Meet Clarice James…

I’d like to introduce you to my friend, Clarice James who has a brand new book, that’s just been released. Clarice, can you tell us a little about your book?

The title of my latest book is The Girl He Knew.

Charlie Dawson is a co-owner of a successful design-build firm in his historic hometown of Plymouth, Massachusetts. More important to him is his happy marriage to Juliette, the girl he fell in love with in tenth grade French class … the one he married right after college … the one he planned to have babies with soon—right up until the day she dropped dead.

Wrapping his mind and heart around the facts surrounding her sudden death is made even more difficult by an overbearing father-in-law—a retired Army Colonel and West Point graduate; a local police sergeant who suspects Charlie is at the center of foul play; and a compassionless and demanding client who doesn’t give him space or time to grieve.

Fearing he’ll forever lose the girl he knew, Charlie sets out on a course to discover the truth.

Wow, that’s sounds intriguing. I can’t wait to read it. Before we go any further, I have to ask, when you’re writing, who’s in control? You or the characters?

Definitely my characters. When I try to make then do something they wouldn’t normally do, I hear about it from them—and fast!

Who are your favorite authors? You know, the ones you read when you should be doing something else? Why do they appeal to you?

  • Cynthia Ruchti: She gets inside the heart and mind of women who have real life struggles.
  • Francine Rivers: Her stories are fascinating, and her writing keeps getting better.
  • Leif Enger: Such a wordsmith! His writing moves me (and makes me a little jealous).
  • Terrie Todd and Linda Brooks Davis: They transport me back in time, letting me live out the hardships and victories of their vulnerable yet strong protagonists.
  • Buck Storm: His quirky characters make me laugh out loud!
  • Daphne Simkins: Love her Southern charm and Southern characters. I smile through every page of her well-crafted books.
  • Ralph D. James: His anthology of short stories is filled with the funniest, weirdest, strangest characters and stories I’ve ever read.

Great. I need to check out a few of those. Now, how do you classify yourself as a writer?

I write smart, fun, relatable women’s contemporary fiction, woven together with threads of humor, romance, faith, and mystery.

Besides “writer,” what else are you? What is your “day job”?

I am a wife, mother, and grandmother. Now that I’m retired from my job as an administrative assistant, my day job is writing!

Can you tell us where you get your ideas?

My first book, Party of One, stemmed from my own personal experience of being widowed at fifty. The idea for Doubleheader grew from a comment I overheard someone make about forgiveness. Manhattan Grace was born when my friend’s twenty-something daughter said, “When are you going to write a book with me as the star?” The Girl He Knew came about when a friend lost his accomplished son to drug addiction.

Were books an important part of your household when you were growing up? My mother was the only one in my family who read a lot. I took to it naturally. I got most of my books from weekly trips to the library. I can still smell that place and run my fingers along their spines in my mind.

Any teachers who influenced you…encouraged or discouraged?

I had a high school English teacher who was also the head of the drama department. He made stories come alive! He showed me how important the placement of words could be to a story.

Have you bought an e-reader? What is your overall impression of electronic publishing?

I have an e-reader and use it often. I believe there is room for both print and electronic publishing.

Most recently, I redeemed a bookstore gift card to purchase two print books. The font on one was so small, I had to download the e-book to enjoy reading it.

However, I do enjoy holding a “real” book in my hands. I cherish my collection of autographed copies from my author friends. When studying, I like a print non-fiction book to mark up.

Are you in a critique or writing group?

Twice a month, I host a critique group for six fiction writers in my home. I also have a critique partner.

If so, how does it work and specifically how do the members help your writing? In both cases, we send each other excerpts (up to 2,500 words) a week ahead of our meeting times. When we meet, we go over our comments in more detail. I place a high value on my critique group members because of their varied strengths and observations. Often, the writers who may not be quite ready for publication have offered some of the most insightful critiques.

Any good suggestions for overcoming writer’s block?

I always keep a small pad nearby or in my purse. [I know, I’m old fashioned.] I jot little notes everywhere, then put them in the appropriate computer “slush” file. Many times, those bits and pieces are the start of a new chapter.

And finally, why do you write?

I believe God has given everyone a gift or talent to share. I write because I love it. Besides, I can’t do anything else as well.

Now, I’d love to post your bio and contact info, as well as a buy link for your book. 

Clarice G. James writes smart, fun, relatable contemporary women’s fiction, woven together with threads of humor, romance, faith, and mystery. When Clarice is not writing, she is reading, encouraging fellow writers, or giving author talks around New England. She and her husband David live in New Hampshire. Together, they have five children and ten grandchildren. Connect with Clarice on her website, Facebook, or via email.




The Girl He Knew

Thanks for the visit, Clarice and good luck with your new book. 


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