Friday, May 25, 2012

CHRW Meet The Member:

Babette James at RT book signing
Babette James

How long have you been a member of Celtic Hearts?
I joined Celtic Hearts in January of 2010.

What prompted you to join this chapter?
I was originally drawn by the workshops the chapter offered and I’ve enjoyed being a member and have learned a great deal ever since. I’ve always been fascinated with fairytales, mythology, Celtic mythology in particular, and the Irish language, and this has inspired a fantasy romance series I’ve been writing about a lost and enchanted fae princess and the warriors questing to restore her and her magic to their war-torn world.

You’ve recently signed with a publisher. Tell us about your writing journey before and after this point in your life, and the details about your recent release.
My road to publication was both long and short. I have been writing all my life, but unfortunately, I let anxiety and doubt divert me from seriously pursuing publication until recently. I realized I had a choice: I could just keep filing the story ideas away, never be published, and live with wishful thinking, or damn the doubts, start the scary process of submission and maybe still never succeed, but at least I wouldn’t have to live with the worse regret of never trying. I have received several rejection letters since that moment on different stories, and each one delivered a different level of pain and frustration, but I determined to use them to make me tell a better story and make me a better writer. My first rejection letter was the best one and I will always remember that kind editor who took the time to write a few encouraging and critical comments in her letter and spurred me on to keeping hope and continue my efforts. Those efforts brought success last August when The Wild Rose Press made the offer for Clear As Day. The joy from that acceptance blew away the pain of every prior rejection. The Wild Rose Press has been great to work with. I have a gorgeous cover and the whole process from acceptance to galleys went incredibly smoothly.

My debut, Clear As Day, is a sweetly scorching contemporary romance about two friends “with benefits” facing the fears and uncertainties of their changing relationship. I loved writing Clear As Day, it’s been a story of my heart in many ways, so seeing this story bloom and come to life as a full-length published novel has been a dream come true. Receiving the 4 1/2 star scorcher review from Romantic Times and being able to hold my book in my hands have been truly thrilling moments.

In what genre do you prefer to write and why?
I am most comfortable writing fantasy and paranormal romance, and I enjoy the freedom of building fantasy worlds. I’ve always loved writing and making up fantasy stories, beginning back when I used to act out epic tales with my dolls. (My Barbies had swords and knew how to use them.) So, I have to admit my first sale being a contemporary romance came as a surprise, but I’ve been inspired by the group of friends and story world that developed in Clear As Day and I’m currently working on a sequel.

When you are not writing, what are your hobbies, passions, etc?
When not dreaming up stories, I enjoy playing with new bread recipes, dabbling with paints, and I try to keep up with the weeds in the garden beds. I’m a teacher and I love encouraging new readers and writers as they discover their growing abilities. My class cheers when it’s time for their spelling test! I like to travel and I hope to someday go to Ireland.

Share 7 fun facts about you that most people don’t know.
1) I’ve played with a tiger in my front yard.
2) I met Gregory Peck and shook his hand.
3) I don’t like ketchup but love tomatoes.
4) According to family legend, I have an ancestor that sailed on the Bounty.
5) I’ve performed at Disneyland in a marching band.
6) I know how to tat.
7) I’ve never been able to snap my fingers.


Babette James said...

Hi, everyone! Thanks for letting me share a little about myself here today.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

What a fun interview, Babette. Bear with me here - what does it mean you know how to tat?

Glad you never gave up. It took me 22 years and I blame not giving up on my Scottish stubborn streak. ;)

Babette James said...

Hi, Paisley,thanks! Tatting is a type of lace making.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Oh, WOW. Beautiful. Before carpel tunnel damaged my hands, I loved to do handwork. Never learned this lace. Thanks for showing me. At first I was thinking you worked in a tattoo parlor. ;)

Babette James said...


Sarah Hoss said...

How exciting and congratulations on getting published.

I love the 7 facts about you!

Thank you for letting us get to know you.

Babette James said...

Hi, Sarah, thanks!

Alexa said...

Great to "meet" you, Babette! I LOVED Gregory Peck!

Babette James said...

Hi, Alexa. It was a fun moment. :) I was so tongue-tied and he was very much the kind gentleman.

Pat McDermott said...

Wonderful interview, Babette. Love the Barbie dolls with swords! Hope to meet you in a pub in Ireland some day.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hi, Babette! So nice to learn more about you. A tiger on your lawn? Sounds like there is a story there.

Victoria Roberts said...

Sorry I'm a little late, but it's great to meet you, Babette. A tiger on your lawn? I agree with Dawn. Sounds like an interesting tale or tail, depending upon if you're addressing the tiger. ;-)