Monday, September 8, 2014

Jean James and Mary James, Sea Red, Sea Blue

AUTHOR: Jean James & Mary James
BOOK TITLE: Sea Red, Sea Blue
GENRE: Mystery/suspense
PUBLISHER: April 25, 2014

Please tell us about yourself.
We are co-authors of 4 published books, the newest being the mystery novel, Sea Red, Sea Blue, published by Pelican Book Group, Harbourlight Imprint.

Our underwater video/trailer for the book:

Jean James: Before becoming a full-time writer, I was active in many outdoor pursuits. I collected live mammals and reptiles for international distribution, collected live venomous snakes for antivenom production, and was involved in sundry wilderness construction projects. I also worked as a press agent, a songwriter, and was the captain of a small, leaky cabin cruiser. I am the mother of six children, the youngest, Mary James, being my co-author on this book.

Mary James: I’ve worked in the music industry all my life. I could read music before I could read words and co-wrote original songs at age five. By age seven, I played the guitar, banjo, and violin, and was performing across the US both vocally and instrumentally. I now play eleven instruments, and my life has become one long road show interspersed with writing, TV, radio, and film work. I have co-authored four books, wrote a banjo tablature book of original songs, and host a Nashville TV show, Mean Mary’s Never Ending Street (Mean Mary has been my music performing name since I was five). I have just returned from a UK/Netherlands tour and am now touring the US with my music and our books.

Please tell us your latest news.
Our novel (Wherefore Art Thou, Jane? – book 1, Pate & Faircloth series) won first place in the Readers Favorite International Awards – mystery division. We drove to Miami for their very gala celebration where they presented us with gold medals. It was loads of fun!
Our video/trailer for that novel:

Mary’s original banjo song, Iron Horse, was nominated for an IMA award.
Our music video for Iron Horse:

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
Jean James: I’m a full time writer, but I am also Mary’s videographer for her music tours, music videos, and for her Nashville TV show. Often my writing involves writing new songs and video scenes as well as writing books, and often my writing has to go with me on the road since I generally tour with Mary.

Mary James: I have to divide my time between the music and book writing. I have been touring since I was 5 years old, so it has become a way of life. I’m on the road more than I am at home. Often my mom (Jean James) and I work out song lyrics and book plots while driving to music events.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?
We have two wonderful publishers–4RV Publishing and Pelican Book Group. We connected with them through our equally wonderful and hard-working agent, Terry Burns.

What are your current projects?
At present we are working on a music-themed, novel trilogy. This will also be a mystery. Book one is complete.                 

What do you plan for the future?
When the music-themed novel trilogy is complete, we will write book 3 of the Pate & Faircloth series (Jane, What Hast Thou Done?), a sequel to Sparrow Alone on the Housetop, a sequel to Hell Is Naked, and a sequel to Sea Red, Sea Blue.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?

What genre do you write in and why?
We always write mystery/adventure (sub-genres in all our books would be suspense and romance).

Tell us about the current book you’re promoting.
Sea Red, Sea Blue is a Florida mystery. It was easy to write since we know the area well and have been involved in boating and swimming. The Gulf of Mexico is our favorite body of water.

What gave you the idea for this particular book?
Although we have four published books, this was actually the first book we ever wrote. We love everything about Florida and the Gulf. We wanted to capture the romance of moving from a cold, snowy northern location to warm, sunny, south Florida. We know so many people who have experienced that firsthand.

Do you outline before you write?  If not, what’s your initial process?
We generally have complex plots with a lot of action. We find it necessary to outline and also to have detailed notes about each character and a long list of possible scenes. We will sometimes end up with over one hundred type-written pages of notes and research before we start a book.

What are your current books out right now, and what are the books coming up for release?
We have three published novels:
Sparrow Alone on the Housetop
Wherefore Art Thou, Jane? (Book 1, Pate & Faircloth series)
Sea Red, Sea Blue
One published non-fiction book:
                  God Knew There Would Be a Today
Mary’s published banjo tablature book of original songs:
                  The Sparrow and the Hawk

In the next year we have two novels coming out:
                  Hell Is Naked
                  Methinks I See Thee, Jane (Book 2, Pate & Faircloth series)

What advice would you give a new writer starting out?
Write! Don’t think about how many books are out there or how many people are trying to become famous writers. You are you, and nobody will write the same as you. If you have stories to tell, tell them your way. Listen to advice, but listen to your heart and your own good judgment too.

What do you do when you’re not writing?
We live, which is the most important research work any author can do. Every incident of every day becomes part of a new book or a new song. It doesn’t matter if we’re taking care of our households, working on a music tour, horseback riding, filming a new video, or building a new barn, every minute is important because that is what builds stories.  So technically, we are always writing.

What, if anything, bugs you when you read a novel?
If we come across something that’s not realistic, it’s difficult read further. When we write, we either know firsthand if some action is possible or we test it. If our hero climbs up the corner of a building, one of us attempts it to see how feasible it is. We have both read some ludicrous incidents in books where the author needed to do more research or indulge in some personal testing.


When KATHERINE GALE steps onto the white-sand beach, all her pent up longings say it is time to live boldly—to love boldly. Love sings in her heart when she walks the lonely beach. It draws her to the Miss Iris, an old fishing boat she is destined to own. It stabs deep when diver, LEE THORPE, walks into her life. It all feels so terribly right—but something feels terribly wrong. When the peril she had left behind in Chicago invades her new life, and the Miss Iris reveals secrets from a mysterious past, paradise shows its thorny side. A night of terror sends Katherine on the only course she can take, but the blue waters run red while Lee searches for Katherine’s path in the sea.


  1. Wow! Busy ladies!

    Sounds like a good read!

  2. Busy ladies is right! Thanks for sharing your journeys with us. I love reading how other authors work.