About Me

My Bio

My name is Fae James. I was born in Texarkana Tx in 1987. The genre of hardboiled writing has been a passion since I picked up my very first detective novel; Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett. From that moment on, it was a whirlwind romance. From the film noir movies like Sunset Boulevard and Maltese Falcon and the fancy fashion icons like Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Barbara Stanwyck, and Dita Von Teese, I couldn’t get enough. I was in Love. I was instantly caught up in a world of murder and mayhem, private eyes and femme fatales, and black and white…. Especially black and white.  There was beauty and mystery in this world I discovered, and I wanted to share it through my eyes.

My grandmother, Katie, was an excellent storyteller. My mother says that I get my creativity from her side of the family. It’s probably why I also have a passion for classic fairytales. Tales like Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and Alice in wonderland. When I decided it was time to create my own hardboiled murder mystery, I combined my two passions; fairytales, and vintage.

When I am not twisting classics, I am often found reading in a corner cuddling with my fur-child or embracing life finding inspiration everywhere. Otherwise, what is there to write about?

Author Q&A
  • What inspired you to become a writer?
    • I believe there were two times in my life when I knew I wanted to become a writer. I don’t know the exact time of the first incident, but I was young. I was constantly writing stories as a child and telling them to other kids in my class. Other kids wanted to be astronauts, I wanted to be a writer. However, I had a teacher who told me that writers don’t make money, so I gave up that dream for a long time.
    • November of 2014 was the second time. I was living in Dallas, working at a call center, just going through the motions of life. To be honest, I was barely surviving. One night I went to bed and suddenly woke up out of a deep sleep. I don’t usually remember my dreams, but that night I remembered a very vivid dream. I rushed to get a pen and pad and I began to write. I couldn’t stop. Most of it was nonsense, but I had so much fun! It was in that moment that I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I knew why I was put on this earth. Writing wasn’t just a passion for me. It was my purpose.
  • Why did you choose the genre of Hardboiled Noir?
    • I have a borderline obsession with the 1930s/40s. I love vintage things. The style itself is glamorous. I chose hardboiled noir because I adore the style of the detective novels. Maybe it has to do with the narrations. I also enjoy the slang of the dialog. Some of which was elegant and snazzy. Learning about the different ways to name a female was both fun and challenging. I also chose this genre because of the darkness. Crime played a big part in this era, so it allowed me to play with a darker nature of horror and gore.
  • As an African American author, why did you choose to write about a Caucasian protagonist?
    • I have to admit, this was a challenging one. I debated about it but reminded myself that I was doing a retelling of Alice in Wonderland. I decided to stay true to some of the natural elements of the original.
  • What inspired you to write Alice in Underville?
    • Would you believe that it was a song? It’s true. Alice by Tom Waits. The minute I heard the song, I saw her. I saw Alice in her trench coat and hat, her white button-down shirt, and suspenders. I pictured her walking along the docks with her hands in her pockets. She has a cigarette hanging barely on her red lips. Then I thought… Where is she going? (GASP) A murder! Dum.. Dum.. Dum.. It was all really epic in my head.
  • Which of your characters do you relate to the most?
    • Without being too cliché, I would say I am like Alice. I love my job of writing. I am obsessed with writing. Sometimes I forget the real world and get lost in the worlds I create. It’s my job, I love it, and it makes me do crazy things.
  • What is the hardest part of writing mystery?
    • The hardest part of writing mystery is making sure the clues match the climax. You know who did it, but do all the clues point to the culprit? It was fun having my friends and family role play the action scenes with me to make sure they play out correctly. It definitely helped with the rewrite.
  • Why self-publishing?
    • I chose to self-publish this book, for multiple reasons. I tried the traditional route on other books in different genres, but the process was not my cup of tea. It was long, stressful, and non-rewarding. With self-publishing, I had control of everything. I created the cover, I did the marketing, I picked the beta-readers and editors, and I designed the layout. Yes, it was still stressful, and time consuming, but with all the work I put into it, it felt amazing to see my product come to fruition. It was worth it.
  • Writing routines?
    • Of course I have a writing routine! As silly as it sounds, it is soft PJ bottoms, twizzlers, and English breakfast tea with milk and honey. Weird, I know.
  • How long did it take you to write, edit, and publish AIU?
    • I started writing Alice in September of 2017. I finished the rewrite and prepared it for beta reading by December. My first beta reader was done January of 2018. The cover was finished was by February. The layout was finished April 28, 2018. And after figuring out which platform I wanted to use for publishing, I published it on create space on July 6, 2018. It’s definitely been a learning experience.
  • How did self-publishing affect your self-esteem?
    • At first, I had many doubts. Can I do this on my own? What if they don’t like it? Am I good enough? All of these questions haunted me for a while. The overall process was like a locomotive. With ever finished milestone, I gained a little confidence. Once I saw the finished product, I had a sense of accomplishment that sent me over the moon. I cried. I couldn’t believe I did it. When my first proof came in the mail, I remember saying to myself… “Even if no one reads, even if they hate it, it’s ok because I did this for me!” Nothing can change the joy I feel right now.
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