Are you sure? I’m not really all that interesting, but I’ll give it a shot anyway…
I graduated from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, with a B.A. in English Literature and Language and a focus in Drama (but not the icky kind—the Theatre kind). I went one to teach both Theatre and English for nine years all over Texas. I’m now a full-time writer, mother, and wife. And, like the characters in my novels, I come from a tightly knit Irish-Lebanese Texan family that provides me with endless fodder for my writing. (Just kidding, relatives! Okay, maybe not. But I love y’all lots!)
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love writing because it’s something like creating life. You know that sense of fulfillment when you give birth to a child after a long nine months or when a difficult student finally gets what you’ve been trying to teach him or her? It’s like that for me—the idea that I’ve made something from nothing and it is beautiful.
Where do you get your inspirations for your books?
All the inspiration for my books comes from my own life. Without interweaving my own experiences with my characters’ personalities, I think my stories would be less powerful. Chance meetings, memories, and injustice all inform what I choose to write about. I want my stuff to be real and relevant, even if it’s technically fantasy.
Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process?
My writing process always begins with a vague idea. Somehow, over weeks or months, that idea begins to coalesce into a whole and images form in my head. At that point, I write whichever scene from the story that comes to me first – usually something from near the end. Once the near-end is done, I go back to the beginning and write until my muse gives out. I’ll skip around from there to whatever is begging loudest to be written. When all is created and done, I go back and weave all the disjointed scenes together.
What do you find most difficult about writing?
I am a perfectionist and a grammar fascist. Things like a single verb or comma tend to wrap me up like a pretzel. It’s very difficult for me to let go and just write, but I am very slowly learning how to do that. Maybe in another few years…lol.
What genre do you write, and what is your current wip?
I write Young Adult fiction. My first novel—the initial installment of a trilogy—is Contemporary Paranormal with Romantic elements. The upcoming sequel also contains a healthy does of alternative history. My current WIP is a contemporary YA novel dealing with Teen Dating Violence, and it’s been really interesting to live in “the real world” for a while.
What are your future goals?
I only hope that I can change a life or two for the better with what I have to say. My entire purpose when I started writing was to help young people and—hopefully—save them from some of the pain that gained me what little wisdom I’m able to impart.
Can you give any advice to aspiring authors?
Keep writing. Write as much as you can. Don’t be afraid. Rejection is painful but necessary.
And join a critique group. They’re the best weapon in your arsenal and your biggest cheerleaders.
BLURB: Born into a family of Guardians—extraordinarily gifted humans who protect mortal souls—seventeen-year-old Rose Kazin shows no signs of being blessed with the supernatural talents her family has used for generations to fight demons. When she and her father figure, an age old celestial Warrior, are horribly wounded in a demonic ambush, Rose awakens to find a younger Warrior, Ouriel, has volunteered to stand in as her protector. She rails against his presence—and her own heart—but Ouriel seems interested in only one thing: teaching Rose how to protect herself from the demons she was never supposed to fight.
I didn’t notice the demons until one had his arm clamped around my throat.
Choking, I looked around and saw we were surrounded. I didn’t have to think before I reached for the knife at my back. Instinct and training took over, and I slammed my gift from Ouriel into the abdomen of the demon holding me. He dropped to the ground. I turned to stab him a few more times, to keep him out of the fight a bit longer, and then ran for Miriam and Ouriel. My sister was firing off arrow after arrow, sinking as many as left her quiver into demon flesh. But more kept popping in all around us.
I can’t say how many demons I cut and sliced with my knife and nails to get to my sister and my Warrior, but I got through enough to guard their backs. Finally, the three of us stood together, facing down the enemy. Ouriel slipped me his knife, and both of my hands became deadly. Behind me and out of breath, he shouted, “Miriam, get Rose out of here! Run for Ishmael’s house. I will cover you!”
“No way!” I yelled back. “I’m not leaving you!”
Ouriel decapitated two more of the demons rushing him. “You have to!”
“No!” I screamed and took down one of my own, kicking and jabbing her into a bloody pulp.
“We can’t hold them all off,” Miriam panted. “And I must save you at all costs.”
Ouriel spun and, in one fluid move, gored a demon and pushed me through the opening toward Ishmael’s house.
Great interview! I tend to be a perfectionist, too...heh. And I absolutely adore the YA genre, so I think it's cool how Julia writes for it!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Heather! YA is a great genre to write for.Delete
Julia, I can relate to the perfectionism!!ReplyDelete
It's nice to know I'm not the only one! :-)Delete
Writing is like creating life. I like that! Great interview.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Stephanie!Delete
I hate it when I'm in the middle of a super scene (at least it is at the time) and I see a misplaced modifier. No! Not now!ReplyDelete
I'm in sympathy with her on that grammar/punctuation issue.
Thanks. It really can be crippling. Darn it.Delete
Julia had some AWESOME advice. Fabulous interview from her! And her work is totally my kind of read… looks haunting and fun!!!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Morgan! I'm glad you enjoyed a trip into my strange mind.Delete
Hi, Cathrina, Hi, Julia,ReplyDelete
What a fascinating heritage you have, Julia.... You must have some AWESOME family stories up your sleeves. LOL..
Great to know about you and your book. This is a very important issue..... Teens go through so much in their live and need books like yours for guidance. They need to know they are NOT ALONE.
My second novel is about a teen boy abused my his alcoholic dad. Very intense. But it's a subject many teens are subjected to in their lives...
All the best with your novels!
Thank you, Michael. I agree that we need more books like ours for young people. In fact, one of the plays I wrote for my students while I was still teaching dealt with date rape. Many people shy away from dealing with such controversial subjects for young people, but I think they're the ones that need it most! Keep doing what you're doing. I love it.Delete
Nice to meet Julia! That's excellent advice. Joining a critique group was the best thing I have ever done.ReplyDelete
They really are worthwhile, Christine!Delete
Sounds like an interesting family you have there. Loved the interview.ReplyDelete
They are very entertaining, Susan. ;-)Delete
Nice interview, and action-packed excerpt!! My writing process is similar to yours--I never write from beginning to end! My scenes jump around and then I figure out how to fit them together after I plot it out. :)ReplyDelete
Wonderful, Cortney! We jumper-arounders a special breed.Delete
Thank you so much, Cathy, for having me over for a visit! I really appreciate it!ReplyDelete
I can relate to your difficulty of letting go and just writing. Those little errors keep crying out to be fixed.ReplyDelete
Why won't they just leave us alone, Lynda?!Delete
I didn't know you were a teacher. I can understand what you mean about fulfillment when a student finally gets something. Great interview. Changing someone's life with your words, lofty goal, but achievable.ReplyDelete
I taught for nine years, Nana, until the doctors made me quit. I really loved it. Sometimes I'm sad that I can't go back (at least not yet, maybe someday they'll find a cure!) and, other times, I'm super glad that I don't teach anymore. Teenagers certainly are exhausting. Lol.Delete
Hi ladies! I agree with Julia. Writing is like giving birth to a new being (or many of them--our characters). Great interview and much success with your novels!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Aneta! Much luck to you, too!Delete
This is such a great interview! I can totally relate to perfectionism.ReplyDelete
We perfectionists should start a club - maybe one of those Anonymous ones...Delete
Terrific interview. Author interviews always helps me deal with my own hang-ups and process. Great to meet you.ReplyDelete
Nice to meet you, too! I love hearing how other authors deal with the same issues I've got. Makes me feel less alone and crazy.Delete
Best of luck Julia! The story sounds like a good read.ReplyDelete
I totally agree that books are like our babies, querying is like sending them off to kindergarten, and publishing is like graduation day. There's lot of work in between.
Thanks! And the workload really can be outrageous. That part of the process really surprised me. It's a good thing I actually enjoy editing. ;-)Delete
Ooh, demon fighters? That's awesome.ReplyDelete
I'm a perfectionist too, but my hubby is a leap-before-you-look type. I tend to think he balances me out. Super awesome.
I like demon fighters, too!Delete
Awesome interview! My writing process is very similar to yours, Julie! Especially the skipping around as certain scenes beg to be written. Very cool! So nice to "meet" you!ReplyDelete
Nice to "meet" you, too! Are you ADD as well? Lol.Delete
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Lovely interview! Congrats, Julie! And that's a cool writing process you have. I tried it with a NaNo novel once, and it was a lot of fun.ReplyDelete
Thank you! Did the process work well for you?Delete
Great interview, and congratulations, Julia! I loved that blurb!ReplyDelete