Julie Musil writes Young Adult novels from her rural home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband and three sons. She’s an obsessive reader who loves stories that grab the heart and won’t let go.
What inspires you to write?
Real life. My three teen sons. My husband. Family. Friendships. Great books. Nature. I’m inspired by too many things to mention!
Tell us about your writing process.
I like to call myself a “loose plotter.” I have a solid idea of where I’m headed, but I have wiggle room to make changes. It starts with an idea, usually plot based. I take notes as nuggets of plot threads and character quirks come to mind. As I plot each book, I read through Plot & Structure, by James Scott Bell. His tips keep me focused. As I’m plotting the book, I’m also creating characters. I prepare a character worksheet on each main character. Once all this prep work is done I use index cards to create scene ideas. I stack these up then put them in order, with inciting incident toward the front and climax at the end. Only when all this prep work is done do I begin writing draft one. I really like writing my first drafts during November, as part of NaNoWriMo. It’s fun!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I interview them. I figure out their main goals, their biggest fears, their strongest desires.
What advice would you give other writers?
Keep reading. Keep writing. Keep learning. Have fun!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’d just signed with my agent when self publishing was taking off. I kept it in the back of my mind, knowing that some day I might take that path. After we’d received a frustratingly close call from a publisher, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I discussed self publishing with my agent, who was super supportive. Then I hired a freelance editor and cover designer, and never looked back.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think it’s exciting. There are so many choices for authors these days. We don’t have to decide if we’d rather traditionally publish or indie publish—we can do both. Authors are free to put their work out there, and readers are in the driver’s seat, determining which books they want to buy. I’m so thankful to be a writer in this age of literary freedom.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print