Talkshow Thursday: Meet Clarice James
I am pleased to introduce you to my friend Clarice James, winner of Jerry Jenkins's Operation First Novel Contest. Her debut novel, Double Header is a fantastic story. It released in November 2015. At the end of the interview there are links to where you can purchase print or electronic versions of Double Header.
LM: How long have you been writing, and when did you know you want to be a published author?
CJ: My high school English teacher made stories come alive, which made writing seem fun and important. When my children were young, I managed to write a few non-fiction pieces for local publications. But it was the response I received when I began a church newsletter that made me feel I might be using a gift God had given me. I didn’t try writing fiction until about eight years ago.
LM: Are you a "sports junkie?" Where did you get your story idea for "Double Header?"
CJ: No, I would not classify myself as a “sports junkie.” What I do love is seeing how my children and my grandchildren make watching games together a family event. That’s where I got the idea for Double Header. Then, when I learned that 43% of today’s sports fan base is made up of women, I thought I might have a viable idea.
LM: Are any of your characters based on real people?
CJ: The protagonist, Casey, and her brother, Griffin, have many of the same interests as my own three children—-and the same quick wit and sense of humor. The two Red Sox players, Mike Hennessey and Darin Flynn, have both the physical characteristics and mannerisms of two of my grandsons. I even used their real names.
LM: You were a winner in Jerry Jenkins's Operation First Novel Contest. Tell us a bit about that.
CJ: Twice, I submitted my first novel, Party of One, to the Operation First Novel Contest. It was chosen a semi-finalist then a finalist. When it came time to enter again, I decided to try Double Header instead. I was at the Writer-to-Writer Conference in Hershey, PA last February when Jerry Jenkins announced the three winners. I was literally sick that weekend, so it’s all a blur.
Mountainview Books, LLC was the publisher Jerry chose. They did an excellent job editing my manuscript and creating a book that made me proud.
LM: The age old question to writers - are you a pantster or plotter?
CJ: Maybe I fall somewhere in between. I’ve tried writing with no outline and with a detailed outline. I’ve settled for a loose outline, and then sort of feel my way through it. I keep a running record of each scene, which helps.
LM: What projects are you working on at the moment?
CJ: I’m working on my third contemporary women’s novel called Manhattan Grace. Set in New York City, a nanny and aspiring actress is mentored in her faith by an older Messianic rabbi. While she helps him pursue an unlikely romantic relationship with a famous Moldovan opera soprano, they find themselves in the middle of a jewel heist at the Metropolitan Opera House.
LM: What other passions do you have when you are not writing?
CJ: When I want to get away from the computer, I love to do home decorating projects—usually for my daughter. I do the design and shopping then put it together. But no painting or construction for me!
LM: Is there anything else you'd like to share about yourself?
If you’re a member of a local book club, I’d be pleased to come and talk about my book. Or, if you’d like to hold an Author Meet & Greet event, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get a copy of Double Header, ask your local bookstore (or library) to order it, or purchase it online here: Amazon, Nook, Kobo, iPad Books, or Barnes and Noble.
Thank you, Linda, for the great questions!
LM: A pleasure to be with you today! Thanks for stopping by.