Archive by Author | Jill James

Indie Author Manifesto – Smashwords Blog – On The Internet

Mark Coker of Smashwords asks, what does it mean to be an indie author? He lays it out very nicely at the Smashwords blog.

Have you joined the revolution yet?

Jill James, indie author of contemporary and paranormal romance

Bad Vice Book Launch Party!

Jamie Lee Scott is having a book launch party at her blog and she invited me to be a part of it, along with a bunch of amazing authors. So stop by and join the fun and win some prizes, including the one I’m giving away — an autographed, paperback copy of Dangerous Shift, my paranormal romantic suspense.

Click on the pretty picture and head on over!!

Jamie Scott launch party


Are you talking to me, or is that an audiobook in my ear?

Listening to your book as an audiobook on ACX is a surreal experience. My narrator, Tobi Doyle does an amazing job. She has accents and different tones for males and different voices for different characters. I put the headphones on, close my eyes, and I’m in my book. I laugh. I cry. I forget I wrote those words. The story that I spent endless hours on is brand-new again.

Divorce Interrupted audio reducedDivorce, Interrupted, Book 1 of The Lake Willowbee Series was done last year.





DaretoTrust audiobook coverDare To Trust, Book 2 of The Lake Willowbee Series is in production and almost done.





defend my love audiobook coverDefend My Love, Book 3 of The Lake Willowbee Series in in production now and I should get to do a first listen soon.






Do you like to listen to audiobooks? Where do you listen? In the car? While exercising?


Jill James, author of The Lake Willowbee Series

On The Internet – Serious Reading Takes a Hit

You can click HERE to read the article in the Washington Post.

And this is why I read on my old Nook or my basic Kindle and I’ll never own a tablet. Even with electronic reading I want to just read, not surf the Internet or do emails.

The Fun of Research — Jill James

Recently, I had the privilege of reading a fellow writer’s current story. It was a great story and you could really tell that she did her research. Her book included sign language, bee-keeping, and photography. She did an excellent job of weaving the research into the story without an info dump. An info dump is when an author shows off that they did research and wants to include every little tidbit they found in the story. LOL

Even a contemporary story can make a writer do insane amounts of research. You could set your story in Texas and you better know where and when the bluebells bloom. Have a story set in San Francisco and you need to know monthly weather like February is a great month to visit, cable car routes and where they go, and whether the sea lions are at or have left Pier 39.

A science fiction romance still needs science fiction facts to make it believable. Distances between planets and galaxies can make your story real or implausible. If interspecies relations are allowed and how they are possible. Like they said in a Star Trek movie, not all genitals are located in the same place.

Once you get all those facts right, then you have to weave them seamlessly into the story so the reader doesn’t notice that you did so. You can show small places in your story with a fact that adds to the richness of the story, but doesn’t overpower with hit-you-over-the-head factoids. Don’t mention the whole history of matches, just have the hero use one of those newfangled things. Don’t tell the whole history of shipping, let the heroine marvel at how fast she is getting from England to India on a steamer.

Writers love research. Sometimes we love it so much that you have to drag us back to the story. We can spend hours checking facts and discovering new ones. That is the fun of research.

Do you know any fun facts to share?

Jill James, writer of romance and lover of research.


Another One Bites the Dust — Jill James

Sony closed their eBooks store March 20th, and yesterday there was notice of Diesel eBooks closing at the end of the month. eBook retailers are falling like flies. Will we only be left with Amazon and Apple?

Where do you purchase your eBooks?

Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance



Fickle, much?!! by Jill James

I don’t usually think of myself as fickle. I don’t whiffle and waffle between two things. When I form an opinion of someone or something, it usually sticks for as long as I know the person or thing. Only one person in my whole life did I change my opinion and then it turned out I was right the first time. :) So, I find it funny that I’m now under a bruising deadline to finish a story because I couldn’t make up my mind which story I wanted to write.

This Christmas I did a short story (The Christmas Con) so I could be in the boxed set with the Authors of Main Street group. That story only had 800 words before I started but I managed to make it almost 9,000 and put it in the set. So, then we decided to do another boxed set this summer and I needed a story to go into the set. I plotted, I schemed, and I tried to plan. Nothing! I could not come up with a plotline to save my life. So then I dug a previously hiding-in-the-harddrive story out of the mothballs to finish for the story. It is a great story but as I’m writing and plotting scenes I realized this story will be a full-length novel, nothing like the 15-25k we set as the guidelines. So, back to the drawing board. Darn, now what do I do?

What lots of writers do!! Mine real life for a fictional story. So, with my friend’s permission, I will be using her life story as the basis of Claire’s and Jimmy’s story. So, now with the deadline approaching fast, I’m back to writing a whole story in basically a month. Fingers and toes crossed, I can do this!!!

Do you ever set yourself impossible deadlines? Does it help or hinder you?

Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance
(busily writing Claire and Jimmy a romantic happily-ever-after)

Do your characters talk like you?

LOL Apparently mine do. Think you could have typos left in your book? Set it up for production as an audiobook and discover that, yes you do, have a couple left after all. Thank goodness for Tobi, the narrator for Divorce, Interrupted and in production right now with Dare To Trust and Defend My Love.

  • I should always do a CTRL+F to find any organisms I wrote, because I’m pretty sure I meant orgasms. (I do write romance, after all)
  • As and Of both have two letters, but they are not the same word. (Those little words are sneaky. They slide right by.)
  • Even if you say “a million of times” because you are from Baltimore, it is not correct, no matter how many times your mother and grandmother said it.
  • Gravel and gavel may look alike, but they are definitely not the same thing, even if you mistype them twice. (You are still two times as wrong.)


What typos do you catch most in your own writing? Or if you are a reader, what typos do you always spot in a book you are reading?

Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance


Amazon Derangement Syndrome

I love this term. Not sure who coined it but The Passive Guy uses it on The Passive Voice. I was going to link to the Dear Author article, but I decided instead to link to TPV’s view of the Dear Author article. Jill

Opinions welcomed, Jill James

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Lessons Learned by Jill James

A lesson learned is knowledge earned. In science a failure is just a theory proven wrong. Not sure it works the same way in publishing. :)

writers clockOne thing I’ve learned is to adapt to moving faster. Not just writing faster, although that doesn’t hurt. Write faster, more product, either to submit or publish yourself. No, I mean the ability to move fast at an opportunity. Be it a group blog, an anthology submission, or a chance for an interview or blog post guesting. Luck plays a part in publishing. Being prepared for when that luck strikes can only help you. Having some stories mothballed on your hard drive, raising your hand (figuratively) to be part of a group blog or blog hop. Being ready for the luck to strike. All these require you to think fast on your feet. 

The Authors of Main Street have a secret project coming up. No matter how I racked my brain I could not come up with a plotline. But, I jumped at the chance to be in another boxed set. Like lightning in a bottle, I remembered I had an old story part way done on my computer. Written in 2005 it is a little milder (sex-wise) than my usual but I think that works to its advantage to be in with the other stories from the group. So I dug it out, dusted it off, and I’m editing a story now that only needs a few thousand more words to be done for the boxed set with the Authors of Main Street. The cover is ordered, although I won’t see it until next month.

Yay for me! Yay for moving fast when I needed to do so!

What have you done to be ready when luck comes a-calling?


Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance


Author Earnings – report

Hugh Howey and the Data Guy have updated the Author Earnings report with the data from

Passive Guy has also noted the report and added his own insights on his blog:

I always try to read the comments too on reports like these. Sometimes the comments are as much fun as the report itself.

Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance
(working on Authors of Main Street secret project)



3 Signs that Spring is Here – Jill James

Here in Northern California there are a few signs that spring is here. Sorry, stuck-with-cold people in the Midwest and the East Coast.

spring tree1. The trees are blossoming even though it is only the end of February. Even though the husband just pruned them last week and they were bare.

2. The doors and windows are open for most of the day. Chilly in the morning and once the sun sets, but in between…fresh air into the house.

and 3. I have cabin fever and actually want to go outside. This is a big sign because I am so NOT outdoors girl. I’m happiest with a book to read, curled up on the couch or sitting at my desk at the keyboard of the computer.

Happy Spring!

Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance
(busy working on secret Authors of Main Street project)
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The Eyes Have It by Jill James

Your eyes are very important for everyone, but I really like to have them for writing on my computer. Today I have my annual eye doctor appointment and I can feel that it is time. The screen is starting to get fuzzy if my head isn’t exactly in the right spot and angle. (I have tri-focals)

I’ve noticed that many writers suffer from migraines. Not sure if we are pre-disposed, or we are just asking for them with the hours spent writing, reading, editing, and social networking. But a good pair of glasses is priceless. 20/20 vision would be priceless too, but I haven’t had that since I was 14. LOL

I started out with the big plastic frames and coke-bottle bottom lenses. The only reason the lenses aren’t still as thick is because optometrists have gotten more talented at grinding them. :)

Take care of your eyes and get regular check-ups – Jill James

(secret project coming along!!)

The site is shedding light on what authors REALLY earn. The site is getting hammered so it may be slow to load or not at all.

If you can’t get on there, go have a laugh as J.A. Konrath breaks it down for you.

By the time this posts everyone may have seen it, but if not, enjoy!

Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance.

On The Internet – Be Aware

As a self-publishing author you are running your own business. You should keep up to date on what is going on in your world.

Warning: PublishAmerica is a vanity press, it is not self-publishing, no matter what name they call themselves. Jill


Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance

Linda Joyce has a new release

perf5.000x8.000.inddand a great contest/giveaway at her blog. Check it out and show her some love.  Jill

Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance


Konrath strikes again!

JA Konrath has a Q & A with the CEO of Kensington at his blog. Check it out!!

Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance
(working on super secret project) :)

and this one too!

LoveintheTimeofZombies 200x300

5 Ways to Improve Yourself by Jill James

I’m seeing lists everywhere this week, so I thought I would do one of my own – enjoy, Jill

#1 Read More

How many books did you read last year? Up the amount this year. If you read 20, make it 25 for 2014. Reading a good book is never a waste of time.

#2 Read Wider

Broaden your horizons. Read in a new genre. Always read romance? Try science fiction or fantasy. Tied to your books? Try an ereader. Insist on traditionally published? Try some Indies. There are some amazing books out there if you try something new. You might find a new fave genre.

#3 Focus Your Improvements

Don’t try to quit smoking, lose weight, eat better, be a better person all at the same time. You have more hope of achieving a goal if you set “1″. A few years back my only goal was to admit I was wrong. About anything. To own up to it and admit it. To tell a person, “Sorry, I was wrong.” To some it might not seem a big deal. To me, that was the hardest goal I ever set myself. And I did it. Now, I have no problem with it. Pick a goal. Focus. Do it. Make it happen.

#4 Learn a New Something

Pick anything. Cook a new meal. Eat a new food. Paint a picture. Learn lighting skills for a new camera. Take up dancing, singing, baseball. Whatever you have always wanted to do, go do it. Time is a wasting. We are living longer, use it to learn anything you want.

#5 Learn to Love Yourself

One of the hardest things in the world may be learning to love yourself enough to believe you are worth something great. You are worth those dancing lessons. You are worth that class at the community center to learn how to paint or photograph birds or sing an aria. You are worth the time to write that novel you always said you were going to do. You are worth the effort to lose weight, to get in shape, and to get healthy and stay that way. Like Loreal says, “You are worth it.”

Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance
and living my dream of being a published author.