Congratulations! Please email your mailing address to nalinisinghwrites AT gmail DOT com so I can pass it on to Julie.
I'm delighted to have Julie James on the blog today! You all know how much I love her work - fun, sexy and smart, and with fantastic characters, they're wonderful reads.
Julie's not only talking about the inspiration behind her latest release, Something About You today, she's giving away a copy of the book, so don't forget to enter.
Please welcome Julie to the blog everyone!
Something About You
Something About You
First, I wanted to say thanks to Nalini for inviting me to guest blog! Nalini, you know I’m a big fan of your books, so I’m delighted to be here.
As both an author and a reader, I’m always fascinated by the things that inspire an author to write a particular book, those behind-the-scenes elements that fuel the original story idea. So I thought I’d share a few of the things that helped bring my recently-released book, Something About You, to life.
Noisy hotel neighbors. Alfred Hitchcock. Jason Bourne.
Quite an eclectic mix, I know. I’ll explain.
First, the noisy hotel neighbors. The idea for Something About You came to me in the middle of the night during the RWA San Francisco conference. Around 1am, the people in the hotel room next to me decided to have a party. (Not so much fun for me.) As I lay in bed, cursing the Fates (and my neighbors), an idea for a book struck me: a woman, by herself in a hotel, who is woken up in the middle of the night by strange noises coming from the room next door. Only in the book, instead of a party, those noises turn out to be the sounds of a murder.
This is where the Alfred Hitchcock influence comes in. One of my favorite Hitchcock themes is that of an innocent man in the wrong place at the wrong time who becomes swept up in some kind of murder/suspense intrigue. It’s a theme that works well because everyone can identify with it. We watch the movie thinking, “Hey—that could be me. What if I walked into that bar at just the wrong moment and accidentally saw X that got me in a whole load of trouble?”
Instead of a bar, in Something About You I used the aforementioned hotel room. And instead of an innocent man in the wrong place at the wrong time, it’s a woman. My heroine, Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde, is treating herself to some much-needed pampering at the luxurious Peninsula hotel when she’s awoken by noises from the room next to hers. At first the noises sound like some kind of crazy sex marathon, but then things change. . . and what Cameron ends up overhearing is a murder that involves a U.S. Senator and a call girl. Watching through her peephole, she sees a man leave the hotel room next to hers and thus becomes the sole witness to the high-profile crime. And just like in Hitchcock’s films, that’s where the trouble begins. Trouble, that is, in the form of FBI Special Agent Jack Pallas.
Okay, so this the Jason Bourne part. See, Jack, the hero of the book, is this tall, dark, and smoldering tough-guy FBI agent who can pretty much kill people with his thumb—normally the type of hero you would find in an action film or dark, edgy romantic suspense or thriller.
But not this time.
Jack is in charge of investigating the murder that Cameron overheard and—wouldn’t you know it—the two of them don’t get along. They worked together three years earlier on a case that ended badly with Jack mouthing off to the press about Cameron and consequently getting transferred to Nebraska. And if it’s not bad enough that the two of them have to work together as Jack tries to solve the crime, things get even worse when it turns out that the murderer may be after Cameron next. . .
When writing Something About You, I wanted it to be a lighter, funnier contemporary romance, like my first two novels. Sure, there’s a suspense element, but that’s just a subplot—a device that brings these two strong-willed characters who allegedly can’t stand each other together. At first I thought to myself, “You can’t put an edgy, action-hero in a light-hearted story!” But then I wondered, hmm... or can you? I realized there’s a lot of potential for humor in that scenario.
I like to think of Something About You as my “What if somebody dropped Jason Bourne into a romantic comedy?” book. Which means that my hero, FBI Special Agent Jack Pallas, is running around all dark and scowling and trying to save the day, while everyone else is cracking jokes. What’s fun about Jack is that we get to see him slowly warm up throughout the course of the book as he begins to fall for and trust the heroine.
With that, I think I’ll turn it over to you guys, and to the giveaway. Maybe you have suggestions of other books or movies that balance suspense and humor. Or you could talk about your favorite tough-guy hero. Or maybe you have a question about me or my books. One person who leaves a comment below by 8 a.m. Friday 26th March 2010 (New Zealand time) will win a copy of Something About You.
Happy reading everyone!
Link to Julie's Website