The woman who created the "sexiest stud in the world" said that romance is still not dead, but she reveals what can kill it (PHOTO)
"I think several things are key to a good love story. Conflict, because you can’t make it too easy for the heroine and hero to get together"
Novels we read every day are our glimpse into another world. Depending on the genre, we can take a peek into a different environment and different lives which we don't have the opportunity to see here. Something like that can always relax us and inspire us, especially when it comes to the love novels. American writer Julie James sparkles our imagination and she offers a unique literary experience through her romance and love stories with strong characters and real problems.
She writes romantic stories, spiced with vivid sex scenes: She wants women to fall in love with her characters, and she explains the definition of love (PHOTO)
Julie was born in Chicago. She studied the law and she worked as a lawyer. She started writing scripts later on, and then books. Soon she had a great success and her books are very popular and read all over the world.
She spoke to Telegraf.rs about her work and what gives her the ideas for the novels. She also points what kind of relationship she wants to present between the main characters in her books, but also, what is the key for a good love story.
- Where do you find inspiration for your novels and are some of them inspired by true events?
It varies—there’s no one place I find inspiration. Sometimes I’ll read a news or lifestyle article and that will trigger an idea. Or maybe I’ll have a conversation with a friend and they’ll tell me a funny story or describe something interesting that happened to them at work, and I’ll think, “Ooh… that should go in a book.”
In terms of being inspired by true events, most of the investigations in my books are based on actual FBI investigations.
- The themes of your stories are always love, family, friendship, stories where leading heroes get to know themselves and find happiness at the end. Do you see your books as modern fairy tales, because the leading heroes go through all hardships to be happy at the end?
I think my first book, Just the Sexiest Man Alive, is the most like a modern fairy tale. The heroine, a lawyer, meets the most famous actor in Hollywood, and there’s definitely a Cinderella-like element in how he pursues her and tries to win her over.
But while the rest of my books are certainly contemporary romances/romantic comedies, I wouldn’t call them fairy-tale-like. Yes, the books are about love and relationships, but I think the main characters fall in love and face challenges that are very much an authentic part of the modern-day dating experience.
- Do we as a society miss romance nowadays? Many ladies complain that men don’t know how to seduce them.
I wouldn’t say that romance is dead, but I certainly think dating has changed in the last few years with Tinder and other social apps.
- In your novels, you present the audience very strong and descriptive sex scenes. How much is that important in your writing and do you find it as one of your stronger sides in your work?
My first two books don’t have descriptive sex scenes—and I received complaints from readers about that. J Once I began writing the FBI books, which were a little grittier, I felt like more descriptive sex scenes worked well with the tone of those books. For me, it’s about what feels right for the book.
- Is the blend of a good love story, real problems, and sex, a real recipe for success because it keeps the reader's attention from beginning till the end?
I think several things are key to a good love story. Conflict, because you can’t make it too easy for the heroine and hero to get together. If it’s too easy, there’s nothing driving the story.
Also, good dialogue, because that’s a great way to show the chemistry between the two characters. And finally, even if the heroine and hero think they don’t like each other—or at least, that’s what they keep telling themselves—and even if they bicker and banter, underneath all that they must have a genuine (even if begrudging) respect for one another.
- Your female characters are strong women, with a few problems from the past. Some of them also have a bad relationship with their family, they were hurt, but they believe that they will be happy one day. They also have a lot of charm, they are very independent and female readers can relate to them. How much is that pattern important in your writing? Is feminism important to you?
Absolutely. I write female characters who are like the women I know in real life. Women who are balancing career and/or family, friendships, and love. I think more then ever women have a lot of things they are trying to juggle in their lives, and that is very much a part of my books.
- Have you always wanted to become a writer?
Actually, I didn’t realize I wanted to write until several years into my first career. I went to law school, and after graduating I worked as a trial lawyer at a large firm in Chicago. I’d never written anything before, and I’d never taken a writing class, but I’m a big film buff and I had an idea for a romantic comedy movie.
So I bought a book called “How to Write a Screenplay that Sells”--or something like that—and one day I sat down and started to write a screenplay. I didn’t know anyone in Hollywood, so when I finished the script, I cold-queried agents and managers.
I got lucky, and an agent asked to read the script and ultimately said he’d represent me. A few months later, we optioned the script to a Hollywood producer.
I then wrote a second script—a psychological thriller—and we got an option deal for that screenplay, too. I was still practicing law, but after the second option deal, I began to consider leaving law to write full time. After months of debating, I decided that if I didn’t pursue writing, I’d always look back and wonder “what if?” So I quit my law job and began writing a third screenplay. That screenplay didn’t sell, so I wrote another, and that one didn’t sell, either.
Admittedly, I was getting a little nervous at that point, wondering if I’d made a mistake in leaving the legal profession. On top of that, the option on my first screenplay—the romantic comedy—had expired without the film being made.
Since things weren’t happening on the movie front, my film agent suggested that I turn the script into a book instead.
I hadn’t considered writing a book before, but I figured I’d give it a shot. Once I finished the book, my film agent liked it enough that he sent it to a literary agent, and we began sending the book to publishers. Berkley offered me a two-book deal, and I’ve been writing books ever since.
- You are very popular in Serbia. Do you plan to come to our country and to hang out with your readers?
I’m so glad my books are connecting with Serbian readers! It’d be fun to visit someday! In the meantime, feel free to connect with me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
(Telegraf.co.uk / A.Taskovic - firstname.lastname@example.org)
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