If You Can Quit, Do So

happy writerIt is impossible to discourage the real writers — they don’t give a damn what you say, they’re going to write.     –Sinclair Lewis

Almost weekly I see posts on blogs and forums written by someone who wants to quit writing. Most notably, self-published authors. It wasn’t the rainbows and unicorns they were promised. When I was very young there was a song I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. That about sums it up, nobody promised you anything. Just because Hugh, Bella, and Joe hit it big doesn’t mean you can or will. There is talent, timing, and luck swirled together to hit the big time.

Writing, or more properly the urge to write, is a gift and a curse at the same time. I’ve had friends drift away from writing. Some new sparkly showed up and writing wasn’t what they wanted to do with their time anymore. And that is fine. Life is too short to do stuff you aren’t passionate about. I’ve had friends drift away and no matter how hard they try the siren song of putting words to paper or screen calls them back.

So to those who think they want to quit–quit, if you can. Your passion may be elsewhere. Or, you may find yourself, late at night with a wisp of a thought and reaching for a pen and paper to grasp it before it escapes. Don’t say you weren’t warned!!!

Jill James, off to put hands to keyboard and get to 10,000 words for the week!

Why I Read and Write Romance?

Why romance?
Don’t you already know how it ends?
Isn’t it formulaic? Boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back, they live happily after.

I’ve heard it all. But still, I love romance novels. Reading them and writing them. Today it could just as easily be boy meets boy, girl meets girl, girl meets vampire/werewolf, or girl meets alien from outer space.

Yes, to meet the definition of a romance novel it should end happily ever after or at least happy for now. Are you happily in a relationship? Are your friends? Compare notes. Did you all meet your significant other the same way? Did you all have the same baggage going into a relationship? Do you and your sweetheart argue about the same things as your friends do? Aha! Didn’t think so. Every romance is different. Every romance novel is different.

Each writer brings their baggage, their beliefs, and their idea of romantic to the story. I may think long walks on the beach are romantic and you may hate the sun, the salt air, and the sand between your toes. You may love hiking in the mountains and I may hate the pine air, the high altitude, and the idea of hiking anywhere.

*Warning! Spoiler Alert for The Princess Bride and As You Wish by Cary Elwes*

princess brideI bought As You Wish this week and consumed it in two days. I love The Princess Bride movie and it was so much fun to read his memories of making the movie.

That romantic moment at the end of the movie. That happily-ever-after moment in the film when they kissed. A kiss by which all others are compared, to quote the film. It was a wonderful kiss but it wouldn’t mean as much if you didn’t follow their story from the beginning. To see what they did to EARN that kiss. To get their HAPPILY EVER AFTER.

Like the romance novel detractors, the little boy hearing the story at the beginning gets all upset to find his grandfather is reading him a “kissing book”. LOL Haven’t we heard that one before?!!

Westley and Buttercup are our lovers, our hero and heroine. They fall in love. They are parted. She fears he is lost. She is marrying another. He returns. They are reunited. They fall back in love. They are parted when she agrees to go with the fiancé to save her true love. He is almost killed. She is forced to marry another. But he returns, he was only “mostly dead”. They are reunited. Evil is vanquished. They get that happily-ever-after. And just like that little boy at the beginning of our story now saying, “it’s okay. I don’t mind the kissing so much.” Because they EARNED it. Even he recognized that they had been through the wringer and they deserved that kiss.

That is why I read and write romance! <3 <3 <3

Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance.

The Fall Classic

Baseball Equipment Laying on GrassOtherwise known as The World Series.

We love baseball in our house. We had season tickets to the Oakland A’s. In years past we went to 2-3 games a year. This past year we went to over 25. It was a different view of the sport. You feel like you get to know the players. We actually got to do a Meet and Greet on the field and to talk to Dan Otero and Sonny Gray, pitchers. They chatted, took pictures with us, and signed memorabilia. :)

So, today we are watching Kansas City and San Francisco. Not our teams, but baseball is still fun to watch!

Jill James, watching baseball and writing about the zombie apocalypse. LOL

3 Reasons to Love Football Season

SONY DSCMy husband is a loyal, die-hard Oakland Raiders fan. Okay, he is a die-hard football fan. He does fantasy football online and with friends. He watches Sports Center all week for the football news. He watches Thursday Night Football. He watches all day Sunday. He finishes up with Monday Night Football.

So what do I do during all this football that I don’t care about except for a few players?

3 reasons to love football season:

1. Football Season signals cooler weather. It means no air conditioner or heater needed. Time to pull out the turtlenecks and sweaters I love. It means a return to my comfy sweat pants for writing. It means I can get my writing gloves my friend knitted me for writing time.

2. Football season means hours of uninterrupted time to write. I take the laptop to the living room and tune out all the yells and whistles and write for hours on a nice Sunday afternoon. This doesn’t work for everyone, but I can tune out anything when I’m on the computer.

3. Last, but by no means least. I love football season because who doesn’t love a bunch of tight ends running around?!! :)

Go Raiders!!!

Jill James, writer of romance and fan of some sports!


Kindle Scout – Amazon’s newest

Yet again, Amazon leads the way in trying something new. This time it is Kindle Scout – Amazon’s reader-led, crowdsourced way to get published by Kindle Press.


The popular books get a chance to catch the eye of Amazon Press and maybe get a publishing deal!

I’m going to keep an eye on it and see how it goes.

Jill James, coming soon! Love in the Time of Zombies

National Novel Writing Month

Are you ready to Nano?!!!

November 1 – 30 is National Novel Writing Month or Nano as it is called. Every year thousands of writers gather electronically and locally for a month of seeing how much they can write. The aim is to do 50,000 words to ‘win’. Although I and most writers feel any amount of words is a cause for celebration.

My first published novel, Tempting Adam was a Nano project. As was Dangerous Shift and most of Love in the Time of Zombies. See, even if you don’t ‘win’ you do win by having more words than you started out with.

Who’s ready for Nano?   www.nanowrimo.org

I’m there as Jill James and I’ll be working on two novellas to reach the 50,000 words.

All We Have is Each Other

GingerbreadGrandparentsI was reminded of this yet again today. We took my husband’s grandmother (94) to an assisted living facility. His mother (75) is just not up to taking care of her 24/7 anymore. So we were all there to move her from rehab to a nice private home. We were with my mother-in-law and her grandson, our nephew, along with our daughter-in-law who lives with us. We kept sister-in-law up-to-date via cell phone. We do everything as a family. Always have.

I’m always amazed when strangers are amazed that so many of us are there for a family life event. Where are the other people’s families? Why are they not involved in a stage of their loved ones lives? We are links on a chain. For it to be strong, we all have to do our part, be involved, help.

When the day is done and an accounting is made; have you been there for your family?

Jill James, writer of romance