3 August 2013 - JULIE COOPER BROWN - Guest Author



JULIE COOPER BROWN



- GUEST AUTHOR - 


G'day guys,

Today I feature the life of a new author from the USA - Julie Cooper Brown.

Welcome, Julie ...



TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING JOURNEY. 

Well, let’s see. I am 38 years old and I have been married to my husband Jeremy for 6 years. We both have 3 children each from previous relationships, ranging from 20 to 10 years old. I am from the Northside of Cincinnati, Ohio, but now reside in North Fort Myers, Florida. I have several brothers and sisters, and plenty of nieces and nephews. As far as my writing journey, I have only just begun.

WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?

I actually only began writing in March ’13. I was unemployed at the time and very bored. I wasn’t having any luck finding a job so I started writing “Jillian” with the intention of writing a 2000 word short story. It turned into a 24,000 word novella and I have since written two more to go along with it.

WHAT TYPE OF PREPARATION DO YOU DO FOR A MANUSCRIPT? DO YOU PLAN EVERYTHING FIRST OR JUST SHOOT FROM THE HIP? 

I sort of just shoot from the hip. I pick a name and a scenario and start writing. I’m not even sure what is going to come out once I put pen to paper. I go into writing the story with an idea and it just flows and pretty much writes itself as I watch.


WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?

  I enjoy creating something from nothing. From one word I could create a whole slew of characters with distinct personalities and watch them blossom from the tip of my pen. I enjoy reading it when I am done writing it as well. I am still amazed that I am the one who created the story and I actually enjoyed reading it myself. My husband makes fun of me. He asks me all the time why I would read a book when I’m the one who wrote it. I just said I was proofreading but in truth I had finished proofreading long before that. I was reading the story for myself at that point. Trying to see it from someone else’s point of view.



WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?

I really haven’t had much trouble yet. I have had to do some extra research for the book I am working on right now, and that was a little frustrating; but it’s been pretty easy so far.

WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME A WRITER?
A short order cook, and I still am. I have been cooking and waiting tables since I was 14 years old. Im pretty tired of it. Burned out, you could say. But I do it, because it’s what I am good at and it’s what I know.

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?

I don’t have any publicly recognized achievements to boast about as of yet, but am hoping that someday I will.  For me, writing a whole story and realizing that it turned out better than I thought it would, is achievement enough for me.

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?

I am currently working on the third book in my series. It is the conclusion of the story I started with ‘Jillian’. I am nearly finished with it and am excited to release it. I have quite a few people waiting for it, so I am trying to make sure it’s really good.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

Our children inspire me. I want them all to have what we didn’t have, if I can make it that far with this. If not, then at least they will see that I have finished something that I started, and they should do the same. I hope that they will also learn to follow their dreams. That is what I am doing by writing.


WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?

Zombie fiction, mostly. After the release of ‘Angel’, I plan to write a very scary paranormal novel. Though I feel I could write in any genre if I felt like it.

DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?

Do not get discouraged. It may be a hard road, but if you enjoy it; certainly continue to do it and don’t let anyone break your stride.



DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?

I have not had that problem, yet. Though I am afraid that I will sooner or later because I am putting so much out from the gate. I suppose that my well may run dry sometime, but so far it’s still full.

DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?

I write mostly at night. I have so many things to do in the day after work that night is the only time I have to do it.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?

I snuggle up on the couch with my keyboard in my lap. That is my current favourite place to write.

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN WRITING?

Creating the characters and watching their personalities come to life before my eyes. That is a great joy for me.

WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?

Anne Rice. She has created a cast of characters and intertwined worlds that are believable. I feel I know her characters personally. I love to connect with a book in that way.

WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A READER?

  I have been told that I write very well, so the reader has no trouble envisioning the scene. One view on amazon called “Jillian”  “good and depressing” but gave it five stars and would like to see more from me. That felt good, and good and depressing is okay with me because that is what I was going for. He didn’t just read it, he felt Jillian’s emotions and anxiety as well.



WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A READER?

I am lucky enough to not have had that yet. I’m sure sooner or later that someone will not like my book and say so, but that’s okay. I can take constructive criticism. I would like to know how my readers think and feel about it so it’s all good.

WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?

Of course, I think all of us are at some point. Otherwise how would we know how a certain situation feels and how to describe it. Sure, we could ask people and investigate and research, but the best explanations come from personal experiences.  That’s just my opinion.


OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?

Playing guitar, reading, video games. My husband and I try to play tennis occasionally when we are not too tired to do so after working all day.

DID YOU HAVE YOUR BOOK / BOOKS PROFESSIONALLY EDITED BEFORE PUBLICATION?

No, I have not. Unfortunately I don’t have the means to hire an editor so I do a lot of reading and re-reading my stories. I could quote them by heart now.

DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.

Sleeping in past 7 a.m. and packing up a cooler full of good food and spirits to take to the beach for a long relaxing day. That is the perfect day for me. I have lived in Florida for a while now and I have yet to do that.


IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND WITH ONE PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE? WHY? 

My husband of course! Need I explain why?




WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO SPEAK TO WORLD LEADERS?

 I’m not a political person whatsoever but; if I could I would say to them…. “Can’t we all just get along?” lol Cliché, I know but that’s what I would say.


WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?

I plan to have a nice big house with room for all of our children and a big back yard to boot. We’re working on it, though it will take some time. I haven’t really set any major goals in life as of yet. We’re just going with the flow.

WHAT FIVE BOOKS WOULD YOU TAKE TO HEAVEN?

The Bible, I’m sure they have plenty but I would like to have my own.  IT by Stephen King. I could read it a million times.
And my own first three books, I am very proud of them, I feel that even if no one  likes them; I have accomplished something.

DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN ANY OF YOUR CHARACTERS?

Yes, I have modelled the characters from The Last Day in the Life of Jillian after my husband and I. The looks, the wedding. Our mannerisms and personalities. Our relationship and how we interact with each other. I used it to my advantage. It made writing the story so much easier.

DOES THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY FRUSTRATE YOU?

No, I haven’t really had any problems so far. But then again, I have not tried to enter any major publishing houses.

DID YOU EVER THINK OF QUITTING?

 On occasion I think about it. I haven’t been doing it for very long, so I could probably let it go easily. And sometimes I just feel like I’m never going to get the time to work on it, but I like it way too much to quit.



WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE MANUSCRIPT TO WRITE? WHY?

The Last Day in the Life of Jillian. It is my first and I have poured a lot of my heart into it. I enjoyed it immensely.

HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE ‘SUCCESS’ AS A WRITER?  

 I would like to say that making lots of money would define success for me but I don’t feel complete in saying that. Though lots of money would be great, my definition of success would be for the readers to enjoy the tales that I have spun, and to let me know about it. I can’t wait to get more reviews. It would let me know that I have reached the reader and they would like to see more from me, which would motivate me greatly.

WHAT SHOULD READERS WALK AWAY FROM YOUR BOOKS KNOWING? HOW SHOULD THEY FEEL?

 I don’t really know how much if any of what they may learn from my books, but I would hope that they feel like they have read a great story and are sad that it’s ending.


 HOW MUCH THOUGHT GOES INTO DESIGNING A BOOK COVER?

I put a lot of thought into my book covers, that is a major selling point for some people; an interesting and captivating cover. Since I have only limited abilities in that area, I try to write a captivating blurb to go with the story if I am not wholly satisfied with the cover.


WHAT’S YOUR ULTIMATE DREAM?

To never cook in a restaurant again.


  WRITING IS ONE THING. WHAT ABOUT MARKETING YOU, YOUR BOOKS AND YOUR BRAND? ANY THOUGHTS?

 Marketing, I have found is much harder than writing and publishing. I have been using social networks as platforms to try and get the word out. It’s doing okay but, I’d like to learn a little more about how to market my books where I can get a lot of traffic. I am very uneducated on the ways of the writing world, so I am learning as I go. I have had tips and helpful hints from other indy authors as well and that helps.


ARE YOUR BOOKS SELF-PUBLISHED?

 Yes, for the moment. Hopefully I can build a fan base and then I plan to look into submitting my books to a publishing house.


ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?

   Just a thank you, Clancy. I appreciate you very much. This is my first Author Interview and I have thoroughly enjoyed answering your questions.



WHAT WOULD BE THE VERY LAST SENTENCE YOU’D WRITE?

                She turned and walked away.




 LINKS:






Clancy's comment: Go, Julie. Admire your spirit. I think it will be a while before you say, "She turned and walked away." 

Keep going.


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