I am so proud to introduce you to a friend of mine.
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.
Babette writes beautiful sensual romances and her first book releases April 4, 2012. I am so proud for her.
Her book is Clear as Day.
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.
I love these two characters, Nate and Kay and I love their story. Where did the inspiration for the story come from?
When I was young, my family took camping trips every summer to Lake Havasu or Lake Mohave and I loved those scenic desert places. Later, when I was in college, remembering those trips, I wrote a short story as an exercise featuring that setting, and that little story was born that would eventually grow into Clear As Day. I enjoyed exploring how Kay was the one resistant to commitment and how sweet and certain Nate was in his love for her.
Who is your favorite author and how do they influence your writing?
I have many favorite authors, so it’s impossible to choose just one, but among my favorites are: J.R.R. Tolkien, Inez Kelley, Toni Blake, and Eloisa James. I love them all for their story-telling and vivid description.
I just want to know the process involved in getting Clear as Day written and published. Can you give us an idea of what was involved?
Clear As Day began its life as a short story written from Kay’s first person point of view. I never quite found a place for it in its short story form, but it was that story of the heart I loved too much to give up on, and seeing it come to life as a full-length novel has been an awesome experience. In January of 2010, I took the story out once more, thinking to expand it into a small novella for a publisher’s call. The resulting novella, now in Kay’s third person viewpoint, was rejected, but I received the nicest letter from the editor who took the time to tell me what she liked about the story and what she believed would improve the story. I took her comments and ran with them. The biggest change and challenge was adding in Nate’s viewpoint, and once I did that, the story just blossomed into the novel length it is now. I thank our lovely Ratters for all the advice and support they gave to help it become a better story. There were more bumps and rejections in the road to publication, but I kept working to improve the story, kept smoothing and polishing, and I didn’t give up, despite the doubts the rejections caused. I submitted to The Wild Rose Press because of how happy other authors were I knew there and because they published both eBook and print. I really wanted print for my first book. The day I received that email from TWRP saying they wanted Clear As Day was amazing. The Wild Rose Press has been great to work with. I have a gorgeous cover and the whole process from acceptance to galleys went incredibly smoothly. Now, with the 4 ½ star review from Romantic Times and being able to hold my book in my hands, I am so glad I never gave up on my story.
I would love to know how you started writing romances.
I’ve been writing all my life, and romance has played a part in all my stories, even in those childhood days, when I used to act out epic fantasy tales with my dolls (my Barbies had swords and knew how to use them). I’d scribble out bits of those stories in spiral-bound notebooks and on backs of school papers—which, I’m sure, were a horrible mishmash of influences from Star Trek, Edgar Rice Burroughs and J.R.R. Tolkien, with some Phyllis Whitney and Mary Stewart thrown in to make things interesting for the hero and heroine. I discovered Harlequin and Silhouette romances in college, ate those up, and moved on to other romances, but I kept my writing focus on straight fantasy and paranormal, and it wasn’t until 2004 that I wrote my first full draft of romance novel. I fell in love with writing romance and have focused on that ever since.
I an so grateful for you sharing your story and a small l bit of your life with us. I love to hear about your beginnings. Your persistence in getting the story written well is inspiring.
Thank you Babette for spending time with us today. I posted the Amazon link for Clear as Day. Don’t hesitate to check it out. It is an awesome read. So tender and emotional. I loved it. It is just the sort of book I love to read.