Tuesday, 24 June 2014

In converstion with Julie-Anne Lindsey.

 Today we welcome the lovely and talented and multi published, Julie-Anne Lindsey! She is going to share with us some of her experiences and insights into the writing world. 
Tell us a little about your writing journey.
Mine is not a Cinderella story of publishing. For sure. In my story, I’m crawling up a sand dune with my baby writing career strapped to my back. I climb a little and slide down a little, but I keep going. That’s kind of my life in a nutshell.
I started writing for a small online press, Turquoise Morning Press, in 2011. I contributed short stories to two of their anthologies. Then, my novella, Bloom, launched their new line of Honey Creek Books. I’ve since written two more novellas for that line: Love Blossoms and Harvest of the Heart. I also published two sweet romance novels for Honey Creek: Written on Her Heart and A Beautiful Pointe. Turquoise Morning Press gave me a great start and I’ve learned much about the industry and the craft of writing from them. They also published my YA mystery, Reinventing Chloe as part of their Barefoot Books line. In 2012, I signed contracts with two more publishers. My YA suspense, Deceived, released in September 2013 from Merit press and I’m writing a three book series of cozy mysteries for Carina Press (a digital imprint of Harlequin). The first in the series, Murder by the Seaside, released in October 2013 and book two, Murder Comes Ashore releases in March!
In between all these releases were dozens of rejections. More than a hundred, probably. That’s okay. There is always victory in submission.

What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
I love making people smile. Before becoming a writer, I’d planned to be a motivational speaker, visiting high schools and shelters where I could target women and teen girls having a tough time. I had a rough start in life, but learned firsthand that it IS possible to overcome your life. We aren’t what other people say we are. We are what WE say we are. Unfortunately, too many women think they are what others label them. Unfair. Untrue. Don’t believe it.
When having a family kept me away from that career path, I decided authordom was a great second choice. Authors reach people around the world. Literally. My stories can touch the lives of girls anywhere. Hopefully, something I write will give another woman hope, make her smile, give her a small reprieve from her troubles. Words are powerful like that. Words can change your day. Change your life. Change the world. And word nerds rule. Hard.

What is the hardest aspect of being a writer?
Rejection and waiting. Neither ever ends. Ever. I’m still on submissions for new projects and I’m always waiting on something….edits, cover art, back cover copy, author blurbs, reviews etc. Rejections on new projects are continuous. Reviewers reject writers too. Writing is not the romanticised career of fluffy bunnies and unicorns I’d anticipated.
How much research goes into you story?
So far not a ton, but when I need to learn about something new like birding or serial killer motivation, I definitely go overboard, gleaning every available scrap of information. I read every word on the topic including comments in forums on every page of the entire Internet.
I should probably add "obsessive" to the list of my personal descriptors below…
Writers are sometimes influenced by things that happen in their own lives. Are you?
Definitely. I feel like I’m influenced by everything. I feel everything and the affliction can be daunting. I think that’s why I’m so passionate about my fandoms. In many ways they’re real for me. The emotions certainly are. My background in psychology was no accident. I’ve always wondered why people do the things they do and why they react the way they do and why our reactions are sometimes so different given the same circumstances. Books change the way I write and travel widens my world view. Everything around me is always influencing me and the changes are reflected in my writing.

Tell us about your publications?
My first handful of stories are sweet romances. I’m an avid YA reader, but it intimidated me to write the genre I loved, so I started with sweet romance.
After that, I grew braver and branched out to test the YA waters. I love a good first kiss scene, budding romance, pink cheeks and curled toes, so despite the serial killer lurking in Deceived, there’s also a romance. What can I say? Love is fun.
I’m a huge fan of Gemma Halliday, who writes YA and adult mystery novels made of wonderful. So, my latest project is a three book girlie mystery series. I’m having a great time with those too. And of course there’s romance ;)

What is the most surprising thing about writing/publishing you have learnt?
Writing is tough. Privately, writing is liberating and wonderful. Publicly, people are a little mean. I never expected to be so hurt over every mean review or so elated by every wonderful one.
I also didn’t realize the online writing community is so powerful, strong and tight. We’re all willing to help one another, reach out to one another and encourage other writers any time we can. The support I’ve found from other writers is phenomenal. I’d have quit long ago without it.
Top tip/s for writers.
Keep writing. Keep reading. Don’t let the new stories of blockbuster authors with their debut title making millions stop you from chasing your dream. Those stories make the news because they are so unusual. Most authors spend years developing their voice, finding their niche and honing their craft. Don’t give up. Nothing worth achieving is simple. If you get discouraged, look me up. I will give you a personal cheerleading session. You can do this. Don’t quit now. Your ‘yes’ is right around the corner.
Other than writing what else do you love?
Oh my. I’m such a nerd. I love everything. My friends & family of course. Plus my favourite fandoms and swimming and Starbucks and the ocean. Oh, I love the bookstore and library and singing in the car/shower/grocery store. Nail polish makes me crazy happy, plus summer storms and quiet time and puppies. I love pretending to cuddle my tween in public. It turns him six shades of red. I love braided pigtails on my tiny princess and playing Minecraft with my boys. Did I say social media? Because I LOVE social media. And I write fanfiction. LOVE fanfiction. SO many many things. *dreamy sigh* Ice cream! Okay. I’ll stop. Oh, plus…pizza.

Who is your favourite author and why?
I don’t have a favourite. I love different authors for different reasons. Stephenie Meyer taught me a mousy mother of three could be a novelist, so I love her for inspiring mousy me. Janet Evanovich taught me I could make people laugh out loud and be silly in adult novels, not just middle grade stuff. Everyone loves to smile. Katie McGarry inspires me to write the hard stories because people need to know there is hope. There is always hope. I try to take something away from all the books/authors I spend time with.
As a side note, I think every author deserves a cookie. Even if all you write is your thoughts in a journal. You’re a writer. The compulsion is there and you are one of us. It takes a brave soul to write anything down. *fist bump* *pinky shake*
If you had a premonition you would be stranded on a desert island what 5 books would you take?
Oh. So Easy.
  1. My Bible
  2. How to build a raft
  3. Encyclopedia of poisonous plants
  4. Campfire Cookbook
  5. How to Build a Campfire
Five words that sum you up.
  1. Silly
  2. Fangirl
  3. Geek
  4. Dedicated
  5. Julie
How can we learn more?

Photo-gramming her life on Instagram

Pinning the pretties on Pinterest

Tweeting the crazy on Twitter

Blogging about books & the writer-life at Musings from the Slush Pile

Recording her Reading on Goodreads

Thanks for sharing Julie-Anne. Best of luck with your work now and into the future!





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