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Coffee Time Romance Interview Questions for Jessica James

Hi All! It’s time for another fun interview here at Coffee Time Romance. Today I’m chatting with author, Jessica James, who writes heartwarming military romance. I had fun getting to know more about Jessica, and I’m sure you will too.

Hi, Jessica, and welcome to Coffee Time Romance! Please start by telling us a little about yourself?

I’m a small-town girl from Gettysburg, Pa., who used to work as a veterinary technician at a horse hospital, and then a newspaper editor, before turning to writing fiction. (Slight career change, right?) I live in a 200-year-old house, and while researching its history, recently discovered that it was built by one of my ancestors. How strange is that?

That’s strange and pretty darn cool! Now tell us about Meant to Be?

Meant to Be is my first contemporary novel after writing four romantic historical fiction novels. It starts on the sunny beaches of Ocean City, Md., and moves to the snow-capped mountains of Afghanistan. The novel is part military suspense, and part classic love story.

The official blurb is: A chance meeting on the beach leads to love and self-sacrifice half a world away when a special ops soldier commanding a covert mission discovers the person he most wants to protect is the one risking everything to make sure he survives.

I love that your novel is set in such different places. What was your inspiration behind Meant to Be?

The storyline for Meant To Be pretty much came to me out of the blue, but I would say the true inspiration behind it is the men and women who serve and sacrifice in our military. All of my novels have a general theme of honor and enduring love, but in this one I wanted to honor our military and have readers understand the sacrifices and commitment they make for all of us—emotionally and physically.

What a great inspiration. You mentioned that Meant to Be is your first contemporary romance, what motivated the change subgenres?

That’s correct. It’s my first contemporary romance—but I would not say I was motivated to change genres. I love writing historical fiction, and never had any intention of writing anything else. It just happened. I was actually in Ocean City to spend a few quiet days working on one of my historical fiction novels—but I ended up writing this novel instead. That’s just how the muse works. I didn’t understand it at the time, but eventually realized that this book was meant to be.

Ha! Great play on words. And you’re right, the muse does what it wants many time. Do you have a favorite scene from your book? Which one and why?

I have two favorite scenes. The first one is when Rad and Lauren run into each during a special ops briefing in Afghanistan two weeks after meeting on the beach. Neither one had told the other during their short time together that they were in a covert line of work.

Another scene that I like for its poignancy is the one in which Wynn, Rad’s best friend and military brother, is in the hospital after being wounded in action. I wanted to show, not only the feelings of the injured soldier, but the close ties between the two warriors, and the impact that being wounded has on the soldier’s loved ones as well.

I saw on your website that you’re a part time stage hand? Which sounds fun. Has your work influenced your writing? If so, how?

That’s a great question that I’ve never been asked! I first took the stagehand job because it provided a good physical workout—which I wanted in order to negate the long hours of sitting that comes with writing. That was ten years—and hundreds of shows ago—and I have loved every minute of it. I wouldn’t say it has influenced my writing, but it has been the perfect fit for me because of the flexible hours and ever-changing work environment. The added benefit is that I’ve met a lot of celebrities and gotten to watch everything from operas and ballets to Broadway musicals and country concerts.

Sounds like lots of fun! I bet you could dig up a story from your back stage encounters, lol. Do you have any other projects coming soon?

Right now I’m working on another contemporary novel, tentatively called DEADLINE. It’s a romantic political suspense novel about a homicide cop and a newspaper reporter who end up working together to solve a string of highly suspicious murders. I’m planning on a Spring 2016 release.

Wow! You are one busy lady. For someone who hasn’t read your work before, why should they give Meant to Be a try?

The main comments I receive from my fans is that they couldn’t put the book down and they were sad to see it end. I try to create characters that readers connect with—and fall in love with—so they will continue to think about the book long after the last page is turned. Meant To Be has received positive reviews from authors, book bloggers, and the top literary trade publications, but the review that means the most to me is from the widow of a U.S. Navy SEAL. If you like to read clean, classic love stories with strong heroes and heroines, you will enjoy Meant To Be.

Meant to Be sounds like a great read. Switching gears a bit, do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

The best advice I ever received, and so the advice I always share is very simply “A-B-C.”

Attach Butt to Chair.

It sounds trite, but as you become more serious in your writing, you will realize how fundamental and important it is. It’s the basic building block for becoming an author.

So very true! Last fun question, if money were no object what hobby would you pick up?

That’s an easy one. I would start riding and showing horses again—something I haven’t done since I was a teenager. It’s probably one of the most expensive hobbies you can have!

Now that sounds like a fun hobby! Thanks for the great interview Jessica! For you readers out there, you can learn more about Jessica and her novels by connecting with her online.

 

 

 

 

 

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