Julie’s novels are smart, sexy and laugh-out-loud funny. They’re populated with clever characters I’d do just about anything to hang out with, and they have an edge of suspense that puts her characters into real danger.
I’m so excited about her upcoming release, About That Night, that I’m giving away a copy to someone who comments here (details below). And I’m thrilled to have Julie James here answering my questions today. Welcome, Julie!
1. Your fans will know Kyle—the hero of About That Night—as the somewhat hapless techie brother who brought down Twitter in A Lot Like Love. How do you turn him into a hero who’s as sexy as your rugged FBI heroes?
LOL, I don’t know that I would describe Kyle as “hapless.” Yes, when we first met him in A Lot Like Love, he was in federal prison for shutting down Twitter (after his supermodel ex-girlfriend broke up with him via a tweet), but he admitted that he screwed up.
He was mad, and half-drunk on single-malt Scotch, and as a network security specialist he had the skills to hack into Twitter (a very dangerous combo). But that’s why he pled guilty—to own up to his mistakes. And About That Night centers around him trying to redeem himself and get his life back together.
What I like about Kyle is that he has lots of things going for him: he’s a billionaire heir, worked as a Vice President in his father’s company, is drop-dead hot—yet he doesn’t rely on any of those things. He’s very driven, and determined to be successful in his own right, and—as I think readers will see—is a genuinely good guy. Despite having worn an orange prison jumpsuit for four months. : )
2. Your book covers for your FBI/U.S. Attorney series are stunning, and very evocative of the sizzling chemistry in your stories. Do you have a favorite cover?
Ooh, that’s a tough question. I really like all the covers in the FBI/US Attorney series—and I especially like the way they all look together. (There’s a great example of that at the top of the FBI/US Attorney series page at my website.) I think they all look sexy and sophisticated. . . . so I’m not sure I can pick an outright favorite. How about things I like in particular about each one? I love how the pink dress pops on Something About You, I like the way the title stands out on A Lot Like Love, and then for About That Night, I’m really digging those suspenders.
3. I was lucky enough to take part in your workshop “The Contemporary Challenge” at RWA 2011 in New York. One of the things you talked about was the importance of setting. While we always hear how popular small-town romance is, what special elements do you think a city setting like Chicago brings to a story?
I love writing stories set in Chicago. I live in Chicago (in the city itself) and think it’s such a vibrant, great city. I use real locations in my books, like restaurants and Wrigley Field and Starbucks, and I think the big-city setting adds to the fun, fast-paced tone of my books. I also like to think that my books feel as though they could be romantic comedy films, and I think the urban setting lends itself well to that.
4. Your heroes are so awesome that they warrant their own profile page on your website. If you could choose only one to bring to life, which would you choose?
Oh my goodness, that’s even more impossible to answer than the question about the covers! I had a lot of fun putting together that profile page and think it captures each hero well. Jack (Something About You) was a lot of fun to write because he’s this tough FBI agent who knows how to kill people with, like, thumb tacks or whatever, yet everyone else in the book is cracking jokes and quips. So he starts out all dark and brooding and scowling, but slowly—mostly because of the heroine—he warms up and becomes this great, dry-witted, protective, heroic guy.
Nick from A Lot Like Love was another great character to write, because he’s a rough-around-the-edges FBI agent from Brooklyn who just loves to push the heroine’s buttons (she’s a wealthy wine storeowner and heiress). He has all these rules about what men from Brooklyn don’t do (e.g., they don’t wear sweater vests or drink anything pink), but he finds himself completely head over heels for a woman he’d never imagined was his type.
Finally, there’s Kyle from my upcoming release, About That Night. My ex-con/billionaire heir hero. He’s confident, charming, and very persistent when he wants something (like the heroine). But as I mentioned earlier, there’s a lot more to Kyle than meets the eye, and underneath the billionaire bad-boy exterior is a guy with a heart of gold.
So, which one to choose . . . well, I’ll say this. Writing Kyle’s story is the first time I ever got teary-eyed as an author. In a good way. So for that, I’ll pick him.
I’m giving away a copy of Julie’s upcoming release About That Night to one very lucky commenter. I’ll randomly choose the winner on Tuesday April 10th, so leave a comment below!
HE’S PLAYING GAMES.
Though Rylann Pierce tried to fight the sparks she felt for billionaire heir Kyle Rhodes the night they met, their sizzling chemistry was undeniable. But after being stood up on their first date, Rylann never expected to see him again. So when she finds herself face-to-face with Kyle in a courthouse nine years later, she’s stunned. More troubling to the beautiful assistant U.S. attorney is that she’s still wildly attracted to him.
BUT SHE’S MAKING THE RULES.
Just released from prison, Kyle Rhodes isn’t thrilled to be the star witness in a high-profile criminal case—but when Rylann comes knocking at his door, he finds she may be the one lawyer he can’t say no to. Still as gorgeous and sharp-tongued as ever, she lays down the law: she doesn’t mix business with pleasure. But Kyle won’t give up on something he wants—and what he wants is the one woman he’s never forgotten. . .