| Laura James's
|Enchanted In Romance Interviews
M: Welcome to Enchanted in Romance, Ms. James. What is new with you?
L: I have been hard at work on the sequel to Secret Illusions.
M: I love the cover for Secret Illusions, who created it for you and what motivated you to have it as a castle.
L: My publisher actually came up with the picture. The moment I saw it, I knew it was perfect. It described my story perfectly. Though I never saw my story taking place anywhere but a castle, it wasn’t until doing research that I found England possessed the red sandstone used to create the castle I described. Built with that material, a building would have taken on a pink hue, which I thought would give it a distinctly feminine and fairytale appearance. As a place where fantasies take place, it was an appropriate description for my castle.
M: Aristocrats and commoners, what is your in take in that genre of the regency area?
L: Most of the aristocrats in that era concentrated on pleasure seeking and self-indulgence. Working to keep food on the table, commoners could not afford such a luxury.
M: Of all the eras which one is your favorite?
L: I think The Elizabethan Era was a grand era for the history of England. However, I think the Regency Era appeals most to me.
M: Which one would you do a story from and why?
L: Each and every era has something interesting and appealing. When a story takes shape in my mind, my characters have basic attributes. I fit the time frame as close to my storyline as possible. At this point, the two books I have already written fit into the Georgian Era.
M: Lord James Armstrong seems a tough man but with the right woman he is mellow. What is his story in Secret Illusions?
L: Raised with both morals and values, he is not your average aristocrat. He has decided he will settle for nothing less than a marriage as happy as his parent’s. If his mind or body is not kept busy, he becomes bored easily. Impatient with incompetence his only flaw is the temper he developed because of it. After a brief military stint, he forms a mutually beneficial alliance with a government agent. He uses his rank to enter places his accomplice would not be allowed and tracks down the information necessary for apprehending the guilty party. His money, his title, and his looks, attract every available female for miles around. Still, no one had caused his heart to become involved. For that simple reason, when he met Gabrielle, he knew with a certainty that she was the one for him.
M: Can you tell us about Secret Illusion?
L: Gabrielle Cartwright has a loving sheltered childhood and her single father dotes on her. Unfortunately after her father is lost at sea, Gabrielle’s Aunt take over. It is her Aunt’s idea to force her into marriage to a hideous old man. Unable to bare the thought of giving Viscount Herrington her body she flees from home. She comes across a fairytale castle, yet is unaware that it is a house of ill repute. She is taken in and nurtured by the occupants. Gabrielle meets Kathleen and they become fast friends. Although Gabrielle is not one of the “working girls” she does have free reign of the castle. One night as Kathleen and Gabrielle are roaming the halls in search of a bit of mischief, Gabrielle runs into the man of her dreams. A separate occasion garnishes Gabrielle her first kiss and seals her fate. Later, she is devastated to find him holding Kathleen in his arms. When Kathleen announces that she is leaving with the handsome stranger to get married, Gabrielle believes the man she desired must have been Kathleen’s beau, Kevin. When in fact, the man is James, a friend of Kevin’s and merely there to escort Kathleen to Scotland. Though she is upset that she cannot have him for herself, Gabrielle would never deny her friend happiness and steps aside without conflict. The opportunity presents itself for Gabrielle to return home and search for information among her father’s papers, so she takes it. Eager to avoid the wedding business and leave her unhappiness behind, she boards a ship to travel home. However, Gabrielle is unaware that James and Kathleen have boarded the same ship. From this point on a comedy of mistaken identities erupts. Gabrielle is constantly attracted to James, but she would never dream of hurting Kathleen. James and Kathleen cannot understand Gabrielle’s reluctance. Through a series of adventures, James shows us his determination to convince Gabrielle to succumb to her desires.
M: What motivated you to write this story?
L: I have a drawer full of stories and ideas, created over the years. The motivation was time, when I finally had some I sat down and began to write. Like most mothers, my goals and dreams sat on the back burner simmering until the opportunity arose when I could just focus on me.
M: What is a day in the writing life of Laura James like since you work with children and a husband around your home?
L: Because my children are older now and we all have odd schedules, each day is different. Weekends afford me the luxury of sleeping later but writing longer. After a long day at work, I only get in an hour or so.
M: What is the toughest part in your opinion when you start a book?
L: I don’t find it tough to start; I simply sit down and write what comes to me that day. Later I rework the scene, accent the phrases, or add descriptions.
M: Do you plot first or just start writing?
L: A vague plot is churning about in my mind, but I just start writing.
M: If you got the chance to visit any historical person who would it be and why?
L: Queen Elizabeth. Her power and individual style was legend. England prospered during her reign and she initiated power for women long before women’s rights were thought of. However, I wonder…with all that time secluded away with Dudley, did she really remain a virgin queen? Also, did she play a part in the death of Mary Queen of Scots?
M: What books are up ahead for Laura James and tell us about them?
L: Heir to Hollywell is finished; it’s the sequel to Secret Illusions. I have already begun Helena’s story, but that is still a rough draft.
M: Do you look through your work then turn it in to the editor or try editing first?
L: I try to turn in a decent draft to my editor, however I always have mistakes and have to polish the story.
M: Where can readers find out which books are coming next or how can they keep up-to-date with you?
L: At my web site: authorlaurajames.net
M: Is there anything you would like to add before we conclude?
L: I am happy to say that I have achieved a personal satisfaction by being the kind of wife and mother I thought I should be. I aspired to be a writer for a very long time, but life has a way of interfering. It is a different kind of gratification to pursue and obtain a goal for yourself. It was a huge personal achievement and I am very appreciative. I hope others take the time to fulfill their own dreams and strive to reach their own personal goals.
Thank you so much for this opportunity to share my opinions.
M: Laura – thank you for visiting with us today. Good luck with your future endeavors.