Clarice, welcome to Writers on Reading! Your debut novel, Double Header, released mere months ago. Since you’re a Contemporary Women’s Fiction writer, I’m curious…as a reader are you drawn toward certain genres?
I am drawn to contemporary women’s fiction, but also love a good historical or classic. Of course, many of the books in my library are non-fiction, including topics on spiritual growth, devotionals, biblical reference, and even marketing and business.
Do you find one theme more repeatedly snags your attention as a reader?
The themes that resonate with me are often ones I’ve personally experienced: fighting God and finding Christ; new love after widowhood; letting go of control to experience God’s best for me; and finding God’s purpose for our life.
Is there something special you seek when selecting your next reading adventure?
I don’t want the book to be so shallow that I can’t learn from the story yet so deep that I get lost.
What was the most out-of-character book you’ve recently read, and what led to your choice?
Recently, I read Out of the Storm (HopeSprings Books, 2015), an anthology of short stories, many of which were speculative fiction, which is not a genre I am drawn to. Yet I enjoyed many of those very stories. My choice to read this book was due to one particular story: "Just West of Clovis," a western by Ralph D. James, who happens to be my husband. It won first place in its category.
As a writer, you should know better, but as a reader, you know we all do it…so, when did you last “judge a book by the cover”? How did it work out?
A few years back, I read a romance novel—not usually my first choice. But the history and writing were so good I’ve recommended it over and over--The Chamomile by Susan F. Craft (Heritage Beacon Fiction, 2013). Sometimes in historical stories, the researched parts are obvious. But Susan’s stories read like she lived during the revolutionary war days.
As a writer working on her third novel, do you find time to read?
I find pockets of time to read because I enjoy good stories, love learning from other writers, and find it relaxing.
So, what did you read while working on your last book?
I was a beta reader for Terrie Todd’s The Silver Suitcase (Waterfall Press 2016). It was excellent!
What was the last book you absolutely couldn't put down? Why?
It was a western titled West for the Black Hills by Peter Leavell (Mountainview Books LLC, 2015). He had so much conflict and tension in his story, it made it hard to stop reading! I can’t wait to get the next book in the series.
When did you know you wanted to write? Did any or multiple books influence this desire?
I had a high school teacher who was also the drama coach. His love of good books and his dramatic flair made writing seem fun, important, and worthy of my time. (Besides, I wasn’t an athlete and I couldn’t carry a tune.)
With a spring just sprung upon us, what is on your to-read list? And what is your ideal spring reading experience?
I want to read Cynthia Ruchti’s Song of Silence (Abington Press, 2016). When I read Cynthia’s books, I feel like I’m home. My front porch chairs aren’t out yet (still cold in New Hampshire), but it’s a quiet and bright spot to read. Then there’s always my big fat comfy reading chair in the living room in the evenings.
Is there a book you are looking forward to rereading?
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. It’s my all-time favorite.
If Casey Gallagher, the protagonist in Double Header, were to pick a book from today’s shelves, what do you think it would be?
They Wore Red Sox and Pinstripes: Players Who Went to the Enemy by Todd Stanley (McFarland & Co., 2016)
Thanks so much for visiting and letting us get to know you better as a reader, Clarice! Folks, you can continue to connect with Clarice—and find out more about her books!—at the links below.
BIO: Clarice G. James loves to read and write smart, fun, relatable contemporary women’s fiction. After many years of writing and editing for business and ministry, she now enjoys the freedom that writing fiction allows her. Clarice has been a follower of Jesus Christ for over 35 years. She and her husband live in Southern New Hampshire. Together they have five married children and ten grandchildren. Double Header is her first published novel. It was one of three winners in the 2014 Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest.
PURCHASE AND CONNECTION LINKS:
Since Mountainview Books LLC is a traditional publisher with a distribution source, you can request Double Header, at your local bookstore. If you’re in a hurry, there’s always online ordering at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.