Julie’s first novel, Suicide City, a Love Story, won two gold medals in the 2013 Authorsdb cover contest. Her second, It Isn’t Cheating If He’s Dead, is the Books and Pals 2014 Readers’ Choice winner for women’s fiction, and she won honourable mention in the NYC Midnight 2014 short story challenge.
After years of writing on the down low, she finally came out as a full-fledged writer when she published her first novel in 2013. Suicide City, a Love Story began as a short story in 1998. That’s a pretty long incubation period! But with the first click of that publish button, she never looked back. She wrote and published two more novels in the next fifteen months, with a fourth well on the way.
When she isn’t working or writing, Julie spends as much time as possible with her two children (grown adults, really), while they still think she’s cool.
What inspires you to write?
The spark of an idea. An odd name. A title that flashes through my brain. Sometimes it’s a ‘what if’ moment while waiting for a train, or the sight of two lovers sitting on a park bench right after a fight. Life inspires me to write.
Tell us about your writing process.
I tried outlining but failed miserably. I am a true pantser. When I begin a new work, I follow a process I call word vomit. I just open my mind and puke prose onto the virtual page and try not to think too much about spelling or grammar. Once I get a good start, I slow it down a bit, although vomiting works when I stall. I often stop in the middle of a larger work to clean out the cobwebs with short fiction, then return, refreshed. Many authors hate editing, but I love that part. Polishing and pruning and perfecting. Yes, that’s my favourite.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Listen to them, talk to them, love them, mother them, fight for them. They are part of me, part of my family. I don’t like all of them, but that’s why some of them end up dead…
What advice would you give other writers?
In a recent guest post on Indies Unlimited (http://www.indiesunlimited.com/2014/07/09/write-like-no-one-is-reading/), I told writers to drop the fear and write like no one is reading. Once you get past the worry that your mommy might read it, amazing things happen.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I attempted to get the attention of an agent, but got impatient. I wanted to move on to another story, and quit beating my head against a wall hoping that I’d be visible among hundreds of thousands of authors vying for the same attention. So I took the leap and self-published. I love the control, the freedom. I suck at promotion, but I’m working on it. But every author has a different path, and each of us needs to follow their own. Whatever the choice, just keep writing.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I hope the traditional publishers figure out that self-publishing and indie authors are a force to be reckoned with. But all indies need to be sure to put out their absolute best work. If you’re not a designer, hire a cover artist. Even if you are an editor by trade, hire an editor. Make sure you polish and perfect before you publish.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Women’s Fiction, Literary Fiction, Edgy YA
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print