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Wednesday, February 24, 2010:
There's Something About Julie James....
...that makes her an incredibly engaging writer. Right from her first book, Just the Sexiest Man Alive, it was obvious she had "it", that unique quality to draw the reader in and totally capture their attention with her snappy dialogue, smart and savvy characters, and attractive settings. She's definitely got a fan for life with me (so that means she better keep writing *g*). Julie James is an autobuy for me, no question. That's pretty amazing considering it happened right from her first book.

Her latest release, Something About You, is no exception. I fell completely in love with Jack, and wanted so badly to be Cameron. After reading it, I was curious to know how things were going with Julie's writing, so I figured what the heck, I'm nosy, so I'll just ask her. Here is what Ms. James had to say:
S~ In the 3 books you've had published, each of the heroines is an attorney or has practiced law in some capacity. Do you see yourself writing about a different profession, or do you find that you have more stories to share with readers about this profession?

JJ: Funny you should ask. . . shockingly, the heroine in my fourth book is not a lawyer. She owns a wine shop in Chicago. That being said, I think there are a lot more stories I could write that involve the legal profession--I'm definitely not done with that!

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?

JJ: It's certainly easier to write a character's personality traits and interests if they are ones I personally identify with. But my knowledge of, or interest in, a subject is really just a spring board for what I use in the book. For example, before beginning to write my fourth book, in which the heroine owns a wine shop, I only knew the basics about wine. My heroine obviously needed to be more familiar with the subject, so I took a wine education class, read some books, and have gotten to know the owner of my local wine store, who was nice enough to let me shadow her for a day. So I guess the real question is, do my heroines take on my interests and personality traits, or do I adopt theirs? Hmm...

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?

JJ: I don't listen to music while I'm actually writing, but I do play music during breaks that I feel fits with the book I'm working on. For Something About You, I listened to a mix of Rihanna, Billie Holiday, and the Black Eyed Peas. Weird combo, I know.

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!

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39 Comments

  1. YES!!! I'm going to be at RT!! I shall HAVE to get her to autograph my copy - when I get it.
    Great interview


  2. Julie needs to come to NYC and sign. :)


  3. Good Morning Julie and Stacy:

    Please don't enter me, I've already read "Something About You" and it is on my keeper shelf. I certainly agree about Jack, Stacy.. lol

    Wonderful interview, well thought out questions and answers. Looking forward to Julie's next book! Wishing you everything wonderful with sales of SAY!!

    Best
    L


  4. Hi Stacy!

    Thanks for all the nice words! Really, I'm so thrilled you're a fan of my books. :-)

    I'll definitely poke my head in if anyone has any questions! Happy to be here!

    Julie


  5. I can't wait to start this book. This book sounds yummy! I enjoyed your books.

    Julie, hoping to meet you at the Chicago Spring Fling!


  6. No need to enter me, I have the book.

    But favorite movie couples? Hm.

    Favorite TV couples?

    How 'bout Buffy and Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer? They had a quintessential love/hate relationship.

    I hope whomever wins the book loves it completely, like I did!


  7. Great interview ladies!!! I love the first two books. I devoured them, both, in one day. Don't remembering sleeping much, lol.

    And to answer your question Stacey, I am not a huge tv watcher... So this was hard. This is the best I could do... On CSI Miami, Delco and Callie... It is not a love/hate relationship... but more we are employed by the same company, but I have these feelings for you. And we all know that CSI is not about the romance of its characters... That is the best I could do, told you it would suck, lol!
    But please throw my name in the hat for a chance to win this one!


  8. Katherine Hepburn/Spencer movies were great at the love/hate relationship and the tv show Moonlighting too.


  9. Great interview. After her first two books Julie James is definitely one of my favorite writer. I can't wait to read her third contemporary romance.

    I love this love/hate conflict in books. On eof my favorite is It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleypas or the Viscount who Loved Me by Julia Quinn where H/H really can't stand each other (well at first of course, otherwise it's definitely not funny).

    Now on TV... seriously I have no idea. In castle there is definitely some annoyance on Kate's part. I mean Castle can be really annoying sometimes. Otherwise I'm not sure. Maybe this thing works better in books ;-)

    Thanks for the contest !!


  10. Excellent interview (as always), Stacy! I'm waiting on pins and needles to read this one - love the premises, love the cover!

    My recommendations are both from SEP - WHAT I DID FOR LOVE and one of my all-time faves (I cried like a baby reading it), AIN'T SHE SWEET?

    Thanks, Stacy and Julie, for this great post!


  11. Looks like another hot book and have it on my TBL. susan L.


  12. Congrats on the release. It sounds like a great book and I am looking forward to picking it up.

    I think a good classic example is Elizabeth and Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.


  13. Very nice interview, ladies!!

    Julie James is a new-to-me author, and after all the rave reviews, I have to get myself going and pick up one of her books.

    As far as love/hate relationships, one of my favorites that immediately comes to mind is Cal Bonner and Jane Darlington in Susan Elizabeth Phillip's NOBODY'S BABY BUT MINE. It was such a hilariously engaging story full of antics from both the H/H.

    As far as movies, I would have to say my favorite is Cary Grant and Leslie Caron in Father Goose. They hated each because of their situation, but it was so funny how those two interacted with each other. What can I say..it was funny!!

    Thanks for a great giveaway.


  14. One of my favorites where hate turns to love is Pride and Prejudice.


  15. Great interview Stacy girl...

    I loved Julie's books.

    I was going to saw Castle's Beckett and Castle they just crack me up.


  16. Most of Susan Elizabeth Phillips' books have love/hate relationship. One of the reason I love reading her books. What about Moonlighting TV or What about Mr.and Mrs Smith movie? They are among my favorite.

    I love reading Julie James' books and looking forward to get my copy of SOMETHING ABOUT YOU, soon!


  17. I'm looking forward to reading this book. It's great that Julie is going to have some recurring characters in her next project.

    As for a love hate relationship, I'd pick Julie's first two books, Practice Makes Perfect and Just the Sexiest Man Alive. I'd also pick What I Did For Love by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. On tv, I'd go for bad Angel and Buffy.


  18. Awesome interview. Learned new stuff about Julie. Best love/hate story besides Julie's Just The Sexiest Man Alive is Opposites Attract by Michelle M Pillow. OMG Ethan made me love tattoos.


  19. Julie is an auto-buy author for me too and I can't wait for Tuesday to get "Something About You".

    Pride and Prejudice was the first story that came to mind for me. On tv I think of Tony and Ziva from NCIS. You can totally tell something is there, but they seem to fight the attraction all the time.


  20. a fellow twitter mentioned I should read Julia James therefore I must(ie)!!!


  21. I loved both of JJ's books so far, can hardly wait for SAY!

    Love/Hate in movies...Mr. & Mrs. Smith, When Harry Met Sally, You've Got Mail.

    Books...well, Practice Makes Perfect is one! and SEP's, Ain't She Sweet is another fave.


  22. Great interview! I can't wait to read this book.

    Some movies that come to my mind of a love/hate relationship would be Gone With the Wind and Mr. & Mrs. Smith.


  23. Guy Rilluard and Faith Devilen in Linda Howards book after the night

    i agree tho buffy and spike

    cordelia chase and Xander Harris


  24. Great interview. The book sounds really interesting.

    My favorite example of a hate/love relationship is Elizabeth and Darcy from Pride & Prejudice. I love how she thinks he's snotty and he says he's not attracted to her but then later on they want to be together. lol


  25. I so enjoyed Julie's previous 2 books, fingers crossed on this contest!

    Pride & Prejudice is the classic love/hate. More recent that comes to mind is Kleypas's, Autumn book.


  26. Love & hate...they do go together.

    Sarah Mayberry's, The Spring Fling starts off quite antagonistic. I enjoyed the sparring immensely.

    In movies, You've Got Mail?

    nunahboop(at)hotmail(dot)com


  27. My favourite hate/love would have to be Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy. I loved how much they didn't like each other at the beginning but then ended up together. So funny.


  28. Lovely interview - thank you Julie & Stacy! I love the sound of the heroine in the fourth book BTW!


  29. I've never read any of Julie's books before but they sound fantastic!

    Susan Sizemore often does love/hate or an unwanted attraction very well. I think her best examples were On A Long Ago Night (a historical where a duchess was kidnapped and her captor happens to be half English and is reunited with his noble family in England, where he decides to pick up where he left off with the prickly but passionate woman who wants to forget he exists) and Companions, from her UF vampire Laws of the Blood series (where a homicide cop is the unwilling human companion to the most badass vampire cop and neither wants to be attracted to the other, but they undeniably want each other).


  30. This comment has been removed by the author.


  31. Great interview. There's Something About You sounds wonderful. I love the cover. A movie that I like that has a love-hate relationship is Overboard with Goldie Haun and Kurt Russell.
    Crystal816[at]hotmail[dot}com


  32. Hi there!
    the first book that came to my mind was Truly Madly Yours by Rachel Gibson...
    thanks for a very interesting interview - really enjoyed it and I can't wait to your book!
    have a great day,
    Ina


  33. The first love/hate relationship I think of is Scarlett O'Hara/Rhett Butler of GWTW. In recent books, Susan Mallery's Lone Star Series features a great one between characters Dana and Jed.


  34. Hello,

    Thanks for the great interview with Julie James. I'm a big fan of her books. The movie that came to mind was When Harry Met Sally. As for books, I'm thinking of Sam and Alyssa from Suz Brockmann's troubleshooters series. When you first meet them (as secondary characters) they don't get along and then they fall in love throughout her other books.


  35. Great interview! This book is on my TBR list! *g*

    My favorite Love/Hate book ,I think I might be biased because i just finished reading it and loved it but i'd say The Viscount who Loved me by Julia Quinn. They can't stand each other and it's pretty funny...but the more they try to stay away from each other the more they are drawn to each other. I loved this book.


  36. Love the interview, I have the first two books ready to read for my contemporary romance challenge!


  37. I read all the comments but no one mentioned the 1992 figure skating movieTHE CUTTING EDGE. The hockey player and figure skater had to team up. They despise each other on the way to HEA. Love.


  38. I would love to read it!! So please enter me in the contest!

    My favourite love/hate relationship in a novel is the one between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. And ina movie, it's the relationship of Veronica and Logan in Veronica Mars, their witty banter and what they do to each other takes love/hate relationships to a new level!

    Thanks!


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