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Julie Cross
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Author Interview of the Month > Author Interview with Julie Cross

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message 1: by Sylvia (new)

Sylvia  | 13086 comments Mod
Okay members, we have the amazing and wonderful Julie Cross as your third Author Interview for this month. Her work includes Tempest (Tempest, #1) by Julie Cross Tomorrow is Today (Tempest, #0.5) by Julie Cross Vortex (Tempest, #2) by Julie Cross . This is our 51st Author Interview since we started and it is conducted by one of our moderators. Please read this interview and we hope you will be able to pick up lessons about her experience.If there are any questions you would like to ask Julie Cross please post them here. Thankyou.

Also as a bonus, Julie Cross has been so generous in offering her books in paperback as a giveaway to our members. Just follow this link and enter. It is open internationally.

1. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else?

I didn’t really try fiction writing at all until I was 29 years old. From the time I was about 14 or 15, I wanted to be a gymnastics coach and eventually I wanted to be gym club owner. It’s my second passion.

2. How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?

It really depends on the book. I’ve written about 11 complete novels but only my two published books have gone from the first word on the first page to a finished product. With Tempest it took 3 ½ weeks to write a first draft and 18 months to get it from first word to a book shelf. Some of those 18 months was spent writing the second book so it’s really hard to say exactly how long. I tend to draft very quickly and then I need lots of work after that.

3. How do you come up with themes for your stories?

I always start with the characters or with a situation which becomes more interesting and worthy of a book as the characters come to life. The themes come from getting to know the characters and then deciding how they should grow throughout the novel.

4. Do you have a schedule of when you write?

I don’t really have a schedule but most of writing takes place between 8am and 3pm while my kids are at school.

5. How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?

This has been the area I struggle with the most. It’s all about priorities, learning to say no sometimes and giving up some of the things you do for yourself that are more recreational. Honestly, I’m still working on this.

6. What elements do you think make a great story line?

A situation or conflict that is extreme and kind of makes you go, “omg…” but at the same time, there’s a relatable aspect, like you could almost put yourself in their shoes or it gets you thinking, “I know someone like that!” For example, a storyline that is described like this, “A gifted goblin joins forces with the third world realm to jump through the portal to the dark wizard’s secret dungeon and stop him from destroying the underworld,” is a little hard to relate to.

BUT something like this, “Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, an ordinary boy learns he’s a wizard and leaves his home to attend Hogwarts school of Witch Craft and Wizardry,” is relatable because he’s an ordinary boy and you’re already rooting for him because he’s been neglected by his only family. And on top of that, you’re intrigued because, hello! Wizard school?! Awesome.

So, no matter how many supernatural elements exist in the plot, no matter how crazy and different the fictional world is, the storyline needs to have an element of relatability. Something we can grab onto and it makes us feel something. The average reader doesn’t even know they’re looking for this element either.

Take Hunger Games for example, what gets people to read it isn’t the fact that it’s a fight to the death in a public arena, it’s the line that tells us that Katniss took her sister’s place. That’s all we need to see clearly that humanity exists in the book in the same way it exists in real life. Then we just hop on that fast train to the Capitol and go wherever the author is willing to take us.

7. What was the hardest thing about writing a book?

For me, the hardest part is description and continuity, connecting all the dots and making sure every thread is accounted for. So, basically those last final stages.

8. How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite?

I’ve written elevenish books so far. I have projects that are partially completed so it’s not an exact count. I like them all for different reasons and hate them all for different reasons…lol. So, I don’t really have a favorite.

9. Do you have a favorite character?

In the Tempest series, I love writing Holly and Jenni Stewart.

10. Where do you write?

Mostly I write at home but I’m flexible.

11. When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took?

I just started doing my research on the publication process online. When I was seeking it out a few years ago, self publishing wasn’t that big of a thing yet. Or at least it wasn’t in the information that I found so I’m not sure if I had just begun in like 2011 or 2012 would I have considered self publishing over traditional? I really need all the help that I’ve gotten from my publishing people so that’s a big deciding factor for me.

12. Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?

Most of my family and extended family have read Tempest and they all have loved it so far and most have totally gone nuts with reading in the YA genre since finishing Tempest. They are constantly calling and texting me for more good YA book ideas to read. I guess I opened a new door for them which is super cool.

13. What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?

I love reading. I enjoy working out, running. I do 10K runs or half marathons a few times a year.
14. What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing?

My best advice is to read a lot in the genre you want to write in and also enjoy it. The process should be fun. Especially before you’re writing on a contract with deadlines. If it’s not fun when you have the freedom to do whatever you want then you’re really going to hate it if you ever get published.

15. What is your favorite book? favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write?

My favorite book is Little Women. My favorite author is J.k. Rowling. Stephen King’s book On Writing really inspired me to finish my first novel. He makes it sound much simpler than I had imagined. He says above all things, its about the story and that just resonated really well with me and my abilities.

16. Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such?

My good writer friend, Roni Loren is always honest and very logical. I’m impulsive and emotionally driven so we balance each other out very well when seeking advice. My editor, Brendan Deneen has been amazing in giving me encouragement. My husband is logical minded like Roni too and has helped in that realm. I also have beta readers from the book blogger world that have been amazing.

17. Are you working on anything now?

Right now I have two contemporary YA projects that are in the editing stages. One I’m writing with, Mark Perini who is the cover model for the Tempest series.

message 2: by Sylvia (new)

Sylvia  | 13086 comments Mod
Thank you so much Julie for doing this interview for our group and being generous in giving your books away to those willing to enter the giveaway. I look forward to reading your books (they have been on my list for ages).

message 3: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (juliababyjen) | 1075 comments It now makes sense that Holly was into gymnastics! That's so cool! Thanks for the interview, I loved it!

message 4: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Arroyo (earroyo) | 13 comments This is a great interview! I love the part about the story line. It makes so much sense but sometimes we miss it when trying to draft queries and log lines. Awesome! Thanks!

message 5: by Kirstin (new)

Kirstin Pulioff | 9 comments That is a great interview! So true about the character or situation needing to be relatable. That is what gets me every time, being able to imagine myself and be carried away by the character.

message 6: by Marysue (new)

Marysue | 8 comments Thank you for sharing. I love what you said about how humanity exists in the Hunger and how Suzanne Collins demonstrated it. It is one of my favorite books.

I love to run too and it is often when do my best thinking about my writing! I have blogged about the parallels between running and writing.

I love it when other writers inspire us to be writers!

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