Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Q&A with Author Victoria James

I am so thrilled to welcome our fellow Hot Pink Typewriter sister to the Hot Seat today. Join me in congratulating her on the debut of her first book, THE BILLIONAIRE'S CHRISTMAS BABY, which releases today from Entangled Books/Indulgence. 

Jackson Pierce didn’t make his fortune entertaining every half-cocked idea, especially one involving diaper changes. Running a software company takes dedication, and not even a cute brunette who seems to think he has something to do with the baby in her arms can crack the band of ice around his heart.

A baby on the doorstep is the least of Hannah Woods’s problems—she has to find the baby’s uncle and convince him to adopt her. If she doesn’t, the baby will end up in foster care, and she can’t let that happen. Armed with formula and a tin of cookies, she sleuths her way to the reclusive CEO’s doorstep only to find six feet of holiday sexy—and a door slammed in her face. But when Jackson comes around and urges they marry for little Emily’s sake, Hannah finds herself falling for the jaded billionaire and wishing for a holiday miracle of their own…


Welcome, Victoria! Congratulations on the release of your first book! I have had the honor of reading an earlier draft, but for those who are still in for the treat, tell us, what do you love most about this book? 
Well, I think there are a few elements that I really love…the Christmas theme, the rural cabin and blizzard, the abandoned baby…and the overarching theme of forgiveness and letting go of the past. 
I know that most authors who write Christmas romances just love the holiday itself. What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?
Hmm…well, my background is Italian, so family and food are pretty important around the holidays.   Italy has so many dishes that are unique to certain regions, and I love that my mother still makes many of the traditional foods.  Now that we have small children, I love that we can combine Italian and Canadian traditions-as well as my husband’s Ukrainian heritage.  I love holiday movies as well, and curling up on a cold winter’s night with a Christmas movie and my family is just about as good as it gets!  Every year I MUST watch, It’s a Wonderful Life, Christmas at Plum Creek, Rudolph, and more recently, The Holiday.  Now that my son is a little older, we’ve also started making sure that charity work is a priority.  It’s so sweet to see how giving young children can be when they understand the concept of helping those in need.

The path to publication is always interesting and unique for every writer. Can you tell us about your experience? 
Sure.  I started writing when my son was born (six years ago).  But my writing was very sporadic because I had a new baby, and a full time business, and no maternity leave.  We also moved quite a bit in the last eight years.  But I would write when I could, not losing sight of the goal of publication.  When my daughter was born (2 years ago) I started querying agents and my current agent rejected the manuscript that I’d submitted but told me to send something else along.  Fast forward to a year later and another house move and I did just that-and she offered me representation.  I sold to Entangled, Indulgence last January.

You have several books releasing in the coming months. How do you manage working on multiple projects? Do you have a writing schedule? 
I’ve really had to learn how to put aside the current project I’m working on in order to accommodate revisions on another project.  I find it difficult to mentally pull myself out of one book and quickly get into another one.

Writing schedule?  Hmm…I’m always tweaking this depending what’s going on at home.  For a while I was waking up early-before the kids woke.  But then my kids started waking up earlier, so I had to scrap that plan.  Now I try to get in some time during my daughter’s nap-but that’s only about an hour and a half.  The rest is in the evenings.  It has to be-or I wouldn’t get anything done.  I am looking forward to next year though, when my daughter starts preschool-at least I’ll have two and a half hours every day!  Baby steps…I also don’t want to wish this time away either, because I know how quickly kids grow up!

You have two small children, a family business, and a prolific writing schedule. How do you juggle everything? 
I don’t!  I’ve accepted that I can’t do everything at once.  I can’t.  My family is first, and then my writing…everything else takes a back seat.  I’m also trying to delegate…and take a lesser role in our small business now that I am published.  I am a little bit of a control freak, and love a clean and organized home-these days it’s just not happening.  I’m trying to accept that it’s just a reality for the next little while!
I have to ask: do you ever get a break? What do you do when you aren't cranking out your next book? 
LOL-I love the term ‘cranking.’  Well, I find that after I turn in a partial or complete a manuscript I take a few days to regroup.  Maybe instead of writing I’ll use that time to update my blog and other admin/social media stuff that I’ve put aside while trying to meet a deadline.  Oh, and maybe some housework too ;-)  I love interior design and have a background in it, so often I’m found rearranging things and doing some house projects.  But, I really do love writing, so after that break, I’m anxious to get back into it!

Social media and promotion can be a job in itself. How do you work this into your life (on top of everything else!)? 
This is still new to me.  I’m trying to figure out the right balance. I love Twitter, but I find I’m on it in bursts, then off again when deadlines take priority.  At the end of the day, I think writing still takes priority.  I’m hoping that as my kids get older and are both in school for the full day, I’ll have a little more time to devote to social media.

Can you describe your writing process? 
Sure…it all begins with a cup of coffee and an idea!  I find I don’t plan in detail because for me the story evolves as I write it.  Characters end up doing things I may not have envisioned and conflict arises as I go along.  I have tried writing detailed outlines, but I just end up straying.  I’m not a complete “panster” though, I do have a rough, chapter-by-chapter outline.  Then I go back and forth between writing the first three chapters and a partial.  Sometimes as I’m writing, certain scenes will come to me and I will quickly jot them down so I don’t lose the moment or the idea. 

The first three chapters are always the most difficult for me as I find it takes a while to really get to know the characters, the tone of the book, the setting.  And it’s usually after writing those first few chapters that I’ll know if something feels ‘off’.  Oh, and the dreaded synopsis.  I think it is actually more difficult than the first three chapters!  I think it’s so tough to try and make it interesting but short!  And again, since the story evolves so much for me, it’s hard to map out the entire book.  Often my synopsis will change by the time I’m finished writing the book.  

What can we expect from you next? 

Well, I’m currently contracted for two more books in 2013, and am waiting to hear back on two other proposals.  My next release from Indulgence comes out this January, 2013.  I don’t have a title yet, but it’s the first book in a trilogy about three brothers. 

Thank you so much for chatting with us, Victoria and congratulations again on the debut of your delightful holiday romance, THE BILLIONAIRE'S CHRISTMAS BABY.

To learn more about Victoria, check out her website at www.victoriajames.ca

And in case you missed the buy links, click HERE to get your copy of her debut book, just in time for the holidays. 


  1. Huge Congratulations, Victoria! I couldn't be more thrilled for you :-)

  2. Thanks so much, Olivia!! I couldn't think of a better place to celebrate! :-)

  3. Congratulations on your debut, Victoria! *throws confetti* Your book sounds just charming--a perfect holiday read! :-)

  4. MASSIVE congrats, Victoria! It was so exciting to read about what's going on and to get the inside scoop. Wishing you masses of success! :-)

  5. Hi Victoria! Huge congratulations on your debut - it sounds gorgeous! Right up my street, just the thing to get me in the Christmas mindset! I love reading about the process, so different for everyone. I can really relate to your juggling. :0)

    1. Hi Charlotte! Thank you so much for stopping by and the congrats! LOL-I bet you can relate to the juggling ;-)

  6. WOOHOO!!! Huge congrats, Victoria!!! Am so excited for you. :-)

    I love the cover. So worth waiting for. I just got home from a day of Christmas shopping and now I'm off to 'like' your book and buy it. Can't wait to read it. *rubs hands together anxiously*

    So very, very happy for you!!!

    1. Thank you, Jennifer!!!! Thanks for all your support...hope you like the book! :-)