Friday, February 7, 2014

Addison James, The Best Bad Valentine's Day, plus #giveaway

GIVEAWAY:  Addison will give away a pdf copy of her book. Winner will be randomly choosen from comments on the blog, so be sure to leave contact information.

Please tell us your latest news.
Hi, Penny! Thanks for interviewing me. I have some big news. My Christmas release, THE BEST BAD CHRISTMAS GIFT, just placed 5th in the Predators & Editors reader’s poll in the romantic short story category. I’m just thrilled.

The other news is that the third book in my BEST BAD series, THE BEST BAD VALENTINE’S DAY, is publishing on 2/7 through Muse It Up publishing.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
I’m a part-time writer. My full-time job is in the high tech industry with lots of left brain analysis. Writing is my creative release. However, I’m dreadful about organizing my time, which is why I write short stories and have not finished the several novels I have started. I used to be good about organizing time by waking at 4:30 a.m. and writing until 5:45 a.m. every morning until the kids woke up. Now if I’m up early, I’m meditating or exercising or trying to get a head start on my long to do list. It’s hard to fit in writing. I’m still trying to figure out what works best.

When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing again about four years ago, but my mother reminded me that I was also writing as a child. I started writing again a few years ago when I did NanoWrimo and wrote the first draft of a novel. I’m still editing that one, a women’s fiction novel, , then started a couple other ones. Then I got sick of editing and ended up writing short stories which I’ve published through Muse It Up and Books to Go Now.

What inspired you to write your first book?
My first story in the BEST BAD series, THE BEST BAD DATE, actually started as a fanfiction actually featuring Carlisle and Esme from Twilight. I liked those characters because they were just such good people, and their backstories so interesting, especially Esme’s. I also like to see how people react in difficult situations. That’s the heart of the BEST BAD series: bad stuff happens and how do they react?

What are your thoughts about promotion?
It’s so hard! I just want to write the book, not promote it, too! It’s just such a different skill set than writing. Writing is such a personal, internal process. Promotion is 180 degrees from that. See me! Buy me! Look at me!  But I know it’s critical, otherwise no one would know that my books exist, and I want people to read them, but I’m a natural introvert, like most writers. Promotion is hard.

Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it?
I had writer’s block for two years that I just got out of last summer. I was editing a women’s fiction novel for nearly two years that was about a woman going through a divorce. I started it when I was married, and by the time I was editing it, my personal life was more chaotic than my novel. I couldn’t work on the novel because it just reminded me of my personal travails, and I didn’t want to go back to that dark place. I eventually went back to writing short romantic comedies. I’m in a happy place when I write them, and where my life is now is a happy place. New job, new house, new man. I want to leave the past in the past.

What are your current projects? Currently I’ll be promoting my Valentine’s Day book, THE BEST BAD VALENTINE’S DAY, which released on Feb 7th. Then I think I’ll take a break, unless inspiration hits me. I’m taking a writing class from Donald Maass next month; very excited.  I have a new adult novel I’ve written the rough draft but I think I started in the wrong place, so it needs lots of work but I like the concept. It’s based on my junior year abroad in Scotland in 1980s. “Historical” someone called it and I felt very old!

What do you plan for the future? In the future I’d like to publish novels.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.? Web:
Twitter: @addisonj_writer

What genre do you write in and why? I write romantic comedy short stories. Why romantic comedy? I have started several women’s fiction novels, but they were getting too intense. I wanted to write light-hearted but intelligent stories with the happy ever after.

Tell us about the current book you’re promoting.THE BEST BAD VALENTINE’S DAY is part of the BEST BAD series. It follows the romance and relationship of Dr Roger Lane and Susan Wells, two very lovely thirtysomethings who are quite in love, but have dreadful luck! The first of the series was a very bad date, the second was a very bad Christmas gift, the third is a very bad Valentine’s Day. In this book, Susan breaks her tailbone in flagrante, and deals with the repercussions.

What gave you the idea for this particular book? Well, I did not break my tailbone in flagrante, but I did fall and injure it and it’s incredibly painful. After about a month, I realized it was actually pretty funny situation and thought of how I could incorporate it in a story. So I did. The idea of having sex on a table was really unappealing however, to say the least! That is absolutely not based on personal experience! But I wanted her to break her tailbone and him to land on top of her, so he’d feel responsible, and they would have to deal with those emotions. Breaking a tailbone while having sex on a table seemed a memorable way to do it!

Did your book require a lot of research? If so, what kind? Not a lot of research. I experienced the same symptoms (not the same cause!) as the main character. However, I did contact a friend who’s a doctor and asked about the procedure to verify that my experience was similar to someone else’s. In that research, a key plot point came up which is critical to the story. That’s something I love about writing. I have an idea and general outline, but then I start writing and can end up with something unexpected and better.

Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you?  Why or why not? Yes, actually. I have teens so I don’t want to write anything I don’t want them to read.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? Finding the time! I have a full-time day job, kids, and do some volunteer work.

How long does it take to write a book, and what is your process? I write short stories, so I can write a story in a month. I’m working on a couple novels and those have taken years. I decided to go back to short stories since it’s much quicker.

What are your current books out right now, and what are the books coming up for release? I have three books in the BEST BAD series: THE BEST BAD CHRISTMAS GIFT and THE BEST BAD DATE are out now, THE BEST BAD VALENTINE’S DAY was published on Feb 7th. I also wrote a couple other romantic comedy shorts called POP-TARTS AND TEXTING and CHRISTMAS GLOVES.

What advice would you give a new writer starting out? Read.Find authors you love and figure out how they do it. Learn. Read Stephen King’s book about writing. Take classes. Learn from other writers. The writers I have met are very supportive and share each other’s success. It’s a wonderful group to be a part of! (yes, poor grammar, sorry!)

What, if anything, bugs you when you read a novel? Oh, there’s a couple of things. First of all, if I feel  reading it is a waste of my time. The older I get, it seems I have less and less time, or time just moves so quickly, so it’s more precious than gold to me right now. If I’m spending time reading a book, I want it to be worth my time. It’s like calories: If I have to spend an hour at the gym, I want it because I had some amazing gelato last night and not because I stress ate some crappy fast food. Reading is like that. I have so little time, I want it well spent.

The other thing is when characters are not fully developed. Like if a villain is all bad without any depth. I want to know why the villain is bad. How did they get that way? What’s their motivation? I still recall one book about several siblings and their parents. It was quite interesting, everyone was well developed but this one sibing was just..boring. Not that they had a boring life, but there wasn’t any depth to the character. And he was married to a sloppily drawn stereotypical trophy wife. Boring. I’m currently reading a book about a mother and two daughters, and the men are all two dimensional. Boring. They might as well be cardboard cut outs. I want depth.

Describe your writing space. Laptop at dining room table with view of the hills and trees.

What has been your favorite part of being an author? What has been your least favorite? They’re one and the same. Facing that blank page in the beginning of a story. The thrill of creation and the fear of creating bad writing. 

Brief Synopsis:

A fall during the height of passion fractures Susan’s tailbone disrupting romantic Valentine’s Day plans for Susan and Roger.  Can they avoid the gossip in their small Vermont town? Will they have a chance to rekindle the passion? And what mischief does Susan’s best friend, Terri, have in store this time?


  1. Great post. I agree! - Read, read, read and learn. I hope we never stop learning and loving what we're doing!
    How we all seem to hate promoting
    Heather G - The Natasha Saga

    1. Yes, reading helped me out of a writer's block I had for over a year. I couldn't write so I just re-read some of my favorite novels but from a writer's perspective. I started to think about how the novel was structured and how it kept the reader engaged, then how to apply it to my own writing.
      And promoting. Ugh. I wish I was a marketing guru!

  2. Sounds interesting. The whole Best Bad concept is absolute genius. Wish I'd thought of it.

  3. Wish I could write short stories but it's a different craft entirely from novels. Your Valentine story sounds cute!

    1. Cheryl: I had a friend randomly choose a number and yours won! You won a PDF copy of my book. Please send me your email address to addisonj_writer AT yahoo DOT com and I'll send it to you. Congrats!

  4. Nice interview

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com