Friday, 22 March 2013

Romancing with Babette James

This week I'm hosting Babette on my weekly feature and as always I'm asking what draws you as a reader to the romance genre?

I love romance for the happy ending and the twists and turns and traumas it takes to get there. I fully admit to being a sucker for "and they all lived happily ever after."
What is the most difficult part of writing a love story?

Avoiding giving the hero and heroine their happy ending too soon can be particularly hard. Writing a romance often seems to be the exact opposite of the conflict resolution we aim for in real life. Hero and heroine have a problem? Make it worse, really worse. They want to talk? Interrupt them. Have great chemistry? Make it impossible to be together. One character has the answer? Make the other too stubborn or afraid to listen or act. On and on, we really are quite cruel to them. lol

Very true, the trick in creating a great story is to write situations that have the reader biting their nails. 
Is creating a book title easy for you? Tell us about the process.

Sometimes the titles come easy, sometimes they're not so easy. I like titles that are inspired by something in the story. I always need a working title first, and then I'll try on others for fit as I go along. Clear As Day came from a line of dialogue in the story after several previous working titles. My current wip's title, Summertime Dream (which is still subject to change), was inspired by the hero's and heroine's hopes and worries. The books are both part of a series, so I am also trying to give the titles a semi-summery feeling.

Do your characters love the direction you take for them or do they have other ideas? 

We get along well, for the most part. They have their stubborn streak and we often take some interesting plot trips along the way. I'm accustomed to characters piping up and persistently demanding their story to be told, but, since I am a pantser, it's all for the good. I believe I end up with a better story for being flexible and following where the characters lead me, rather than stick with my original path.

Any tips for writers that you'd love to share?

My favorite tip is "Just write." Pour that story out and let your characters talk.

That's advice we hear from writers often and it's true. Write, write,write and then edit. 

Tell us about your next book.

I'm about to submit Summertime Dream to The Wild Rose Press, so fingers crossed! It’s the story of Margie and Christopher, who appeared in Clear As Day, and how they met. The Fourth of July is over, but for these summer lovers the fireworks have just begun. Their story is a perfect example of how following the characters’ ideas definitely can provide some surprises. I began writing their story last August, fully intending it to be a sweet little short story exercise and a fun mental break from working on the sequel to Clear As Day. Then I made the mistake of asking my characters what happened next. Oh, boy, they started talking, and a few months and 80k or so words later I have a new novel. I’m nearly finished with my other wip, Love Burns, as well, so fingers crossed for that one also to follow soon in submission.

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.


“Kay!” That male voice was not her imagination.

“Oh, shit!” She twisted and dropped into the water, sinking neck-deep.

Mother always said, among other things, that a lady never goes skinny-dipping and must always wear a proper hat. Kay was only half skinny-dipping, but she fervently wished she’d worn something a bit more substantial than a baseball cap and the bottom half of the quintessential teeny-weenie yellow polka-dot bikini.

Shit, oh, shit, oh, shit. She so hated when Mother was right.

Okay, time to find out who’d just gotten an eyeful. The guy had called her name, so she should know him. Oh boy, if she’d flashed old George…

She wiped water from her face, sucked in a breath against her pounding heart, and peeked around.


She must be sun-dazed. Nate? With a beard? Hair curling over his ears? No way.

Just because a familiar slouchy fishing hat topped those unruly, sun-bleached blond curls and just because this guy possessed the same deep-water tan and footloose taste in clothes as Nate with his electric blue Hawaiian shirt, bright orange swim trunks, and beat-up deck shoes didn’t mean—

“Hey, babe. Now that I’ve finally caught your attention, how about a hug from my girl?” He opened his arms. “Am I coming in after you or are you coming out?” Only Nate’s voice held that mellow timbre like chocolate for her ears.

“Nate! What…” Giddy delight flushed over Kay, clearing her shock. She dashed from the water and into strong arms, a wonderful hug, and a better kiss that launched her mind into a blissed-out whirl of oh, yes and why?

The oh, yes won out until the need to breathe forced them apart.

Nate gave her a long look, his usually easy gray eyes holding a new, simmering heat.

Wow. Whoa.

Thanks for stopping in today, Babette, and best of luck with those upcoming projects.

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.

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  1. Hi Christine! I'm delighted to visit here with you today. :)

  2. Babette, congrats on finishing another book and good luck with the submission. As I said when we met at RT, the fact you can keep writing and holding your own as a teacher, amazes me. I admire your pluck. If I had started writing while I was teaching, I'd have scores of books out there by now. Mush on, friend! Rolynn

  3. Great interview ladies. Love the blurb for Clear as Day. Definitely adding this book to my TBR list!

  4. Boy do I hear you about titles. My first one was right there and provided the focus for my entire story. The second one on my WIP is a compromise with my editor. Best of luck to you with your next book.

  5. Hi, Rolynn, thanks! It does keep me busy. lol

    Thanks, Lilly, hope you enjoy the story!

    Hi, Robin, thanks! Wouldn't it be nice if they were all easy? :D