Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Interview: Xandra James

ImageWhat have you had published? 
Dirty Tricks is actually my fifth title to be published, but this is my first dip into indie waters. My others books were all paranormal romances, the other sub-genre I love. Reluctant Revenge was my first and is probably still one of my favourites for that very reason! 
What genre(s) of book do you write? 
I write a bit of everything, really. As I said in my previous answer, contemporary and paranormal are the published titles, but I've written urban fantasy, light mystery and new adult. The log-line on my website says "Adventure…with a dash of romance" and I think that kinda sums me up. As long as I'm having fun, I'm happy, lol.
What inspired you to write your first book? 
School holidays for the very first book. My friend and I loved writing… stuff. And it just turned into a story. A very long story. That was my infamous, New Kids On The Block-YA-Romance-Mashup that, yeah. Is best left at that! The first time I finished an adult romance I was in my early twenties. I wrote a contemporary category romance that took me about 3 years. It's awful and has no plot whatsoever. This is made worse by the fact it's 50,000 words. Fast forward for the last time to around 2010 and I entered the Mills & Boon New Voices contest with a quirky little first chapter. It went absolutely nowhere, but inspired me to change it up, finish it and it turned in to Reluctant Revenge. The rest, as they say, is history.
How long did it take you to write “Dirty Tricks”? 
About 3 days to write it. And about 6 weeks to edit it! LOL. I like to write fast and get the first draft out there so I can fiddle around and make amendments etc. I find the editing much more satisfying than the writing part because I can see it coming together. 
What is the working title of your next book(s)? 
I have a few projects on the go at the moment. The next NANOWRIMO project that I'm shortly going to be outlining is a paranormal romance set in London, currently unnamed. I have a contemporary romance novel called Seducing the Enemy (working title!) which I'll be editing soon. And I have a short paranormal romance mystery series, currently un-named. So yeah. I'm a busy little bee who needs an IV of caffeine ;)
When and why did you begin writing? 
I've always been a reader, and it was a natural progression to write. I can't think of anything else I'd rather be doing, now. I think my parents always kinda figured I'd be something like this too, as I stumbled through life, lol. They finally think I'm settled now that I'm writing. And my husband gets a quiet life now, too ;)
Do you self publish your books or go through an agency? 
My first 4 books were all through small publishing companies, and Dirty Tricks is self published.
What part of writing books do you find the hardest? 
The first draft. Making myself sit there, vomiting words when I think they sound like hell…well, it's hell. I hate it. My inner editor is telling me to stop constantly. I learned though, that if I do, I won't start again. So I need to keep going as quickly as I can. Sometimes this results in a lot of great words, other times I'll delete whole scenes when I'm editing. It's just the way it goes.
What do you do in your spare time? 
I love movies, and I love exploring London with my hubby. We have fun getting lost on the underground!
Who is your favourite author? 
I really have too many. I enjoy authors that not only make me turn the pages, but who make me smile, too. People like Janet Evanovich and Kerrelyn Sparks spring to mind, but there are lots.
What’s your favourite genre to read? 
I really enjoy paranormal romance but I'm picky. I adore contemporary too, and office romances are definitely my go-to books!
Do you have any advice for other writers? 
Read some recommended craft books (but don't go too mad and get obsessed!), read lots in all areas, write as much as you can-even when you don't want to, and never give up if it's what you really want. You need to have passion if you want to succeed in this business. And have a tough skin!
Is there anything else you’d like to add? 
I appreciate you interviewing me today, Katie. I've enjoyed myself!

About the Author
Multi-published author, Xandra James, has always wanted to write romance books. Even when she was sneaking peaks at the hot bits, too young to fully appreciate them, she dreamt of writing her own. 
Now, older and wiser, she's got the opportunity to project her slightly dark and wacky, British sense of humour onto others, whilst still writing the hot bits - bonus! 
When not writing, Xandra is thinking of excuses as to why she shouldn't be doing the housework, looking after a husband and cats that refuse to pick up after themselves and climbing the mountain in her house that's affectionately called her tbr pile. 
She currently holds the crown for Queen Procrastinator – something she's very proud of – so you can usually find her online, somewhere, when she really should be writing. 

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