Today, we're excited to welcome Julia London, best-selling author of historical and contemporary romance. It was so much fun doing this interview with Julia. Enjoy!
Personality Type (Myers-Briggs): I don’t know?! (is this a thing?)
Favorite Book(s): Harry of Monmouth, Here be Dragons, Man Called Ove to name a few
Favorite Author(s): Philippa Gregory, Liane Moriarity
Zodiac Sign: Pisces
Favorite Color: Green
Favorite Season: Fall
City of Your Dreams: New York
Favorite TV Show/ Movie: HBO
Favorite YouTuber/ Channel: Don’t have one.
Most underrated book, in your opinion: I read for pleasure and what catches my eye. I honestly don’t pay much attention to how critically acclaimed most books are. Unless they get a huge push from a publisher and I see it everywhere. I have run across a couple of overrated books, however ;-).
Are you a morning person or a night owl? Morning
When did you know that you wanted to become an author? What is your favorite part about being a writer?
Long after I was grown and well into my career in public administration. I never really thought about being a writer. I always loved to read, and technically, I was a good writer. It wasn’t until I read a great book by Iris Johannsen and loved it that I thought, wow, I wonder if I could do that. So I gave it a try. My first book was long and rambling, but I learned a lot about how a novel is constructed. So I tried again. That book became The Devil’s Love, my first published book. I’ve been writing ever since.
My favorite part about being a writer is having a career on my own terms, as well as the creative aspect of it. The sensation of having accomplished something when I finish a book never gets old.
Which one of your books is your current personal favorite? I wrote a series set on a fictional ranch (Homecoming Ranch), and I think the third book in that series, The Perfect Homecoming, is my favorite book that I have written. I surprised myself with that one—it made me emotional. I have written a lot of books I really liked, but that one stands out.
How do you think the publishing industry has changed since you started writing? Is this a positive or negative change? I’ve been in the publishing business for twenty years now. When I started out, ebooks were just an idea. The biggest change has been in the shrinking of physical bookstores and the growth of online markets. That has meant a real change in how established authors such as myself are discovered by new readers. I always have my base, but growth is much harder. There was a time when you would walk into a bookstore and see all the new releases, and booksellers would hand-sell new titles to you. They still do, obviously, and so do librarians, but there are much fewer places to get that personal touch now. Couple that with the advent of self-publishing, which has produced so many more titles to the online buyer, it’s hard to get noticed. The game of discoverability is played on a whole new playing field, and we are all trying to figure out how to do it.
Where do you find inspiration for your work? What do you do when going through a writer’s block? I am often asked this question about inspiration, and I find it difficult to answer. I’m never struck by a lightning bolt (what I wouldn’t give). But I read a lot, I watch a lot, and I would have to say my inspiration comes from reading, mostly, and travel. I have written several books set in England and Scotland, and I have been to the UK several times. My current historical series, the HIGHLAND GROOMS, is set in Scotland in the eighteenth century. I wrote some of that series while at a writing retreat at a Scottish Highland estate, so I felt inspired by the scenery and the history around me. I don’t know why the UK and its rich history has always held my imagination, but it does.
As for writer’s block, I don’t think I’ve ever had it. I have never lacked for an idea. I’ve had plenty of ill-formed of just bad ideas, but I’ve never lacked for one. What I suffer from is motivation block. Genre fiction is a fast-paced career, and in order to be successful, you have to feed the reading beast. I generally don’t mind, because I move at a fast pace through life, too. But sometimes, I just want to lie on a couch and read and do nothing else. Sometimes, even on deadline. Yikes.
What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received? To think outside the writing box. By that, I mean taking each scene and turning it on its head to see what shakes out. Most of the time, the scene I’ve written is the way to go, but sometimes, when I turn it on its head, what shakes out is much better.
How long did it take to go from starting out as an author to becoming a full-time author? Any tips for those that are in the process? About four years. I wrote around my job as a public administrator after the publication of my first book, saved all the book money I made, and four years later, took the leap. My advice to those in the process is to have a real five-year plan. Not a, “hit the bestseller list” plan, but one that really looks at how many titles you can put out, at what cost, with what expected profit, and then weigh that against what you need to live. It is very rare for someone to make a ton of money just starting out, and even if they do, it is very hard to maintain that. My author friends and I joke about the slow and steady progress of making a career of this.
What is the best compliment that you’ve received for your work?
That my books have helped someone get through a difficult time in their life. I can’t say how much that validates me to myself. Writing is such a solitary job that sometimes it is hard to see the forest for the trees, hard to believe that I’m making a difference with my life. So when someone tells me I have made a difference in theirs somehow, I can believe I’m doing what I should be doing.
Thank you so much for doing this interview with us. Do you have any projects in the pipeline? When can we expect to hear more from you? Thank you for having me! I am writing three more books about the Mackenzies of Balhaire, set in 18th century Scotland. It’s all in the HIGHLAND GROOM series, including Wild Wicked Scot, Sinful Scottish Laird, Hard-Hearted Highlander, and the upcoming (2018) Devil in Tartan, Tempting the Laird, and Seduced by a Scot. I also have two contemporary romances coming later this year, including Suddenly Engaged and Jack. I have a lot of projects in the works or in my head, so plenty more to come!
We're giving away a copy of Julia's Wild Wicked Scot. The giveaway is open to US residents only and is on until 16th May 2017. Head to Instagram or Facebook page for more details or click on the image below to enter.
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