An Interview with
Curtis & Janice Sims
Janice Sims is the author of five
full-length novels and two novellas, all for the Arabesque
imprint. Her first novel, Affair of the Heart, was
published in July 1996. Her latest release, For Keeps,
debuted in September of
On a brisk Sunday afternoon,
our interviewer phoned Janice at her home in Mascotte, Florida to find
out what she has in store for her readers in the future. We were
surprised, and delighted, when her husband, Curt, got in on the
Curt: Hello, Sims residence!
RT: Hi, I'm Nicki Hand, from Romantic
(Excitedly) Yeah, Janice was expecting your call.
Hold on a minute, she's in the...
(Sound of Curt's voice being
Janice: (A bit breathlessly) Hi
Nicki. I'm here. (In low tones) Curt, don't you have
someplace else to be?
baby. I'm yours all afternoon.
Janice: Nicki, do you mind if he
stays? He'll behave himself! (Implied threat in her
restrained laughter) No problem.
Janice: Well, fire away!
RT: (Clearing her
throat) All right. Tell us what's next after For
Keeps? Any books looming on the horizon?
Janice: As far as I know I have two titles
coming out in 2000. A Bittersweet Love debuts in
March. This tale will take readers to Ireland and San
Francisco. The heroine, Teddy Riley, is a photojournalist who
needs to find a permanent job because her ex-husband, Adrian, is
suddenly back in the picture and he's making subtle threats about
seeking sole custody of their son, Alex. Teddy is offered a staff
position with a San Francisco entertainment magazine, Contemporary
Lives...IF she can get an interview with reclusive writer, Joachim West,
who just happens to be in Ireland. And that's why Teddy has to
travel to Ireland!
favorite story that's coming out in 2000 is The Key to My
(Laughing softly) Why is that?
Curt: Because the hero is loosely based on
(Laughing) He thinks ALL of my heroes are loosely based on
Curt: Well, aren't
Curt: What's THAT
supposed to mean?
means my heroes are amalgams of men I've known or men I've
admired. And a little bit of you is in all of them. Your
smile, your sensitivity, maybe the way you kiss me at certain
Curt: Don't get too personal,
baby. This IS going on the 'Net, isn't it?
RT: (Laughing) Do you two always
banter like this?
(Sighing) He can work my last nerve sometimes. But,
yes. It's usually like this. (Resigned) All
right, sweetie, I'll tell Nicki about The Key to My Heart:
The heroine, Kiana Everett, is suddenly thrust into a new role in life
when her sister and brother-in-law are killed in a car crash.
Kiana then becomes surrogate mother to her niece, Courtney.
Unbeknownst to Kiana, the brother of her sister's husband was named
legal guardian of Courtney if anything should happen to her
parents. Enter Gabriel Merrick, with the intentions of taking
Courtney back to Connecticut to live with him.
Curt: But Kiana has a thing or two to say
about that. That is, until she gets a load of Gabriel's
Janice: Kiana is
not a flighty woman. There had to be more in it for her than a
great body and a sweet words.
Curt: Yeah, but you've got to admit, it was
the body that initially caught her attention. The body. And
the dreads. Women like dreads.
Janice: So, now you're an expert on what
Curt: I've kept YOU
happy for eighteen years.
Janice: (Laughing) All right, I'll give
you that. You know THIS woman pretty well. But, please,
speak only when you're spoken to. We don't want to take up too
much of Nicki's time.
RT: (Laughing) I'm having
glad. Now. The Key to My Heart will be one of the
novella's in Arabesque's Mother's Day Anthology. Kayla
Perrin also has a story in the anthology. It's called...Wait a
minute, I have the cover right here...Maternal Instincts.
And Courtni Wright also has a story in the anthology. Her story is
titled, A Mother's Love. I'm very optimistic that this
anthology will delight our readers. I know I personally had a BALL
writing about Gabriel and Kiana!
Curt: And the love scenes were
Tales is a G-rated site, sweetie.
RT: Oh, it's okay to talk about
love-making, as long as you keep it tasteful.
Janice: Well, let's just say that Gabriel
has a lot to thank God for by the close of the last
The Key to My Heart lead into another story, like To Love
Again from your other anthology, Love Letters, did?
That novella led into your book, All The Right
No, I have
no plans for that. But, I'm glad you brought that up because right
now I'm writing a follow-up story to All the Right Reasons.
I'm tentatively calling it, The Best is Yet To Come. It
will be Toni and Chuck's story. Remember, Toni was the mother of
the twins. Chuck was their father. A father who neglected
them for years. And in All the Right Reasons, he sends a
private detective to find them. Then all hell breaks loose!
Anyway, The Best is Yet To Come should be released either some
time in late 2000 or in early 2001.
RT: Wonderful! I always thought
Toni should get her own story. She was one feisty character.
I loved the one-liners she threw at Chuck whenever they were in a room
together. I hope she makes him beg big time,
she will, she will! Then, of course, you've got Bree, who can
never go anywhere without getting into trouble. The locales I've
chosen for this story will be San Francisco, Boston, New Orleans and
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia! We're going to be doing some
Sounds great, I can't wait to read it. What about
Georgie and Clay? What happened with that couple? The last
thing I read, they were in a hotel room...
Curt: Getting ready to get
he's right. They were getting ready to get busy. So, Janice,
DID they get busy?
not only got busy, they got married and are now living in Boston where
Georgie's still an attorney, defending the rights of the down-trodden,
and Clay is still heading his private investigations firm. And,
yes, they're very happy!
I'm glad. I hate it when a couple's relationship
winds up on the skids when you revisit them years later.
Janice: Don't get me wrong, they have
their problems like every other married couple.
RT: You and Curt seem to get along
(Laughing) We get along because he can always make me
swear, he should have been a stand-up comedian.
Laughter helps us keep things in perspective. Then too, we've been
through a lot together. The kinds of things that either tears a
couple apart or bonds them together forever. Luckily our
experiences cemented our relationship.
Curt: Okay, you're getting syrupy sweet
Janice: Did anyone
say anything to you?
RT: (Laughing softly) Okay,
Janice. I have one final question: What about the
future? What do you want to be doing five years from
Janice: I'd like to
still be writing romances. I love romance. I know some
people think our stories are unrealistic or too sweet, but I don't see
them that way. A romance novel can always be counted on to do two
things: End on a positive note, and uplift its reader. I
think those are things to aspire to. On the serious tip, I will be
branching out into historical romances. I'm writing a tale that
will use the characters, Josie and Jacob Roberts from For
Keeps. Remember? They were the great-great
grandparents of Cheyenne Roberts. (Sigh) I can't wait
to see THAT book in print! I love Beverly Jenkins novels, and ever
since I read Night Song years ago, a historical novel has running around
in this chaotic mind of mine. So, I'm going to write it next
Historical romance. I love it! You go on with your bad
(Laughing softly) Well, thank you, Nicki. Coming from
a wonderful vote of confidence. I'll give it my
Then it's sure to be a hit.
RT: (Sighing) Ah well,
my time is up. It's been great chatting with you, Janice.
And you too Curt!
been my pleasure, Nicki.
Janice: Yes, Nicki, now he'll tell all
his friends how he 'saved' the interview!
Curt: Well, baby, you know it's
(Laughing) See what I have to put up