Monday, March 12, 2012

Anna James: Create Characters A Reader Can Connect With

Our guest today is Anna James. Anna was born in Connecticut and moved at age nine to a suburb of Buffalo, NY for eleven years.  She returned to Connecticut after earning an associates degree in Engineering Science and  a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. She will be the first to admit that mechanical engineering is a far cry from writing romance, but her love of romance is reflected in her novels.

Thank you for joining us to talk about writing. What has this journey been like for you?
 The journey has been incredible! I look at my writing career as a new adventure. It’s a far cry from being a Mechanical Engineer. I have learned so much about publishing, editing and marketing since I received my first book contract in December 2009 and I continue to learn more each day.

Could you share a bit about, your newest book, and its characters?
 Three years ago Molly Quin had the prefect boyfriend named, Dan Barrenger. She ends things with Dan after a devastating discovery and hasn’t seen him since. Now after accepting a position at Bassett Engineering she discovers she’ll be working with Dan and he wants her back. He says he’s sorry for the past and that he’s changed. Should Molly believe him? Does it really matter? Enter the incredibly sexy Max McDermott. Molly is instantly attracted to Max and he just might feel the same way about her. Can she risk her heart again and who is the right man for her? 

What inspired you to write romances?
I am inspired to write stories filled with desire, passion and romance because I LOVE reading them.

How do you give your characters the depth and detail necessary for readers to want to cheer them on?
I try to create characters a reader can connect with. My heroines are strong, smart, confident women – survivors not victims. They are passionate about love and life, are persistent and won’t give up when the going gets tough and believe that love triumphs over all odds. My heroes have strength of character; are honest and dependable; have compassion and are reliable and someone who can be admired and has integrity.

Do you have a favorite character in this book?
I love Molly Quin, the heroine. Molly is on a journey of self-discovery. She has to learn how to deal with the unresolved feelings she has for the man who hurt her deeply. Add to that her growing attraction for another man who evokes feelings in her that her ex never did. But the biggest lesson for Molly will be learning how to love and trust again.

Do you have a favorite scene you can share with the readers.
Yes! This scene takes place at the company Christmas party. Molly is about to leave the party in order to avoid a confrontation with Dan. Here’s what happens when she runs into Max on the way out:

            Turning, Molly collided head on with a strong muscular chest.
She jerked back realizing it was Max and something crazy happened inside her. Slowly, as if in some hypnotic trance, her eyes traveled up the well-developed muscles of his chest to those broad shoulders and came to rest on that classically handsome face and she was lost. Her hands, of their own violation, slid up to his shoulders and he immediately closed his arms around her waist. Their eyes locked and they danced together without saying a word.The slow rhythm continued. Molly relaxed and gave herself up to the music.
They stayed locked in each other’s arms for what seemed an eternity, but then the tempo returned to a fast beat and the spell was broken.
Molly came crashing back to earth with a thud. What the hell am I doing? “I’m so sor─sorry,” she stammered. “I don’t know why I did that.”

Which is more important in your stories character or plot?
I believe both are important elements of a good story, but for me, I believe the characters and the way they relate to each other are the most important.

Do you outline before you write?
No, not usually. I get an initial idea for a story and then an idea of how I want it to end but what happens in between really depends on how the characters develop along the way. 

What do you find most rewarding about your writing career? Most disappointing?
If you could give writers one small piece of advice, what would it be?
Most rewarding:
Creating compelling stories with characters that linger long after the reader has finished reading their story.

Most disappointing:
I don’t have any.

My advice:
Believe in yourself and your work and never give up. The road to publication is littered with rejection letters (or emails as the case may be). If you get a rejection letter then find another publisher.

What’s next for you?
More wiring. I am working on my next novel, currently entitled A Second Chance at Love. I hope to have it finished in the spring.

Finally, where can we buy your books and find you on the web?
My books are available from the publishers (Melange Books and Sugar and Spice Press You can also find them on my website with purchase links ( They are also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Follow me on twitter @authorannajames and facebook 
For basic info my website:
 My blog: is attached to my website.
 Thank you for visiting our blog.If you have a question or want to leave Anna a comment scroll on down to comments. 


Ladson said...

Hello Anna:
Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I'm guessing romance can be harder than one thinks.

Thorne said...

How do you sustain sexual tension between your characters for an entire book without having them hopping into bed every few pages. So many books today have one sex scene after the other and it takes away from the story after a while.

Ruby Johnson said...

Thank you for sharing your journey with us. What would you say is the hardest thing about writing romances.

George said...

Your take on having an ending in the back of your head, "but what happens in between really depends on how the characters develop along the way" is a hugely good tip. Thank you, and thank you for coming to the blog.

Jeff Turner said...

Characters must have something the reader can relate to either with their own experiences or their beliefs. This is true in both fiction and non-fiction.

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