QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS WITH JAMES/JAIME RAVEN

Jaime (James) Raven was kind enough to answer a few questions regarding his reading and writing habits.
 

 
His book The Madam featured on the blog earlier this week - here.
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Is the writing full-time? What’s the day job or what were you in your pre-writing life?
 
I’ve been a full-time writer for the past seven years. Before that I had a career in journalism. I worked as a newspaper reporter for local and national newspapers and then as a television news producer for ITV. I eventually became Director of News and after being made redundant ran my own TV production company for six years.
What’s been the most satisfying moment of your writing career so far?
 
The most satisfying moment in my writing career was when my first book – Pinnacle of Ice – was accepted by Robert Hale publishers. It’s been re-published as Arctic Blood.
What’s your typical (book) writing schedule?
 
It usually takes me about six months to complete a book from the moment the idea comes to me. I don’t stick to a rigid writing routine, but will try to write at least a thousand words a day. I always write in long hand and usually in coffee shops.
Do you insert family, friends, and colleagues into your characters?
 
I tend not to include family and friends in my books because my characters are usually coppers, murderers, rapists and prostitutes! However, I do often insert the names of people I know for my characters.
How long did The Madam take from conception to completion?
 
I actually started writing The Madam a number of years ago and completed about four chapters. I then put it to one side to concentrate on another project. I went back to it when I was looking for something new and finished it in about five months.
Are you a plotter, or do you make it up as you go along?
 
I usually work out a storyline with all the main plot points. But as soon as I start writing I make so many changes that the finished product usually turns out to be quite different.
Are there any subjects off limits?
 
I don’t think any subject should be off limits to a writer.
Any unpublished gems in your bottom drawer?
 
There are no unpublished gems in the drawer but there are lots of ideas waiting to be developed.
The Madam and The Alibi are your two published Jaime Raven books to date, with The Punishment scheduled later this year, but you have a cache of books published as James Raven. Is there one of your books you’re more proud of than any of the others? Which and why?
 
One book does stand out for me because I actually chose to self-publish it. It’s entitled Malicious and it’s been one of my most successful books to date. It was downloaded 70,000 times in one weekend shortly after publication and went to the top of the Amazon UK chart. It features a female detective in the US who is addicted to online porn and gets in trouble when her webcam is hacked!
 
 
At the risk of being nosey – why the two author names?
 
When Avon/Harper Collins decided to take me on with The Madam they were keen for me to write under a pseudonym. So they came up with the name Jaime – which is catchy and gender neutral!
What are the last five books you have read?
 

The last five I’ve read as are follows:
Perfect Remains – Helen Fields
Blink – KL Slater
Watch Me – Angela Clarke
Panic Button – Charlie Gallagher
The Gift – Louise Jensen
 
 
 
 
 
Who do you read and enjoy?
 
I’m a huge fan of Jessie Keane. I like her hard-hitting, gritty novels and the way her characters come to life on the pages.

Is there any one book you wish you had written?
 
The Godfather by Mario Puzo. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read.
Favourite activity when not working (writing?)
 

Travelling and drinking wine and cocktails in great bars.
What’s the current project in progress? How’s it going?
 
I’m developing an idea as part of a two-book deal with Avon/Harper Collins. The pressure’s on because the book has to be finished by October 1 and I haven’t written a word yet!
What’s the best thing about writing?
 
Letting your imagination run wild.
The worst?
 
The isolation. When I’m stuck into a book I often don’t speak to anyone during the day.
In a couple of year’s time…
 
…I’d like to be one of the world’s biggest selling authors so I can ‘work’ on a luxury yacht moored in St Tropez…but I doubt it will happen….
Many thanks to James for his time. You can find out more about his books at his websites, here and here.

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