Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Q&A With Author Julia London and Contest

Official Bio

Julia London is the New York Times and USA Today best selling author of more than a twenty romantic fiction novels. She is the author of the popular Desperate Debutante and Scandalous historical romance series, as well as several contemporary romances, including American Diva, the very popular tie-in novel to the daytime drama, Guiding Light: Jonathan’s Story, and the upcoming Summer of Two Wishes

Julia is the recipient of the RT Bookclub Award for Best Historical Romance and a four-time finalist for the prestigious RITA award for excellence in romantic fiction. She lives in Round Rock, Texas, with her husband. To keep up with all the Julia London news and excerpts, please visit Julia's website.

One Season of Sunshine Book Description:

Should some questions be left unanswered?

Adopted as an infant, Jane Aaron longs to know the identity of her birth mother and why she gave her up. Her only clue is the name of the small Texas town where she was born, so she's come to Cedar Springs for answers.

Handsome ad executive Asher Price lost his wife, the beautiful, mysterious Susanna, in a terrible car crash eighteen months ago. When he hires Jane as the nanny for his two children, sparks fly. Jane finds herself falling in love with both Asher and his children, but begins to suspect that Susanna was not the perfect mother and wife the family portrays her to have been.

As Jane gets closer and closer to finding out the truth about both her own and Susanna’s past, devastating secrets begin to emerge that may be more than anyone can bear. Will the truth bring Jane and Asher closer together or tear them apart forever?

Julia, welcome to Romance Author Buzz. Is there a back story to One Season of Sunshine?

Julia: Thank you so much for inviting me! I am happy to share this book with you. There isn’t really a back story to ONE SEASON OF SUNSHINE. It takes place in Cedar Springs, where SUMMER OF TWO WISHES was set, but it is not a sequel. However, the reader will see some familiar characters. Basically, the idea came to me when I read a story about a woman who had been given up for adoption at birth, and the only thing she knew was that she’d been born in Texas. She had come to Texas to just feel what it was like. I thought it was remarkable that she would cling to something so vague about herself. It made me wonder what it would be like to not know some very basic information about me, and the concept of not having that history of person intrigued me. So the book started out as a woman’s search for her identity, but it turned into something more than that. It turned into a novel about how the past influences all of us, no matter what you may or may not know about your beginnings.

Do you plot your stories or let your characters lead you?

Julia: I start with a very basic plot outline and go from there. I wouldn’t say the characters lead me. In the first draft, it feels like I am dragging them along with me, but by the second draft, they are established and it’s easier.

How long have you been writing and what was your call story?

Julia: I have been writing about 13 years now. I have a Cinderella story—I was one of the lucky ones who happened to be in the right place at the right time. The first book I wrote was a medieval romance. It was too long and too rambling, but I discovered an awful lot about sustaining a story over dozens of chapters. So I threw that into the closet and wrote Devil's Love, my first book, then went and got a book (How to Get Published, or something like that I found at the bookstore) and followed the instructions. I sent a query to four agents simultaneously, and landed one within a week. I had a contract for two books with a real New York publisher two weeks after that. I knew nothing about the industry or even the romance genre, and everything happened so quickly that I wondered if perhaps it really wasn't very hard to get published. I know now that I was very lucky to hit an agent and the market at exactly the right time with the right book. I am truly humbled by my great dumb luck and eternally thankful for it.

What are you currently working on?

Julia: A LIGHT AT WINTER’S END, which is another book set near Cedar Springs, and features the husband Macy did not choose in SUMMER OF TWO WISHES (if that sounds Greek to you, I urge to you read the book. I am really not being coy; if someone hasn’t read SUMMER OF TWO WISHES I don’t want to spoil it!). A LIGHT AT WINTER’S END comes out in March 2011 and is about a woman whose sister puts her in an extraordinary situation, then disappears, and the lone cowboy who arrives to help her.

Of all of your characters, do you have a favorite you identify with, and why?

Julia: Oh, I identify with so many of them. I guess fresh on my mind is Linda Gail, a recurring character in these Cedar Springs books. She’s kind of nosy, and so am I, which is why I like ridiculous shows like the Real Housewives franchise. It’s like looking in people’s windows. Linda Gail likes to be in the loop, and in my personal life, I’m a bit like that, too. I would much rather get out and run in the neighborhood than on a treadmill because I like to see what people are doing with their yards, with their houses, how much houses are listed for if they are for sale, etc.

What is the best thing about your job as an author? What is the hardest thing?

Julia: The best thing is getting to do what I love, on my terms, in my own house. There’s not a better job on the planet, I don’t think. The hardest part is being disciplined enough to make deadlines and promote my work. I’d much rather be watching The View or shopping. I love what I do, but it is a job, and I have to treat it like one.

Describe a day in the life of Julia London

Julia: Well, I live in Texas, so I get up with the sun and walk the dog before it gets too hot. I get the kid off to school, then come home and run, when it’s already too hot. Then I get to work. I try to divide the day so I am spending a couple of hours doing things like this interview, email, and keeping my Facebook and website pages moving. Then the rest of the day I try to shut all that out and write. I used to have more freedom than I do now—just because life intervenes—so I try and write so many pages a day to keep on track. They don’t have to be good pages. Just pages. Then, my husband comes home, the kid comes home, everyone is hungry, the dog wants another walk, and before I know it, it is time for Real Housewives and I quit for the day.

What is something you definitely want readers to know about you?

Julia: Hmmm…that I try to strike a balance between pushing the envelope with each book and meeting reader expectations. I want every reader to feel like they know what sort of book they are getting from Julia London, but at the same time, I want to try new and different things. I am learning about the craft all the time and trying to improve what I do.

When the time comes for you to retire from writing, what would you like your readers to remember most about you and your writing?

Julia: I hope they remember the books. I hope they believe they got good books from me throughout my career and miss them.

What are you currently reading?

Julia: Jane Slayre, by Sherri Browning Erwin. It’s a wonderfully witty re-do of Jane Eyre with zombies and vampires and werewolves. She’s incredibly funny. Great book!

Before I let you go is there anything I forgot to ask that you want fans and readers to know?

Julia: Only that that I hope they will visit
http://www.julialondon.com to read more about me and the books, and that they can find me every day on Facebook and Twitter and my website. I like to stay in touch with readers, so please visit me at any of these places (links to Facebook, Twitter, etc., are on my website).

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with me!

Julia: Marilyn, thank you for inviting me! I appreciate the opportunity to talk to your followers.

CONTEST FOR US RESIDENTS ONLY: The Publisher is offering two copies of One Season of Sunshine. To be eligible, follow Julia on her Facebook Page here or on Twitter here Don't forget to leave your email address. Plus, I would encourage you to stop by Julia's website as she's having an incredible contest there as well.
Thanks to AyeletGruenspecht at Simon and Schuster for this great contest which will end July 31st.


Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

Hi Marilyn,

I'm looking for hosts for my "Cherish the Romance" Virtual Book Tour, Sept 28-Oct 10. Would you have an opening on your blog?

If interested, please email me at cherylktardif (at) shaw.ca. I can send you more info. :-)

Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
bestselling author

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Yes, email me seattlesnoops at aol dot com.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No need to enter me, Marilyn. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

Margie said...

"liked" Julia on Facebook.
Thanks for the giveaway. This sounds like a fascinating book.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

JHS. said...

Liked on FB and following on Twitter.



jhsmail at comcast dot net

Sarah E said...

Please enter me in this giveaway!

I follow the author on Twitter (@saemmerson).

familyhistree at yahoo dot com

Sarah E

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Margie and Sarah, since you left your emails, you are both winners.
I'm having surgery next week so please ASAP send me your details so I can forward to the publisher.
Thanks for entering!


Website Usage Statistics
Macys Coupon