Welcome to my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, scriptwriters, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with freelance writer and poet Julie Lemardy. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Julie. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Julie: I’m a freelance writer and poet based out of Northeast, Pennsylvania and am a member of the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group. My blog, Poems With Heart, is the reason for my interview with you. Its purpose is to raise awareness for heart disease and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Morgen: Both great causes (my father had dementia, similar symptoms to Alzheimer’s). What genre do you generally write and what have you had published to-date? What do you think of eBooks?
Julie: Ebooks are great and have made my voracious reading habits easier to fuel. I don’t really write poetry. I’m more of a genre fiction writer and my writing leads towards dark fantasy, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. However, I established Poems With Heart as a charity to contribute to the American Heart Association and Alzheimer’s Association. An anthology will be released February 2014 in celebration of American Heart month with proceeds to benefit those two charities.
Julie: I’m still waiting on my traditional publishing deal. 🙂 As far as the Poems With Heart anthology goes I am still exploring various options. I’ve been in contact with several small presses. However, self-publishing is a very viable option and given what a tough sell poetry is, I may very well use that method.
Morgen: I’ve only self-published eBooks but people do still love reading paper so will paperback my novels at some stage. Do you have a favourite of your stories or characters?
Julie: I love a strong female protagonist but I can honestly say that when you write a character you live and breathe that character for so long that they all become favourites. Even the villains! I’ve been incredibly blessed for the Poems With Heart anthology to get to work with a lot of talented writers whose poems have been deeply moving.
Morgen: Which authors did you read when you were younger and did they shape you as a writer?
Julie: When I was young I used to write poetry and then short stories. I read a lot of romance, fantasy, and science fiction. The Choose Your Own Adventure Series, Douglas Adams, and LJ Smith before television made the Vampire Diaries so popular just to name a few. I think that I tend to write what I most love to read.
Morgen: I loved the The Choose Your Own Adventure books, especially the Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone ones. Do you manage to write every day, and do you plot your stories or just get an idea and run with it?
Julie: Yes. Every day I’m working on something. Whether it’s writing, editing, or blogging for the Poems With Heart anthology. When I write I aim for 2K and most of the time I meet that goal. It’s hard with two little ones at home. I have a four-year-old daughter and a twenty-month-old that keep me on my toes. Some days I only write 1500 and other days I’ve written 4K. I go into a book with a general idea. I do some research and character development but for the most part I tend to be a discovery writer. Lately, it has been a juggling act between the anthology project and shopping around my latest manuscript. I work mostly at night when it’s quiet and the kids are in bed.
Morgen: 2,000 words a day is a tough ask so congratulations on doing that, and more. I’m on day 29 of Camp NaNoWriMo 2013 and still have 10,000 words to go but I’ll do it. It’s my sixth NaNo and I’ve not ‘lost’ one yet. Do you do a lot of editing or research?
Julie: Since I take an idea and run with it I find that I have to do a lot of editing. I can write a first draft within two months so I don’t mind the editing.
Morgen: What point of view do you find most to your liking: first person or third person? Have you ever tried second person?
Julie: Depending on the story, story world, genre, and character I write in either first person or third limited. Omniscient is out of style and has to be really well done. I don’t see a purpose unless it’s a huge cast of characters for epic fantasy. I’ve never written in second person.
Morgen: I’d not recommend it for longer pieces but I love writing short stories in it. What’s your favourite / least favourite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
Julie: My favourite part is meeting and connecting with so many amazing people. Joseph Bathanti, Jericho Brown, Carmen Calatayud, Helene Cardona, Terri Kirby Erikson, Seth Michelson, Kevin Pilkington, Judith Skillman, and Emanuel Xavier will all be featured in the Poems With Heart anthology.
Morgen: Do forward them my email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to see if they’d like to be involved in my blog – see http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/submission-information/opportunities-on-this-blog for details. Are you involved in anything else writing-related other than actual writing or marketing of your writing?
Julie: Just the Greater Lehigh Valley Writer’s Group and the Poems With Heart blog.
Morgen: Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how valuable do you find them?
Julie: I used to visit the Absolute Write Water Cooler forums which were really helpful when I was first starting out. Writer Beware is also really helpful when looking for background on specific agents. And of course Publisher’s Marketplace.
Morgen: What are you working on at the moment / next?
Julie: I’m currently shopping around the Hellfire Club. In the meanwhile, I’ve been busy blogging and compiling the poetry anthology for charity.
Morgen: Where can we find out about you and your writing?
Morgen: Thank you, Julie. Good luck with the anthology.
If you are reading this and you write, in whatever genre, and are thinking “ooh, I’d like to do this” then you can… just email me and I’ll send you the information. They do now (January 2013) carry a fee (£10 / €12.50 / $15) for the new interviews on the mixed blog but everything else (see Opportunities on the main blog) is free.
Alternatively, if you’d like a free Q&A-only interview, I now have this blog, https://morgensauthorinterviews.wordpress.com, on which I’ve rerun the original interviews posted here then posted new interviews which I then reblog here. These interviews are Q&A only, so I don’t add in my comments but they do get exposure on both sites.
If you go for the interview, it’s very simple; I send you a questionnaire (I have them for novelists, short story authors, children’s authors, non-fiction authors, and poets). You complete the questions, and I let you know when it’s going to go live. Before it does so, I add in comments as if we’re chatting, and then they get posted. When that’s done, I email you with the link so you can share it with your corner of the literary world. And if you have a writing-related blog / podcast and would like to interview me… let me know.
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