1. I live in a city - Vancouver - but I often set stories in small towns for the sense of community which echoes what I find in my downtown neighborhood. What about you? Where do you live and where do you set your stories? And why?
I now live in New Jersey, but I grew up in Southern California and I’ve always had a love of the deserts of the Southwest, and even took a college class on desert biology. When I was young, my family took camping trips every summer to Lake Havasu or Lake Mohave and I loved those scenic desert places.
My contemporary romance, Clear As Day, is set at Lake Mohave, a reservoir downstream from the Hoover Dam formed out of stretch of the Colorado River by the Davis Dam. I loved the juxtaposition of the stark, hot landscape with the cool waters and wanted to play with that particular setting. My cover shows a glimpse of the shoreline. It’s a starkly beautiful location and lets you feel you’ve gone somewhere completely remote even though it’s accessible in only a little over an hour from Las Vegas.
Their backcountry camping site is only accessible by boat and there are no amenities at camp beyond the sparkling lake water, scenic desert, and wide blue sky. You pack in what you need and leave only your footprints behind when it’s time to head home. The camp setting also keeps my hero, heroine and their group of friends in close proximity, helpful for sparking romance and conflicts. It was definitely a challenge for more intimate scenes!
The sequel I’m currently writing also takes place in part at Lake Mohave and part in Florida, another location that I enjoy visiting. I also write fantasy romance, which I enjoy setting in both the contemporary world and fantasy world.
2. What's your favorite book ever and why? I have 2 or 3 books that I read over and over again - including Jane Austen's Persuasion. I love it because the characters are older and their relationship isn't easy, but you know, when they do finally get together, they're grown-ups and they know exactly who they are.
I always have difficulty settling on a favorite book. I love so many of them. I love a book with strong characters and vivid imagery that catches my imagination. I also prefer a story with a happily every after. A few of the books that made an impact on me and my desire to write over the years, and that I reread: The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart, Carnal Innocence by Nora Roberts, the Travis McGee books by John D. MacDonald, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien, Rich In Love by Josephine Humphreys, Turtle Moon by Alice Hoffman, and The Search for Maggie Ward by Andrew Greeley.
3. What's the story you've always wanted to write but somehow can't? For me, it's a story about World War I. I'm fascinated by the stories I've read about it but I'm pretty sure I'm never going to write a real war story. I've just finished a book that is set partly during World War I but a very long way away from the battles. I think that's as close as I'm going to get.
I have a romantic suspense that I’ve written bits of scenes for over the years, but haven’t quite been able to pull together yet. It will need a good bit of research in order to continue any further, but I hope someday I’ll be ready to write it in full.
4. Finally, do you have a routine? If so, what is it and how easy/hard is it to stick to it? I try to have one, but because I work as a freelance paralegal and teach paralegals occasionally, my schedule tends to change from week to week, if not actually day to day. I'm always buying lottery tickets, hoping to win just enough money not to have to work and write to a regular schedule though I'm pretty sure that even if I did have the money to write nine to five, I wouldn't, as I've been scrambling like this forever :)
Oh, yes, it would be wonderful to stay home and be a full time writer! I try to write and/or edit every day. I don’t have a set amount of hours scheduled for writing each day, but I like to write very early in the morning before work and also at night. Morning is great. My husband is sleeping and cats are snoring, and it’s just me with my coffee and writing, sitting in the peace and quiet. Now that I’m published, it’s been interesting trying to also fit in time for promotion. I usually write while in an online chat with my critique group and other writing friends. We’ll often do timed challenges to work on writing or editing and share snips of our work. I’m lucky to be a teacher and have the summers to add more daytime hours to my writing time.
What’s a girl to do when her summer lover wants forever?
Haunted by dark memories of her parents’ volatile marriage, artist Kay Browning keeps her heart locked behind a free-spirit facade and contents herself with the comfortable affair she has every summer with easygoing photographer Nate Quinn.
The only trouble with her plan? This summer Nate’s come to Lake Mohave to claim the lover he can’t let go. He’s done with the endless traveling and settling for temporary homes and temporary loves. Kay’s always been more than just a vacation fling, and now he must convince this woman, who sees love as a course to certain heartbreak, to take that leap of faith and learn how safe love with the right man can be.
Bio: Babette James writes contemporary and fantasy romance and loves reading nail-biting tales with a satisfying happily ever after. When not dreaming up stories, she enjoys playing with new bread recipes and dabbling with paints. A teacher, she loves encouraging new readers and writers as they discover their growing abilities. Her class cheers when it’s time for their spelling test! She lives in New Jersey with her wonderfully patient husband and three extremely spoiled cats.
You can find Babette at:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BabetteJamesAuthor
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/E1ur-avq5YI
You can find Clear As Day at:
The Wild Rose Press– Paperback & eBook http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=952
Amazon.com – Paperback & Kindle http://amzn.com/B007RN9STW
Barnes & Noble – Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1109990576?ean=2940014230902
Come fall in love at the river.