Featured Interview With Delta James
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. I grew up and spent most of my life in the Pacific Northwest. About four years ago, I had the opportunity to return to North Carolina. It felt like I was completing that circle and doing so appealed to me. So I packed up my girls (bassets) sold most everything I owned and moved to take a new job not knowing anyone here. Friends both here and in the Northwest tell me how brave they think I am. My response is always “It’s North Carolina y’all, not outer Mongolia!”
I have five (or rather four soon to be five) basset hounds. Goody (who is 10), Katy (who is an AKC Grand Champion and is 5), Emma (who is also 5), Roz who is 9 months old 9 (and became an AKC champion at just 7 months of age in two weekends of showing) and Ava will join us on Valentine’s Day and she is 6 months old. My sister once asked me if I was ever afraid I was going to end up being that crazy basset lady down the street. I told her I thought we’d turned that corner a long, long time ago. Now, happily I’m that crazy basset lady who writes erotic romance books!
Most of my books deal with paranormal romance, specifically wolf-shifters, or contemporary Westerns. I have ridden, competed and won at the highest levels of equine competition and think there is nothing more awe-inspiring than the wild horses who still roam our country free.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
My mother started teaching me to read when I was 3 or 4 years old. I wanted to learn and so she taught me. My first book was Marguerite Henry’s Misty of Chincoteague. I always think it started a love affair with reading and horses. I’ve been reading ever since.
I wrote my first novel almost 20 years ago. I had a publisher interested and had started to work with an editor, but my whole life fell apart and it never got released. Flash forward to sitting in my house one evening and pondering my life. I thought about the things I’d never done and realized that some of them weren’t achieved because the idea of actually succeeding scared the hell out of me. I decided I was done making decisions based in fear as I realized EVERY bad decision I ever made was based in fear. So I decided “no more.”
That night I began my first novel. That was the fall of 2017. It was accepted Thanksgiving Day of 2017 and was published in January of 2018. I wrote six novels under the pen name Willa Bradley for Blushing Books. I then got caught up by a paranormal book that I wanted to write and I decided to change publishers and pen names. I submitted Brought to Heel to Stormy Night Publications in late May of 2018 and it came out in July. I’ve been writing for them ever since — six paranormal romances in the Wayward Mates series and two contemporary westerns.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I refuse to name romance writers because there are way too many and I worry I would forget to mention one. Non-romance my two favorites are Robert Ludlum and Dan Brown … both of whom write strong female characters.
My favorite genre depends on the day. Sometimes I want something dark and seductive, sometimes another paranormal, sometimes something non-romance. It just kind of depends. I love that books can take us anywhere we want to go.
Who inspires me? As sappy as this is going to sound … my readers. I have the BEST readers in the world and they continually inspire me to write. Some have great suggestions; some think I totally misunderstood a character and need to write her story and others tell me stories they want to hear. To hear them say my book made their day, or taught them something, or made them see something in new light or even made them late for work. It is the best feeling in the world!
I don’t want to let my readers down so I write!
Tell us a little about your latest book?
Just released on February 1st is the sixth in the Wayward Mates series, Claimed and Mastered. This book is the story of a character who shows up in the fourth book for maybe 1/2 a page. No last name, no real description but within a week of Taking his Mate coming out, I had readers PMing me, FBing me and emailing me with “When do we get Ava’s story. I had to ask one of them …”Who’s Ava?” That’s how minor a character she was.
The interesting thing about this story is I saw Ava as manipulative and scheming — no way she could be the heroine of one of my novels. One of my readers told me that I didn’t understand her. I pointed out to her that I created her. She said she didn’t care, I didn’t understand her. Then she proceeded to share the backstory she had conceived in her mind. I sat there listening and thought “Hmm, I can make that work”) and I did.
She vowed she would never be mated. He claimed her anyway.
Ava Rhys has always chafed at submitting to the authority of her pack’s alpha, but when he tries to sell her body in return for money and influence, she decides she would be better off on her own. Ava’s plans to live as a lone wolf in the backwoods of Maine are thrown into turmoil, however, when the local game warden makes it his business to take her in hand, and the battle-hardened former Army Ranger soon proves to be just as fiercely dominant as any alpha shifter.
Declan Collins knows a woman in need of a man’s firm hand when he sees one, and it isn’t long before Ava is kneeling naked at his feet with her well-spanked bare bottom on display. Once he has taught her a better use for her sassy mouth, she quickly finds herself screaming her helpless, shameful submission into the bedsheets as he claims her so roughly and so thoroughly that she is left in no doubt that she belongs to him and there is nothing whatsoever she can do about it.
Now, keep in mind, Ava is a shifter — Declan is human. I thought it would be interesting to explore what might happen if its a human male (and not female) that is turned. Turns out this book I never saw as possible is one of my favorites.
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