Hi, Nick! Thanks for interviewing me on your blog!
I'm a normal twenty-something girl who aspires to be a published author. I grew up in New England, the most beautiful place in the U.S. (in my somewhat biased opinion). I'm the daughter of two math-minded engineers and older sister to two math-minded brothers, so I'm something of a black sheep in my family :)
I studied biology in college, but switched tracks from medicine to something a little closer to heart and home - science writing. I spend my days making science a little more understandable for the average person, and I spend my nights writing creatively. It's a great balance and I feel very lucky to have both.
Getting to write during the day job is pretty sweet! Nice one.
When did you first realise you wanted to write and can you tell us about how you got started?
I know a lot of people say this, but... I've wanted to be a published author since I was a kid. I was the nerd with the big glasses who hunched over library books instead of playing on the playground with my friends. (I still am that nerd!)
I loved reading fairy tales, but always asked myself questions about them. How did that glass slipper come to be made? Who was the fairy godmother as a person? Why was the evil queen so obsessed with looks? I began writing answers to these questions and that's how I started creating my own stories.
I love writers who ask questions like that. There is so much room for interpretation of those stories.
What are your biggest inspirations when it comes to writing?
I'm passionate about books. I want to tell stories and take people by the hand into the worlds I create, sit them down with my characters, have them witness a swordfight or attend the ball. What inspires me is the hope that I'll have readers who want to come along for the ride.
Making readers feel involved in the story is a great thing to be able to do.
Tell us a little bit about what you’re working on, and your daily routine as a writer.
I just finished a Cinderella retelling called PUMPKIN PATCH PRINCESS, which is a romantic comedy featuring the fairy godmother and her struggle to find her own happily-ever-after. It touches on many famous tales, including the 12 Dancing Princesses and the Frog Prince, and is meant to be a charming, humorous YA novel with heart. I'm querying it now!
In the meantime, I've got two new projects to distract me while I wait for agent responses :) One is called FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS and will be an epic fantasy set in ancient China. It's about an exiled princess fighting to reclaim her throne from the grasp of an evil empress. The other story is called ELEGY, which is inspired by Phantom of the Opera and tells the tale of a cursed violin that lands in the hands of the greatest prodigies of the age, sending them into a spiral of madness and obsession.
During the week, I only have time to write at night, so my writing routine consists of trying to stay awake long enough to get anything done! I get most of my writing done on the weekends.
Good luck with the querying! Your new projects sound very exciting too. I'll be following your progress on the blog and I recommend everyone else to do the same. Which brings me to my next question...
When did you start blogging and what prompted you to do so? What’s the best thing about it for you?
I started blogging in 2008, when I was easing back into creative writing after a years-long dry spell. I wanted to share my work online and find out whether I had "it" - the drive and the dedication it takes to get a book published.
The best thing about blogging is my blogging buddies. Absolutely NO ONE in the world understands what it's like to write a novel (and the tears, the heartache, the feverish bouts and word droughts) like these wonderful friends I've found. They keep me going.
I couldn't agree more!
What would be your advice to people who are just starting to write or thinking about it?
I would say to be realistic. Writing is HARD. They should be willing to commit themselves 100%, to spend time doing research, revising, putting in their best efforts to produce the highest quality they can give.
So often I meet people who want to write a novel and already they're worried about the agents and the publishers and what kind of a book deal they want. The focus should be, first and foremost, on the writing itself. Get a novel written - get that novel polished. THEN worry about all the other stuff.
Very sound advice.
And just for fun, can you describe yourself as if describing a MC from one of your novels?
A black-haired girl appeared in the doorway, pushing a pair of thick glasses up her nose. She tiptoed over to the counter in well-worn sandals and threw a self-conscious glance at the other customers. Her eyes, a shade of brown so dark that they appeared to be nothing more than dilated pupils, narrowed at the cashier as she whispered, "I'll take everything on the menu."
HA! That was a lot of fun, Nick! Thanks again for hosting me on your blog!
To find out more about Julie, pop over to her blog, Silver Lining. Give her a wave and wish her luck in her search for an agent!
Enjoy your weekend, everyone. :)