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I first "met" Julie on Authonomy and, as soon as I read what was then a very early version of Running Home, I knew she was onto something. Just over a year down the line and Julie is published, through Books of The Dead Press, and I'm on the verge of the same.
Here's a quick Q and A which Julie has kindly done for me and which give some insights into both her, and her work, for her army of fans.
Your vampires have an unusual Oriental aspect to them. What inspired you to take that route?
I have a lengthy background in martial arts, and I’ve always wanted to go to Japan to study there. My crippling fear of death turned me on to Japanese death god mythology, and I love putting a twist on classic myths.
Running Home clearly lends itself to a sequel, and I believe it's part of a trilogy. Did you set out to write three books? Or did that evolve as you worked through RH?
I did not set out to write a trilogy, I just wrote. I wrote it all longhand, and when I started typing the book up, I realized I had actually written 2 books! So Running Away is already drafted from this uber-long book I wrote, and then the trilogy idea erupted from that.
Twitter, your writing partner Kristen, Authonomy, all of these things helped you get RH from a pile of notebooks to a top 25 listing on Amazon. Which steps would you recommend to other aspiring authors out there?
You ask the smartest things. Listen to criticism, but stick to what makes your work yours. Seek to improve, but not change. And for the love of all things holy, get on Twitter. Because of Twitter I found a writing community to support me, a thousand presses and agents looking to give advice on how to get published, and had enough of a voice to eventually land my first publishing deal and an incredible literary agent. There’s too much knowledge on Twitter to not be a part of it, not to mention the friendships I’ve made there have helped me hone my writing to the point it is now. But honestly, just write the book you need to write. Don’t worry what everyone on earth says about it. Write what you feel needs to come out and if you feel strongly about it, so will everyone else.
What are you focusing on at present besides the PR for RH? The sequel? Or another project?
Ah, you know this one. I just finished writing a different book, The Harpy, about an abused girl that turns into a vengeful beast to help her cope with her pain by causing pain in all the right people. That one is the one that got me my agent, Eric Ruben Esq.! And I’ll be editing another book I finished a bit ago called The Animal, a Boston banker that’s possessed by an desecrated Egyptian sex god. But my primary project starting in September is Running Away, and God, is it digging under my skin to be written.
What made you choose horror as a genre? And is it something you will stick with or will we see you try other genres in the future?
Horror is fun to write! I enjoy writing horror short stories, and may delve into the short story series Inscription I wrote to make it a novel, but really Urban Fantasy is my calling and what I do best, I think. I have an idea for a YA swimming around, too, but who knows if it will ever see the light of day.
What is your favourite scene in RH?
I really like the coming home scene after Nicholas SPOILER REMOVED, and takes off like a bat out of Hell to kill the man in the woods. It was the first scene I imagined, and it showed up in my head out of nowhere when I was listening to Kings of Leon’s song, Closer. The rest of the book came out of that scene that’s somewhere in the middle of the novel.
Thanks for that Julie, and good luck with both Running Home, and your future novels. Not that you need it with talent like yours.
just because I'm on holiday, and a good thing too. If it did then I wouldn't be able to reveal the cover for Discoredia! I hope you all like it, as it was a difficult choice between this, and a more 'rave' themed concept.
What I had to keep in mind was that this was a book cover, not a flyer, and the brighter tones of that option may well have stood out more, but that didn't make it a better choice.
Feel free to comment, the decisions made but I'd still love to know what you all think.