Meet an Author–Rhonda James!
I’m so excited to introduce December’s fabulous guest author!
*crazy guitar riff with a crash of cymbals after* (she’s got famous musicians in her family, folks!)
Rhonda is, first & foremost, an amazingly sweet person! I got to know her better last year when we both contributed stories to the anthology Alphas & Fairytales & she’s as nice as they come! Believe me, she’s been there for me & is so upbeat & as understanding as possible 😀
An Amazon Best Selling author, Rhonda writes new adult as well as contemporary romance with hotter than hell alpha males who, the more of them I read, they all eventually become my book boyfriends. Her dudes have turned me into a huge slut 😛 Sebastian from her books Across the Miles and Miles Apart ranks way up there, though. He’s hot, he’s a ROCK STAR and he’s broken until Brooke helps to make him whole (and vice versa!) *sigh*
Let’s find out more about Rhonda!
1. If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you win a medal for?
Rhonda: Bwahaha. This question is too funny because when I was a teenager I used to time myself while making the bed. I would finish and tell my Mom that I would win a gold medal for the World’s Fastest Bed Maker. (😂)
2. What’s your go-to band when you can’t decide what to listen to?
Rhonda: That’s a tough one. I just went through my writing playlists and noticed that most of them contain at least one Daughtry song. I also listen to a lot of P!nk. lol (Girl power!)
3. What’s something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Rhonda: Well, I am a very boring soul. You could say I don’t get out much, but one thing would be to visit the beaches of Lake Michigan (more specifically the northern coast). They are spectacular.
4. What’s something that a ton of people are obsessed with but you don’t get the point of?
Rhonda: The whole attraction to Game of Thrones. I honestly haven’t watched it so for all I know I could be missing out on some hot stuff. *If that’s the case then someone needs to please message me lol (Good God. How many of my friends do I have to smack around for not watching lmao It’s got HOT STUFF! WATCH!)
5. What are you looking forward to most in the next 10 years?
Rhonda: Seeing where this whole writing career takes me. I love looking back and seeing the books I’ve released and reflecting on what it took to create each one. Over the next ten years I think I have the potential to put out some pretty amazing work. It’s very exciting.
6. What fad or trend do you wish would come back?
Rhonda: 80’s music and 80’s hair. Even if it’s just for one week. lol ( 🎸💇🏻♀️)
7. What question do you most want to know the answer to?
Rhonda: Gosh. That’s a difficult question to answer. There are so many! I think right now I just want to know how Panera makes their tomato soup taste so good! lol (Not who shot Kennedy…or what’s the secret of life but…Panera…tomato…soup…LMAO)
8. PC or Mac?
9. Would you rather give up bathing for a month or give up the internet for a month? 😝
Rhonda: Internet (though it would be awful!). I love being clean! lol
10. What’s your guilty pleasure on Netflix?
Rhonda: Actually, I don’t watch a lot of TV so I don’t have one.
11. What’s one of your biggest pet peeves?
Rhonda: People chomping/cracking their gum. Repetitive noises drive me insane. Like, crazy insane. lol (me too 😒)
12. What was your favorite childhood book?
Rhonda: I’m not sure I ever had a true favorite. I read all the time growing up. Two that I remember reading over and over were The Cat Ate My Gymsuit by Paula Danzinger and Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. Those two made a huge impact on me in my life and fed my desire to become an author.
13. What’s the first book that made you cry?
Rhonda: The one that sticks out in my mind would have to Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan. I hit a certain point in that book and I literally threw my Kindle and wailed. It was 3 AM and I scared my husband half to death. Lol
*Added after the fact – I remember reading Chances and Lucky by Jackie Collins when I was just sixteen and I bawled like a baby.
14. If you could market/sell only one of your books for the rest of your life, which would you choose and why?
Rhonda: Jersey Girl – because I had the most fun writing it and it is one that most everyone fell in love with when it released. I love the whole ‘guy falls for his best friend’s little sister’ trope. The idea that someone thinks they have the right to tell you who you can and can’t love is something I’ll never quite understand. I love that these two characters acknowledge that but go for it anyhow.
15. Which character have you written that’s most like you?
Rhonda: I’d have to say Delaney Dixon, who was the heroine in Fire and Ice. She was a spitfire. Hardworking. Loyal. Dedicated to a cause. And when she loved, she loved deeply. I truly loved writing her and found that her thoughts and dialogue just flowed like water while writing.
16. What do you munch on when writing?
Rhonda: Sour gummies. WAY too many of them!
17. What is your writing kryptonite?
Rhonda: My lack of focus. I am my own worst enemy most days. lol (Same. I sabotage myself constantly ergh)
18. What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
Rhonda: Facebook – I pulled away for a month this summer and managed to get so much done.
19. If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
Rhonda: I believe I would have done more to solidify my independence. Moved out with friends. Traveled overseas. Gone to college and lived in the dorms. I remained at home (for personal/family reasons) and I truly regret missing out on life. However, I made up for it by running the streets with my best girlfriend and I was wild. There’s a little piece of my past in each one of my female characters lol
20. Have you ever Googled yourself?😉
Rhonda: Yes ma’am! I got a big kick out of it, too. My husband is bad to tell strangers to Google me and I am always behind him shaking my head not to. I’m really not all that interesting. lol (ditto 😝)
21. Music or silence when you write?
Rhonda: Music. Loud music and often the same song on repeat if I am in the middle of a ‘big’ scene.
22. Is there any other genre you’d like to try writing?
Rhonda: I’d love to write YA and there is one more but I am afraid I’m not cut out for it. But we shall see. It’s also always been a dream of mine to write a children’s book but now that I have these under my belt I would probably have to do that under a pen name lol
23. What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Rhonda: I find it to be challenging to write arguments between my male characters. I’ll write them and read them back and laugh because I’m like, “Men wouldn’t say those things!”
24. If you could spend the day with one of your characters, who would it be and what would you do?
Rhonda: Gosh, that is a hard one. My first reaction is to say that I would love to spend the day with Derek Davis from my hockey series. Davis is so deeply in love with Laney. He’s always doting on her and coming to her rescue. And the only thing he wanted in return was for her to give him a chance. And in the bedroom… Good Lawd that man was hot! I think we’d spend most of the day in bed! Lol (if I’m being honest).
25. Which character in your books would you be least likely to get along with?
Rhonda: As far as secondary characters, I’d have to say Michael Cross (he was the asshole ex in the recently released 21). I hated that man. Out of my main characters, I’d have to say Rhyann Michaels (she is the heroine in My Only Regret). She wasn’t good at standing up for herself and allowed people to walk all over her. I don’t like that characteristic—probably because it reminds me too much of myself lol
26. How do you choose the names of your characters?
Rhonda: Oh boy. That is quite a process! Every single time I hear a name I like I find myself jotting it down on a list. Then, I look at the list and mix and match the first names with other last names. I say them out loud over and over and if they roll off my tongue, or if they make me smile, I keep them. Then, I run them by my assistant. I will give her 3 options and we ultimately choose our favorites. Often times they will just pop into my head and I’m like ‘that’s it!’ But I try to be careful not to use names too similar to those found in popular titles because the popular characters tend to overshadow your own uniquely crafted hero.
27. What does literary success look like to you?
Rhonda: Publishing works I am proud of
Recognition from my peers
Making readers fall in love with my word
Hitting one of the elusive bestseller lists
Being able to financially provide for my family on my writing income
28. Your latest book continues your List Series. What got you into writing the series you have?
Rhonda: My latest release, 21, is the first in a new series for me. The LIST Series revolves around four up and coming rock musicians and the women who win their hearts. Each story features a “list” of sorts. The heroine’s list in 21 was supposed to be a list of items to help her break free from her lackluster life. A night of tequila shots leads her to create a sexual bucket list. The rest of the story is her crazy race to check off every item on that list. It’s hot. It’s funny. It’s emotional. Most of all, it’s super sexy.
My first releases all featured rock stars in various stages of their careers. Music has always played an integral role in my life. My father was a musician in a band for more than 40 years. I have several very famous musicians in my extended family. I used to dream of being on stage, and would have loved to pursue that road if I was in my twenties again. I find musicians to be sexy and, for the most part, honest and hardworking individuals just like you and me. They are relatable and that makes them fun to write.
I wrote my hockey series because I have always had a deep love for the game of hockey. Years back I had season tickets to the Detroit Red Wings and I rarely missed a home game. My series featured college players because I felt I had more freedom to write about them in the early stages of their career. Plus, I really love writing about characters in that stage of life.
29. What’s one thing you’d like readers to get out of your books?
Rhonda: My books always end with an HEA. I can’t help it. It’s just who I am. One takeaway would be that life isn’t always easy but if you’re lucky enough to find true love then hold on tight and don’t let go. I LOVE the whole idea of love. There are days when I’d love to throttle my husband, but I’d die for him every single day of the week. And I know he’d say the same. He is my true life Superman.
30. What’s the best compliment you’ve gotten when it comes to your books?
Rhonda: I truly love it when readers message me and tell me they felt as if they wanted to be inside those pages with my characters. They felt as if they ‘knew’ them and could relate to them on a personal level. That is so important to me. I want my stories to be relatable and something that sticks with you long after you’ve read the last page.
31. Anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?
Rhonda: I’d like to thank them for reading my stories. Joining my reader group. Reviewing my books. Messaging me late at night while they’re reading my words. I love every second of it! I want them to know that I’m not only an author but I’m also a fan, so I know what it’s like to finish a story and just need to reach out to the creator of those beautiful words that squeezed my heart in the best of ways. I want them to know that I’m always available to chat! Oh, and that I love each and every one of them!
32. Can you tell us what you’ve got coming up next?
Rhonda: Right now I am working on 17, which is the next book in The LIST Series. I also have another project in the works. Actually, I have about 5 more books lined up and waiting to be written. There has also been discussion of me co-writing with one of my favorite authors. Yay! (Awesome!! Can’t wait for all of them!)
Thank you so much for being my guest, Rhonda! I loved your answers & wish you much continued success with all your books & an amazing future as an amazing author!