The blogs I follow, social media, and friends have usually pointed the way to meaningful works in print. The only exception I can recall at the moment was the books I've purchased related to Lyme disease and mold illness: I wanted the best references and found them through traditional search engines.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Nope. I do remember my first song, however! It's the only one featured in my eBook and you'll find it on June 6, 2013. It's a simple little ditty about wanting recovery for you and for me.
What is your writing process?
Very late at night after even the dog has slumbered off to bed, you will find Just Julie alone at the computer pouring out her heart and editing well into the wee hours of the morning. In the quiet, there is much clarity. Besides, for some crazy reason my brain is the clearest in the middle of the night!
How do you approach cover design?
I asked a friend who is a career photographer if he had any photos I might use and he gave me permission to search his year-long photo journal for images. It was like being a kid in a candy store! Brad Weiland, you rock!
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Bible and A Table by the Window by Lawana Blackwell. The first is for ultimate truth, encouragement, and hope. The second rekindles my entrepreneurial, adventurist spirit of a young woman still becoming who the Lord is designing her to be . . . And if I could add a magazine it would be Fine Gardening! Love the gorgeous pictures, feature articles without ads and August "Reader's Tips" featuring my idea for curing onions. As a Master Gardener, I love this magazine and online landscaping blogs too (e.g. Dirt Simple).
Describe your desk
My desk is clear of clutter, backs to a lovely view of vegetable and flower gardens outside, and faces a magnificent B & W photo of a bridge leading to a beach along a vast body of open water. All this provides me the open spaces I need to create, create, create!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up near Detroit, Michigan and I don't think it influenced my writing much at all, sorry! The adventures that came whilst living in 3 States in the Midwest of the United States (Illinois and now Indiana) have provided inspiration. The leading of the Holy Spirit through my relationship with the Lord, Jesus Christ has helped me put them to words.
When did you first start writing?
Fifth grade. I poured my young heart into a special project to create a book of poetry with a pretty blue wallpaper print cover. My mom, although she never studied beyond high school, was an expert editor and letter writer. I also loved writing letters, especially my pen pal in England decades before the internet existed. I remember looking forward to receiving a letter with a funny postage stamp from Sharon Little "across the pond." Sweet memories, for sure!
What's the story behind your latest book?
I seek to find meaning in the experiences of my life in the hopes of revealing the Lord's handiwork. While I may never have an answer to "why" I got sick with the illnesses I describe in Hope Beyond Lyme (and biotoxin illness), I have already seen that this work has made a difference in my life and the life a few other sojourners. For that I am grateful. For that I also give the glory to God for the things He hath done. Yeah God!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
It's very exciting and challenging too! It's cheap! Smashwords helped me learn the most about self-publishing break free from the layers of rules posed by traditional publishing houses that have a SP Department. Just like blogging, it has the potential to reach more people with my message of hope than I could ever find promoting it myself or even that which a "promotional package" a publisher would provide. Cool beans!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I'm looking forward to finding out! Thanks for asking and please feel free to write me after you read Hope Beyond Lyme: The First Year.
What do your fans mean to you?
I am humbled and honored when a Gentle Reader spends a little time with me and my work. What's really cool is when they send add a comment letting me know they are out there. I appreciate you! :J
What are you working on next?
Lord willing "the second year" sequel will follow in the Fall of 2014. Another project is a manual that persons enduring chronic illness can use to make life easier. This will include home safety, security, energy conservation, work/task simplification, and adaptive equipment for the home. I hope the Gentle Reader will benefit from my expertise as an occupational therapist who has spent many enjoyable years with patients in their own homes, making it a safer and more welcoming place to be! It just makes sense to make this information available to a wider audience including all the wonderful folks I have already met on my healing journey.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.