, so eventually you’ll see more of those in the future. But I think (for me anyway) that the stories form as I go, and I don’t worry about the genre all that much. The story is what it is. I follow it wherever it leads. So I guess I got into this genre mostly by accident.
What are some of your writing rituals?
Depends on how the writing is going. When the book is going well, I plug in my head phones, turn on music, and let my fingers fly over the keyboard.
If it’s not going well, I get out a notebook and write freehand. I will even write letters to my characters to try and get into their “heads” or jog the story.
I’m learning what a terrible distraction the internet can be, so I turn off my wi-fi connection when writing so I have less temptation to surf when I’m stuck in the plot.
Can you please tell us about your latest book(s)?
LOVE KINECTION is a contemporary novella with a hurt but snarky heroine and a hunky tech guy hero. They’re both geeks and silly references abound in this book. Abby and Tom have sexual tension to spare, and I never knew what kind of joke was going to come out of their mouths next.
LONG TIME COMING is also a contemporary novella but told from the man’s POV, and much higher on the heat scale. It’s an erotic romance out from Etopia Press. A hot friends to lovers story with a hero (Rob) who is alpha, but sweet and slightly awkward with the heroine Joey in way that just makes you want to see more from those two. I had a blast writing that book.
How did you come with the idea for this story?
It was actually from a submission call from Entangled Publishing. They were looking for Valentine’s Day stories. There were also calls for geek stories and military themes. All those things coalesced in my head to form LOVE KINECTION. The book was rejected at Entangled, but ultimately sold to Decadent Publishing, and I was paired up with an amazing editor who encouraged me to geek it up.
Can you share with us your current work(s) in progress?
Which one? I’m in content editing for a big fat erotic paranormal romance novel called HUNGER EMBRACED (book 1 in a series) and am finishing up book 2 HUNGER UNBOUND. The heroine in those books is funny, snarky, resourceful, and while a vampire, still rather vulnerable. She’s not totally bad ass and superhuman, which I like about her.
I’ve also got a contemporary western started called LUCKY SEVENS, a novella I decided to lengthen out to a full novel called COVERT CRAVING (also a paranormal romance), and a trilogy of werewolf books plotted, waiting in the wings.
What would you be if you were not an author?
Oh, I’d still be dental assisting/wifeing/mothering/studenting. And I guess if I wasn’t authoring I’d be knitting and sewing in my spare time. I like to do those things anyway. I’m a creative sort, so anything I can create with my hands appeals to me.
What is in your To Read Pile that you are dying to start or upcoming release you can’t wait for?
ONCE BURNED by Jeaniene Frost. (Gah! But I’m saving it for my victory dance after edits on HUNGER EMBRACED are finished. Love Vlad!)
HOUNDED by Kevin Hearne.
UNHOLY GHOSTS by Stacia Kane.
MAGIC BURNS by Ilona Andrews.
BLACKVEIL by Kristen Britain.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks so much for having me on today. I love to hear from readers, bloogers, and other authors, so don’t be shy! Come stalk my website or FaceBook or Twitter.
Love, romance, hearts, flowers ,cupid…. Rubbish.
Abby Fine still hasn’t gotten over the pain of a year-old betrayal and plans to spend this Valentine’s Day drowning her sorrows with a ménage of men named Ben, Jerry, and Riesling.
Her plans are diverted when she drops and breaks her new iPhone and gives in to a momentary hormone surge, agreeing to let office hottie and tech god Tom Walker squirm his way into her condo to fix it.
Tom shows up with his Xbox, spicy Chinese food, and a habit of stealing kisses every time she lets her guard down.
Can a weekend of laughter, videogames, and movies change Abby’s opinion of stupid Cupid?
His hands crossed the gap between our bodies and rested on my hips. Backing away would be the smart thing to do. But hope filled my belly he’d kiss me again. The stupid part of my brain had taken control again, and I didn’t fight it. I wanted a real kiss. “So if you are in fact the geekier geek, what do I get as a forfeit?” he asked.
The shadow of stubble covered his chin and his upper lip, ran up to the short sideburns he wore. His ears begged to be nibbled on. What would that stubble feel like brushed against my skin? Dangerous thoughts, especially since my hands had somehow ended up on his waist and my fingers clenched his shirt. I looked at his arms, still surprised by the size of muscles when they flexed. If the biceps were any indicator of the body hidden under the cloth, it broke the mold of a stereotypical geek’s.
“Yeah. You know, like a prize.”
“I think you already got a forfeit. You got to see me naked.” And all I’ve gotten is a few stolen kisses.
“That was an accident.” He grew hard against my belly. It pleased me to wonder what direction his thoughts had gone. I wondered if ice cream intoxication existed. “How about sex in my truck?”
“No. Car sex isn’t really comfortable. And who said anything about sex?”
“A man can hope. Besides, I know you’ve thought about it.”
“Shut up and kiss me.”
He shook his head. “I promised to behave. You kiss me.”