I am a big fan of Julie James books and she was kind enough to answer some of my questions about her latest book and her process. She is also giving away a copy of her upcoming book About That Night to one lucky commenter.
Tell us about your latest book.
My upcoming release, About That Night, is a contemporary romance that hits bookstores on April 3rd. It’s about an ex-con, Kyle Rhodes, (who also happens to be a billionaire heir) who has just been released from prison after being convicted for hacking into Twitter. After being dubbed the “Twitter Terrorist,'” he wants to put the past–and his mistakes–behind him. He’s therefore quite irked when the U.S. Attorney’s office, the very prosecutors who threw him in prison, want his help in a high-profile homicide investigation involving a corrupt prison guard. But the Assistant U.S. Attorney assigned to the case just so happens to be a woman from Kyle’s past, and may be the one person Kyle can’t say no to…
More information about the book, and an excerpt, can be found here.
What pulled you into this story, and as a writer made you think ‘I have to write this’?
About That Night is a follow-up to my current release, A Lot Like Love. (I should mention, however, that each book can easily be read as a standalone.) In A Lot Like Love, the heroine, Jordan Rhodes, is a wealthy store owner and she agrees to pose as the girlfriend of an undercover FBI agent (as part of a sting operation) in exchange for her twin brother’s release from prison. So About That Night is the story of what happens to that twin brother once he gets out of prison.
In A Lot Like Love, there’s a scene early in the book where Jordan goes to visit her brother in prison. And I knew from the moment Kyle stepped on to the page that he was going to get his own book. Despite the orange prison jumpsuit he was wearing (ha!), he seemed like hero material–or at least a hero in progress. So I had a lot of fun redeeming him in About That Night.
Tell us about your writing process. Do you outline or are you more organic?
I’m a plotter, so yes–I do outline. I generally draft a 10-15 page outline for the book before I start writing. But once I begin actually writing the book, I rarely, if ever, go back and look at the outline. By then, the story is familiar enough in my head, but I also want the freedom to be able to deviate from that outline if inspiration takes me in a different direction.
What do you love about being an author?
Being able to interact with readers! Truly, one of the best compliments that someone can give me is that my book made him or her laugh. When that happens, I know I’ve done my job.
After graduating from the University of Illinois College of Law, Julie James clerked for the United States Court of Appeals in Jacksonville, Florida. She then practiced law with one of the nation’s largest law firms for several years until she began writing screenplays. After Hollywood producers optioned two of her scripts, she decided to leave the practice of law to write full-time. Her books have been translated into thirteen languages and Julie’s most recent novel, A LOT LIKE LOVE, is a national bestseller.
Julie James lives with her husband and two children in Chicago. Her next novel, About That Night, will be available in April 2012.