Rosalind James is the author of the Kindle-bestselling “Escape to New Zealand” series.  She is a former marketing executive who has lived all over the United States and in a number of other countries, travelling with her civil engineer husband. Most recently, she spent several years in Australia and New Zealand, where she fell in love with the people, the landscape, and the culture of both countries. 

Having recently read Just This Once by Rosalind James, I was intrigued.  How did an American Author capture NZ mannerisms and culture so well?  This is an interview that Rosalind James has provided for a blog tour and kindly allowed me to use.

Your series is called “Escape to New Zealand.” Why New Zealand?

I spent 15 wonderful months living and working in New Zealand, and fell in love with the country. The beauty and diversity of the landscape (not to mention the seascapes), the Maori culture and its integration into the country’s life, and, perhaps more than anything, the people: modest, good-humored, unfailingly polite and hospitable, and so very funny.  I think everyone would like to escape to New Zealand—I know I did!

 On the same note, why did you decide on rugby players as heroes?

What’s different about the All Blacks is that the players are expected to be model citizens off the field as well. These young men face so much pressure and are under such a spotlight—it’s a completely different environment from the U.S. sports world. The combination of superb athletic achievement and celebrity with the expectation that you’re still a “good bloke” just fascinated me. And made me say: “romance hero”!

 How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

I’ve just finished my fourth book, Just for Fun. They are all my favorites while I’m writing them! Here’s how they fall out for me:

Most cathartic to write/favorite hero: Just This Once

Snarkiest banter/most interesting research (Maori hero): Just Good Friends

Funniest/easiest to write: Just for Now

Sexiest/most heart-tugging: Just for Fun

 Do you see yourself in your heroines? Which of them is most like you?

There’s something of me in all my heroines. Most like me: absolutely Hannah, in Just This Once. People say “write what you know,” so I did! That book has a fair amount of autobiography in it. The funny thing is that some reviewers haven’t liked her as well as my other heroines (I try not to take it personally!). They’ve thought her emotional issues should be resolved once she meets our wonderful hero. If only life worked that way, huh?

Least like me: Kate, from Just Good Friends. I wish I were that confident and tough.

 What surprises your friends about your books?

That they’re so steamy! J

When did you begin writing?

I’d been a marketing writer for 10 years, but I never had a thought of writing fiction.
I was on holiday in New Zealand with my husband almost exactly one year ago, and I had a story unfolding in my head as I so often do. For some reason, instead of telling myself to stop daydreaming, I let the story continue for days. I asked my husband, “Do you think I could write a book?” and being the great guy he is, he said, “Of course!” So I had him stop the car in Te Kuiti and bought a notebook, paper, and a pen. It was Oh So Scary to write the first sentence of “Just This Once.” But within two weeks, I was writing six hours a day on top of my regular job, and I knew this was all I wanted to do.

How long did it take to complete your first book?

Six weeks, while working at my “real job.” (I finished the book and quit the job.) I think up/write/edit a book in about three months, but that’s because I’ve been a professional writer working to deadline for so long–writing my own stories is so much more fun, it’s just a matter of keeping up on paper with what’s in my head.

 I notice that you’re self-published. Did you try the traditional publishing route first? Any advice for other writers considering self-publishing?

I queried agents for about three months with “Just This Once,” and got requests for more of the book from a few agents and one publisher. One day in June, I heard back from a very prominent agent, who’d requested the full manuscript, that she really enjoyed the story, but that “New Zealand rugby” would be too tough of a hook. An hour earlier, I’d heard from my doctor, who said, “I’m referring you to the oncologist, because we can’t tell what your tumor is.” My first thought was, thank God my children are grown. And my second was, thank God I have had the chance to find out what I wanted to do in life, and to do it. The one thing I knew for sure was that I didn’t want to die without publishing my books.

And the other thing I knew for sure was that “New Zealand rugby” was a GREAT hook! I finished writing “Just for Now” two days before going into the hospital and started editing again seven days after surgery. I decided that I still didn’t want to die without publishing my books, so within a month, I’d published all three! And by the way: I’m not dying anytime soon, unless I get hit by a truck—lots more time, I hope, to write lots more books!

We’re living in a wonderful time when you can see for yourself if your book has “sales appeal” or not. Why not give it a try and see? The risk and cost are low–professional editing and cover design, an author website. The dream, of course, is to get that lucrative publishing contract—but whether or not that happens, doing it this way is working great for me so far, and I’m so very thankful to have the opportunity to share my work with so many people.

 What have you learned from writing and publishing your books?

Life is all about taking risks. Anything that’s worth doing is going to be scary. The trick is to feel the fear and go ahead and do it anyway. Fall in love, write a book, pursue your dreams. That’s the underlying theme of my books, and my life.

 

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure. – Helen Keller

 

Website/Blog: http://www.rosalindjames.com

Twitter: @RosalindJames5  (https://twitter.com/RosalindJames5)

Facebook: rosalindjamesbooks (https://www.facebook.com/rosalindjamesbooks)

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/rosalindjames/rosalind-james/

Link to Purchase

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/rosalindjames

 

NZ Book Month – Rosalind James – A not so Kiwi author
Tagged on:     

3 thoughts on “NZ Book Month – Rosalind James – A not so Kiwi author

  • March 15, 2013 at 6:14 pm
    Permalink

    Hello Rosalind,

    I just checked out your books on Amazon, and was intrigued to see the range of ratings – from 5 stars to 1 star. Hard to please everyone, huh? I only mention this because one of my books received a few 5 star reviews and then was slammed with a mortifying 1 star.
    The other thing I’m intrigued with is ‘just’ how many reviews you’ve received – an amazing number! Your marketing is certainly working. What’s the secret of your success??

    Reply
  • March 17, 2013 at 8:17 am
    Permalink

    Hi Cherie–You’re right. Most of the 1-stars for the first book are people who hated my heroine. Sorry, guys! *I* liked her! For the second book, my 1-star is because there was too much sex. Sorry again! Luckily, my overall review average is pretty good, so I tell myself those few negative reviews just add credibility. Hard to take, though, as you say.

    I wish I knew the secret. I was frankly stunned when people started buying the books. First, it was going with Amazon’s KDP Select and having the free promo days. I did a blog post in response to questions from other authors about it, at http://www.rosalindjames.com/just-this-once-is-free/
    if you would like to read it. Second, I think New Zealand is a very romantic destination for American women. Finally, I think cover/title/blurb are critical. Other than that . . . don’t know! I’m just so pleased it’s working, and so grateful to everyone who’s bought.

    Reply
    • March 17, 2013 at 3:59 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks very much for the link to your blog post. I’ve heard about the free giveaways but hadn’t researched how it’s done. My book The Water Baby is about an American woman escaping to NZ – guess I should have put NZ in the title… I was seduced by an editor telling me that The Water Baby title would be a good seller. One day it will be:)
      I think it’s sometimes hard for writers to set aside time to market their books – whether self-published or with a publishing house, it has to be done.
      Congratulations on your wonderful ratings!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *