Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I didn't want to be a writer, I just wrote.
When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I still don't feel like a 'writer', and I never wrote a book to write a book. I write because the stories are in my head and they beat and pound on my poor skull until I channel them out, either in art or in writing. I have a seriously small head for that many characters.
Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
Um, my first book that I wrote, a MG, isn't published. It's still sitting on my desk with its intestines trailing down to the floor, gutted, waiting for me to sew it back together. Someday my first book will be published because I love the concept and keep poking and prodding it, like a loose tooth. Eventually it'll pop out, or in. Hmm. Lost track of my metaphors there.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
House of Slide, Hotblood, and it's a girl who is trying to find her soul, find herself, not get killed and not kill. Hmm. Boring 20 words. How about- With a borrowed soul she can't control, Dariana struggles to survive in a world as beautiful as it is deadly. That's 20. The first part rhymes, should make the rest rhyme but I'm not very good at that.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
Ah. I'm a self-published writer so I can re-do the book as many times as I want. A curse and a blessing since I can't help but want to tweak things that I probably should let go of. The concept? That's kind of interesting actually. About 8 years ago I did an illustration panel with all the characters of my House of Slide, Hotblood book, three years before I started writing it, so the characters were there, coalescing long before I started writing it. I didn't even realize it until I was looking over my old stuff one day and bam! There was the Nether on his Demon steed, The uncles with their smoking uzis, crumpled fedoras, and cigar embers, and Dariana, the only color of the piece, beautiful, dangerous, burning, holding it all together.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I am still wondering what genre House of Slide, Hotblood is since some people say YA urban fantasy, others Paranormal Romance, and a few people think straight up Horror. Oh, and I get some literary comments too. I don't write non-fiction, which my mother thinks is a pity, or mystery, like my father-in-law thinks I should, because I like supernatural. I like mermaids and goblins and ghosts. I like super powers and super heroes. I also tend to be a little bit dark. I doubt that will change although I might hop from MG to YA to adult and back again.
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I am on my 5th revision of House of Slide, Hybrid, the second book in the series, and I've written a prequel that I'm wondering what to do with, to publish or keep to myself, and of course the three other books that I write when I can't deal with the House anymore. House of Slide, Hybrid should come out this winter if I don't decide to revamp the whole thing.
Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
My husband is an intellectual, all p.h.d. rhetoric stuff, but for fun he reads urban fantasy, so he's kind of perfect as a first reader. He can tell me if it's hitting the target and can also lecture me for days on my grammar. My sister is another person I run it by. She couldn't care less about grammar but she will flog you until you get the character's motivations right. She probably makes me work the hardest. I have a writer friend who is probably too nice to be very helpful edit-wise in first drafts, but encouragement is sometimes what I need the most.
Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
Oh. No. I am tempted to write apologies though. I feel so guilty if someone doesn't like my book, like I intentionally stuck a knife through their eye and twisted it, or something less dramatic. I hate bad books, throw them across the room and scream at them, and I hate the idea that I do that to someone. Since you can't please everyone, it's inevitable that some people don't like it. Nothing is universally loved, even Harry Potter and the Hunger Games have their critics. That's what I tell myself.
How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
Oh, I like this question! I am an art/english person, so naturally I did the cover. I love it even though it's not a girl running through the woods, photo based like is all the rage right now. It's Satan, the Son of the House with his rune embedded flesh. It's graphic, black/white with a tinge of red, like the House is so black and white about everything. I tried to do other covers that were more YA, I still have them up on a board and they're nice, but they're not right. As an indie I have so much power (maniacal laugh).
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
Also a good question. For me with characters it's all about their voice. It's not their eyes or their hair, unless it smells or tastes a certain way, like the Nether, I admit to kind of crushing on the Nether, but the voice, the timbre, the language, the way they throw their words into the air or slip them out with a whisper. It's accents and dialog. After that I define them moving backwards to who they are, at least in the first draft. At the end it's necessary to go over and make sure each voice hasn't gotten blurred with another one and clean it up. Editing is exhausting for me, endless, messy, and yet, I must love it or why would I do it so much?
Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
I can get through it two ways. I can write, and by that I mean just force through it, flinging whatever words on the paper I can get to stick, and the other way is to move to something else for a while. The first way is mostly a waste of time because I end up with zombie bats coming out of nowhere that everyone, characters, myself included are totally bewildered by. And what are zombie bats, anyway? No idea. My brain gets fried if I push too much. I am not Stephen King(for a second you were wondering.) who suggests that you write write write write write...
Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it?
Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken. My mother has the most amazing reading voice, so dramatic and suspenseful that I could barely breathe when she read where the wolves are chasing them through the woods, the howling, the bare branches catching clothes while the wind swirls snow, stinging cheeks... She could make anything exciting, well, not biology though she tried.
What do you think about book trailers?
I like them. I know they're controversial since what does a trailer have to do with a book, but I think they're so fun. I just got a very cool trailer done by this amazing trailer and copy edit company, Punctilious, support services for self-publishers, and here's the link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vea_unM0XfM&feature=player_embedded
I highly recommend their professionalism.
Where can readers follow you?
My blog: juliacrow.blogspot.com
Thanks so much for letting me talk about my book!
Thanks for visiting my blog and taking part in my Interview!