This Monday I’d like to introduce you to a personal friend of mine who just so happens to write fantastic, steamy romance. I’ve known Kathryn L. James for almost ten years, we’ve worked together in the medical field, and we don’t live far from each other. She works with a team that saves lives by day, and then she retreats to her writing cave to create hot alpha males and beautiful independent women with great plots and settings by night.
Her newest book, Chasing Wicked is releasing tomorrow! So exciting!
I am so happy for her success, and proud to say I know her. Please allow me to introduce, Kathryn L. James.
I’ve known you for so long, yet never asked you this question. Why did you choose to write Contemporary Romance?
KJ: In my early teenage years, I found a box of Harlequin books at my grandmother’s house. And what a treasure that was. It was the beginning of an addiction for the love of reading romance books. After I’d read every last one of them, I began re-reading some of the ones I’d noted as my favorite.
For as long as I can remember I’ve had a love for writing, but finding the romance genre led me to creating my own stories. My senior year in high school, I wrote a modern day teenage Romeo and Juliet type short story and my teacher loved it. She kept me after class to talk to me about how good it was and hoped I’d consider an English major in college.
Marrying my high school sweetheart two weeks after high school graduation, working full time and beginning a family pushed writing aside until it was a faded memory. It wasn’t until my seventeen-year old daughter kept walking around with a book she couldn’t put down…like literally wouldn’t put down. She was in the Twilight craze. When New Moon came out, I broke down and started reading them. They were not my normal genre…at all.
I was intrigued with them, so much so, I read an interview with Stephanie Meyer. She was a busy mom who had a dream about the meadow scene, typed it out, and birthed her book. Reading that interview opened my eyes, reminding me how much I used to love to write.
Like Ms. Meyer, I was a busy mom. I lived life in the fast lane running my three kids to softball practice and games, school functions, and working full time. She gave me the inspiration to start my love of writing again. And I’m ecstatic I read the interview that pushed me to pick up the craft of writing contemporary romance!
What does your family think of your writing?
KJ: They are very supportive. I didn’t want to tell my husband at first. It was just something I was doing because I’d missed and loved doing it…a hobby. Something for pure fun on a deep personal level. Mr. James didn’t even know anything about it.
I started staying up late into the night writing until I couldn’t hold my eyes open. After climbing into bed around two AM, he asked me what I kept working on so late. The time had come to let him in on what I’d been doing. The laugh I expected never came. He was intrigued.
For the longest, I didn’t tell anyone else. Since then (not my kids), but some of my family members have read Crazy Beautiful Lies and I still blush thinking about it…even told them we’re not discussing the sex scenes!
What is your least favorite part of the publishing process?
KJ: Without hesitation, deadlines. I self-publish so it’s at my control and pace. Setting goals, word-count, publish dates, etc…all my decision. No-one prepared me for the deadlines, once you set a release date. If you use a marketing company, everything has to be in place and ready to go for blog tours, cover reveals, facebook blitz parties.
I start lining up dates (sometimes before the book has final editing), then it’s high anxiety time because of constant worry it won’t be finished on time. There are teasers, book trailers, last minute edits, and other marketing opportunities to finalize and have ready by the DEADLINE. That word makes me want to buy more bottles of wine.
Do you have any advice on how to deal with bad reviews?
KJ: I think they are inevitable. As much as I want every reader to fall in love with my story and characters as much as myself, it’s assured someone won’t. The best advice I’ve ever received was to look up your very favorite author and read through their reviews. After doing this, I realized not everyone gave the book what I easily rated five stars. Some only left one or two. After reading a bad review left for my work, I usually get a wave of nausea, but then I read a five star and smile ear to ear.
Do you prefer to write alone or in the company of other people?
KJ: Depends. If I’m working on a scene giving me trouble, I need a quiet room. If the flow is going smooth, or I’m re-writing a scene the background noise doesn’t usually disturb me. Editing is a different story. That’s when I need to be alone. No people, no music, no TV – just me and my laptop with my very spoiled poodle laying half on the arm of the recliner and half on me.
Thanks for taking the time to stop by, Kathryn. We enjoyed the peek into your life.
Check out her book trailer for Crazy Beautiful Lies. It’s awesome!
KJ lives in a southern small town with her husband and kids. Being a hopeless romantic, she loves to read and write about bad-boy sexy alpha males and a strong heroine. She weaves her characters along a roller coaster ride full of angst before they reach their HEA. The beach is one of her favorite places to relax and write. But most days, when she’s writing, you can find her snuggled under a blanket in a recliner with her sweet apricot poodle curled up beside her.
She launched her novel Crazy Beautiful Lies in December 2015, wrote a short Crazy Beautiful Kiss featured in an anthology, Story of A Kiss, and she’s releasing Chasing Wicked April 18, 2017.
Click on cover for link