Thursday, January 14, 2016

DOUBLE HEADER - Clarice G James - One Free Book

Dear Readers, today we’re visiting with another debut novelist. Be sure and give her a warm welcome.

Bio: Clarice G. James loves to read and write smart, fun, relatable contemporary and historical women’s fiction. After many years of writing and editing for business and ministry, she now enjoys the freedom that writing fiction allows her. Clarice has been a follower of Jesus Christ for over 35 years. She and her husband David live in Southern New Hampshire. Together they have five married children and ten grandchildren. Double Header is her first published novel. It was one of three winners in the 2014 Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest.

Welcome, Clarice. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
In my first book (Party of One, pre-published), my main character was a widow struggling with loneliness and finding purpose in life. Much of this story was based on my life at the time. In my second book, Double Header, the main character has control issues and a critical nature when it comes to the Christian faith. Sorry to say, that was me, too, before I became a believer. In my current novel (in progress), Manhattan Grace, the legalist in me shows up. [Wow. Don’t I have any good qualities?]

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
It was important for one of my female characters to have a signature perfume. However, after researching in major department stores, all I came away with was a headache. So while in the food store one day, I stalked a woman who smelled like I wanted my character to smell. I caught up with her in the parking lot. She was gracious enough to tell me the name of her perfume—but didn’t give me hers.

A lot of perfumes give me headaches, but I like wearing fragrance, so I stay with only those I know won’t cause me pain. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Initially, it was a favorite assignment in high school. Later, when I got a positive reaction from friends and family for the little things I wrote, I decided it was something I could do and enjoy. 

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
The non-fiction books on my shelves include biblical studies, devotionals, Christian living, business and marketing, reference books, and how-to books on writing. As for fiction, I prefer contemporary women’s or historical fiction. I love humor and a thread of romance in my stories. However, I don’t usually go to the romance novel section.

My last three novels, and my next one, are more historical women’s fiction, instead of straight romance, but they are often shelved with the romance novels. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Spending time in God’s Word helps me walk slowly through my days. And if I get a little frantic, my husband helps me understand and accept my limits and not compare myself with others. 

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I look at each character’s age, gender, ethnic background, personality type, and check the meaning of names. It’s important for the character’s name to “sound right” to me. I’ve been guilty of changing a name in the middle of writing the book because it just didn’t seem to fit. If a name sounds interesting to me, I save it in my Names Slush file.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Seriously, I’m proud that my children’s spouses don’t mind me being around and that my grandchildren like me—even the older ones. It makes me think I must have done something to be proud of, but I’m not sure what it is.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Whatever animal is friendly, clumsy, yet harmless. A basset hound sounds about right.

What is your favorite food?
Ice cream, specifically coffee ice cream.

Mine is Blue Bell’s Chocolate Covered Cherries ice cream, but they only make for the holiday season and not every year. I’m in ice cream heaven when they do. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it? 
I found it difficult to apply all the rules in the how-to-write books while I was creating my story. Finally, I just decided to write and see if it worked. Now if something isn’t working, I can tell without reading a book about it. No offense to those who’ve written these books; some of us just learn in a different way. Even if it’s the hard way. J

I like to read writing books to see what I can learn from them, but I don’t read one when I’m writing a novel. I’m another one who learns a different way. Please tell us about the featured book. 
Casey Gallagher credits a carefully crafted game plan for her wins: her solid marriage to Sam; her lucrative marketing career in Boston; and her popular sports column, Double Header, which she writes with her brother, Griffin. When Casey discovers that her late father, the one man she idolized, had an affair which produced a son even he didn't know about, she’s determined to identify this walking threat to her father’s memory before he can do any harm. When Casey attempts to fit the changes that life throws at her into her idealistic plan, she’s challenged by the dialogue running in her head. Is it her conscience or her imagination? Or is it the voice of the God she’s not sure she believes in?

Please give us the first page of the book.
I met my half brother the week I turned thirty. I knew it was him; he was wearing my late father’s boots.

Six months earlier, my younger brother Griffin and I were escaping the cold for four full days of sun and research in Ft. Myers, Florida. With our SUV’s engine running outside Terminal C at Logan International in Boston, my husband Sam jumped out to help Griffin and me with our luggage. “Listen up, Casey—” he started.

“I know, be vigilant.” I took my bag from him. “Wish you were coming with us.”

“To watch you work? No way. Besides, when we go away,” Sam said loud enough for Griffin to hear, “it will be alone.”  

“Cramp your style, do I, Lieutenant Gallagher?” Griffin faked a body check on Sam. “This coming from a guy who spends all his nights with cops and robbers.” 

I pushed on the car’s lift gate to make sure it was latched. “Stop yakking, you two, before we get a ticket.”

The biting winds nipped at my resolve to leave my wool coat behind, but I held fast, thinking back on the heat of southwest Florida. Sam, my cop in shining armor, finished his condensed version of his “hyper-vigilance” speech, kissed me good-bye, and drove away.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Clarice, for sharing this interesting book with us. I know my blog followers will be eager to read it.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Double Header - paperback
Double Header - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

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Just Commonly said...

Great first page! Thanks for sharing with us!
Annie (MD)

Jackie Tessnair said...

Sounds great! Jackie Tessnair NC

Mary Preston said...

An interesting interview thank you. I do wonder how useful the how-to-write books are. It must be a different experience and method for everyone.

Mary P


Jo said...

Sounds great! Would love to read and thanks for the opportunity. I am in Southern Arizona.


Kim Amundsen said...

Nice interview. kamundsen44ATyahooDOTcom. NOrth Platte Nebraska

Abigail Richmond said...

Looks good! Enter me.
Blanch NC

Connie said...

I enjoyed reading the first page. Thank you for sharing.
Connie from KY

Edward Arrington said...

Very interesting! I would love to read this.
Edward A in VA

Brenda Arrington said...

Enjoyed the interview. After reading the first page of your book, I wanted to read more. I'd love to win a copy.
Brenda in VA

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your amazing contest!!
Conway, SC.

Mary T said...

This sounds like an interesting book. I'd love to read it!
Mary T in OK

BJM said...

Great introduction. I would love to read the whole book.


Pam Graber said...

Love it when you introduce me to new authors, Lena! Would love to read this.

Pam in OH