E.J. and Annie like each other, so what’s the problem? Rock star/actress Cassandra Lawrence is the problem. Despite their obvious attraction to each other, Cassandra’s history in show biz and distrustful nature conspire to keep them apart.
Can E.J. break down the walls Cassandra has built around Annie? Can Annie learn to trust E.J. enough to let him even try? And what’s with E.J.’s bizarre dreams about the North Star? From Chicago, through the heartland and all the way to the Malibu Pier, they struggle to accept that while faith, hope and love are important, trust is the key to the future.
Welcome Jim with his brand new debut novel, Fallen Star
Do guys have any business writing romance?
Yes, absolutely! To me, romances are stories about the heart--am I worthy of love? Will ever find love? Those are themes that apply to men every bit as much as women, even if the majority of guys would probably rather die than admit that. When given the care and respect the story deserves, I believe yes, a guy can write romance.
Tell us about yourself:
I’m a lifelong resident of the State of Indiana who’s been lucky enough to be married to my best friend for over 22 years. My wife Nancy and I have two sons, Ryan who's 16, and Aidan, who's 12. The Cangany household is an artsy one. Nancy is an accomplished quilter, Ryan plays the bass guitar and Aidan plays the trombone.
What was your first book?
While Fallen Star is my first published novel, the first book I ever wrote was called The Magic Coin. It was a fantasy I wrote for a school assignment in the eighth grade. Hopefully, my writing’s improved a little since then.
Describe your first break.
My first break was joining the Indiana Romance Writers of America. It's an incredibly talented and kind group from whom I learn something every day. There's no way I'd be a published author today if not for the wonderful women of IRWA.
Many aspiring writers find agents more elusive than editors. What qualities would you suggest a writer look for in an agent?
I don’t have an agent myself…yet. That’s one of my career goals, by the way. But based on what I’ve read and observed, as a writer you need an agent who is as passionate about your work as you are. The other thing I would want in an agent is someone who sees his or her working relationship with me as a matter of teamwork. I want an agent who will work with me to achieve common goals.
What is your favorite genre?
I read in a lot of different genres, including romance. I love the variety of going from an Agatha Christie mystery to a Sandy James romance, but for pure pleasure my favorite hasn’t changed from when I was growing up. I love sci-fi.
What is the best thing about being a writer?
Having an idea pop into my head and thinking, hey that might make a good story. I’ve had stories come to me from when I’ve been shoveling snow to visiting with co-workers in the office.
What is the worst thing?
For me, it’s the grammar! I didn’t study English or writing in college, so it’s a constant challenge to stay on top of proper sentence structure, punctuation and things like that.
With the advent of digital publishing, everyone seems to be publishing his or her own eBook, often without an editor. What impact does this have on the publishing world? The reading public?
As someone at the start of my writing career, I freely admit I need a publisher and the professional editing that comes with that relationship. For an established author, I think self-publishing's a great thing and more power to him or her. For the public, I think it means more choices, which can be both good and bad. You may find a self-published book that's wonderful, but you may just as easily find one that simply wasn't ready for publication.
How important is POV in your stories?
My first three novels are written in first person from the point of view of the hero, so for me, POV couldn’t be more important! One of the things I enjoy about writing romance is that what's going on inside the head of a character is just as important, if not more, than what's going on outside. For that reason, paying attention to POV is challenging, but rewarding when done well.
Pantser or plotter?
75% pantser, 25% plotter. I start my stories with a group of notes or an outline to give me the general structure of the story I need in order to stay on track. From there, I take off. Within the confines of my outline, I'm never exactly certain what's going to happen next. For me, that's part of the fun of writing.
What do you see the direction of your future writing taking? What can we expect next? Give us a little taste.
Fallen Star is the first of a three book series. The second book, Lucky Star, is scheduled to be published early next year. I'm currently finishing up the final installment of the series, Wish Upon a Star. My next project will have women's college basketball for the setting, and I can't wait to get working on it. Overall, I've found that sweet, contemporary romance is a good fit for me, so look for more stories from me based in the here and now, with a little sports thrown in for good measure.
"And here we are," Annie said as she dropped her purse in a window seat. Our seats were in business class, about two-thirds of the way down the train car on the right. She pointed above us to the baggage storage area. "Would you mind?"
"Not at all, least I can do." I lifted her luggage over my head and placed it in the storage compartment. I gave the train car a once over, taking it all in, and okay I admit it, stalling. For some reason, it seemed that sitting down next to Annie was going to create some kind of commitment or bond or I don't know what, between us. Or maybe I was just chicken. Here I was, a grown man and I was scared to sit down next to a pretty girl. How weak was that?
Fortunately, Annie came to my rescue.
"Here, come join me." She patted the empty seat cushion next to her.
I may be chicken, but I'm not stupid. When a pretty girl asks you to sit next to her, you do it. I sat down and dropped my backpack between my legs. Looking around, I continued to study our train car and the other passengers that were finding their seats. The car seemed like a cross between a charter bus that you might take on a big group trip and an airplane, with an aisle down the middle and two roomy seats on one side, a single seat on the other. The windows were large to provide for great views once we got out of the station.
"Not bad. This business class is nice. I've never taken a train before, so this is all new to me."
"Really." Sarcasm dripped off each letter of the word. "The way your head won't stop turning this way and that, it's a wonder you haven't gotten motion sick or something."
"And I take it you're an experienced train traveler?"
She nodded. "I've done train travel from time to time. It can be a nice alternative to flying or driving."
The train lurched forward and we began our trip to St. Louis. "Wow, good to know I'm in such experienced hands. So where are you headed?"
Annie looked out the window. "Home."
The way she said that single word, so wistfully, almost sorrowfully, told me I shouldn't intrude, but I couldn't help myself. She’d told me that she lived on the West Coast, but that was an awfully big area. "And where might that be?"
She started playing with a lock of hair by her ear. "Southern California, L.A. area."
"Nice. So what do you do there?"
"Oh, I run my own business. It's similar to a consulting thing."
She sounded tired, as if whatever she did, she didn't truly enjoy it. I was going to ask her more, but she leaned her seat back and closed her eyes.
"Please don't take offense, E.J., but I'm kind of tired. I think I'm going to try to catch a little nap. Do me a favor. If I'm still asleep, wake me before we get to Bloomington please. I'd like to… Oh, you'll do that for me, yes?"
"No problem." I reached down, unzipped by backpack, and pulled out a red sweatshirt emblazoned with the yellow and blue logo of Cycles Forever, the bike shop back in Indy where I'd gotten my start. "Here, use this for a pillow."
She stuck out her hand, took it without opening her eyes and placed her under her head. "Thanks." She turned toward the window. "You're a nice guy. Wish more people were like you."
Want to read more ? Buy it on Amazon.
A lifelong resident of the State of Indiana, Jim Cangany is proud to call himself a Hoosier. The youngest of eight children, he grew up in a household full of books and people. Thanks to the influence of his older siblings, Jim gravitated toward fantasy and sci-fi when looking for something to read. He wrote his first story at age fourteen. A school project, The Magic Coin was a fantasy that involved a king, some bad guys, and, not surprisingly, a magical token.
These days, Jim writes romance on the sweet end. If you ask him what is a guy like him is doing writing romance, he'll reply, "Those are the stories in my head." A believer that the world has enough doom and gloom, he likes stories with a happy ending, regardless of genre.
Fallen Star is Jim's first published novel. He lives in Indianapolis with his wonderful wife Nancy and his two sons, Ryan and Aidan.
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