Julie James – Romance, Uplifting and Joyful

It’s Read-A-Romance Month.


Visit every day in August to see what 93+ of your favorite authors have to say about The Joy of Romance. Do you love Romance? Let’s celebrate. xo

ReadARomanceMonth.com   |   RARM 2015 Calendar    |    RARM on Facebook

Romance and the Joy of Shared Moments

In a recent interview, I was asked how I began writing romance. And the truth is, in some ways, romance chose me. 

My writing career began with screenplays, the first of which was a romantic comedy that,SOS final cover while optioned, ultimately was never made into a movie. When the option on that script expired, I decided to turn the story into a book instead. After we sold the book to Berkley (my publisher), in my first conversation with my editor, I referred to it as a “romantic comedy.”

“Just so you know, in the literary world, we don’t call this a ‘romantic comedy,’” she explained. “This is a contemporary romance.”

“But I’ve never read a romance,” I said, surprised.

She chuckled at that. “Well, you wrote one.”

Nine years and eight books later, I’m obviously a lot more familiar with the genre than I was during that first phone conversation. What interests me, as a writer of contemporary romance, is not just the big moments—the Meet Cute, the Grand Gesture, etc.—but also the little moments that happen between two people as they navigate the trials and tribulations of falling in love, work through any obstacles or emotional baggage they might have, and ultimately decide, “This is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.” Life isn’t all big moments and grand gestures, and in real life, often, it’s the little moments between two people that are the most romantic.IHOW final cover

Romance is a genre that celebrates good moments. It’s a genre that uplifts and entertains. And that is something in which I’m whole-heartedly thrilled to take part.

Julie recommends:

I just had the delight and privilege of being on a panel at the RWA conference with these great authors, and heartily recommend their books!

Meredith Duran –  meredithduran.com (See her fun Q&A on Jen McQ’s RARM post.)

Sherry Thomas – sherrythomas.com (See Sherry’s fun RARM post.)

Lauren Willig – laurenwillig.com  (See Lauren’s fun RARM post.)

Questions for the Author:

Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy. 

I could say something about my husband or kids here, but we’re on Day 22 of R-A-R Month and I’m assuming lots of authors have given answers like that. So, as a long-time Star Wars fan, I’ll say the first time I saw the trailer for Episode VII—The Force Awakens.

“Chewie, we’re home.”

Seriously, I’m sitting here misty-eyed just typing it.

Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.

I know it’s cliché, but Disney World. I have such fond childhood memories of it—it was the one “big” vacation my family took when I was young (because my grandparents lived in Florida). And now I have the thrill of seeing the joy on my kids’ faces when we go there.

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

My kids laughing.

What recent book have you read that brought you joy. (Or a book you read in your life that brought you so much joy you’ve never forgotten it.) Why?

For me, it was the Trixie Belden series. TrixieWhen I was younger, I devoured that series, and re-read them numerous times. In fact, I loved those books so much that, out of nostalgia, a couple years ago I tracked down and bought old copies of the entire set. (I foolishly hadn’t saved my own.)  Here’s a pic of my collection, which I proudly keep in my office next to the desk where I write.

And for fun, the joy of choice ~

Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer (circ. 1964 aka Capt. Von Trapp?) – trying for a little diversity! ;o)

Tough choice… but because I just so happened to see Jurassic World for a second time today (my son is into dinosaurs big-time), I’ll go with Chris Pratt.

Julie is generously giving away three signed copies of SUDDENLY ONE SUMMER to U.S. readers, and one signed copy of SUDDENLY ONE SUMMER to an international reader.

Julie James (new)After graduating from law school, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julie James clerked for the United States Court of Appeals. She then practiced law with one of the nation’s largest firms for several years until she began writing screenplays. After Hollywood producers optioned two of her scripts, she decided to leave the practice of law to write full-time.

Julie’s books have been listed on the American Library Association’s Reading List for Top Genre Novels, Booklist‘s Top 10 Romances of the Year, and have been featured as one of Cosmopolitan magazine’s Red Hot Reads. Her books have been translated into seventeen languages and Julie’s eighth novel, Suddenly One Summer, is now available.

Julie James lives with her husband and two children in Chicago, where she is currently working on her next book.

Buy Julia’s books:

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(Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to an affiliate portal that supports Read-A-Romance Month. Thanks so much for your help!)

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  • Sharlene Wegner

    We are going to Disney World next week! Yay! Thanks for the post!

  • Karen Mikusak

    Loved “It Happened One Wedding”!

  • Kareni

    I’ve already read Suddenly One Summer (along with all your other books), so I won’t enter the contest so that others might win. Thanks for all the reading pleasure you’ve given me.

  • Julie Ford

    From one Julie to another thank you for sharing your talent. I love your books.

  • mariannewestrich

    OMG – I loved Trixie Belden! So glad to know one of my favorite authors did, as well!

  • Patty Vasquez

    “…in real life, often, it’s the little moments between two people that are the most romantic.” One of our local radio stations asked listeners to call in to the station to talk about something romantic that may have happened to them over the weekend. This was because one of the radio hosts didn’t believe most listeners experienced romantic gestures on a daily basis. Wow, was he surprised! Lots of callers were happy to tell him about romantic moments that ranged from a surprise filling up of the gas tank to taking the kids to the park for a few hours of quiet time to a foot massage that led to a more intimate event. It was great!

  • Erin F

    Thanks for such a fun post and congrats on your career!!! LOL… that’s perfectly right “…in real life, often, it’s the little moments between two people that are the most romantic.” Reading that moment over and over and the more perfect versions of it, is on of the greatest appeals of contemporary romance! Thanks for sharing!

  • Kathryn Trask

    Enjoy your books, love the characters and drama. Have enjoyed one book by Sherry Thomas – must read more.

  • Sue G.

    Love your covers! So pretty. Nice write up. Glad you found your favorite books!

  • Joan Varner

    Your books are laugh out loud entertainment for me. Thank you.

  • Sandy Xiong

    I think the first time I read the first book in your FBI series, I did not like it as much since I was not into FBI/romantic suspense at the time but then I grew to love it. Now I just can’t wait for the books in the series to be release

  • Sheila M

    I’m a big fan of your books. A lawyer myself, I appreciate the reality of your depictions of the lives of your lawyer characters.

  • Rochelle

    I’m guessing that screenplay was JTSMA and I adore that book and all of your books. I would have loved to have seen that book as a movie.

  • Christyna

    I love this story of how you got into writing romance novels. Funny how we can start down one path and find a new one to take instead.

  • Texas Book Lover

    Love that you didn’t know you wrote a contemporary romance! A really great one too!

  • Bernadette

    I loved your post! It’s so funny that you didn’t even realize you were writing romance. I absolutely love your books, the banter between the characters is always witty and charmingly cute. You’ve been on my instant buy list since I first read Practice Makes Perfect a while back! I can’t wait to read your next book!

  • jcp smith

    thanks for telling the story how you came to write romance

  • cheryl c.

    All of your books are on my keeper shelf. Your witty dialog is so much fun to read!

  • Sue

    I love reading your books………they are some of my favorites

  • alisha woods

    enjoy your books

  • Martha B

    The “meet cute” in It Happened one Wedding” has stayed with me ever since I read that book. The witty dialogue was brilliant. Even writing this comment brings a smile to my face. We are so lucky you switched careers to write full time.

  • catslady

    Oh, Trixie Beldon was one of the first books that was mine. I only had a handful because we mostly used the library but I still have them!

  • Jennifer C

    I am happy to have found your books! I love the story of how you came to write contemporary romances.

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    I loved how you ended up in the romance category and I’m glad you did.

  • i really love your writing style and i can’t wait to get my hands on more books fro you! thank you also for being attentive to your international readers it means a lot to us

  • LSUReader

    Enjoyed your post. Love your books. The romantic comedy/contemporary romance story is wonderful. Thanks for visiting.

  • Kim

    I have high hopes for the new Star Wars movie. After the disaster of the prequel films, they have a very low bar to meet. I don’t think The Force Awakens has to surpass the originals, it just has to be better than the last trilogy. That should be easy.

  • gailhollingsworth

    Keeping my fingers crossed, thanks for the giveaway!

  • Dorothy Salvagin

    I’d love to win!!

  • Jami B.

    Pick my Chris? Since I have a thing for guys named Chris, it’s a hard choice. Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt are some of my faves. But I have a thing for Chris Lowell…

  • Elizabeth ‘Liza’ Schroedle

    I have a whole set of Trixie Belden books, too. Fortunately, my Mom saved the set from my childhood. Some of the books are in sad shape as you can tell the ones that I read over and over again.

  • disqus_0S16OLSCOR

    I would love to win and read one of your books, thanks!

  • Stephanie Stevens Chalbeck

    I haven’t read Suddenly One Summer yet, but I have enjoyed your other books.

  • Diana Michelle Tidlund

    Julie.. I’m the same about Disney World!

  • Thank you for giving us good moments in reading your books!

  • Debbie Fuller

    Thank you for sharing here. You are a new author to me and I’m looking forward to reading your books.

  • Sia

    Thank you so much for your amazing work!! I have read all your books and can’t wait for the next one! ☺

  • Carol Luciano

    Thanks for sharing. I love your books Julie. You sat with three awesome Authors. On the panel. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  • Aye Lopez

    Thanks for the chance!! 😀

  • Aleen D

    What an interesting post! Thanks for the chance!

  • Vox Libris

    Thank you for the opportunity to win this book!

  • Kathleen Bylsma

    Hope you had fun at the game! Looked like a beautiful day in the ball park.

  • Linda Henderson

    I always enjoy your books and I can’t wait to read Suddenly One Summer. You always have beautiful covers too.

  • Leanna Hiner

    I love all of Julie’s books. They are all keepers that I reread.

  • Carol Opalinski

    All of Julie’s books are keepers and Jack Pallas is still my favorite hero ever!

  • Debbie_K

    Can’t wait to read the new book

  • The Book Disciple

    I love Julie’s books!!

  • T. Rosado

    I have been working my way through the FBI/US Attorney series and enjoying them so much! I’m so glad your screenplay set off your novel writing career.

  • Dawn Anderson

    I was such a big Trixie Belden fan. I still have a few, but sadly not an entire collection.

  • Pamby50

    It is all about the little things. They make you smile. A text from your kids saying I love you Mom. Your hubby brings home a flower just because. A Luther Vandross song he puts on to ask you for a dance.

  • Charlotte Litton

    Thanks for the chance ❤I love your covers.

  • alessya

    ADORE her books! Thank you for the chance!

  • Bernadette Long

    I loved reading your blog and learning about your moment of joy.

  • Val

    Julie, you should go to my Facebook page and see the Star Wars post, it’s cute. I can’t believe you used to work in a law firm. And how cool is it that they were wanting to make your screenplay into a movie. That could still happen. Have you ever resubmitted it anywhere? Thanks for letting us get to know a little more about you. This was a fun post and I’m totally coming back to fine out about more writers.

  • Suzan Morrow Farrell

    I have happy memories of Disney World, too and would love to go back there as an old retired person in my second childhood.

  • Karen G.

    I’m so happy your screenplay was turned into a book! Was it Just the Sexiest Man Alive? I loved that book and it would be a great movie. =D I am listening to and enjoying audio-books alot lately. I listened to Suddenly One Summer at work and l laughed out loud so many times! Not good! lol The narrator was awesome. Thanks for the chance to win a signed copy of it!

  • ptclayton2

    Love the happy memories at Disneyland and DisneyWorld . I don’t tweet so i miss out on alot of the entries i can only do the minimal due to disease and small time on comp.

  • Audrey Lei Pamfilo Lacambra

    thank you for the chance! 🙂

  • Connie Saunders

    I was also a Trixie Belden fan and I devoured her books. I admire your collection!

  • marypreston

    “Uplifts and entertains” – I’m all for that.

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    I love your books and I have read all of them!! You said something that confused me. You said that your agent said your books were contemporary romance, not romantic comedy. I don’t disagree, but I thought contemporary romance described books written about the now as compared to historic in the past. Yet I’ve also seen books labeled as romantic comedy. Am I missing something? Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this post. I really enjoy getting to know more about my favorite authors.

  • Marcy Shuler

    Thanks for the great post. I love your books!

  • Yessenia

    I like books about lawyers so when I discovered your books I got hooked. Read the whole series. I would love a paperback copy, I only have ebooks. Crossing fingers. Thanks for the giveaway! From Peru!

  • Angela H

    I had some Trixie Belden books when I was a child as well. They are good books

  • Diane Sallans

    We love Disney too! These stories look like happy fun!

  • Quinn Fforde

    Oh, that trailer! I wasn’t expecting to hear Harrison Ford, and then I was crying. Amazing.

  • Courtney Cogswell

    I have seen your name pop up so much lately that I am going to move them to the top of my TBR list. They sound right up my alley and I’ve never been steered wrong by Kindle Gal over at Kindles & Wine who just plugged one of yours as her top 5 must reads. Your post confirms it and I can’t wait to binge my way through your backlist!

  • Ariana

    I love love love Julie James! I’ve read almost all of her books, and she is by far my favorite author! I was finished reading Kristan Higgins when I stumbled upon her FBI series and became hooked! thank you so much for the chance!

  • kirsten west

    Star Wars is my all time favorite movie! When I’m in a bad mood, I put in A New Hope and everything gets better.

  • Mary McCoy

    I agree that the laughter of children is full of joy!

  • Michele H.

    Disney World is one of my special places too. My favorite moment was bringing my girls for the first time where they were able to understand what it was.

  • Kai W.

    I love your FBI series. There are moments where I would cracked up in the stories.

  • Glenda

    I wish I hadn’t let my mother get rid of all my Trixie Belden books. I never got the entire collection, but when I ‘outgrew’ them Mom decided to share with another family – at the time I didn’t mind but it would have been nice to have them at hand for my daughter. 🙂