Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Rosalind James ~ The Welcome to Paradise Interview

Rosalind James is the Kindle-bestselling author of four books in the "Escape to New Zealand" series. "Welcome to Paradise" is her first U.S.-based book. Rosalind is a former marketing executive who has lived all over the United States and in a number of other countries. Most recently, she spent several years in Australia and New Zealand, where she fell in love with the people, the landscape, and the culture of both countries.

Connect with Rosalind:

They’re going to party like it’s 1885.

Mira Walker is hoping that competing on a “living history” reality show will give her what’s missing from her real life. Maybe she’ll get closer to her boyfriend, who hasn’t been all that nice to her lately. Get fired up about her job again. Who knows, she might even win a million dollars.

Gabe Kincaid and his brother Alec are after that million too, though. Mira and Scott are no threat at all, not when everybody involved is going to want to kill Scott after the first day. And there’s no bond stronger than a twin’s. What could possibly go wrong?

Purchase Link:  Amazon

Click HERE for an excerpt from Welcome to Paradise.

Hi Rosalind. Thank you for joining me today.

Hi, Kim. Thanks for having me.

How did you come up with the idea for this book? A reality show setting is pretty unusual and interesting.

I know; isn’t it fun? I wanted to write a book about two brothers, and then I had the idea to put them on a reality show, because I love the way the “externals” get stripped away in those tough situations, and you see people for who they really are. I spent an hour brainstorming show ideas with a friend and came up with the homesteading idea. He wanted outer space, but I needed someplace where my characters could fool around a little! *winks*

Hmmmm.....Do you write full time? If so, what did you do before?

I’m writing full time, very happy to say I’m making a living doing what I love. Before—my life was much less fun. I was a marketing director, working remotely first from Australia, and then from New Zealand. Living in these wonderful places, but doing a job I wasn’t enjoying anymore. When I started my first book, I was doing both jobs for those six weeks of writing. I literally had to hold myself in my chair to get through my “work.” I finished the book and quit the job.

What is your writing routine?

Once I start writing the book, I pretty much just write all the time, seven days a week. Get up and look at what I wrote the day before, still in my bathrobe. Somehow get dressed at some point. Walk or run and think during the day. And write and write. I think up a book in about three weeks; write and edit in six weeks; revise it in another three.

Wow. That’s pretty impressive. Which comes first for you, the characters or the plot?

Usually the character himself (I’ve almost always started with the hero, oddly enough), or the situation the character is in, what’s missing in his life. For Welcome to Paradise, my first book set in the United States, I started more with the setting and the heroine; it has a large cast of characters and is more plot-driven; and it's my first book without kids in it. Quite a departure in all respects—a great challenge and pretty nerve-racking to put out there. Luckily the response has been very positive.

Have you ever been surprised by a controversy stirred up by one of your books?

Yes, in my first book, “Just This Once.” A small but vocal minority of readers HATES my heroine. I call them the “I Hate Hannah Club.” That book is quite autobiographical, so that’s been the hardest criticism to take. The answer, I think, is that I try to show how the person on the outside--strong, competent, self-assured—is not necessarily the person on the inside. And that we're all our own worst enemy. And some readers don’t want to look that deeply. Or could be I’m MUCH more annoying than I realized. *laughs*

I haven’t read that book. You’re pretty much saying that Hannah is real. What’s your favorite part of your books to write?

I’m going to be honest here and tell you I love writing the sex scenes! So much fun. I can only write them, though, if my characters are fully drawn. That’s my acid test: if the sex scenes come easily, I’ve got the characters right.

LOL...I wasn’t expecting that answer. What’s the hardest part to write?

People being mean, or suffering, or my characters having an argument. In “Welcome to Paradise,” the scenes where Mira is being belittled, and is doubting herself—those were really hard to write. So hard to make my people unhappy. I have to tell myself sternly that I’ll get them to Happily Ever After, but they have to suffer first!

You know, I can see why people don’t like Scott. From the excerpt, he isn’t very likeable. What’s next for you?

I’m in New Zealand now, working on Book Five in the “Escape to New Zealand” series. Then I’ll be writing Alec’s story—what happens after he leaves “America Alive.” Hint: he’s going to meet somebody who is NOT impressed.

Thanks for stopping by Rosalind. I wish I was in New Zealand with you.

Thanks for having me, Kim.

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  1. Thanks for the interview, Kim!

    1. Thank you Rosalind. I'm adding Welcome to Paradise to my list of books to read.

  2. Having read all of Ms. James' books (so far), I thank you for all the insight into the characters. Wonderful, character-driven stories! PS. I loved and "got" Hannah!

    1. :) Thanks for stopping by Mary.

  3. I loved Hannah, but hey to each their own I guess. I loved Welcome to Paradise and I can't wait to read Alec's story (please tell me we'll get some more info on what was going on over at Acadia)

    1. I'll have to think about that, Lea. An interesting challenge . . . We will see! I'm so immersed in "Just My Luck" right now, but Alec's story is up next! --Rosalind

  4. Thanks for stopping by Lea.

    Wow.. I just checked out the reviews for Welcome to Paradise... 21 5 stars... Wow.


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