Mini interview today!
I’m super excited to have Julie Reece hanging out with us!
Julie is the author of one of my favorite Viking-god-like books, CRUX
[Click here to read my review]
And let’s just take a few minutes to sigh over the cover love! [ahhhhhhhh]
And more recently she authored the hit Beauty and the Beast retelling called “The Artisans” and the sequel out this week, “The Paladins.”
Hi! Thanks so much for having me here today! I’m always excited to talk about anything having to do with YA books and writing. : )
Awesomeness! I’m going to throw you a tough one today….
What is the biggest obstacle in writing a sequel?
I’m going to admit up front this was a hard topic to write about. When I first read your question, you asked for the biggest obstacle in writing a sequel, and my brain shouted EVERYTHING! However, I don’t think one word—even in all caps—will cut it. I’ll try and explain.
The characters that I write are often brave. That’s in direct opposition to my knee-jerk reaction to any challenge, which is more like—cut bait and RUN! Every book I’ve written up to this point were stand-alones. One and done. That was my motto. When I sold my first story (THE ARTISANS) to my publisher, I was confident they’d see the novel the same way I did. A single title. They didn’t. They asked for more books in the series.
What the …? Color me shocked! I couldn’t believe it. And what’s more, I was really nervous about the prospect since I’d already said goodbye to the characters in that story.
For some inexplicable reason, prior to writing THE PALADINS, sequels, or the idea of producing one, scared the crap out of me. Yeah, I know, ironic since I’m a writer, but the more I thought about it, the more I understood the underlying reasons …
Brace yourselves, I’m taking you inside my rather strange brain for a minute.
A lot of our fears are imagined, and therefore irrational. No, not If you’re facing a Grizzly bear on a hiking trip. I’m talking about fears in your mind. Insecurities. Fear of failure. Have you ever had a discussion with yourself over whether you should or shouldn’t do something? Oh, come on, sure you have. You’re sitting in your car actually arguing with yourself about whether or not to go to that party, date that guy, take that job, talk to that friend. The driver in the car next to you looks over and you pretend you’re on your Bluetooth so he doesn’t think you’re crazy.
The conversation in my head looked something like this: You can’t write a sequel. Yes, you can; you’re a great writer. No you can’t; you won’t have enough material for a good plot. Relax, you’ll think of something. I won’t. You will. A sequel won’t be as good as the first book. It will. You’re right; it will; I’m writing the sequel.
And I did. Once I started, the ideas began to flow. My fears were unfounded, and the more I wrote, the more ideas came. I learned to push through my fear, thank God. It felt good to know I was capable. Sequels are doable and not nearly as scary as I’d first thought. I could write a third! Whoda thunk it? Lol.
Maybe I’m braver than I thought. And whatever the argument or battle in your mind, I bet you are, too.
Thanks again for having me here. I had a blast.
Has there ever been a time you were nervous about something and dared to try anyway? I’d love to hear about it.
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…
Hooked, I’ve been writing ever since. I write historical, contemporary, urban fantasy, adventure, and young adult romances. I love strong heroines, sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. My writing is proof you can work hard to overcome any obstacle. Don’t give up. I say, if you write, write on!
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About The Paladins:
The Artisan curse is broken. Souls trapped in a mysterious otherworld called The Void are finally released. Now, Raven Weathersby, Gideon Maddox, and Cole Wynter can finally move on with their lives…or so they thought. If the ancient magic is truly dead, then why are mystical fires plaguing Gideon at every turn? What accounts for Raven’s frightening visions of her dead mother? And who is the beautiful, tortured girl haunting Cole’s dreams?
Last year, a group of lonely teens sacrificed secrets, battled the supernatural, and faced their own demons to set one another free. Yet six months later, the heart of evil still beats within The Void. And the trio is forced to face the horrific truth: that their only way out is to go back in.
The Paladins completes this eerie YA Southern Gothic where loyalties are tested, love is challenged, and evil seeks them on the ultimate battlegrounds—in their minds, their souls, and their hearts.
Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks
Giveaway Information: Contest ends May 20, 2016
- Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of The Paladins (The Artisans #2) by Julie Reece (INT)
Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway
This is wonderful, Julie! More power to you. My oldest daughter has multiple disabilities and it fell to me to get her through school. She has earned an Associates degree in Early Childhood Development and works in a pre-school. I’m very proud of all she has done.
My fears were getting myself through college–course by course–which I did when my five children were young. Facing my fears? I started in community college and worked my way to the University of Pennsylvania. Each course brought a new set of fears as to whether I’d understand it enough to pass. Lucky me, I did. I graduated magna cum laude. Thanks for sharing this, Jennifer and Julie, with your readers.
Yeah, I can imagine the whole “what if it’s not as good as the first book” rant going on in my own head. My experience with fast drafting, my later series books are deeper much easier because I have the experiences of the first book to build on.
Not that I’ve had any sequels published. But I’m submitting a “first book” this week and I’m thinking positive. (Or trying.)
Good Luck Sharon!
Thank you so much for having me here today!! XOXO
You’re always welcome, Julie!