Interview with Julie C. Gilbert

How do you approach cover design?
I'm luckier than most in that I have a friend who happens to be a talented artist with knowledge and some experience in graphic design. We create most of the covers together. Usually, I do things like describe what I'm looking for and he does all the hard work. I choose color scheme, character inclusion, and small detail things like that. I have some general rules about covers. 1. The author name can't be bigger than the title. 2. All fonts need to be legible. 3. It has to be fun.
What are your five favorite books or book series, and why?
(Despite the #'s, no particular order)
1. Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill - Fun story about a princess who saves her people by wielding a sword. What's not to like?
2. Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series - I'm taking it as a whole because it's essentially one really long tale. In general, I'm not a huge fantasy fan, but I make excpetions for cool world-building. Sander's excellent at world-building. The magic system in the Mistborn series has to do with burning metals, which I find absolutely awesome. Okay, so that's the chemsitry geek in me.
3. Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Super Mysteries (The ones published in the 90's) - There's something inherently awesome about a simple mystery story with good guys, bad guys, and always winning in the end.
4. Star Wars New Jedi Order Rebel Dream - I don't remember much about the book, but I do remember turning it over and re-reading it. Since I pretty much never do that, I'm guessing it had something compelling in there.
5. Star Wars Jedi Apprentice (the one about young Obi-Wan Kenobi) - I enjoyed how the authors maintained a sense of urgency and danger without being overly violent or graphic. Solid YA fiction.
What do you read for pleasure?
Genres: Historical fiction, YA, mystery, thriller, science fiction, fantasy, YA semi-fantasy romance, action, adventure, occasional middle grade, humorous, Christian historical fiction, nonfiction (very rare).

Although I maintain that the Star Wars books have gone downhill since New Jedi Order, I still try them from time to time. Some of the Old Republic books are decent.
Describe your desk
Mighty messy. (To-do list, mouse, coaster - for the all-important cup of tea, reminder notes, library slips, post office receipts, proofreading list, gum, scrap paper, lotion, etc)
When did you first start writing?
I started writing the summer after high school or the first summer after freshman year of college, when I had copious amounts of time on my hands.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Ashlynn's Dreams is the "latest" on here, so I guess I'll describe that one. It's about a kid who gets kidnapped because she has the ability to shape people's dreams. Along the way, she meets a string of genetically altered siblings who have other gifts. She's challeneged to master her gift and find a missing brother in a short timeframe. Failure's not an option because her life isn't the one one at stake.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love getting to know each character. As story events put the characters into tough situations, I get to learn a little more about them each moment. I'm also a teacher, so learning about anything new is fun.
What do your fans mean to you?
There's something awesome about meeting somebody who's read and liked your book. Highest compliment I received as a writer was "I'm tired and it's your fault" (because I stayed up late reading your book). I do write to entertain myself, but it's always more fun to share.
What are you working on next?
I have several WIPs. I'd like to get my YA science fiction series into good working order. The Reshner series is about a prince who falls in love with a Ranger and all the political intrigue and danger that follows them along the way.

I'm also working on more in the series following Ashlynn's Dreams.

Heartfelt Cases has a 4th story - full novel this time - that needs a few more rounds of proofing.

I started a YA fantasy story about a teenaged girl who's been chosen to save her world from zombies and demons.
Who are your favorite authors?
Brandon Sanderson, Vivian Vande Velde, Nancy Springer, Margaret Peterson Haddix (select series), Stuart Hill, Suzanne Collins (only Hunger Games 1 and maybe 2), Timothy Zahn, Jude Watson, C.S. Lewis
Published 2013-12-10.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Collins Case
Price: Free! Words: 39,070. Language: English. Published: December 15, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Suspense, Fiction » Christian » Contemporary
A old friend's disappearance sets an FBI agent on a dangerous case where the line between good guys and bad guys might turn murky. (I'm giving the whole free thing a go for a while. Enjoy. If you like the story, please leave an amazon and smashwords review.)
Ashlynn's Dreams
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 74,200. Language: English. Published: December 10, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Jillian and her babysitter, Danielle, get kidnapped because she can shape people's dreams. Join Jillian as she learns her Gift, searches for her brother, and fights to free herself and her babysitter. (If you like the story, please leave an amazon and smashwords review. Check out the Youtube trailer by searching the title.)