Marcia James, author of hot, humorous romances
 
 

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The James Gang


THE JAMES GANG

November James Gang

Each month, I interview authors or publishing insiders who have some form of "James" in their names or in their books. My November James Gang interviewee is Kensington author, Jaime Reed!

1. Let's get the most important question asked first: Why James?

Nothing glamorous in the least. My uncle is named James and my mom named me Jaime. I guess it was because she wasn't sure if she was having a boy or a girl, so she kept it gender neutral. The only real tangle is how it's spelled. I wish I had a more exciting story (like some heroic off-duty cop who happens to be named James saves my mom and a few starving orphans from a burning building and dies in the attempt). But no. It's just a family name.

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

At the moment, I write teen paranormal fiction, but I plan to branch out to contemporary teen fiction in the near future. Teen fiction seems to capture my interest a lot more than adult fiction. Everyone can relate to it in some way, whether you've gone through it or are going through it. It's inescapable.

3. Tell us about your latest release(s).

            

My debut novel Living Violet, which came out January of this year, is part of a series called the Cambion Chronicles. (The second book, Burning Emerald, was just released this June; and the third, Fading Amber, will be out early next year.) It's a young adult paranormal romance that follows the life of the lead character, Samara Marshall, and the strange occurrences in her town. It pokes fun at a few of the clichés seen in the genre, but manages to tell its own story. It also places a person of color as the lead role, which is rarely seen in teen paranormal fiction.

Living Violet: Book 1 of The Cambion Chronicles

Samara Marshall is determined to make the summer before her senior year the best ever. Her plan: enjoy downtime with friends and work to save up cash for her dream car. Summer romance is not on her to-do list, but uncovering the truth about her flirtatious co-worker, Caleb Baker, is. From the peculiar glow to his eyes to the unfortunate events that befall the girls who pine after him, Samara is the only one to sense danger behind his smile.

But Caleb's secrets are drawing Samara into a world where the laws of attraction are a means of survival. And as a sinister power closes in on those she loves, Samara must take a risk that will change her life forever…or consume it.

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

Not really. I just write the weirdest things that I can come up with and see if it makes sense on paper, but I have noticed a recurring theme of balance and finding the middle ground. Not everything is black and white, much like the main character who is biracial. Not everyone is inherently evil or inherently good. Even the bad guys have a reason behind being bad. To categorize someone, to place them in a box and slap a label on them, is not only a form of prejudice but it makes for boring characters. So yeah, balance is a major theme.

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

I would have to say Caleb, the secretive and somewhat mysterious love interest. He's got a lot going on and all in all he's a sweet guy. Under all that flirty bravado, he's really just a lonely kid trying to figure himself out and where his relationship with Samara will lead, but he's not annoying or stalker-ish about it.

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

The hours are great. I'm a night owl by nature, so I'll stay up until 5am and wonder where the time went. Even now after finishing three books, it amazes me how I'm able to write down a complete thought and construct it in some type of order. I also get a kick out of readers' feedback, though I try, TRY not to read reviews. But the freedom to write what I want when I want is a gift that few people have.

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

It's too soon for all that, I think, but I have plenty of positive reviews for major book bloggers and review like Kirkus, which was a landmark event for me.

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

For the most part, I let the publisher do all the dirty work, but I set up giveaways on my blogs and on Goodreads every few months. I go through the usual channels: guest blogs, Twitter announcements, interviews and giveaways. I'm pretty bad at self-promotion—I'm too busy writing—so I mainly allow word of mouth and my publicist to do the work for me.

9. What is your next project?

I'm not sure. I have so many ideas, but I really want to jump into contemporary fiction, something outside of the realm of ghouls and monsters. I will say my next project will be close to my heart and has a premise that a lot of kids from blended/broken families can relate to.

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

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." ~ Oscar Wilde

I love that guy, and if he were alive today I would so buy him dinner.

Thank you, Jaime! My December James Gang interviewee will be Belgrave House author, Mandy James!

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