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The James Gang


THE JAMES GANG

September James Gang

Each month, I interview authors or publishing insiders who have some form of "James" in their names or in their books. My September James Gang interviewee is Belgrave House/Choc Lit author, Margaret James!

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

It's my real name. It's the name of the man I married. I chose to use it because the name I had when I was born is hard to spell. I couldn't spell it myself until I was eight. But James is a very common surname in the UK and everyone can spell it!

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

I write mostly historical fiction set in the 20th century. I'm fascinated by WW1 and WW2, not because I'm interested in blood and gore, but because I like to know what happens to people when they are tested in all sorts of ways.

3. Tell us about your latest release.

My last three paperbacks (published by UK independent Choc Lit) are radical rewrites of a trilogy of hardbacks originally published by Robert Hale. They're available as ebooks and audiobooks, too.

The Silver Locket is the first book in the trilogy and tells the story of Rose Courtenay, an eighteen-year-old society beauty who leaves home to become an army nurse and falls in love with a married man. So there's plenty of trouble ahead!

The sequel, The Golden Chain, tells the story of Rose's adopted daughter Daisy, who is the natural daughter of a man who hates Rose.

The third book, The Penny Bangle, is about Rose's twin sons Robert and Stephen, who fall in love with the same girl. The stories start in 1914 and end in 1946, taking in both WW1 and WW2.

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

I enjoy writing stories about what happens when people fall in love, often with the wrong person, or with someone who seems to be the wrong person. I think what attracts us to other people is endlessly intriguing.

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

I love Rose Courtenay, the heroine of The Silver Locket, who is brave, impulsive, loyal and kind, but who is also capable of being thoughtless, stubborn and obstinate. This means she ends up doing things she later regrets. She's a rounded human being who I got to know very well as I was writing the trilogy. I found I often talked to her in my head. She became my friend!

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

I love being allowed to invent alternative realities and to share these with my readers. I feel that for most authors one reality is not enough, and I'm sure this applies to lots of readers, too. If I hadn't become a novelist, I expect I would have become an incorrigible fantasist and liar!

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

I was delighted when I was awarded a Singles Titles Reviewers Choice Award for The Silver Locket, and it's been great to be able to listen to audio versions of all three novels. The readers really bring the stories to life.

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

I have a blog at www.MargaretJamesBlog.blogspot.com, and I am on Twitter and Facebook - www.twitter.com/majanovelist and https://www.facebook.com/margaret.james.5268

9. What is your next project?

I have just written a contemporary romantic comedy called The Wedding Diary, which will be published in 2013 and is a new departure for me. I really enjoyed writing it and am hoping my readers will enjoy reading it. I'll probably be going back to historical trilogies later, but I would like to write more contemporary fiction, too.

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

If you want to be a writer, you have to read, because that's the way we all learn - by reading and absorbing good writing habits from our favorite authors. But don't be downhearted if you feel you will never be able to write as well as your literary heroes and heroines. Just write as well as you can and be happy that you have been given the talent and determination to become a storyteller.

Thank you, Margaret! My October James Gang interviewee will be multi-published author, Sally James!

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