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 1999.  

    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 conversation!

(Phone ringing)

Curt: Hello, Sims residence!

RT:  Hi, I'm Nicki Hand, from Romantic Tales...

Curt: (Excitedly)  Yeah, Janice was expecting your call.  Hold on a minute, she's in the...

(Sound of Curt's voice being abruptly muffled)

Janice: (A bit breathlessly)  Hi Nicki.  I'm here. (In low tones) Curt, don't you have someplace else to be?

Curt:  Nah, baby.  I'm yours all afternoon.

Janice:  Nicki, do you mind if he stays?  He'll behave himself! (Implied threat in her tones).

RT: (With 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!

Curt:  My favorite story that's coming out in 2000 is The Key to My Heart!

RT: (Laughing softly) Why is that?

Curt: Because the hero is loosely based on me!

Janice: (Laughing)  He thinks ALL of my heroes are loosely based on him!

Curt: Well, aren't they?

Janice:  Somewhat...

Curt:  What's THAT supposed to mean?

Janice: It 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 times...

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?

Janice: (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 charms.

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 women like?

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 fun.

Janice: Well, I'm 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 hot!

Janice:  Romantic 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 chapter.

RT:  Will 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 Reasons.

Janice: 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, girlfriend.

Janice:  Oh, 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 traveling!

RT:  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 busy!

Janice:  Sweetie...

RT: Well, he's right.  They were getting ready to get busy.  So, Janice, DID they get busy?

Janice: They 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!

RT: 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 VERY well.

Janice: (Laughing) We get along because he can always make me laugh.  I
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 now...

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 now?

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 year.

RT:  Historical romance.  I love it!  You go on with your bad self!

Janice(Laughing softly)  Well, thank you, Nicki.  Coming from you, that's
a wonderful vote of confidence.  I'll give it my best shot.

RT:  Then it's sure to be a hit. 

  (Sighing)  Ah well, my time is up.  It's been great chatting with you, Janice.  And you too Curt!

Curt:  It's 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 true...

Janice: (Laughing)  See what I have to put up with?