Marcia James, author of hot, humorous romances

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The James Gang


October James Gang Interview

Each month, I interview authors or publishing insiders who have some form of “James” in their names or in their books. My October interviewee is author Hannah Meredith, who has a character named “James” in her latest book!

1. Let’s get the most important question asked first: Why James, that is, why did you pick that name for your hero?

James Allenby is the hero of the first romance novel I wrote, A Dangerous Indiscretion. While this ended up being my second book published—I decided to get a feel for the process with a novella—James was the first romantic lead I ever envisioned. And women always remember their first. He showed up in my head fully formed and his name was James. It could be nothing else. It’s weird when characters arrive self-named, but it does happen. Well, to me, at least. :-)

2. What fiction genre(s) and/or sub-genre(s) do you write?

Currently, I write primarily historical romance, although my latest book is a fantasy romance with medieval trappings. Since I initially wrote fantasy short fiction, this story is a combination of those two interests.

3. Tell us about your latest release.

The newest book to arrive on my virtual bookshelf is Song of the Nightpiper, a fantasy romance. In this tale, the hero, Faulk, is the consummate warrior—strong, decisive, and pragmatic. The heroine, Anlin, is a woman both shaped and haunted by a horrific past. Their world is a quasi-medieval one where magic is possible but people always act like people. Some are good, some are venal, some are self-deluded, and many do terrible things for what seems to them to be the right reasons. Well, here’s the back-cover blurb, which will be more succinct than if I just keep rambling:

Magic is disappearing from Fallucia and Rennic. Each country blames the other and hoards what power remains. Magical Talent is prized above all else.

In Fallucia, magic is concentrated in the families of the Lords of High Places, but Lady Anlin hasn’t the least glimmer of ability. What she does have is a will of steel, forged in despair and tempered by years of slavery in Rennic. She also has a plan to rescue the son taken from her while she was enslaved. She needs but one thing—a champion.

Sir Faulk is a landless knight whose life has stripped him of all illusions. But he still harbors two impossible dreams—to have a fief of his own and to find someone to love who will love him in return. His fighting skills have now placed the first of these dreams within reach. The second remains ever elusive.

Chance, however, intervenes and changes their destinies. Neither Lady Anlin nor Sir Faulk ever imagined their personal actions could reshape nations and overturn centuries-old beliefs.

4. Is there a core story and/or a theme(s) in your books?

I had written a lot of dissimilar stories over many years before I realized all had a similar thread. I enjoy putting competent people in situations where they are incompetent. I think we can then see the core person with all facades removed.


5. Do you have a favorite hero and/or heroine in your books and why?

My favorites are always the hero and heroine who are currently living in my head and trying to jump through the keyboard to have independent lives on the page. Once they’ve been freed, other insistent characters take their places. I always love best those struggling to be born.

6. What do you enjoy most about being an author?

I love to tell stories. I hope others enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy their creation. And then, writing is one of the few professions where wearing squishing underwear isn’t a requirement. Needless to say, I don’t write in coffee shops or the like. :-)

7. Do you have any awards, reviews or kudos you’d like to tell us about?

In terms of size, both in the big trophy and the large monetary award, the most significant would be winning the Grand Prize for the Writers of the Future back in my sf&f [science fiction and fantasy] short fiction days. For romance, I’ve been fortunate to win or final in a number of excellent chapter contests. What sticks most in my mind are the two books that were finalists for the unpublished Maggie Award, since then I “had” to go to the conference. It was great fun.

8. How do you promote your books and your author brand?

Poorly! I’m as old as dirt and find social media onerous and unnatural. I have an author Facebook page and a website—but I’ve yet to figure out how Twitter works and can’t imagine where the time would come from to mess with it. I’m in awe of those who do all of this effortlessly, but alas, I’m a dud who publishes stealth books.

9. What is your next project?

Right now, I’m working to get all the pieces in place to put Christmas Revels IV, a Regency anthology, online as a pre-order and to get the print book out. I’m joined by three other ladies on this project, all wonderful writers, and this series has been well received. I’m also trying to finish the second book in what will be the Kaleidoscope series. Yes, a real series, something I have not personally done to date. Be still my heart.

10. Do you have a bit of wisdom you’d like to impart or a favorite quote?

I’m not sure if it is wisdom or wishful thinking, but I subscribe to a saying that is painted on my kitchen wall—The most interesting flowers in the garden are often late bloomers. Thanks, Marcia, for hosting me.

Hannah’s Links:

Thank you, Hannah! Stop by next month, when my interviewee will be author Lindsey R. Loucks!

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