Q. Tell us about your new release—the inspiration, genre, characters or anything you want us to know.
"Cold Ambition" is the first book in the Jordan James, PI series, which is the story of a young woman from New Orleans living in Boston and trying to make it as a private investigator against some pretty serious odds. Her first case is a twenty-something-year old unsolved murder that not even Boston's finest could crack. Little did she know that with her very first case, Jordan would find herself unwittingly involved in an international conspiracy that puts her very life in jeopardy...
The inspiration for Jordan James came from the fact that as a child, I loved watching re-runs of "Magnum, PI" so much that I literally wanted to become a PI myself. The lifestyle presented in that show was possibly the most thrilling life I could have imagined - living in Hawaii on an ocean front estate free of charge and getting to drive a Ferrari you don't own while solving sensational cases with your friends? Who wouldn't want a life like that? When I truly began to put pen to paper, however, I couldn't imagine a more exciting city to begin a career as a PI than in Boston which, along with New Orleans, is one of my all-time favorite cities.
Now that you put it that way, I think I'd like to be a PI as well! That was a good show. I agree Boston and New Orleans are both great cities and wonderful fodder for novels.
Q. How long have you been writing and what is your typical writing day like?
I've been writing stories ever since I could write. Reading and writing have always been passions of mine, which is most likely why I became an English major in college. A typical writing day for me is atypical at best. At this point in my career, I still have a "day job," so I write whenever I can. Oftentimes, I get the most writing done on the go via my cell phone's writing app. If I'm writing a novel, my goal is to complete the first draft within a season. Editing takes more time, but as long as I get that first draft down, I'm good.
I've heard you talk about that phone app before. What is it called? Though, I can't imagine penning a novel (even part of one) on my phone. I love that idea to finish a draft in a season. Hmm. Maybe I'll try that.
This is my debut novel, but there are currently four books in the Jordan James, PI series. Soul Mate Publishing contracted book two, "Lost Distinction," and I am editing book three, working title "Retribution." I am also writing book four. I hope for this to be a continuous series like "Jack Reacher."
You are making me feel like a real slacker especially since I can no longer say my day job is anything but writing. But I did work outside the home for over 25 years. Congrats on selling book #2 and working on #'s 3 and 4. I'm impressed.
Q. Any suggestions on balancing writing and social media?
It's all about consistency. You have to remain active to keep your name and your work out there, but you don't want to over-saturate your market to the point you lose readers' interest. I try to keep semi-active on Facebook and Twitter as well as my blog, but I do not post daily. Marketing is easily a full-time job that could take away from your writing time if you let it. That's why it's important to be consistent, but keep things in balance.
Marketing can definitely be a full-time job. Achieving balance is key, I agree, but it's often hard to follow that advice.
Q. Tell us something quirky about you that we may not know.
It's not exactly quirky, but I love music and I play the guitar. I was in a band in high school called Outta the Blue. If I couldn't write novels, I would probably focus more time on my music.
You're cool! Love the name of the band and the fact that you can play a guitar!
Q. What is your favorite marketing tip/promotional advice?
When I first began my journey to publication, I was talking to a friend and fellow author and he said, "You're going to write? Then you need to Tweet." After a minimal argument, I agreed that whenever that wonderful day happened, the day when a publisher finally said, "Yes, we want to publish you," on that day I would give in and get Twitter. And I did. And my friend was right. Twitter allows you to reach, in my opinion, a wider audience than Facebook. Both are amazing marketing tools that anyone needing to promote themselves or their product/service should utilize, but so far, I've found it easier to engage readers on Twitter.
Interesting. I've found more fans and networking opportunities on Facebook! But I'm also on Twitter.
Q. What’s your next project?
"Lost Distinction," book two in the Jordan James, PI series. In it, Jordan is called upon to find the missing son of a US Ambassador. With time running out and lives at stake, she must race to uncover the culprit of an elaborate plot while also uncovering a far more personal truth too intimate to ignore...
Sounds intriguing and complex.
Q. I love first lines. Post your first sentence. Hook us!
Perilously perched on the edge of a high-rise that offered a spectacular view of Faneuil Hall is most certainly not how I pictured my untimely demise...
Good one!!! I just love compelling first sentences. They're so important. Now, I wish I had asked you why you decided to write using first person. Maybe you can tell us in the comments.
Everyone, please read Rachel's excerpt below, then leave a comment and follow her on Facebook and Twitter. And, of course, check out her novel, COLD AMBITION. Thanks for stopping by, Rachel.
COLD AMBITION Excerpt
So, on November 3, nearly a year and a half after graduating, I unlocked the door to my office, turned on the light, and smiled at the black letters freshly inked to the opaque glass in my door—Jordan James, P.I. Now all that I needed were clients. As fate would have it, someone was looking for a P.I., someone whose case would affect not only my career but my very existence.