Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Blog Tour: COED by @jamesfantjr #interview and #giveaway

Date Published: 02/14/2017
Publisher: James Fant Books, LLC

Can a man and a woman be best friends without somebody catching feelings?

Travis Barber and Sade Styles are best friends of the opposite sex. Despite what everyone thinks, they are not getting busy...yet.

Co-owners of a popular barbershop/salon in named CoEd, Travis and Sade spend the bulk of their days together. But when Sade’s apartment lease runs out and Travis offers her the spare bedroom of his newly built house, will they end up sharing more than just the utilities?

This witty, fast-paced romance seeks to answer the question: can a man and a woman be best friends without crossing that fine line into the land of lovers. Best case scenario, nothing happens. Worst case scenario, they get to know each other a little too well and end up hating each other!

Are Travis and Sade making the best move for their friendship?


Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?

I think the message I wanted to share is more of a question to my readers than a theme.  Do you think best friends of the opposite sex can be roommates and neither of them want more than just friendship? I don't think there is a right or wrong answer. But in the case of Trap and Sade, the hero and heroine of the novel COED... well...on second thought, I don't want to give away what happens to them after they move in together.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

The thing I find most challenging is having way more novels in my head than I have time to write. I've been blessed with lots of ideas as well as ideas that are birthed from previous ideas. A great problem to have. How do I get around it? I maximize my time. I use mass transit and write while I ride. I write while waiting in long lines. Recently, I was speaking to a colleague about Dragon software, Text-to-Speech. He told me that the software has come a long way. So I'll look into that next; I'll be able to write while I drive. But I'll be careful, trust me.

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

 I've published four novels and three short stories; however, if we're talking about books I've written, I have a trilogy waiting in the wings, #StephenStone. I also have a stand alone novel lined up about a man stuck in a time loop. Last but not least, book one of an upcoming franchise in which I shall introduce the world to an overweight, overly handsome ex-football player who is bodyguard to some of the craziest people in the world.

Which is my favorite book? The one I'm working on or reading at the time. I totally immerse myself into what I'm either writing or promoting. They're all my babies and just like children, you love them all, no matter how different they are.

If You had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?

 For my soon coming franchise, I was thinking Ice-Cube, even though he's not six-feet-five and doesn't weigh three hundred and fifty pounds. But if they can make Tom Cruise into Jack Reacher, why not Cube for A.N.D. (just the initials for now...I'll drop his name soon). Cube has the attitude and the humor to pull A.N.D. off.

For FOURTEEN PAGES, I actually had Don Cheadle and Jada Pinckett-Smith in mind for Marco and Venice Goldsmith. I loved the way they interacted in the movie Reign Over Me. They had great chemistry. So as I wrote that novel, I saw Don and Jada, all day.

For my latest novel, COED, I would cast Michael Ealy and Taraji P. Henson to play Trap and Sade. They moved well together in Think Like a Man and can pull off the respective swag and sexiness required for Trap and Sade. Both actors are diverse and could morph into the roles so well they'd expand the story, perhaps.

When did you begin writing?

 I started writing at an early age; I was eight-years-old, I believe. I wrote this short story which won an award in the third grade. I also wrote poetry all through high school. But novels came later in life. The novels surprised me, actually. I published my first short story in 2011 and my first novel in 2012: AN ODE FOR ORCHIDS, for which I won an award.

How long did it take to complete your first book?

 It took a while to complete AN ODE. It started off as a short story but the more I wrote, the more the characters had to say. I believe it was around 2009 when I realized there was a novel to be written. However, I was  busy finishing graduate school, so there was a delay. But the delay was a good thing because during the wait, I was inspired to change the name of the novel. Originally, AN ODE FOR ORCHIDS was going to be called Shawties.

Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?

Reading Eric Jerome Dickey inspired me to be a storyteller. EJD is a master storyteller who writes romance/relationship fiction just as well as he writes action adventure or even a graphic novel. He wrote a powerful story starring the X-Men Franchise's Storm playing opposite Black Panther.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

 My favorite part of the writing process is when I've finished the seventh draft, I share it with beta readers, and then I start getting feedback. Feedback is lifeblood. Even when your beta tells you that they didn't like something, it gives you a chance to strengthen the story.

Describe your latest book in 4 words.

 Witty, Fast-paced Romantic Comedy

Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?

 COED tells the story of business partners and best friends of the opposite sex who decide to become roommates. Can they be that close without wanting more than just friendship? Trap and Sade take us on a wild ride which includes lots of laughs, a little mischief, and a few awkward moments. But the story is also about each of them discovering a dark secret about the other person. Will they still be friends when it's all said and done?

What does the future hold for my writing? I want to constantly improve as a storyteller. I want to create many more fake worlds that cause people in the real world to ask interesting questions. Like in COED, for instance: Can a man and woman be best friends without at least one of them catching feelings? Now, that's an interesting question.

James Fant is an award winning author who lives in Charleston, SC with his lovely wife and two hilarious children. When he’s not reading everything from business management to mysteries or “entertaining” his family with piano solos and spoken word, James writes inspirational romance and suspense that warms the heart and hopefully makes readers laugh—in public.

Contact Information
Twitter: @jamesfantjr

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