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Growing up in Joliet, Illinois, Samantha James had many childhood aspirations--being a writer was never one of them. When she was ten, she was certain she was destined to be an astronomer. That soon changed (happened a lot during those pre-teen years!) when she decided archaeology was in her future. Detective work was her next goal, thanks to the Trixie Belden mysteries she was reading, and before long, nursing beckoned (courtesy of the Cherry Ames series). In college, she set her sights on teaching history, then briefly entertained the notion of becoming a flight attendant, only to discover she did not like to fly.

Fond booksignings memories:Samantha James, signing books
Samantha James, signing books
Samantha James, signing books
Samantha James, signing books

Having been raised in a family of avid readers, she was rarely without a book in hand. Her tastes were rather eclectic. She got hooked on the Doc Savage series and Edgar Rice Burroughs after her older brother finished them, in her teen years, moved on to Agatha Christie, Daphne DuMaurier, and Phyllis A. Whitney.

In the meantime, the right guy came along. They met on a semi-blind date at an office Christmas party. She was told he wanted to go out with her, and he was told she wanted to go out with him. Six months later, the U.S. Army shipped him off to Germany--and she wrote faithfully at least three times a week--she often jokes this was the start of her writing career!

Marriage followed, as well as three daughters. Samantha left the detective work to her husband and turned her attention to raising their girls. When her youngest was six months old, two things happened: 1) she read Moonstruck Madness by Laurie McBain and scrambled to find every historical romance she could lay her hands on; 2) her older brother revealed he was writing and submitting his short stories to big-name magazines. As he put it, "I've been rejected by the best of 'em."

The seed was planted. Rejection was a dreaded word, but Samantha figured, "Well, if he can take it, so can I."

That summer, she wrote not one book, but three--longhand, in a notebook, during naptime. Bedtime. Any time she could. The burning desire to write was a long time in coming--she was nearing thirty by then--but she discovered that once she set pen to paper, she couldn't stop.

Those three manuscripts did get the dreaded rejection letter (they're still languishing somewhere in her attic), but she finally hit pay dirt with her fourth. Samantha's brother promptly proposed collaborating on a fantasy together--alas, still unwritten... Nowadays, she's firmly convinced she's the queen of rejected titles for her books. She's only managed to retain two original titles thus far, but writing is indeed a dream come true...

To date, her books have been published in numerous foreign countries (her daughters' number one choice for show-and-tell were always the foreign editions of Mom's books). Known for her heartfelt, emotionally charged "three-hanky reads", her books have been nominated for numerous awards, and have consistently hit the bestseller lists.

Maybe someday she'll do that fantasy-romance collaboration with her brother. For now, she's having a great time spinning dramatic, passionate tales of old...

 

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Are you planning a book that features Brodie, the son of Cameron and Meredith from His Wicked Ways, and Elizabeth, the daughter of Egan and Glenda from His Wicked Promise?
I must admit, as I was writing the epilogue in His Wicked Promise, it did indeed cross my mind that I should pair the youngsters Brodie and Elizabeth together in a book of their own. But when I moved on to other ideas—especially once I started writing the Perfect series that features the Sterling siblings—Brodie and Elizabeth's story got put on the back burner. So while I don't have any plans at present to write about these two, that doesn't mean the idea has been  completely scuttled. I'd love to write another medieval someday, but for now, I'm very content in nineteenth-century England.

Who comes up with your titles?
I wish I could say I got to keep all my original titles (all of which I became rather attached to, frankly), but alas, I didn't. I am, however, one of those writers who has to have a title when I sit down and type page one. Usually my editor will call, say we need a new title and ask for suggestions; the final title is something we both agree upon. I've only had a couple of titles make it through from beginning to end. To see which ones (and my original titles) check out the Behind the Scenes feature for each of my books

You write in several different time periods. Why?
I go wherever my characters--and my muse--lead me! When the urge to write historical romance first struck, there was something about fairy-tale castles, lords and ladies, and knights in shining armor that I found utterly captivating--thus my first historical was a medieval. My next proposal was actually a western, but my editor wanted another medieval to follow the first. My western ended up being my third historical. For the fourth, I jumped back several decades and across the pond to Regency England. But the truth is, I love writing in ALL historical time periods.

For website purposes, I devised an at-a-glance way to let you know when each of my books are set. Please see my settings feature, and then go visit a book page set in a far off time.

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