Home | Site
National Bestselling Author Beth Kery
Books What's Next? About Beth Blog Guestbook Contact

Julie James Is Here To Talk With Us. Watch Her ABC News Interview (and a Givaway of Practice Makes Perfect)
Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

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!



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.


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

Buy Practice Makes Perfect Now
Read an Excerpt

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!

46 comments to “Julie James Is Here To Talk With Us. Watch Her ABC News Interview (and a Givaway of Practice Makes Perfect)”

  1. bridget3420
      · April 15th, 2009 at 6:04 pm · Link

    Great interview!!

  2. Eimy
      · April 15th, 2009 at 6:17 pm · Link

    Practice Makes Perfect sounds really good. And great interview and video!

  3. Lea
      · April 15th, 2009 at 6:38 pm · Link

    Hey Julie!

    So nice to see you here at Beth’s blog! I always love reading your interviews, you present so well (as does Beth). Your television interview was equally impressive.

    Please don’t enter me in the contest for Julie’s book because I already have PMP, and it’s on the agenda for this weekend!

    And, Beth, you are so welcome with respect to the video, I’m happy it works!!

    Warm Regards

  4. Kammie
      · April 15th, 2009 at 6:39 pm · Link

    I enjoyed reading the interview here and watching the ABC video. That’s the station I watch every morning and I didn’t see this. I’m glad it was posted. Have your story on my wish list. It sounds great!!!

  5. Kammie
      · April 15th, 2009 at 6:40 pm · Link

    Oh, and forgot to say congratulations on your success as a writer and all those terrific reviews!

  6. RobynL
      · April 15th, 2009 at 6:49 pm · Link

    wow, a lawyer becomes a writer! The video was interesting and informative. I want to find out what tactics each of the lawyers use to be the one chosen.

  7. Julie James
      · April 15th, 2009 at 7:13 pm · Link

    Hi everyone! First of all, I have to thank Beth for having me here! I’m so excited to be a part of the Daring Time pre-release festivities. Almost as excited as I am to read Daring Time itself…

    Bridget and Eimy: thanks! Glad you enjoyed the interview! It’s so nice to see the romance genre getting good publicity, don’t you think?

    Lea: great to see you here as well! I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that you enjoy PMP… And great job posting the video. I, myself, know very, very little tech-wise. I have to impose on my husband for all that. 🙂

    Kammie: so you’re in the Chicago area, then? Always nice to meet someone local! And thanks for the congrats!

    Robyn: there are some high jinks involved indeed, when these two ultra-competitive lawyers try to beat out each other…

  8. Julie James
      · April 15th, 2009 at 7:17 pm · Link

    Oh– and how could I forget?? Beth– I’m so looking forward to seeing you at the wine bar this Saturday. That peppery red we love has been calling me…

  9. Danielle
      · April 15th, 2009 at 7:53 pm · Link

    Dang Julie, I missed your interview on TV Sunday — I had the TV on WLS too!!!

    Loved the interview. Do you plan on doing any interviews out in the western suburbans?

    I really enjoyed “Just The Sexiest Man Alive” and I look forward to reading Pratice Makes Perfect.

  10. Val Pearson
      · April 15th, 2009 at 8:01 pm · Link

    I thought the video was an awesome touch to this interview, your book looks incredible! I can’t wait to read it

  11. Chris
      · April 15th, 2009 at 8:49 pm · Link

    I’m still giggling about the Bentley comment. Heh. Sounds like a good book – I’m adding it to me to-read list!

  12. Lynda
      · April 15th, 2009 at 8:53 pm · Link

    Great interview! Everytime a question started forming in my mind, it was answered. The book sounds like a really good read as well.

  13. Donna S
      · April 15th, 2009 at 9:13 pm · Link

    Great interview! Practice Makes Perfect sounds like a great book I cant wait to read it.

  14. Pam S
      · April 15th, 2009 at 9:18 pm · Link

    I thoroughly enjoyed watching your interview.

    I so agree with your relaxation method.

    Practice Makes Perfect is on my Wish List, I am dying to read it :)!

  15. RachieG
      · April 15th, 2009 at 9:19 pm · Link

    I’d vote for Julie James to be the official spokesman! Such a great job!! 🙂 Looking forward to this one!

  16. Jane
      · April 15th, 2009 at 9:21 pm · Link

    Hi Julie,
    What are you working on now?

  17. Sue A.
      · April 15th, 2009 at 9:24 pm · Link

    Thanks for sharing the video and the interview. Congratulations on your great success!

  18. Julie James
      · April 15th, 2009 at 9:49 pm · Link

    Hey Danielle! I don’t currently have anything scheduled in the western suburbs, but that could always change. I grew up in the northwest suburbs– whereabouts are you from? Oh– and how wonderful to hear that you enjoyed JTSMA!

    Val: thanks!! I actually had fun doing the interview, which was a surprise. The anchorwoman was really friendly, which helped so much.

    Chris: that J.D. is quite a character, isn’t he? He takes quite a bit of pride in that car. 😀

    Donna: thank you! If you do pick up PMP (or win it here!), I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you like it!

    Pam: too funny… it is the best way to relax isn’t it? Hot bath, red wine, great book–the perfect combo for any stress.

    RachieG: you’re too kind. It definitely helped to be discussing a topic I’m so enthusiastic about.

    Jane: I just finished my third book, another romantic comedy– although this one has a suspense subplot. It’s about a female Assistant U.S. Attorney who by chance witnesses a high-profile murder. The FBI agent assigned to the investigation is a man from her past that she doesn’t get along with. The proverbial sparks fly as the two of them work together on the case, and even more so when it turns out that the killer might be after her.

    Sue: thanks so much! Thanks for coming by!

  19. Julie James
      · April 15th, 2009 at 9:55 pm · Link

    Okay– so I just read my response about the interview (to Val), and–oops– that sounded like I wasn’t thinking I would enjoy the interview. What I meant to say was that I had been sort of nervous leading up to it, about being on television, and that I was surprised at how laid-back and comfortable everything was on the set.

    See– this is what happens when I drink wine and blog. The words get all mixed up. 😉

  20. Val Pearson
      · April 15th, 2009 at 9:59 pm · Link

    LOL … I totally didn’t take it in a bad way …. now hand me a drink, it’s not right to drink by yourself you know! 😀

  21. Julie James
      · April 15th, 2009 at 10:06 pm · Link

    Too funny, Val. I’ve got a Left Bank cabernet from South Africa sitting right next to me. If I could, I’d hand out drinks to all of us. Sometimes, talking about books can be even that much better with a glass of wine. 😉

  22. Sandy M
      · April 15th, 2009 at 11:08 pm · Link

    Oh, the court reporter in me really wants to read this book! Great interview. And loved the interview on the news too!

  23. blodeuedd
      · April 15th, 2009 at 11:35 pm · Link

    Yes the book is sure looking good 🙂
    ANd I loved the advice for an aspiring writer, I have been for years (sucked into my own fantasy realm 🙂

  24. Karin
      · April 15th, 2009 at 11:41 pm · Link

    Great interview! I really enjoyed the answers about JD and Payton. They’re incredibly witty and I look forward to reading their story.

  25. Maija P.
      · April 16th, 2009 at 2:01 am · Link

    J.D’s character sounds sinfully delicious 😉

  26. Stacy ~
      · April 16th, 2009 at 5:42 am · Link

    Hey Julie & Beth! Good morning. What a bright, sunny Chicago morning we’re having today. Wonderful interview you two have done here, and Julie, loved your ABC piece. Great stuff. It made me smile.

    Julie, I know you’re fairly new to the romance industry, though I see you’re catching up rather quickly with your reading. What are some of the elements of romances and/or the romance community that have been surprising? And how do you see your writing evolving? Will you always include some aspect of the law in your stories, do you think?

    P.S. Since I have the book, please don’t enter me in the contest. I will say to the readers that if you haven’t read it, what are you waiting for???? This book is a must-have for anyone who loves smart, funny, sparkling conversation and high sexual tension with characters you can’t help but love. Payton is my kinda heroine, and J.D. her perfect match.

  27. Roberta Harwell
      · April 16th, 2009 at 6:16 am · Link

    Hello Julie,

    I haven’t had the opportunity to read you work yet, but would love to. I enjoy getting to know a little bit about an author I haven’t read yet. Thanks. Have a great day.

  28. cursingmama
      · April 16th, 2009 at 7:01 am · Link

    I picked up Just The Sexiest Man Alive last night and can not wait to jump in!

  29. Brandy W
      · April 16th, 2009 at 8:06 am · Link

    I definitely want to read this one. I’ve seen it around and it keeps calling to me.

    Great interview too.

  30. kim
      · April 16th, 2009 at 8:23 am · Link

    Hi, Julie. Great interview. I recently read Just the Sexiest Man Alive and really enjoyed it. The dialogue between Taylor and Jason was laugh out loud funny. I look forward to reading Practice Makes Perfect.

    When you’re in front of a jury, you have to tell a story. I wonder if that inate ability is why so many attorneys seem to turn to writing fiction. Do you believe all the briefs you wrote and your opening arguments during a trial laid the foundation to your writing career? Or at least instilled discipline?

  31. Julie James
      · April 16th, 2009 at 10:04 am · Link

    [comes rushing in…]

    Hey everyone! So sorry I’ve been MIA this morning– my two year-old son couldn’t find his dinosaur sunglasses and refused to go anywhere without them. Luckily, I found them on the floor of the car (of course that’s the kind of place they’d be) so–whew!–crisis averted.

    So many great comments and questions!

    Sandy the court reporter: You guys always amaze me. I don’t know how you process all the info and get everything down as quickly as you do. There is a scene with a court reporter and a key use of a real-time transcript in PMP, although it’s fairly brief scene.

    blodeuedd: Good luck with your writing!! It only takes that one story that will connect with the right person and start everything.

    Karin: thanks! Yes, Payton and J.D. love to throw those witty barbs at each other–all in good fun, of course.

    Maija: J.D. would most definitely agree with your assessment. Payton would also secretly agree with you, but would only admit it upon pain of death. 😉

  32. Julie James
      · April 16th, 2009 at 10:24 am · Link

    Stacy: so good to see you here! Yes, isn’t it incredible that–gasp– it’s actually nice outside in Chicago? About time! And thanks for the kind words about PMP and the interview.

    You and Beth ask such great questions… Like you said, I am fairly new to the romance genre. In fact, I started writing with screenplays, so I used film terms to describe my first book and called it a “romantic comedy.” I quickly learned that in the literary world, there really is no such thing, and that what I had written was considered a contemporary romance. So, after learning that, I set out to become more familiar with the genre and I’ve been reading romance for nearly two years now.

    I think what first surprised me most was the diversity of the genre. Paranormal, suspense, contemporary, historical, erotica– there’s just such a wide variety out there! I also love how truly well-written many of the books are, and I really enjoy finding new authors and books. As I’ve told Beth before, Wicked Burn was one of those “finds” for me. It was my first hot contemporary/erotica, and I really didn’t know what to expect, and I was just blown away by the incredible writing. (Not to mention those sex scenes… whew!)

    How do I see my writing evolving… Hmm… well, the book I just finished, while still a romantic comedy, has a suspense subplot, and I enjoyed incorporating some intense elements into the story. I think what will always be key parts of my books, however, will be an emphasis on dialogue and major sexual tension between the heroine and hero.

    As for whether law will continue to be part of my books– probably, in some senses. It was a big part of my pre-writing life and I think there’s a lot of material there. That being said, I don’t know that it will always be a major element… for example, in the book I just finished, the heroine is a lawyer, as in my previous two books, but unlike the other two she’s a criminal prosecutor instead of a civil lawyer. And there’s very little “in the courtroom” time in this book.

  33. Julie James
      · April 16th, 2009 at 10:37 am · Link

    Roberta: thanks for dropping by! I know– don’t you just love discovering new authors?

    Cursingmama: ooh… I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you enjoy JTSMA…

    Brandy: I have those books, too, the ones that I keep hearing about. For me, that book was Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard. I finally just read it a couple weeks ago (I know, what had I been waiting for, right?) and it was such a great read.

    Hi Kim: It is interesting, how many lawyers seem to turn to writing… I think you might be right– as a trial lawyer, your job is to tell a story to either the judge or the jury in a way that will, essentially, get them on your side, get them to see things the way you do. In many senses, isn’t that what writers do as well? And I think part of it is discipline too; lawyers often tend to be stubborn people who refuse to give up until things work out the way they want. Makes us pains in the you-know-what a lot of time, but I guess it can also be a good thing 😉

  34. Jody F.
      · April 16th, 2009 at 11:22 am · Link

    Congrats on all the great reviews! And kudos too on your tv interview!

  35. Danielle
      · April 16th, 2009 at 12:14 pm · Link

    Hey Danielle! I don’t currently have anything scheduled in the western suburbs, but that could always change. I grew up in the northwest suburbs”“ whereabouts are you from? Oh”“ and how wonderful to hear that you enjoyed JTSMA!

    Hi Julie,

    I was born and raised in Chicago. Northwest side girl here and then Southside before moving out to Wheaton.

  36. Cheryl M
      · April 16th, 2009 at 12:29 pm · Link

    Great interview Julie
    Practice make Perfect sounds good. My tbr list just keeps growing

  37. Julie James
      · April 16th, 2009 at 12:56 pm · Link

    Thanks, Jody! My first TV appearance– now I can check that off and be glad I didn’t totally screw it up. 🙂

    Danielle: I’m the opposite– I grew up in the northwest suburbs and then moved to the city after law school and have been here since.

    Hi Cheryl! Thanks! I hear you on the TBR pile… mine is obnoxious right now. So many good books to read…

  38. flip
      · April 16th, 2009 at 2:12 pm · Link

    Like the character description in the book Look forward to reading it.

  39. Larena Wirum
      · April 16th, 2009 at 3:07 pm · Link

    this sounds like a fun book to read. I haven’t read any of Julie’s books but I think I will have to check this one out. :mrgreen:

  40. MarthaE
      · April 16th, 2009 at 5:18 pm · Link

    Hi Julie – Good interview today – fun to have JD and Payton comment too! Wonderful interview with ABC. This book sounds like fun and a book I would really like since I am an attorney! That is so interesting that you left a law career to write! I hope the career move is wonderfully successful for you! Should be with fun books! I am so curious to see how you portrayed these too. So many people have rather negative views of attorneys.. especially “arrogant male” attorneys! *G* Sometimes they need a comeupance! Guess I’ll have to get the book!

  41. Beverly G
      · April 16th, 2009 at 5:31 pm · Link

    awesome interview hun i said it before and it does look like a fun time id love to win but i love just getting to know other authors and what they are all about i have to say so far im hooked and havent even read a whole book of yours yet so ty for that and thank you for the enthusasam you have for your work and books

  42. Ashley Madden
      · April 16th, 2009 at 6:26 pm · Link

    This is awesome because I was looking at another blog, and the lady kept saying how good this book was, so now I get a chance to see for myself 🙂

    If I don’t win, it’s going on my TBR pile for sure.

  43. Lisa F.
      · April 16th, 2009 at 6:51 pm · Link

    Great Interview! I would love to read this book.

    I do the same thing when I’m stressed. I get a glass of wine, a book, and I lounge in my bathtub or my hot tub.

  44. Julie James
      · April 16th, 2009 at 6:57 pm · Link

    Hi flip and Larena! Thanks for dropping by!

    Martha: so great to hear from another lawyer! What kind of law do you practice? Okay, so I like to think of J.D. as “extra confident” as an attorney, not necessarily arrogant. 😉 But if you like stories about alpha heroes getting a good comeuppance and being utterly foiled by a strong heroine, I think this might just be the book for you…

    Beverly: Thank you!! You know, I really do love writing, and my characters, and the build-up of the relationship between the heroine and hero. Such a fun subject to write about!

    Ashley: Yeah!! Glad people are responding well to the book! And whoever wins the signed copy, please feel free to write me to let me know what you think. I love hearing from readers.

  45. Julie James
      · April 16th, 2009 at 6:59 pm · Link

    Hi Lisa! Seems like we’re on the same page with how to deal with stress. 🙂

  46. NJ Lawyer
      · August 18th, 2009 at 4:15 am · Link

    Thank you for your efforts in the blog. Good luck.

Steam for the Sophisticated Reader www.BethKery.com Go back to the top