Virtual Blog Tour Kick Off
It is with my great pleasure and my sincere honor to be able to present an interview with Jessica James, author of Shades of Gray for this Virtual Blog Tour. I read and reviewed Shades of Gray over a year ago and it has since become one of my favorite Civil War historical fiction novels. I voted it one of my top ten reads for 2008 and I have just re-read it.
Enraptured by the romantic duet of Andrea and Alex I am captivated by this Civil War couple. Once again, their dueling discourse is so amusing to read it is unforgettable. The dialog flows naturally, their voices so real, charming, witty and brilliantly written by Ms. James.
I had a chance to talk to Jessica James about Shades of Gray and I wanted to share the interview with you. Please make sure you check out her awesome blog Life in the Past Lane. If you love history and historical fiction, this is a place you won't want to miss.
First, can you update us on what has been happening with Shades of Gray.
Sure. After your review in April of 2008, Shades went on to win two Best Regional Fiction awards and was a finalist for ForeWord Magazine’s 2008 Book of the Year in the Romance category. In 2009, it was a finalist in the 2009 HOLT Medallion Contest for Best Southern Theme, and it has twice hit #1 on Amazon in the romance/historical/U.S. category, temporarily overtaking Gone with the Wind. I’ve been really blessed with its success.
1. Why did you chose to write historical fiction and what do you want readers to take away from your books?
I’ve always been intrigued by stories of the past – especially the Victorian era when honor and integrity were such an integral part of our society. I hope readers leave Shades of Gray with the feeling they’ve read a great love story, rather than just a Civil War story, but I also hope the themes of faith, duty and honor resonate with them, and that they gain a better understanding of the emotional cost of the war.
2. Who are your literary heroes and why?
I like the strong, silent, mysterious type so Edmond Dantes from The Count of Monte Cristo comes to mind as well as Sir Percy Blakeney from The Scarlet Pimpernel.
Blakeney really epitomizes the mysterious element because the reader is led to believe he is a coward and a fop, when in reality he is risking his neck every night.
3. If you could meet any famous person in history, who would it be?
That’s an easy one. The main character in Shades of Gray is patterned after Confederate Colonel John Mosby, who was definitely the strong, silent type. He also had that mysterious quality about him that I find intriguing.
4. Favorite comment from a reader.
I don’t know if you remember, but the final line in your review last year was “Honestly, you will not sleep.” Since then I’ve received numerous comments from readers who say they didn’t finish Shades until the wee hours of the morning – and then had to go to work. Keeping readers up all night reading or thinking about the characters is one complaint that always makes me smile – and I can’t help but think, “well Wisteria warned them.”
5. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working on your book?”
Reading would be the number one thing, followed by gardening. (For me that means planting something in the fall and then when it comes up the next spring deciding I don’t like it there and moving it). I also enjoy traveling, the beach, and horseback riding when I can. Lately I’ve been creating press releases for other authors, which is really fun because of the variety of topics. Even though it’s writing, it’s a nice diversion because I’m learning about nanotechnology and the CIA (for crime/thriller authors) instead of historical facts.
I hope you enjoyed the interview with Jessica James. I have to grab some sleep tonight since once again I stayed up late reading this novel, even though I knew the ending... I couldn't put it down.
As part of this Virtual Blog Tour, please leave a comment to be entered into the raffle for this memorable "Basket of Goodies" that includes, T-Shirt, Pack of 5 Shades of Gray/Justus Greeting Cards,CD: Homespun Songs of the C.S.A. by Bobby Horton,Romantic Rose Stationary, Pack of Votive Candles and Southern Magnolia Handmade Virginia Soap, Virginia Grown Shopping Bag and Faux Roses. Along with your comments please leave your email so that if you are the lucky winner on the tour, we will contact you.