Monday, June 13, 2011
Anna, your latest book Visions was just released on June 11, 2011. Please tell us about it:
Visions is a contemporary / paranormal romance novella. It is 57 pages long and is now available from Sugar and Spice Press. http://www.sugarnspicepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=10&products_id=128&zenid=21ujj4h4requttkg4hnme86co5
The story revolves around Prudence Baily who has just learned that the woman she has always believed to be her mother is, in fact, a distant relative who adopted her when she was four years old after her father had brutally murdered her mother then killed himself.
Shortly after learning the truth Pru experiences a reoccurring nightmare in which a woman is brutally murdered. Is she experiencing a vision or reliving the past? She has no memories of her early childhood but instinct tells her she must to return to Salem, Massachusetts, her birth place, to solve the mystery.
Almost immediately upon her return she meets Detective Matt Cavanaugh, her neighbor. Matt is gorgeous and sexy and Pru is instantly attracted to him. Matt is also linked to her past. His father, now a retired police officer, was first on the scene the night of her parents’ deaths.
Pru soon realizes that the circumstances surrounding her parents’ deaths are not as they seem. The facts don’t add up. And when a recent murder that Matt is investigating is linked to the past they discover that Pru is right and the killer is still on the loose.
Will they discover the killer’s identity in time or will history repeat itself?
What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve always been fascinated by the paranormal. I love the thought of seeing the future or moving objects with my mind. Add in a hot romance and you’ve got a winner as far as I’m concerned. So, with all that for inspiration, I decided I wanted to try my hand at writing my own contemporary / paranormal romance and Visions is the result.
How did you choose the title for this book?
The book is all about the visions Pru has to help her find the truth about her parents’ deaths. It made sense to me to make that the title of this story.
Can you share an excerpt from the book with us?
Absolutely! Here is a taste to whet your appetite:
Sweat trickled down the sides of her face. Her eyes were huge with fear and tremors racked her body. “No! Please don’t.” Prudence Bailey could hear the terror in the woman’s voice as she begged for her life. Someone came toward the woman; he was holding a knife. Or was it a she? Pru couldn’t tell from this angle. She saw the woman’s arms shoot up to try and ward off her attacker. It was a futile attempt. He overpowered her easily. Then it happened. The knife plunged deep into her chest. The screams were terrifying. She saw the woman crumple but it wasn’t over. The knife plunged into the woman again and again. Finally, the screaming stopped.
Pru shot straight up in bed. She too was drenched with sweat and her body shook with fear. This was the third night this week that she’d had the nightmare. It was the same each time. She pulled the blankets aside and got out of bed. Why is this happening to me? she wondered as she went down the stairs to double check that the windows and doors were locked. She didn’t know but she was sure as hell going to find out.
Now can you please tell us a little about yourself?
Sure. I am an author of contemporary romance stories that allow women of all ages to get lost in a world filled with passion, drama and romance. I have been writing for about twelve years now but have only been recently published. I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering and worked in that field for a number of years before I went into Marketing, which is my day job these days. I have four books that have been published: Isabella’s Dilemma – Sugar and Spice Press, Guilty As Charged – Book 1 Bradford Sisters Trilogy – Sugar and Spice Press, Coming Home – Melange Books and Visions – Sugar and Spice Press. I also a short story entitled A Picture Perfect Christmas that was included in Christmas Collectibles – Melange Books.
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I don’t write chapters sequentially. If I get a scene into my head I get it down on paper then go back during the editing process to make sure I have a cohesive story.
What do you think is the most important to remember when writing romance?
For me a story has to have passion, drama and romance. When there are paranormal elements included I also love suspense. It’s that leap into the unknown that gets me interested as a reader. Lastly, and maybe the most important to me, there has to be a happy ending.
What genres and authors would we find you reading when taking a break from your own writing?
I love reading the “Death” series by JD Robb and the “Arcane Society” paranormal series by Jayne Ann Krentz. I like historical romance novels by Amanda Quick and Johanna Lindsey, I like a lot of Nara Roberts contemporary stories as well. I also loved the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling just to name a few. There are so many great writers out there and I like to read as many of them as I can.
How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
I would say there is something from my life in every book I write. For example, in Isabella’s Dilemma, the hero and heroine visit San Francisco. My family and I first visited all of the places I mentioned in the book when I was 10. I also went back as an adult with my husband and children. A Picture Perfect Christmas (Christmas Collectibles) takes place mainly in New York City. It’s one of my favorite places to visit. My cousin, sister and I make an annual pilgrimage to the city around Christmas time to see all the decorations.
Tell us your story of “getting published”:
I started writing Coming Home about twelve years ago when my children were younger. With the help of my cousin, who was an editor at the time, along with my mother, who also helped me with the editing, I submitted the manuscript to a well know publisher who promptly rejected it. I was crushed. I left it for a couple of years then tried again. And got rejected again. I didn’t touch the manuscript for years and in the mean time I started several short stories but life got in the way and sadly I did nothing with any of them. Then, in 2009 I got serious about my writing. I dusted off Coming Home did some minor updating and submitted it to what is now Melange Books. I received my first book contract on December 11, 2009. That gave me the confidence I needed to continue. Isabella’s Dilemma was published on July 17, 2010, Christmas Collectibles – A Picture Perfect Christmas was published in November 2010, Guilty As Charged- Book 1 Bradford Sisters Trilogy was published on April 16, 2011, Coming Home (I think of this one as the book that started it all) was published on April 23, 2011 and Visions was published on June 11, 2011. To Love and Trust Again will be released in January 2012.
What were you doing when you received your first contract?
My husband and I had just gotten home from eating dinner at a local restaurant. I had been checking my email for a reply from the publisher obsessively for days by that point. I had checked before we went out and again when I got home but it was after 7 pm so I didn’t think I would hear anything more that evening. What I didn’t realize was that the publisher was in a different time zone so there was a response when I checked. To say I was ecstatic would be an understatement. I think I called practically every member of my family and close friends that night to tell them my good news.
What are you working on now?
I am working on Shattered Dreams. This is book 2 in the Bradford Sisters Trilogy.
Do you have any events coming up?
Yes. I have plans to be at several blogs over the next 8 weeks to promote Isabella’s Dilemma, Guilty As Charged, Coming Home and Visions.
Here are the locations and dates:
Friday, June 17, 2011 Shannon Leigh’s Blog
Monday, June 20, 2011 Unwritten – Mysti Parker’s Blog
Thursday, June 30, 2011 Lets Talk Romance Blog
Tuesday, July 5, 2011 The Gladiators Pen
Wednesday, July 6, 2011 D. Renee Bagby Presents First Chapters Blog
Thursday, July 14, 2011 Kim Bowman’s Blog
Friday, July 22, 2011 Shannon Leigh’s Blog
Friday, August 5, 2011 My Book Addiction and More Blog
Tuesday, August 9, 2011 Book Faery Blog
Monday, August 15, 2011 Other Worlds of Romance Blog Talk Radio
Monday, August 22, 2011 Shannon Leigh’s Blog
For dates beyond August check out my blog “Calendar of Events” tab. http://annajames1.wordpress.com/
Where can readers learn more about your books?
On my blog: http://annajames1.wordpress.com/
Do you have any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
Believe in yourself and in your writing. The road to publication is littered with rejection letters (or e-mails as the case may be). If you get rejected find another publisher and keep at it until you have a contract!
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
Thanks for having me as a guest on your blog. I enjoyed being featured here.
You can find me at my blog at: http://annajames1.wordpress.com/
or on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001402819536
And remember to leave a comment with your email address to be entered for a chance to win a free ecopy of Visions.