Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Fallen Angels Book Club by R Franklin James: Interview and Excerpt

The Fallen Angels Book Club
by R Franklin James
on Tour June 1st - July 31st 2013

          Welcome! I’m so excited for this opportunity to ask you a few questions.  Tell us about your current release.
            The Fallen Angels Book Club is a amateur detective mystery about second chances and getting out of your own way.
            Set in the San Francisco East Bay Area, it addresses what happens when a group   of white collar ex felons form a book club, and become murder suspects in  killings that are straight from their book club selections.
            What is the hardest part of writing your books?
            For me, the most difficult part of writing is after it leaves my printer or computer. Up until hat time the story was all mine, but once I let it out into the broader world it’s like sending your child to school for the first time—hello separation anxiety.
            Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
            I have both. I belong to a monthly critique group of five members. We each read   an average ten pages of new text per meeting. We exchange comments regarding copyediting, story content and plot.
            My beta readers are solicited after my first full draft and another group after the    second draft. These comments tend to be more detailed and lengthy than those of  my critique group.
            What do you think makes a good story?
            I write what I like to read. I want a complicated plot with main characters that can pull it off. I like twists and turns in a storyline that keep me guessing. Finally, I like to see the protagonist struggle with some internal flaw that is overcome in the end.
            Plotter or Pantser?
            I’m a plotter. I outline chapters and tentative scenes including the ending. I’ve created the roadmap for where I think I need to go.  However, I usually take detours and I rarely have writers block. When I finish my first draft, I outline my manuscript again based on what’s actually there.  At that time I check for scene coherency and forward movement. 
            At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
            I’ve written since I was a child mimicking the books I read by making up my own stories. I always wanted to have my book in the same library as Mark Twain.
            What hobbies do you actively pursue?
            I’m an avid reader. When I’m not reading or writing I try to carve out time to work in my garden and in the winter I also do needlepoint.
            Is there a piece of advice you’ve received that has really stuck with you?
            During different times of my life different pieces of advice have stuck, but the one that has remained with me is: I will only pass through this life once, so never  give up on my dreams.


Book Details

Genre: Mystery / Amateur Dective
Published by: Camel Press
Publication Date: May 1, 2013
Number of Pages: 264
ISBN: 1603819177 / 978-1603819176
Purchase Links: 


The Fallen Angels Book Club has only two requirements: the members must love books and have a white-collar criminal record. Hollis Morgan fits the bill. Left holding the bag in an insurance fraud scheme concocted by her now ex-husband, she served her time and is trying to rebuild her life. All she wants is for the court to pardon her conviction so she can return to law school.

After one of her fellow members is murdered in a scenario straight out of a club selection, Hollis is once again the subject of police scrutiny. Refusing to get stuck with another bad rap, she sets out to investigate her fellow club members. Is one of them really blackmailing the others? As a second member dies in yet another book-inspired murder, Hollis realizes that time is running out. Everything rides on her finding the killer--not just her career aspirations. She must identify the killer before she herself becomes the next victim. Everyone is convinced she knows more than she lets on. But what is it, exactly, that is she supposed to know?

Tonight it was my turn to come early and set up the space for our book club meeting. Our monthly gatherings were held in a small windowless conference room adjacent to the San Isidro Library’s main reading area. The Fallen Angels Book Club was an exclusive group, not only a love of books was required. You also had to be a white collar ex-felon.

I rubbed my hands together and peeled off gloves. My fingers felt like icicles. Thank goodness someone remembered to turn on the heat. The door opened and a gush of wind blew a cluster of leaves into the room along with Gene Donovan who tossed his hoodie and a small brown leather “man purse” onto one of the folding chairs.

“Hollis, let me help you with that.” His tousled blond hair was more askew than usual. Placing his book on the floor, he came over to where I struggled to roll out the meeting table.

“Appreciate it.” I straightened my back and allowed him to carry the bulk of the table’s weight. Fortunately, when I was with Gene, we didn’t have to speak. I caught a glance at his manicured nails and tucked mine into my palms. I liked Gene. He wasn’t afraid to show his feminine side.

We took special care not to drag the metal chair legs across the glowing veneer of the hardwood floor. Its beauty came from the handiwork of the night cleaning crew who waited for us to leave so they could begin their labor.

We settled into our chairs when Rory Norris strode in, let the door slam and dumped his books on the table. His hazel eyes did a sweep across the room as if expecting an ambush. A few more pounds had crept onto his already thickening frame.

Rory patted his black leather jacket as he laid it over the chair. “Hey, people, did you notice if they lock the gates to the parking lot? My Beemer just got detailed and I don’t want some neighborhood juvenile mistaking it for a marker board.”

“Nice touch, Norris, letting us know you got a new BMW.” Richard Kleh came in pulled off his knitted skull cap, revealing an emerging bald crown. He nodded toward the door. “Go check for yourself. Hey, Hollis, did you finish the read?”

“Of course. You’re the one who never finishes a book.”

“Well, I finished this one. It had me going until the end. The characters were realistic and…and…”

“Memorable?” I could tell from his frown he wasn't kidding.


R. Franklin James was born and raised in the San Francisco East Bay Area. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and completed the masters program in Public Policy at California State University East Bay. She has also received her paralegal certification.

She and her husband live in northern California with their English Springer Spaniel, Bailey.

Catch Up With Ms. James:

Tour Participants



CMash said...

Another great review. I find it so interesting to learn more about authors that I like. Thank you for this post!

R. Franklin James said...

Thank you for the post and the exposure of the Fallen Angels to other readers.

Have a happy 4th!


Teena in Toronto said...

I enjoyed this book.