About Julie L. Casey:
Julie Casey lives in a rural area near St. Joseph, Missouri, with her husband, Jonn Casey, a science teacher, and their three youngest sons. After teaching preschool for fifteen years, she has been homeschooling her four sons for ten years. Julie has bachelor of science degrees in education and computer programming and has written five books. She enjoys historical reenacting, wildlife rehabilitation, teaching her children, and writing books that capture the imaginations of young people.
What inspires you to write?
I am inspired by my family, my friends, my pets, and life in general. I can see a story everywhere I look and in every situation I’m in. I also get story ideas from my many vivid and exciting dreams.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am both an outliner and a seat-of-the-pants writer. It depends on the kind of book I’m writing. For the non-fiction book Stop Beating the Dead Horse, I necessarily had to plot in order to organize everything in a coherent way. My second book, In Daddy’s Hands, is based on an actual event in my family so I had to make sure it followed the chronologic order of the event. With my YA fiction novels, however, I let them develop organically. It’s so much fun to let the story and characters lead me in directions I never consciously thought of. For instance, in one scene in the first Teenage Survivalist book, Bracken’s family catches a marauder trying to steal their grain from a silo. I fully intended that the marauder would be an adult so that Bracken’s family would have to figure out what to do with him since there are no police to call. But as I was writing about them dragging him into the glow of candlelight in the house, my fingers typed, almost of their own accord, that the marauder was a teenage boy. It was such a surprise to me and completely changed not only the first book but the second as well, because this boy became the main character in the second book. It makes writing exciting when you let your imagination run like that.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters definitely “speak” to me. They seem to have a life of their own inside my head and when I let them have their way, they guide me to make my story better. Sometimes they come to me in dreams and daydreams, but most often, they lead my fingers to type what they want me to say. I’m happy to know that many writers experience this, so I’m pretty sure I’m not schizophrenic. lol
What advice would you give other writers?
Many would-be writers I talk to are afraid of failing and I always tell them the only way they will fail at writing is by not writing. Your first draft of your first piece does not have to be perfect, or even very good. Writing, like everything, improves with practice. You can’t get better if you don’t start somewhere. So as Nike says, just do it!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I self-published my first two books, Stop Beating the Dead Horse and In Daddy’s Hands, and very much enjoyed the process of publishing but not the marketing afterwards. So I decided to get a publisher for my third book, How I Became a Teenage Survivalist. I have since started my own publishing company, Amazing Things Press, and bought the rights back for that book and published the second book in that series, Time Lost: Teenage Survivalist II along with over two dozen books by some of my author friends.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Like everything in this digital world we now live in, publishing is changing rapidly. The Big Five publishers will have to step up their game and get in line with this new world in order to compete with the multitude of indie presses and self-publishers. Even though ebook sales seem to be plateauing right now, I believe the future will see a greater shift to ebooks as technology advances and younger people, who are more comfortable with electronic devices, get older.
What do you use?: Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Nonfiction, Adult Fiction and Nonfiction, Young Adult Fiction
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print