On a random trip to the bookstore I picked up a book Something about You by Julie James, when I got home I read that book in 2 hours and was officially hooked on her. I then had to get to know her, which meant I followed her on FB and twitter and then I got to meet her at RomCon and it was settled she is one of my top contemporary authors, joining Nora Roberts, Carly Phillips and Shannon Stacey as auto-buys for me.
I’m super excited to have her on today to talk about her next book About that Night which is Kyle’s story from A Lot Like Love.
TBRG: Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?
JJ: I don’t know that there’s been any one influence. I began my writing career by writing screenplays—I had a good idea for a romantic comedy film and just decided to sit down and write it one day. (That script then went on to become the basis for my debut novel, Just the Sexiest Man Alive.) So in some senses, movies have probably had the greatest influence on my writing.
TBRG: What is one thing your readers would be surprised to know about you?
JJ: Maybe that I’m addicted to reality television, like The Bachelor and The Voice. Oh, and I’m a huge fan of Glee. We play the Glee soundtracks a lot in my house—which means my kids (who are four and sixteen months) sing songs like “Moves Like Jagger” and “Safety Dance.”
TBRG: For those that follow Julie on twitter she is the best way to watch the Bachelor as she tweets her thoughts about the show while watching.
TBRG: Where is the one place you have always wanted to go, a place on your bucket list?
JJ: A few years ago, before we had kids, my husband and I went on safari in South Africa and it was absolutely amazing—a “life-impacting” trip, if you will. I would love to go back someday.
TBRG: What was the first romance book that you read?
JJ: When we submitted the manuscript for my first book, Just the Sexiest Man Alive, to my editor, I called the book a “romantic comedy.” My editor told me that, in the literary world, they don’t use the term “romantic comedy” and that the book was a contemporary romance. I said, “But I’ve never read a romance.” To which my editor responded, “Well, you’ve written one.” So I guess you could say that the first romance I read was my own. : )
TBRG: What is your guilty pleasure?
JJ: Shoes and chocolate.
TBRG: Who is on your playlist when you are writing?
JJ: I don’t listen to music while actually writing because I find it distracting. But when I’m not at the computer working on the book, we play a lot of music in my house. The playlist changes from book-to-book. About That Night was a very Top 40 book: John Mayer’s “Say” and “Your Body is a Wonderland,” Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” and “Misery,” “Falling For You” by Colbie Caillat, “Come Away With Me” by Norah Jones, “Just a Kiss” by Lady Antebellum, “Somebody Like You” by Keith Urban—and of course, “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy in honor of Kyle, the billionaire-heir hero of the book. : )
TBRG: How did you come up with this series?
JJ: It happened rather organically. When I wrote Something About You (the first book in the FBI/US Attorney series), I assumed it would be a stand-alone novel, like my first two books. But when I was plotting the following book (A Lot Like Love), I decided that the hero would be an FBI agent, just like the hero in Something About You. I figured there was no reason to reinvent the wheel—I’d already created Chicago-based FBI and U.S. Attorney’s offices in Something About You and decided to simply return to that world.
One thing I want to mention: I use the term “series” in the sense that these books are set in a shared world and some characters make appearances in later books. They can, however, easily be standalones. So readers should feel free to jump in wherever they like.
Readers who want to know more about the series should check out the FBI/US Attorney page at my website: http://juliejames.com/books/series/
TBRG: Tell us about the book.
JJ: 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…
TBRG: What do you want us to know about Kyle and Rylann?
JJ: About That Night is a reunion story, of sorts. It’s about missed opportunity and second chances. Kyle and Rylann originally meet when they’re both in grad school, and have an instant connection. But fate intervenes and separates them, and nine years later when they meet again they are in completely different places in their lives: Rylann is federal prosecutor, and Kyle is a famous convicted felon who’s just been released from prison. By all accounts, these are two people who probably shouldn’t get together. But that connection between them still exists, and despite a lot of quips and back-and-forth banter between them, they find that attraction hard to resist that . . .
TBRG: What are you working on now?
JJ: I’m working on the next book in the FBI/US Attorneys series. I haven’t said too much about the book, but here’s a hint: the hero is someone in About That Night. : )
TBRG: I want to thank Julie for coming on today and sharing with us. Tomorrow Mandi from Smexy Books and I will be talking about Julie’s new book About that Night.
***We are giving away a copy of A lot Like Love and About that Night to one commenter. Just comment on one of the three Julie James posts we have this week, this one, the book chat tomorrow or the review of About that Night on Friday. Open to Everyone***