A bit about Julia (in her own words):
"I'm a YA author represented by Lauren Hammond. My book is called FÉLICITÉ FOUND, and I'm revising my second book (first in a trilogy). I love reading, music, traveling, HGTV, & chocolate. I adore dogs." (link)
Q and A:
First of all, what do you like to do for fun when you aren’t writing?
Sleep. Haha! No really! I do enjoy reading, eating, and watching movies and TV.
What inspired you to start writing? Was it always a dream? Or did a certain event get you going?
I actually never thought I’d be an author. To be honest, I hated writing up until two years ago. The catalyst to my writing adventure was a trip to Paris, France. I fell in love with the city so much that I dreamed about it all the time. One night I fell into its landscape but once again and the dream stayed with me for weeks. I started plucking away on my laptop and formed a story. Ever since then it feels like writing is my calling in life. Sigh!
I know you’ve done a lot of traveling. How have those experiences fed into your writing?
Paris! Oui, Oui! My WIP is set in Ireland and the Boston area. I spent a week in Ireland and loved it. Ok, I was searching out all the U2 sights in Dublin. That’s what took me there. So, when I got the idea for my current book, Ireland was the perfect setting. Plus, I spent all of three hours in Boston years ago and haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. Hence, it is set there as well. Yippee!
Do you have a particular writing routine? A way to get yourself focused?
Umm, it depends on the day. If I have to work, I kick my butt to turn on the laptop and start typing away when I get home. It takes me about ten minutes to get into the flow. After that, no one better disturb my zone. If I don’t answer a phone call, don’t feel neglected. On the weekends, I dilly dally around, then kick my butt to the computer again. It’s a maddening cycle.
What would you say is the hardest aspect of writing?
All of it. Every aspect has its challenges. It just depends on which part you’re in. That’s why you have to make goals and accomplish them. Otherwise, you’re sunk, floundering in deep water. You’ll never make it as an author.
What kept you pursuing your dream of finding an agent even when you felt discouraged?
Lots of chocolate. Ok, seriously, it’s because I know my book is good. I want people to read it. And I’ve never felt so driven with any of my endeavors. I HAVE to be published and there’s no “NO” about it. Having other authors on my sideline, too. They were my saviors because they knew EXACTLY what I was going through.
What is one unique thing that happened to you during the querying process?
I got an agent. It was either pure luck or pure genius on my part.
When you received The Call, what were your reactions?
I thought I was asleep. Really. I kept on pinching myself. Then I ran into my boss’s office and jumped around in a squealing and giggle fest. For at least two weeks I felt as though I was still sleeping. Soon I’d wake up from one of those super great dreams feeling severely disappointed. It’s like you were robbed of the best kiss ever. You know what I mean.
When taking The Call, is there anything you would recommend a writer be prepared for?
Be cool and pay attention. I think I was super on the high of getting it that I don’t remember half of what was discussed.
How did you know beyond a doubt that Lauren was the perfect fit for you and your novel?
Because she told me she loved my book and had great faith in it. Of course, I giggled and squealed on the phone. She believes in FÉLICITÉ FOUND. That was enough for me to sign.
Based on personal experience, what final advice could you give to other writers? This can involve the querying process, general writing advice, or both.
I’ve said it once, twice, three-hundred times and I’ll say it again: SOCIAL NETWORK. You have to get your name out there. You have to find writing buddies to keep you going. It is a must and helps you learn loads to get your book(s) honed into masterpieces.
Just for fun short answers:
What is your favorite music?
U2 all the way and anything that inspires me.
I know you *love* dogs. Do you have a favorite breed?
Beagles are my buddies. While I lived in Taiwan, I noticed tons of people owned that breed of doggy. Ever since then, I’ve been madly in love. Hopefully one day I’ll have my own precious to love forever and ever.
So, my fellow chocolate lover, what is your favorite chocolaty treat?
Reeses’ Peanut Butter Cups. Nummers! I once ate a whole bag in two days. Luckily I can still stand them.
If you could be any fictional character, who would it be?
Isabella Swan. Why? Cuz then I could kiss Edward Cullen any time I want. And I don’t mean Robert Patinson, the REAL Edward in my mind. *Smooch Smooch*
What’s one place you’ve never been that you’d love to go?
Antarctica. Really! I will go there one day for sure and play with the penguins. I’ll leave pretty quickly thereafter. I hate the cold. Brrr.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A little bit of both. With my first book, I pantsed it all the way. My WIP started off as a plotting event, but turned into some pansting. Although, it still followed the initial plot line. I’ll follow that pattern from now on.
Favorite part of the writing process: first draft or revisions?
Being done! Ok, seriously, drafting is my favorite part. I like the words flowing freely to make the story whole. Writing those last words is magnificent. It makes me feel extremely accomplished. Sort of a natural high. Love it.
What is one thing about you that might surprise readers?
I love Cheerios in chocolate chip ice-cream. Super numms. Also, I can say in the last month, I’ve slept for 12 hours straight at least three times. I love sleeping.
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview, Julia! I wish you the best of luck on your current and future writing projects! :)