This post is part of a Virtual Book Tour organized by J. Taylor Publishing.
Julie will give one lucky commenter a signed bookmark as well as a Crux water bottle.
What drives you to write books for kids and teenagers?
Drives is a great word because I definitely feel driven. I love all things YA. This genre takes huge risks. Authors ask you to trust in the impossible and turn around and make you a believer, in other worlds, races, and imperfect yet all consuming love. I started writing for my daughters. I hoped to write books they described as wanting to read but couldn’t find. Their dreams and shared imagination sparked all kinds of awesome ideas for stories. We had a blast together. They are my toughest critics, too , though. They say things to me like, bad idea, mom, or I hate it when the heroine does that.. .Ouch! It stings, but I rip it right out of my story. :-) They’re usually right.
As a young adult, what were your favorite books and how does that compare to your favorites today?
Oh, gosh. Tough question. Books were so different back then. Nobody called anything YA. I loved all the classics and read everything from Jane Eyre and Austen, to every Harlequin romance I could get my paws on. Flowers in the Attic to Go Ask Alice. I can’t say today’s writing is grittier, necessarily, but it is different. There wasn’t a whole lot written about vampires, fallen angels and werewolves, that’s for sure! Today, I’m drawn to tough heroines and lots of action and adventure. I also love romance with heroes that are strong and confident— oh, and with a sense of humor. I don’t want much, do I?
How much of your writing is based on your own experiences as a child or teen?
Not much. Sheeze, I wish it was! I have a big imagination, always have. I spent a lot of time staring out of windows (or at cute boys) at school and dreaming up stories. Time I should have spent listening to the teacher and didn’t, I’m afraid. If I rode horses on my Grandpa’s farm, I didn’t just ride. I was a spy, carrying secret intelligence to the young, handsome commander of my regiment behind enemy lines. And the whole world would just die if I didn’t make it. Uh, yeah, see what I mean?
What do you envision happening in the YA field in the next five to ten years?
I honestly don’t know. New voices are rising from the self published and Indie world, as well as traditional publishing, to shake things up. Certain themes that are popular now will run their course, I guess. You think all that’s been thought of has already been done, but I promise it hasn’t. Somewhere, a writer will have a dream, get a new idea, and some new masterpiece will be born. We’ll be off and running again. We’ll have our next Harry Potter or Hunger Games or whatever it is. I hope I’m the creator! LOL. Seriously, there are amazing books being released all the time. It’s so cool. I’m in awe of how talented today’s YA authors are.
What challenges do you think teens face today that you did not?
I never had to deal with the barrage of information and the technological glut they do. My mom threw us outside, and we’d disappear for hours with our buddies. Now, you have cell phones that have whole freaking conversations with you. They are almost like a genie in a bottle as far as instant help, company and answers. It’s great … to a point. If teens have this many options at their fingertips (TV, DVR, U Tube and internet etc…) will they still dream, goof off, get creative or use their imaginations as much? I hope so. Because I’m looking forward to future generations of amazing writers!
As an adult, how do you keep your finger on the pulse of today’s youth?
I have kids, love teens and love to listen to them talk! Many will, if you draw them out a little. They are hilarious and know so much more than some older people will sometimes give them credit for. They often floor me with their wisdom, and generosity. I think teens are undervalued sometimes. They are strange and wonderful beings. No one’s more fearless and scared, curious and all knowing, wide open and cynical. Could anyone be cooler?
Thanks for stopping by to chat!
Thank you so much for having me today. This was a lot of fun!
About the Author: Born in Ohio, I lived next to my grandfather’s horse farm until the fourth grade. Summers were about riding, fishing and make-believe, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all.
I struggled with multiple learning disabilities, did not excel in school. I spent much of my time looking out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) I fought dyslexia for my right to read, like a prince fights a dragon in order to free the princess locked in a tower, and I won.
Afterwards, I read like a fiend. I invented stories where I could be the princess... or a gifted heroine from another world who kicked bad guy butt to win the heart of a charismatic hero. Who wouldn't want to be a part of that? Later, I moved to Florida where I continued to fantasize about superpowers and monsters, fabricating stories (my mother called it lying) and sharing them with my friends.
Then I thought I’d write one down…
I’ve been writing ever since.
Find her online at:
She should have run. Now, she’ll have to fight.
Eighteen year old Birdie may be homeless, but she’s surviving, that is until a mysterious guy throws money in the air like a crazy game show host, and she grabs some with the idea she’ll be able to buy dinner that night.
In that singular moment, unassuming Birdie becomes the girl in everyone’s viewfinder. Thugs want to kill her. Money-guy wants to recruit her. The very hot, very rich and very out of her league, Grey Mathews, wants to save her.
Birdie, though, wants nothing to do with any of them, until she realizes fate didn’t bring them all together.
Her heritage did.
Now, with only twenty-one days left, she’s got to decide whether to follow in the footsteps of those before her or risk her life for people she’s only just met.