Wednesday, November 09, 2011
REV UP WEDNESDAYS - A weekly booster shot for inspiration... Catching up with MADDIE JAMES and MIA JAE and MADELEINE JAMES :-)
I'm happy to introduce today's REV UP WEDNESDAY guest, multi-published, multi-genre author, Maddie James. Maddie reminds me of a blog I once wrote where I discussed the value of pseudonyms. Maddie in fact has 3 of them and has only recently "come out of the closet" to admit that all are the product of her fertile imagination. So now we know that Maddie has these fun "alter egos" - or "multiple personalities" as she likes to call them - that she loves to play with...
As Maddie James, she writes romance fiction that runs the gamut - romantic suspense, time-travel, contemporary, paranormal, you name it. Her heroes can be pirates, cowboys, businessmen, werewolves, or simply the classic, sexy alpha hero.
As Mia Jae, Maddie channels her "naughtier" side to write steamy erotic romance and erotica.
Finally, as Madeleine James, she indulges her fancy of penning women-centered, mainstream fiction.
In all cases, she never compromises on her Happily Ever Afters.
Here's more about Maddie...
How long have you been writing?
Writing for a long, long time... I've been published as a romance novelist since 1997.
When did you decide that you wanted to write for a living (that "aha" moment)?
That has always been the goal, and still remains the goal. I have had, and still do have, other jobs in my life that are important to me, but writing will always be first.
What did your family say when you told them you wanted to be a writer?
I don't think I ever just said, "I want to be a writer" to them. For the longest time now, it's just been who I am and they know it.
What is your preferred genre both for reading and writing?
I write in a lot of different subgenres of romance-- paranormal, contemporary, time-travel, suspense-- and when I read, I generally pick the same genres. I also read and write erotic fiction, too.
Did you start by writing full time or did you have a day job?
I think it is the rare person who can start off writing full time. A lot of things have to come together to make this happen. As I said before, I have always worked. I have take a year off here and there to spend concentrated time on my writing, but usually I've done consulting or other work to supplement while I was doing that. I still have a fulltime job today.
Did you take any writing courses or did you just sit and write a book?
I first wrote a book. It was terrible. Then I found RWA and joined chapters, took workshops, a few night classes, etc... mostly taught myself by working with others, reading, and learning as I continued to write.
Did/do you have a crit group or mentor to guide you?
Yes to all, I think, over the years. I've been at this since about 1986, so through the years there have been influential people. Author Janet Eaves was my crit partner for years and years. Later on, we hooked up with Jan Scarbrough and Magdalena Scott. The four of us still have a small crit group, although I think it's safe to say we really do not critique each other's work any more. We might brainstorm, bounce questions off each other, or commiserate the industry, but not a lot of critique. These ladies have been both my support and mentors, of sorts, throughout my career. There have been a few other authors over the years who have offered sound advice to me over the years and I respect them greatly-- Elizabeth Bevarly, Theresa Medeiros, and Patricia Rice. (thank you!)
Do you use a/several pseudonym(s) and if so, why did you choose to have one/them?
I do. You can see them all at www.maddiejames.net. I used to keep them all private and recently just came out with them all. I had varying reasons for having the pen names and many of those really don't exist any more. Today, they exist to define the different writing that I do -- romance, erotica, and mainstream fiction.
How long did it take you to make your first sale? What was your first thought when you did?
It took 10 years of solid writing and working at it to sell, and I was dumbfounded. I thought it might never happen. But I was elated and felt validated at the same time.
Did you sell the first story or novel you wrote?
Yes. But, it was not the first one I sold. I sold it about 10 years after I wrote it and after I had published 7 other novels. (and after a huge round of revisions)
How many drafts did you write of your first novel before you felt you got it right? What about now - do you still write several drafts of a story?
I honestly don't know how many drafts with the first one. It was so long ago! Today, generally, I write one draft. It will need edits and revisions, but it's one draft and we move forward.
Do you read industry or writing related blogs? If so, can you share some useful links?
I really do not read many blogs any more. My time is very limited. Sorry!
Did you get an agent first or did you submit directly to publishers?
I have never had an agent. There was a time I thought I wanted an agent--and I pursued agents in the late 90's when I first started publishing. Today, it doesn't cross my mind anymore. I'm fine handling my career on my own right now.
Did you ever get rejected? If so, how did you handle it?
Plenty of rejections from editors. You take the advice, and get back to work. You can't let it get you down.
What advice do you think aspiring authors should heed today?
Keep writing, keep learning. If you want it to be your job, make it your job. Be the best you can be.
What are you working on now?
I'm finishing up book 4 of The Legend of Blackbeard's Chalice time travel series -- Wanderlust.
Do you have a ritual that you follow when it comes to writing?
Nope, no ritual. Just write.
Where do you see yourself, careerwise, in 5 years time?
Close to retirement from the day job and writing/publishing full time. This is the plan.
Name something you like to do when you’re not writing – a hobby, maybe…
Um. there is no hobby. not at the moment. I work a full time job, run a small business, and also write. What is free time!? :)
What's your website URL?
Are you on Facebook?
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Maddie-James-Romance-Novelist/109171598571?sk=wall and https://www.facebook.com/maddiejames1
How do you connect with readers?
Most though social media -- facebook, twitter, goodreads, myspace, blogs and the like.
Romance novelist Maddie James bounces between contemporary, historical, and paranormal worlds, as she pens stories within, and frequently crossing, a variety of romantic genres. With 30+ titles in print, under three pen names, she feels fortunate to spend her days working with some of the quirkiest characters around—those in her head, and in her life. She lives with her muses, who most days manifest themselves as four-legged furry creatures. She often laments that her cats have become her children, and she has become her mother. Such is life. And life, such fodder for books. Que sera, sera.
Learn more about her books at www.maddiejames.net
I have an upcoming series. It is called the Dead Guys Still Want It series... you can find out more about it here... http://www.maddiejames.net/p/paranormal.html
I also have books 4 and 5 of the Legend of Blackbeard's Chalice time travel series coming up in the next few months. More about that here: http://www.maddiejames.net/p/time-travel.html
~ Angela ~
No Rules. No Formulas. Just Love. "Mile High to Heaven" and "Mr. & Mrs. Foster" available at Whiskey Creek Press Torrid.