Join me in welcoming talented author and my Chicago friend, Julie James today! She’s here to tell us about her smash hit second book from Berkley Practice Makes Perfect. Leave Julie a comment or ask her a question, and your name will go into a pot to win a signed copy of Practice Makes Perfect on the evening of 4/16! If you haven’t tried Julie’s stuff yet, you’re in for a refreshing treat!
WHEN IT COMES TO THE LAWS OF ATTRACTION . . .
Payton Kendall and J.D. Jameson are lawyers who know the meaning of objection. A feminist to the bone, Payton has fought hard to succeed in a profession dominated by men. Born wealthy, privileged, and cocky, J.D. has fought hard to ignore her. Face to face, they’re perfectly civil. They have to be. For eight years they’ve kept a safe distance and tolerated each other as co-workers for one reason only: to make partner at the firm.
. . . THERE ARE NO RULES.
But all bets are off when they’re asked to join forces on a major case. At first apprehensive, they begin to appreciate each other’s dedication to the law—and the sparks between them quickly turn into attraction. But the increasingly hot connection doesn’t last long when they discover that only one of them will be named partner. Now it’s an all out war. And the battle between the sexes is bound to make these lawyers hot under the collar . . .
****1/2 stars—Romantic Times
****1/2 stars—The Book Binge
****1/2 stars—Romance Novel TV
5 hearts—Night Owl Romance
Perfect Ten—Romance Reviews Today
Julie James Interview
BK:What advice would you give an aspiring writer?
JJ: My advice is probably the same that many authors would give– not to give up! My writing career started with screenplays, and although two of my scripts were optioned, none were ultimately produced. Boy, was that disappointing. But then my agent suggested that I turn my first script, a romantic comedy called “The Andrews Project” into a novel and–voila!–I got a book deal with Berkley and that script became my debut novel, Just the Sexiest Man Alive. So even if your first, or second, or third book doesn’t pan out– don’t get discouraged. The road to publication for many authors is often not a short one.
BK: What is your writing routine?
JJ: I spend the first three or so hours every morning with my son, then start writing around 10a.m. I write until about 5 or 6pm, then break for family time. I’ll also usually squeeze in another hour or so after my son goes to sleep. In terms of my writing process, I’m a big-time plotter. I draft a very detailed outline before starting to write, usually 20 pages or so, that includes virtually every scene, snippets of dialogue, character background etc. This is how I know if I have enough of a story to support an entire book. What’s funny, though, is that once I start writing, I rarely look back at the outline– by then the story is so fully mapped out in my head I don’t need it.
BK: Did you have a favorite character in Practice Makes Perfect? If so, why did you hold him or her dear?
JJ: Honestly, I don’t think I could choose between the heroine and hero. Because Practice Makes Perfect is sort of a he said/she said story, I really tried to get equally into both of their heads. Payton (the heroine) is confident and so ready to go head-to-head with any man, particularly J.D., and that made her a ton of fun to write. But J.D. sneaks up on you… sure, he’s probably too confident, and he definitely comes close to crossing the line with some of his actions, but there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes with him than we realize at first and the fun is seeing that come out.
BK: Finish the following sentences (put your responses in bold)
If I’m tired, stressed and worn out, the first thing I want to do is….. take a hot, relaxing bath with a glass of red wine and a great book.
BK: Oh…woman after my own heart. 🙂
J.D. (the hero in PMP) would probably…..if someone rudely cut him off in traffic and then……… Wow. I was really stuck on this one, so I went to the source and asked J.D. himself. He said, “Men who drive Bentleys don’t get cut off in traffic.”
BK: Ah, touche J.D.
Payton (the heroine in PMP) has the following flaw– she’s incredibly attracted to a guy who actually says, “Men who drive Bentleys don’t get cut off in traffic,” but makes up for it by–giving him crap for that comment every chance she gets.
BK: And double-touche Payton!
If you could time travel to anyplace or time, where would you go and to what time period?
JJ: There are many time periods that would be fascinating, but most of them include an “only if.” As in, I’d love to go back to Jane Austen times, but “only if” I was a member of the upper-class (or at least had enough money to meet the likes of a Mr. Darcy… sigh…) So putting all “only ifs” aside, I think I would go back to junior high to tell myself not to get too wrapped up in all my awkward-phase, junior high worries–that everything comes together in the end. 🙂
BK: Great answers Julie (and J.D. and Payton, of course.)
Recently, Julie did an ABC news morning show about romance, the economy and of course, Practice Makes Perfect. Watch it here. She did a phenomenal job. As far as I’m concerned, she’s got my vote for Official Romance Spokesperson 🙂
AND a big thanks to Lea for putting the clip up for me. (I take pride in being a nerd, but unfortunately I’m not a tech-nerd.)
Thanks for being with us here today, Julie! See you at the wine bar on Saturday!
Everyone else, leave Julie a comment to qualify to win Practice Makes Perfect on the evening of 4/16! Also, be sure to enter the Daring Time Contest while you are here!