Recent Release: Clear As Day
Describe your current release in two sentences?
Haunted by her past, artist Kay Browning locks her heart away and tells herself she’s content with her life and the comfortable affair she has every summer with her friend, easy-going photographer Nate Quinn.
However, Nate’s done with temporary love and this summer he’s come to Lake Mohave to claim the lover he can’t let go, only now he must convince Kay, who sees love as a course to certain heartbreak, to take that leap of faith and learn how safe love with the right man can be.
What was your childhood ambition?
Besides ballerina, astronaut, veterinarian, and pilot? I always wanted to be an author. I remember carting home armloads of books from the library, loving all the different stories and worlds and I wanted to write the stories I imagined too. I remember playing out complex tales with my dolls and studiously writing out pieces of stories in spiral-bound notebooks and on backs of school papers—which, I’m sure, were a horrible mishmash of influences from Star Trek, Edgar Rice Burroughs and J.R.R. Tolkien, with some Phyllis Whitney and Mary Stewart thrown in to make things interesting for the hero and heroine. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was on my way to writing romances even then.
Do you have a favorite time of the day? If so when and why
My mom will laugh at this answer because I was so not a morning person when I was young, but my favorite time of day is early morning, just before dawn. My husband is sleeping and cats are snoring, and it’s just me with my coffee and writing, sitting in the peace and quiet, and watching the sky brighten toward day. I’ve seen some glorious sunrises.
Please describe your writing environment.
I’m lucky to have a room to myself for my office, with shelves for all my books, a big desk, and an old, soft upholstered chair that belonged to my grandmother in the corner, originally meant for me to curl up in and read, but that my cats keep warm instead while I write at the desk. I arranged the desk so I face the bay window with a view of our maple tree and the sky, and in the summer, when the tree is green, I can imagine I’m in some retreat in the woods.
What is your favorite TV show?
I don’t watch much television, but I’m loving Once Upon a Time right now. The twist and turns and re-imaginings of these very familiar characters and their stories are fascinating. I enjoy being kept guessing at who will appear and what will happen next.
What are you working on?
I’m currently working hard to finish and submit a new contemporary romance, tentatively titled Love Burns, which will be a sequel to my debut, Clear As Day. I love this couple, two of Nate and Kay’s friends, and I’ve enjoyed seeing their story come to life as they work through their personal trials and find their own happily ever after together. I also have two more stories in the works for couples from this group of friends. I need more hours in the day!
Where do you want to travel?
I’m hoping to make it to England, Ireland, and Sweden someday and see the lands my family came from. I would love to visit all those historic places that, as of now, I can only experience by book and internet. Ireland in particular has always fired my imagination and I have a fantasy series project simmering on the back burner inspired in part by Celtic mythology. I would also love to visit Australia, go back to Hawaii, and drive across the United States again and take my time sightseeing.
What are your plans for the summer? Any books you are looking forward to?
Summer for me is writing full-time (and catching up on all the housework I’ve put off during the school year.) I will be going to visit my mom, and I plan to enjoy her cooking, tackle her “daughter-to-do” list, and also do some research for my books while she sweetly nags me to hurry up and finish writing them. Somewhere in between all that, I’ll try to relax and dig into my TBR pile. One book I’m looking forward to is Toni Blake’s Willow Springs.
How was your road to publication? Have you every had to deal with rejection letters?
My road was both long and short. I have been writing all my life, but unfortunately, I let anxiety and doubt divert me from seriously pursuing publication until recently. I realized I had a choice: I could just keep filing the story ideas away, never be published, and live with wishful thinking, or damn the doubts, start the scary process of submission and maybe still never succeed, but at least I wouldn’t have to live with the worse regret of never trying. I have received several rejection letters since that moment on different stories, and each one delivered a different level of pain and frustration, but I determined to use them to make me tell a better story and make me a better writer. My first rejection letter was the best one and I will always remember that kind editor who took the time to write a few encouraging and critical comments in her letter and spurred me on to keep hope and continue my efforts. Those efforts brought success when The Wild Rose Press made the offer for Clear As Day. Let me tell you, the joy from that acceptance blew away the pain of every prior rejection.
What is the best thing about being an author?
I enjoy the surprises of storytelling. I enjoy seeing a story grow out of a little idea, plots twist and turn, expand and shift, and how the characters grow and reveal their lives and find their happily ever after. I also love the wonderful, supportive friends I’ve made on this journey to publication and sharing my stories with others.
If you could live in a world created by an author, which book / world would you jump into?
Hands down, Middle Earth. I fell in love with J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings when I was very young and the fascination has never left me. I love the complexity and breadth of his world-building and the cast of characters he brought to life in that rich world.
Thanks for giving me the chance to visit with you here at Night Owl Reviews and sharing a little of myself with you. Readers can find more about my stories and read excerpts at my website www.babettejames.com.
Hugs and happy reading,
Come fall in love at the river.