Interview with Julie James

Jen: We are excited to have Julie James back to Romancing the Book. Julie, will you please share a short bio with us?
Julie: Sure. After graduating from the University of Illinois College of Law, I clerked for the United States Court of Appeals in Jacksonville, Florida. After that, I practiced law with one of the nation’s largest law firms for several years until I began writing screenplays. After Hollywood producers optioned two of my scripts, I decided to leave the practice of law to write full-time. I now write contemporary romances for Berkley, and my third novel, Something About You, was just released on March 2nd.

Jen: Tell us about your new release, Something About You, and where it’s available.
Julie: Something About You is available in bookstores and through on-line sellers (including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Borders) everywhere. Here’s the summary:

FATE HAS THROWN TWO SWORN ENEMIES. . .
Of all the hotel rooms rented by all the adulterous politicians in Chicago, female Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde had to choose the one next to 1308, where some hot-and-heavy lovemaking ends in bloodshed. And of all the FBI agents in Illinois, it had to be Special Agent Jack Pallas who gets assigned to this high-profile homicide. The same Jack Pallas who still blames Cameron for a botched crackdown three years ago—and nearly ruining his career…

. . .INTO EACH OTHER’S ARMS
Work with Cameron Lynde? Are they kidding? Maybe, Jack thinks, this is some kind of welcome-back prank after his stint away from Chicago. But it’s no joke: the pair is going to have to put their rocky past behind them and focus on the case at hand. That is, if they can cut back on the razor-sharp jibes—and smother the flame of their sizzling-hot sexual tension…

Jen: Describe your writing in three words.
Julie: Hmm. . . questions like this are so tricky. I’d say: smart, sexy, and fun.

Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?
Julie: I plot out a book in advance, usually drafting around a 20-page outline or so. I do that to make sure that I have enough of a story for an entire book. But once I begin writing, I rarely ever look at the outline—I have enough of it in my head to use as the general backbone of the story. And I like to have the flexibility to go with wherever the story takes me from that point.

Jen: What is it about the romance genre that appeals to you?
Julie: The happy ending. I’m a sucker for romantic comedy movies for the same reason.

Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Julie: For me, the most challenging aspect of writing is balancing promotion/publicity with the actual writing. Before becoming published, I had no idea how much self-promotion authors have to do. As for the easiest part of writing. . . hmm. . . actually, there isn’t a lot I’d call “easy.” One of the parts I enjoy the most, oddly, is editing. Editing is where the story actually becomes good. Hopefully. 😉

Jen: What’s the most rewarding aspect? Julie: Hearing from readers. Knowing that people enjoyed the book, that it made someone smile or laugh.

Jen: How do you pick the character’s names?
Julie: Sometimes it’s random, but other times there is a method to the madness. That was the case with both the hero and heroine in Something About You. I pictured the heroine being a lot like Eva Green’s character in Casino Royale, Vesper Lynd—smart and tough, yet still feminine. So I borrowed her last name for my heroine. The hero in Something About You, Jack Pallas, is a brooding, tough guy-type who can pretty much kill people with his thumb, so I named him “Jack” after Jack Bauer in 24. Then I came up with Pallas after Pallas Athena, Greek goddess of justice and defender of heroes.

Jen: Do you have a favorite character or one you most identify with?
Julie: I really enjoyed writing Jack, the hero in my new book. I wouldn’t say I “identify” with him, because he’s this bad-ass ex-Special Forces guy who now works for the FBI—he’s been tortured, stabbed, shot, you name it. But then I took this dark, brooding hero and basically dropped him into a romantic comedy. He’s running around trying to save the day, while everyone else is cracking jokes. So the fun in writing the story was in seeing Jack soften a little, particularly as he begins to fall for the heroine.

Jen: If Something About You was made into a movie, which actors would you choose to play the hero and heroine?
Julie: Like I said, I envision the heroine, Cameron, looking just like Eva Green’s character in Casino Royale.

As for Jack, let’s see. . . he’s tall, dark, and sexy-dangerous, with a permanent five o’clock shadow. I picture him looking something like this:

Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Julie: One of the nicest compliments I’ve received was from a woman who told me that she can’t read my books in public because they make her laugh so hard other people would think she’s crazy.

Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Julie: My favorite author would have to be Jane Austen; my favorite book is Pride and Prejudice. A strong heroine; fantastic, witty dialogue; an arrogant hero who is ridiculously smitten despite all his attempts to the contrary—that makes it pretty much the perfect romance for me. As for what I’m reading now, I just finished Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Kiss (which I really enjoyed) and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. Currently I’m reading Embrace the Night Eternal by Joss Ware.

Jen: What’s next for you?
Julie: I’m finishing up my fourth book, another contemporary romance with a suspense subplot. It’s about a wealthy wine store owner who agrees to pose as the girlfriend of an undercover FBI agent (as part of a sting operation) in exchange for her twin brother’s release from prison.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Julie: To find out more about my books, people can visit my website at www.juliejames.com, or my blog at: http://authorjuliejames.wordpress.com/.

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Julie: Oh, I guess I’d be curious to hear what makes them interested in trying a new author.

Jen: Readers, Julie is giving away a copy of Something About You to one random person who leaves a comment. There are no restrictions on location, but given the fact that the book is R-rated for “adult situations,” the winner should be seventeen or older. 😉 So, to enter the contest, first you need to leave a comment or question for Julie. Then to complete your entry, you must either leave your email address in your comment or send a message to contests.bookblog@gmail.com. The winner will be chosen on Sunday, March 28.