An Interview with Clarice James, author of Manhattan Grace

Posted by on Jun 8, 2018 in Blog, Books | 8 comments

 

Clarice James

Manhattan Grace is Clarice G James third novel. I’ve enjoyed them all, so I’m thrilled to welcome her back for another visit.

Your knowledge about sports impressed me in Double Header, and Party of One was one of the most entertaining stories I’ve ever read. Manhattan Grace is full of fascinating characters with such diverse backgrounds who connect with each other.

How did you come up with this story?

Years ago, when my friend’s young daughter, Shannon Grace, was asked to take a picture of her brother, she protested, “But I belong in front of the camera not behind it!” She was always dressing in costumes and taking selfies. When I was writing my first novel, Shannon asked, “Am I in it?” Inspired by her chutzpah, I created Gracie Camden, who first appeared as the hostess in Party of One. Throw in a Messianic mohel and an international jewel thief to round things out and voila!

Your theatrical knowledge is impressive. Do you have a background in theater?

No, I don’t have a background in theater, but I called on a few friends who do to supplement my extensive research.  

Manhattan Grace also enlightened me on aspects of Judaism I’d never known before. Do you have a background or experience that drew you to incorporate these practices into the story?

A few years back a missionary friend serving in the hills of Israel mentioned that the mohel (circumciser) serving their poor region only had one eye. That little tidbit fueled my imagination. Since my pastor identifies closely with the Jewish roots of Christianity, we’ve often had Messianic speakers at our church. Mix in a little research and sing a few songs from Fiddler on the Roof and you get Seymour! 

Your sense of humor always comes through. I can’t even develop questions about your books without laughing. Your contemporary stories incorporate quirky characters, interesting events, inspiration, a bit of romance, and some mystery. What aspect (humor, inspiration, romance, mystery) is your favorite to write?

Since I’m not a mushy or serious person in real life, I’m more comfortable writing quirky characters in funny situations—sometimes based on my real-life experiences. I enjoy writing authentic dialogue, too.

In your experience as a writer, you’ve shared in the past the importance of having a critique group. Do they write in the same genre as your stories? Since your husband is also an author, I’m curious, is he your first “editor” and if so, how does it work for you?

I had previously facilitated a large writers’ group. Eventually, six of us spun off into a group all working on novels. I am the only one who writes women’s contemporary fiction. The others write speculative fiction or fantasy. Ironically, I got my husband involved to help me critique their excerpts. He’s an integral part of our group now. Yes, we do submit our excerpts to each other first.

So, tell us, what you are working on now and when might it be available?

I’ve completed my fourth women’s contemporary novel. The working title is Reconciliation for Charlie. The storyline is much more serious than my previous books, but I may have to go back and add some humor. If all goes well, it will be out in 2019.

I’ve just begun my fifth, the working title is The Least of These. I have a vague idea where the story is going, but I expect it will take a few sharp turns before I’m finished.

How can readers find your books?

Readers can ask for my books at their local bookstores or find them online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

FEATURED BOOK: Manhattan Grace

AUTHOR: Clarice G. James

PUBLISHER: Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.

GENRE: Women’s Contemporary Fiction

MANHATTAN GRACE BOOK COVER BLURB:  When a door opens for Gracie Camden to leave Cape Cod and move to Manhattan as a nanny for a Juilliard drama instructor, she fully expects God to use her acting talent and launch her to stardom. She’s been there been six months. What’s taking him so long?

 

Manhattan Grace: https://www.amazon.com/Manhattan-Grace-Clarice-G-James/dp/1948888130/

Party of One: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946638137

Double Header: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B018A9G40W/ref=cm_sw_su_dp

 

What are your social media sites?

Clarice G. James Website: https://claricejames.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clarice.g.james

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClariceGJames

Email: cjames@claricejames.com

 

A GIVEAWAY for a Continental US commenter: The choice of one print copy of any of Clarice’s three books.  A winner will be chosen on June 12, 2018.  You’ll be glad you entered.

 

AUTHOR BIO: Clarice G. James writes smart, fun, relatable contemporary women’s fiction from a Christian perspective. Manhattan Grace (Elk Lake Publishing, Inc., 2018) is her most recent novel. Her previous novels include Party of One (Elk Lake Publishing, Inc., 2017) and Double Header (Mountainview Books, 2015). Clarice grew up on Cape Cod, but she and her husband David now live in southern New Hampshire. Together, they have five married children and ten grandchildren. When Clarice isn’t writing, she’s reading, encouraging fellow writers, participating in ladies Bible studies, or involved in a home decorating project.

8 Comments

  1. Great interview! I love how Clarice ties her story lines and characters together. She is blessed with great talent! I can’t wait to read Manhattan Grace 😉
    Congratulations on your latest book Clarice!
    -Lisa Malcolmson

    • I agree, Lisa. Clarice is quite adept at weaving her characters and themes together.

    • Thanks, Lisa! So great that my friend’s children and even grandchildren are reading my books. Who would have ever guessed?

  2. You’ll have to travel a long way to find an author who spins a tale the way Clarice James does. She weaves her impeccable research throughout with people you want to know and places you want to go.

  3. I loved both Double Header and Party of One, and cant wait to pick up Manhattan Grace.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Chris. Love her books. I’ve given copies of Party of One to several widows.

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