Here is another mutual FB Friend that I asked for an interview, and only then found just how very popular and prolific a writer she is.
CeeCee James is the author of a heartbreaking memoir, several stand-alone novels, plus romance and cozy mystery series.
She has been very frank in going public with her own experiences to help others and she is active in suicide and child abuse prevention.
I can’t even begin to describe the heartbreak of reading CeeCee’s own experiences in her book and blog. With all that she has come through, or probably because of it, she is a kind and warm person who encourages others and writes mostly encouraging stories with happy endings.
Once again, I have left an interviewee waiting and with so much work to her credit, I am going to have to limit myself on how many questions I ask her.
Hi Tonette, and I have to say, I love your name. [Thanks! Want to trade???-T]
Let’s get right to the hardest. “Ghost No More” is the name of your memoir. I have not gotten through it yet, only the sample. Your story is echoed in many children’s lives, especially in the area where I now live. I had a hard childhood, but not the American version of a Dicken’s tale like yours. A major theme that runs through your works are forgiveness of self and others. Is there a simple answer for how to accomplish this?
I feel like God rescued me, like snatching a burning stick from a fire. And he’s shown me beauty comes from ashes. I feel like I never knew a moment without fear for 18 years, not one breath. So when he saved me and I had that moment with no fear… And saw love and how valuable we all are—I guess it comes from that. It’s given me a heart to share… Your story matters.
The “Second Chance Romance” trilogy contains much of your own past pain, if not your experiences. Did that make the writing more or less difficult for you?
This was where I put some bits and pieces that didn’t fit in my memoir. I had a lot of fun writing them, and I often want to go back and redo them.
Another theme in your works is reconnection with family members. Is this something drawn from your experiences?
Geez, this interview might come across like a bummer! LOL Unfortunately, they’ve chosen otherwise. But even with that I’ve learned you can’t love someone enough to get them to love you back. Its hard when people chose that, but I realize sometimes it’s a protection.
But my heart is always for reconnection with people who want it. None of us are perfect and if we can come together, have grace and appreciate the weird cool stuff about each other, I think that’s a pretty successful thing.
You “Angel Lake Mysteries” features a recurring protagonist who moves between many jobs, but always finds herself involved in a murder. Did you, (like me), find yourself in many jobs? Have you ever actually been involved in a murder mystery or found a body?
I have Elise have so many jobs because it was fun for me to explore. I confess, I had more than a few jobs, but none as exciting as Elise!
The “Chelsea Lawson Cozy Mysteries”: In the first book, she quit her job to take care of her friend’s child and ‘pets’, and finds herself temporarily in charge of a small farm, which doesn’t go terribly smoothly. As a city girl, do you think you’d like to try farm life, or is Chelsea’s situation a nightmare to you?
LOL She just cracked me up. I laughed so hard the time she slipped in what she hoped was mud. She’s a survivor though. I think this is my funniest series.
The “Baker Street Mysteries” actually has a baker. I was a baker; do you bake?
I do bake although I’m always learning more. Georgie bakes like how I started, lots of mistakes and oops, and scrape it off and it will be fine. LOL What I love about this series is that Georgie is a tour director to American Revolutionary sites. So I learned a lot about our history and it was fascinating.
Most realtors that I know have many interesting experiences which have almost rivaled some of the stories in your “Flamingo Realty Series”. Have you ever been in real estate, or do you consult realtors on the realities of realty?
I’ve done a ton of research for Stella. She’s a doll. Very brave and smart. And stubborn. She pulled her entire family together, and made it work. She also learned she’s much stronger than she ever realized.
The “Oceanside Hotel Mysteries”! I miss the (Atlantic) ocean greatly. You live in Seattle, have you lived at the ocean? Would you like to run an inn?
Like so many other people, the ocean is one of my favorite places. I had so much fun with Maisie. She’s so dependable and gets the job done even when her mom and basset hound sabotage her with their crazy schemes. I think that’s why I have so many series. I love exploring all the unique situations.
The “Circus Cozy Mysteries”; were you a kid who wanted to run away with the circus?
Do you have any circus-like skills?
Trixie is special to me. These were the first little books where I opened up a bit more to some emotions of people struggling to make it. That’s another thing, my books have taken me on a journey as well, one where I’ve grown and learned so much about myself. Trixie is a survivor, and more than that, she learns to thrive. I’m proud of that girl. Is that weird to say? LOL Sometimes my characters have a life of their own.
You always include pets in your books. I know that you are a loving mom to your own children, as well as a doting pet mom. Do pets enter into your books more often than children?
I think that animals are what make the world go round. I have to have them. I love writing about them and they bring me cozy feelings even in my books.
I wish that we had time for a sit down conversation, CeeCee. Your life and works are truly inspirational. Is there any more that you care to tell all of us?
I just appreciate everyone who reads my books and thank you from the Bottom of My Heart! That was my one dream as a kid… to be a writer. And to be here and doing it is one of the greatest achievements of my life (next to my darling kids xx)
Please tell our readers how they can learn more about you and your work.
There’s a few ways you can contact me.
[CeeCee’s Amazon Author Page link below, because the image she included would not post.]
And if you love to play games and relax and chat, and also hear about my book goodies, please join my reader group.
If you want to know about my new releases, you can follow me on Bookbub or Amazon.
Thank you Tonette for this amazing interview. It was unique to be asked questions, and I loved it. You are amazing!
[High praise indeed from you, CeeCee! You are a pretty amazing person yourself. Thank you so much for a great interview-T]