Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Friend - Anna James

Please welcome Anna James. The second book in her Bradford Sisters trilogy has just been published by Sugar and Spice Press. Shattered Dreams is a contemporary novella about a newly wed, and newly pregnant, couple.

I posed the following questions to Anna, and here are her responses.

1. What sort of schedule do you follow for writing? I try to dedicate at least 30 minutes to 1 hour per day to promoting my books and at least two hours to writing.

2. What tends to get in the way and how do you overcome it? My job gets in the way, family obligations, life in general. The way I look at it is there will always be something that takes away from the time when I could be writing so I do my best to write as often as I can. If I miss a day I don’t beat myself up about it but I do try to write for a longer period of time the next day.

3. Did you plot or pantser your new release? Usually I am a pastser when it comes to writing. I don’t write sequential scenes and I let my characters dictate where I go with the story. In the case of Shattered Dreams – Book 2 Bradford Sisters Trilogy, I actually did some plotting.

4. Did you use any maps or sheets? Why or why not? I used a story outline. I’m not sure why I deviated from my norm. I just found it easier to write this story with an outline versus not having one.

5. Did you slip a real, personal experience into your new release? Not in this particular case although I have used personal experiences in past books.

6. Can you tell us what that was and how you changed it? In my book Isabella’s Dilemma, the hero and heroine, Jake McAllistar and Isabella Sheridan, go to San Francisco for a business trip. While they are there they go site-seeing. They see all the places I saw when I went with my family to San Francisco. I even use an incident that took place on my trip in the book. In another story, To Love and Trust Again (Melange Book Available January 2012 the heroine lives in Buffalo, NY which is where I grew up.

7. Do you have a favorite food or drink while you write, or as a reward for so many completed pages? My favorite sweet is chocolate and sometimes I reward myself with some if I get really inspired and get a lot of writing done.

8. How do you approach editing and revising? I usually incorporate the changes the editor requests. In my experience the changes they request usually make the story better.

9. Do you have critique partners or beta readers? I use my mother as a beta reader and a friend as well. My mother loves romance novels and writes as well so she is a good judge from that perspective. My friend is not into romance novels so if I engage her I believe I’m on the right path.

10. How long between submission to your publisher and acceptance? That can vary from publisher to publisher. I had one story (a short) that was accepted within 24 hours of being submitted and another (a short novel) that took over twelve weeks to be accepted. The novel took longer because the publisher wanted only the first three chapters with the initial submittal. I had to wait and see if they would request more. Luckily they did. But multiple submittals take time. Other things that can influence the amount of time it takes to hear from a publisher include the number of submissions they are currently reviewing. If a publisher is overwhelmed with submissions at the time when you decide to send a story in it usually takes longer for a reply.

11. Please tell our followers something about how they worked with you. Different publishers have different levels of involvement with the author. I have been fortunate in that my experiences with the two publishers I have worked with to date have been very positive. In each case the editors assigned to my stories worked with me to make my stories better – they were more polished. I also worked with the various cover artists to create covers for my books.

12. If you could spend an afternoon with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you do together? Sigmund Freud. I would love to pick his brain on male / female relationships.

Book Excerpt:
Reed walked into the house and found Natalie asleep on the couch. She is so beautiful; he thought and leaned down to lightly brush a strand of hair away from her face. It was pale. That meant she’d been sick again. He bent over and gave her a soft kiss on the cheek. Her eyes fluttered open, and she smiled. “Hi, sweetheart. I didn’t mean to wake you.”
Natalie stretched and sat up. “What time is it?”
Reed glanced at his watch.
“It’s a little after five.”
“Oh no, we’re supposed to be at the house for the barbecue in less than an hour. Why didn’t you wake me?” she asked and stood up. “Oh, God.” She groaned and swayed then dropped back down.
“Honey, are you okay?”
“Yes. I’m just a little dizzy.”
“Don’t move. I’m going to call Max and tell him we’ll have to reschedule,” he said as he pulled his cell phone from its holder.
Natalie put her hand on his arm. “No, don’t do that. I’ll be fine in just a minute. I just stood up too fast, that’s all.”
“Nat, I’m worried about you.”
She smiled wearily. “I’m fine. Maybe if I eat a little something I’ll feel better. Can you get me some saltine crackers, please?”
“Are you feeling nauseous?”
“No, but I didn’t eat anything for lunch—”
“I thought you were meeting your sisters?”
“I did but they ordered fish and I got one whiff of it and had to run for the bathroom.”
“Were they surprised why you told them you were pregnant?” Reed asked and smiled.
“I didn’t tell them.”
He frowned. “Didn’t they wonder why you were suddenly sick?”
“I didn’t give them the opportunity to ask.”
“I thought you would have told them.”
“Why? You know I don’t want to tell anyone right now.”
Reed dragged his fingers through his hair and sighed. “I told Max this afternoon.”
“Damn it, Reed. We agreed to wait.”
“I know, I know but I really thought you’d say something and… Oh, Nat please don’t cry.”
“I can’t help it. I didn’t want to say anything. Not yet and we agreed. Why did you tell him? You know he’ll say something to Nicole and… Oh God,” she sobbed even
harder then turned and ran from the room.

Author Bio:
Hello, I, Anna James, am a romance novel junkie! In addition to reading romance novels, and I have read well over 1000 in my adult life, I love to write them. Specifically, I love to write stories that allow you take a break from everyday life and get lost in a world filled passion, drama and, of course, romance!

My first story was published in July 2010 and I five more published since that date.

Current titles available include:
from Sugar and Spice Press
Isabella's Dilemma
Guilty As Charged - Bradford Sisters #1
Shattered Dreams - Bradford Sisters Trilogy #2 Visions, a paranormal romance

from Melange-Books
Coming Home Christmas Collectibles - A Picture Perfect Christmas (anthology)
Coming January 2012 To Love and Trust Again

To read more about Anna, visit her website:
or Facebook:

Thanks for being here today, Anna.


  1. Morning Everyone,

    Happy day after Thanksgiving! I hope it was a good day for everyone. I want to thank Ana for having me on the blog today and I look forward to hearing from everyone out there.

    Shattered Dreams will be available from Sugar and Spice Press tomorrow, November 26th.

    Happy Reading,

    Anna James

  2. Hi Anna, thanks for being with us today. It's interesting that although you're usually a pantser, you've changed to writing from an ouline. Did you find it very different i.e. not letting your characters run with their story?

  3. Hi Anna,

    So glad you could join us here at Heroines with Hearts today. Sorry I'm so late popping in...we've been busy doing our day-after-Thanksgiving-Christmas-decorating.

    I envy your dedication to the time you allot for writing. It seems like 'real' life is so busy all the time, I only sneak in snatches of writing once in a while. Which of course makes it feel like a book (even a novella) takes forever to write.

    Congrats and good luck with your new release!

  4. Hi Paula,

    I was a little different using an outline rather than just going with the flow although I have to admit I did let the characters wander just a touch!

    Thnaks for stopping by.


  5. Hi Debra,

    Thanks so much for stopping by.


  6. Thanks for being here yesterday, Anna. We're all so busy during holiday weekends, and I really appreciate you sharing your time and expertise. Best wishes for wonderful sales.

  7. Glad to hear you let your characters wander, Anna - it's much more fun when you let them do that, isn;t it? Often I find they know themselves better than I know them!