S~ I like how you've incorporated some part of your personality or interests into your heroines. For example, we know you like wine and that you're a vegetarian (both of which have been traits shared by one or more of your heroines). Do you find yourself including little pieces of yourself into your characters or is it more that it just feel right with the story you're telling?
S~ Something About You is definitely your sexiest story so far, and we get to see a lot more intimacy between Jack and Cameron. Is it difficult to throw the bedroom door wide open and write those sexy love scenes between your characters? Or do you think it's something that feels comfortable within the scope of a romance?
JJ: I felt comfortable writing "hotter" scenes in this book because they fit with the overall story. With the suspense subplot, this book has more of an edge than my previous two, and I felt that more intimate love scenes worked better with the tone. Plus, there's a LOT of sexual tension between Cameron and Jack, and I thought people might kill me if I didn't show the scenes where that tension finally boils over. ;-) (You got that right, sister! *g*)
S~ Do you listen to any type of music to inspire your stories?
S~ We know that you've used real actors as inspiration for some of your heroes. What about your heroines? Do you have a specific person in mind when you create them or are they all based on you? (LOL)
JJ: Cameron Lynde from Something About You is the first heroine for whom I had a specific actress in mind: Eva Green's character in Casino Royale, Vesper Lynd. I even borrowed the last name. I love how tough yet feminine her character is, and I wanted to create the same impression with my heroine. So this is what I picture Cameron looking like:
S~ Has writing novels gotten easier since you first started? Where do you see your stories going? Are you happy writing contemporaries, or do you see your exploring other genres?
JJ: I wouldn't say it's gotten easier, no. Actually, my first two books were easier to write than Something About You. Adding a suspense subplot definitely makes things trickier, especially when other parts of the book are light and humorous. Balancing those two was a challenge at times. As for where I see my books going. . . I'm happy writing contemporaries, and I plan to continue with that for now. With my fourth book, I've again added some mild suspense, but like in SAY, it's just a subplot.
S~ How extensive does your research get?
JJ: I'll be honest--I did pretty much no research for my first two books. Particularly Practice Makes Perfect--I mean, I lived that life, I KNEW it. For Something About You, however, I had to do a fair amount. Since the hero is an FBI agent, and there's a suspense element, I researched guns and tiny spy cameras, how criminal investigations are conducted, those kinds of things. And I also had to do research for my heroine--even though I was a civil trial lawyer myself and obviously know what lawyers do in general, I wanted to know more about the day-to-day life of a criminal prosecutor. Luckily, I have a friend who is an Assistant U.S. Attorney, like Cameron, and I would send him emails with odd questions like: "How many other people do you share your secretary with?" or "When you meet with FBI agents to discuss an investigation, do you meet at their office or yours?" I had the big picture of the job, but I needed to know the little stuff.
S~ How has the transition from practicing law to writing full-time been?
JJ: I do sometimes miss being in a courtroom, taking depositions, things of that nature. But I enjoy writing full-time even more, so it's been worth it. And it's nice to have a job you can do in sweatpants. ;-)
S~ Since writing romance, have your reading preferences changed, or do you still continue to read in the same genre as before?
JJ: I definitely read more romance now that I write romance--before my first book came out, I was pretty unfamiliar with the genre. Now I read a mixture of both romantic fiction and literary fiction. Within romance, I try to read a mixture of all the subgenres.
S~. Since it was just Valentine's Day, what do you think, without getting too specific of course, is the most romantic thing your (brilliant :D) husband has done for you?
JJ: Oh boy, Mr. James just eats these compliments up. ;-) Probably one of the most romantic things he's done for me was on my 30th birthday--I went to New York with some girlfriends and left on my actual birthday. He gave me a card before my flight and said I couldn't open it until I got to New York. Once we checked into our hotel, I opened the card and inside was a scavenger hunt-type message directing me to go to a store located at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, and that I'd find my gift there. My girlfriends and I walked there from our hotel, and since none of us were that familiar with New York, we had a lot of fun on the way guessing what store it would be. And since you said not to be too specific, I'll end the story there. ;-) (WHAT?! That is just so wrong! LOL)
S~ Where can we expect to see you this year, either at signings or conferences?
JJ: I'm doing a signing in Chicago on March 13th with Beth Kery, Shiloh Walker and Joss Ware/Colleen Gleason. If people are in the Chicago area, we'd love to see you! (I love all these authors! And I'll definitely be there). Details on that, and my other upcoming appearances, can be found at:
I'll also be signing books at the Chicago-North RWA Spring Fling on April 24th, and then I'll be attending the RT Convention in Columbus. As for the July conferences, I plan to attend RWA and may attend Rom Con as well, if I can make it work.
S~ What's next for Julie James? Readers like me are DYING to know!
JJ: I'm finishing up my fourth book, 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. And people who like Something About You will be happy to know that a couple of the characters make appearances in supporting roles. I liked Jack so much, I had to bring him back. ;-) It's the first time I've linked two books together, which was fun for me. Then it'll be on to my next book, the hero of which I think is going to be a character from the book I'm finishing now. But I won't know that for sure until I get into the story and start drafting a synopsis.
S~ Well consider me a happy little camper! I cannot wait for that one to be in my possession. Sounds fabulous! Thanx Julie, for spending your precious writing time answering my questions. I really appreciate it.
Now, as for the rest of you, I can't just leave it at that. Now I'm not sure if Julie will be stopping by today (Wednesday) but regardless, I will be having a random drawing for a copy of Something About You, which will be released on March 2nd. So here's the deal:
Contest is open to anyone who can receive mail, and will end on Sunday, February 28th, at 3pm CST. All you have to do is answer the question(s). One entry per person, and please do not leave your email address. Winner is responsible for contacting me no later than one week from the time announced, otherwise a new winner will be randomly selected.
Since Something About You is about two people who, due to a terrible situation, cannot stand each other, yet due to unexpected circumstances, are thrown together for an indefinite period of time. What I want to now:
What book and/or movie portrays your favorite
love/hate relationship, where the characters can't
stand each other but are also very attracted to each other?
Feel free to give additional examples if you'd like. This is one of my favorite tropes, and I'm always looking for good recommendations.
Now go forth and enter. Good luck!