Sunday, March 10, 2013

Life on Loan by Adrianne James: Interview and Excerpt



Welcome Adrianne. Thanks for stopping by and agreeing to answer a few questions.   So, shall we begin? 
Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it?

I do actually. I run two other businesses so I decided that a pen name was needed. I didn’t want my clients or readers to get confused. I mean, if you are searching for a photographer or graphic designer and find an author, or searching for an author but find a photographer, you might get a little lost. I want to make it easier for everyone trying to find me, so I had to choose a pen name.

Every name I came up with just didn’t feel right. I knew a pen name was needed, but I like being me. I didn’t want to pretend to be someone else so I started thinking of the nick names I have gone by in the past, but they were just that, my past. The name I finally chose, Adrainne James, came from my parents middle names. I figured half Mom and half Dad make one whole me, and that just felt right.

Tell us about your current release.

Life on Loan is the story of a girl forced to grow up much too soon and live a life no one ever should have to. There are many places in the United States that have an over abundance of homeless, but there are some places where the residence actually believe they don’t have that problem. It’s in those areas that it is the hardest to survive.

Paige became homeless at the age of fourteen but couldn’t help the sense of right and wrong her mother taught her before passing away. She knew she had to steal food and clothing to survive, but each and every time she felt guilt ridden. She promised herself she would pay it all back so she kept track of every penny she ever “borrowed”.

When Paige meets Noah, a young man who is new to the street and in need of some help getting by, her life changes in more ways than she thought was possible. Noah may be older than Paige, but he knows how to be a kid. Something Paige is in dire need of.

After a hard winter hits the new partners are faced with a choice, stick to the status quo and hope to survive the frigid air, or step up their game and take more than they ever have before.

Are the names of the characters in your novels important?  How and why?

I almost always have a reason for the names I choose. Paige Daniels is significant because Daniels was the maiden name of my late grandmother. Noah reminds me of one of my all time favorite romance characters. My other novels also have names that have meaning, like my children’s names and my best friends as well.

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

Most of the time my plots just kind of jump into my head. I may see a single scene, or might start looking for a specific type of story and just can’t find it.

I generally start with a very basic concept, and just work from there. With Life on Loan, I actually had the title first. Then I thought about what that could mean and built from there. My characters are all grown from situations. I try to make them as real as possible and do everything from researching online to talking with real people in these very real situations. Sometimes characters are loosely based on real life people, but I always try to mix it up a bit.

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

Absolutely! Every writer should have at least one if not more. My beta readers and critique partners are absolutely part of the reason that Life on Loan is what it is. The best kind of critique partner is the one you can create a real friendship with and who sticks with you through each of your novels. They learn your style and can even become a sounding board when you need to vent out your plot difficulties even before you begin to write. And nope, I am not sharing who my primary beta is because I’m not going to share her. :P

Tell us about your next release.

My next release, scheduled to come out in April, is titled Overexposed. Overexposed follows three teenage girls (Vi, Ashley, and Macy) while they work on a photography class assignment to learn how to document what is happening around them. In an attempt to stand out and earn the coveted A, they decide to be the TMZ of their school, sneaking around to capture the juicy secrets of their high school population. What they didn’t expect was to photograph the illegal activities of some of the schools most popular students. The worst part is they were caught and are now desperately trying to keep their lives together when the criminals want nothing more than to destroy Vi, Ashley and Macy’s lives before the girls can destroy theirs.

If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?

I will be writing a series as my next endeavor after Overexposed. I am going to delve into the paranormal world of lycanthropy. I will be building on an old myth about the Royal Werewolf and putting my own present day spin on it. I am super excited to start this series and right now have plans for at least four books.

Describe what it’s like to be an author in three words.

Wonderfully frustrating insanity.

Growing up, Adrianne couldn’t get her hands on enough books to satisfy her need for the make believe. If she finished a novel and didn’t have a new one ready and waiting for her, she began to create her own tales of magic and wonder. Now, as an adult, books still make up majority of her free time, and now her tales get written down to be shared with the world.

During the day, Adrianne uses her camera to capture life’s stories for clients of all ages and at night, after her two children are tucked in bed; she devotes herself to her written work. Adrianne is living the life she always wanted, surrounded by art and beauty, the written word and a loving family.


As a young adult author, Adrianne James has plans to bring stories of growing characters, a little romance, and perhaps a little magic and mythology down the line for her readers to enjoy.
Twitter @Adrianne_James

When seventeen year old Paige Daniels can no longer ignore the pangs of hunger, a dumpster is often her only source of nourishment. Paige has never had the opportunity to be a typical teenager. From the time she was thirteen, life has been lived on the streets. She steals what she needs to survive, but never without a silent apology and a promise to pay for whatever she took when she has the chance.

Paige finds herself with a new partner, twenty year old Noah, and her life changes in more ways than she ever thought possible. After waking up to the first snow fall of the year, Paige and Noah attempt to steal a blanket but end up taking more than they ever had before.

Will Paige and Noah just give up what they have come to know? Or will they do anything to keep the life they have begun to live?

I pulled my brush out of my bag and tried to tame my strawberry blonde curls. I had never understood that term, but my mother insisted I wasn’t a red head, I had the perfect blend of red and blonde and I was sweet like a strawberry. I smiled at the memory and pulled the rubber band from my wrist and wrapped it around my hair into a ponytail before using my dry toothbrush just as Dani had. When I was as close to presentable as I could be, I stood and began the short walk to the Salvation Army.
It was still early in the morning but the street was buzzing with activity. The mornings in Dover were always busy. Everyone had somewhere to be, adults went to work, kids went to school, and the rich uppity old people went to clubs or high tea or whatever they did. Everyone was always moving. The walk was a short one, but entertaining none the less.
When I reached the shopping center, there was still about an hour before it opened. I simply sat down on the sidewalk with my back leaning against the building, watching the world around me. I did this often; I really didn’t have anywhere else to be. The parking lot slowly came alive over the hour and people were going in and out of the surrounding stores. Children ran by me and played while their mother chased after them. I learned long ago not to help out when it came to kids. I had stopped a child from running into the street once and his mother practically disinfected the child right in front of me all-the-while yelling at me for touching him. She even threatened to call the cops on me because being homeless “had to be illegal”.
I heard the lock click from behind me and I stood waiting for the door to open. As soon as the worker was visible I knew the manager wasn’t working that morning. If I wanted warmer clothing for tonight, I would have to take it. I hated stealing. My mother would be so ashamed that I took things that didn’t belong to me. But I can’t imagine she would want me to freeze to death in my sleep either. Besides, I wrote everything I took down, so one day when I had money I could pay for everything I had taken. It was more borrowing without permission than it was stealing.
Shop lifting takes practice. Something I hate to say that I have plenty of.  After three years living on the street, I have perfected my technique and each type of store had a different one.  I walked through the door and smiled at the few employees who are there on the morning shift. Usually the mornings are slower, so typically there are only two or three people working. As I wandered the aisles, I took a mental note of where each of them were working.
After a few minutes, I made my way over to the sweaters. If I could get just one sweater, I knew it would be enough to get me through until winter really hit. I was grateful the thrift stores didn’t have the money for security cameras. I looked through the whole rack, pulling out nine or ten of them. Making sure I could see the workers one more time, I went to the dressing room.
I knocked softly on one of two dressing rooms for the whole store.  When no one answered I slipped inside with all of the sweaters. With the thrift stores, there is never anyone standing outside the dressing rooms to count the items taken in. That’s the key in this type of store. That is why I grabbed so many items at once, because there is no way for them to be able to tell if you come out with exactly what you went in with.  Taking the time to try them on, I found one that fit well and actually was rather pretty. I quickly slipped it off and put it in my backpack then put my own holey shirt on and left the confines of the little room.
Hanging all the remaining sweaters on the rack next to the dressing room, I sighed as if I was rather disappointed in not finding what I wanted. The worker came over and began collecting the sweaters.
“None of these worked for you?” she asked.
“Nope. They were all a bit baggy on me. Maybe next time. Thanks though!” I waved goodbye as the guilt began to eat away at me. Being as careful as I could to walk at a normal pace, I headed for the front door.
As soon as the door opened, the cold air hit my face and I was glad that I had that piece of warmth sitting in my bag.  I browsed the windows of the shops that surrounded Salvation Army for a few minutes then walked off down the street. When I was sure that I was far enough away that no one from the store could see me, I took the deep green sweater from my bag and pulled it on, relishing the almost instant warmth it provided.
I continued along the road, taking my time, enjoying watching the way the wind blew the trees and enjoying the sounds of the busy streets. One of the few good things about living this life is nothing is taken for granted. There is beauty in everything and inspiration in anything if you just take the time to listen. Most people either don’t have the time in their life of hustle and bustle or they simply don’t think it’s anything to take notice of. While I long for the day when my life revolves around a job and paying bills to a house that I live in, that I own, I hope I never lose sight of the little things the world has to offer us.

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