Author Spotlight: Jeanne St. James
May 1, 2021 • News
CJC: How did you get started as an author and what made you want to pursue that field?
JSJ: I started writing when I was really young. I was an avid reader and decided I wanted to write my own stories. I wrote my first book at around 13 years old. Then later I wrote a couple more while working on my craft. I hesitated for a long time to submit to publishers (this was before self-publishing) and finally, when I got the nerve, my first book submitted was accepted by a publisher. It was published in 2009. It all snow-balled from there.
CJC: What do you find to be the most rewarding and challenging part of being an author and what hurdles have you overcome while striving towards your goals?
JSJ: After publishing over 50 books, the challenge is keeping my story lines fresh and original. I don’t write cookie-cutter characters or use plot formulas. What’s most rewarding is getting great feedback from my readers. They are who motivate me the most. As for hurdles, I had taken a 6-year break from writing after my third book was published in 2010. When I came back to publishing in 2016, indie publishing had become the norm but I never kept up with the industry. I had to learn REALLY quickly and made plenty of mistakes along the way. But going indie was the BEST decision I ever made.
CJC: Which novel has been your favorite to write and why?
JSJ: This is a difficult question since I love all of my books for different reasons. I would have to say my best book (according to me) and my most difficult to write was Blood & Bones: Shade (Blood Fury MC, book 6). It dealt with a LOT of heavy issues (like dyslexia and child sex trafficking). It’s also my longest book to date (over 114k words). The book has quite a few triggers but it’s worth the journey.
CJC: For first time readers of your work, which book would you recommend?
JSJ: I write different tropes: M/F, M/M, M/M/F (menage/polyamory) so it all depends on a reader’s taste. I’d say that a great book to start for most would be Down & Dirty: Zak (Dirty Angels MC, book 1).
CJC: If one of your books were made into a movie, which would you select and who would you like to star in it?
JSJ: I’m not sure if I’d want any of my books made into a movie. The movie rarely does the book justice. However, if I had to pick one, it would pick Down & Dirty: Zak (Dirty Angels MC, book 1) and have Charlie Hunnam star in it.
CJC: For those looking to become an author, what advice would you give them?
JSJ: Write, write, write. Learn your craft and the industry. Not every book you write will be publishable. Don’t cut corners. Also pay attention to what successful authors do, you can learn a lot that way.
CJC: If you could co-write a book with any author, who would it be and why?
JSJ: I wouldn’t. I have no desire to co-write.
CJC: Favorite motto?
JSJ: “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” ~ Marilyn Monroe
CJC: What do you do to overcome writer’s block?
JSJ: I really don’t get writer’s block. I push myself to keep writing since this is a career, not a hobby. But if I did, I would read. Reading usually sparks my creativity (refills my inkwell).
CJC: In one word, how would you describe your writing style?
JSJ: I used to be strictly a pantser, but now I’m more of a hybrid writer. But simply put, I get a seed of an idea, jump into my characters’ heads and just WRITE. I let them tell their own stories and take me on that journey.
CJC: Which do you find harder to do… writing the blurb for your story or selecting the cover?
JSJ: Blurb, for sure. I used to write them AFTER I wrote the book. Now I write them before and it became a lot easier. The cover is the easy part now that I started getting exclusive photos for my covers. I always have my covers WAY in advance before I write the book. I usually use the tattoos, the scars, the features, etc., of the cover model within the story.
CJC: Which author inspires you the most and why?
JSJ: I would have to say Colleen Hoover. I love the way she interacts with her readers and I also love that she writes whatever she wants to write (and she’s great at it, too!). She also has a great heart and is very humorous.
CJC: What is your writing process like?
JSJ: I write every day until the first draft is done, then I do the first read-through. I then send the manuscript to my alpha reader (another author) and my 3 beta readers. Once their done with it, I consider their remarks, do some tweaks, then do a second read-through. Once done with that, I send to my editor for line edits and then my proofreader. I fix any typos they catch, do one more complete read-through, then format. It usually takes me 4-6 weeks to finish the first draft of a novel that is anywhere from 80-120k words long.
CJC: What new projects are you currently working on and what are your goals for the remainder of the year?
JSJ: I’m currently finishing my 53rd book, Crash: A Dirty Angels MC/Blood Fury MC Crossover. My main goal for the remainder of the year is just to keep on track with my deadlines. I usually publish every other month with a couple extra books added in, which means I release 8 long novels a year. That’s a very busy schedule.
CJC: Any final thoughts you would like to share with the CJC Photography readers?
JSJ: If you haven’t read any of my books, I hope you decide to give me a shot! My books are available in ebook, paperback and also audiobook!
I also have a series under the pen name: J.J. Masters. They are M/M, mpreg, paranormal shifter romances (so different and fun to write!) Thank you for having me!
CJC: Thank you so much Jeanne for taking the take to answer my questions for this feature. And a special thank you for picking Mitch and I for Blood & Bones: ROOK.
Stay up to date with all of Jeanne’s latest releases here.