Devil's Gold is situated in two distinctly different locales. Have you had the opportunity to visit either Yellowstone or the Niger Delta, or did you have to do a great deal of research for the book?
Jackson, Wyoming is one of my favorite places in the entire world. I spent several days exploring Yellowstone and the Grand Teton National Forest, and it stamped an indelible visual image on my brain. The Niger Delta, however, was all done through research. It is a tumultuous region, and I'm nowhere near as brave as Cassidy. In addition, I'm a starving artist so the cost of a trip to Africa was a bit steep for my budget.
The main character Cassidy is an unusual heroine, not what one might expect for a female lead. You were actually asked to change her prior to publication, correct? What was it about the character that made you stick to your guns? How hard was it for you to stand firm on the issue?
I was told by a large publishing house that she wasn't kick-ass and, therefore, unsaleable. It was very hard for me to stand firm on not rewriting, because I am of the opinion that editors and agents know what's what and listening to sound advice is the appropriate thing to do. It really went against every grain of common sense I had. But I listened to my inner-self -- the creative voice because that's where the heart of my character lives. In the end, rewriting felt incredibly wrong. I was afraid my keyboard would go up in flames. I stuck to my guns, but, it wasn't easy.
You seem to have a number of projects in the works across multiple genres. Describe your writing process and how you manage so many stories at once? Where do you get your inspiration?
Inspiration surrounds me. An entire story can be sparked by a stranger's simple remark on the weather. I have serious genre ADD which is not necessarily a good thing. Because I have always read across all genres, I think my mind is incapable of limiting itself to one particular area. What I will add is that no matter what I'm writing...all my work contains "thriller" aspects.I work full time so the physical process of putting words on the screen is done Friday through Sunday. The rest of the week is spent in "virtual" writing, twisting my plots and mentally laying out what will be put on paper over the weekend. As a new story sparks, I am very strict with myself and put down the skeleton of the plot and then focus right back on the manuscript I'm currently wrapping up. I find that the nearer I get to the end on my current work the more stronger the pull is from the next manuscript...which is definitely a good thing.
Your web page depicts a typewriter. Are you one of the few and proud authors who bang away on a typewriter? Or do you prefer the feel of a fountain pen in your hand as it glides across the page?
I love typewriters. I learned to type on one of those things! However, I am a 21st century gal and all my work is created on a PC. I do always have a journal at hand and use that to jot down ideas and new plot lines when I'm away from the keyboard. I've learned that the journal is much easier to refer to as opposed to the back of receipts and crumpled napkins.
Your passion and background with regards to animals comes through nicely in Devil's Gold. How many and what type of animals do you currently take care of?
Other than my teenagers, I have six dogs, three cats, and a slew of Koi.
Do you have any upcoming book signings or readings you'd like to make us aware of?
Currently, I am under deadline with the sequel to DEVIL'S GOLD so I don't have any signings scheduled. However, I am an active member in the International Thriller Writers Organization and have the honor of interviewing an author every month and posting that piece to the ITW monthly news bulletin. Beyond August, I will be back on the hunt for book signings.
Would you care to dole out any words of wisdom for the rest of us aspiring authors?
Well, Eric, you know that I'm a big fan of P3 - passion, perseverance and patience. I think that these three qualities are integral to becoming published. It's not an easy road to travel but stay true to your voice, work very hard at your craft and never ever give up.
Thanks Julie. I'm honored to be able to interview you, and I'm definitely a fan of your writing. Feel free to stop by anytime, and let me know when your next book is out so I can talk all about it.
Thank you Eric! Next book is ANGEL FALLS. I should have my release date within the next few weeks.