Interview with Julie Blackstone

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First comment:  Cool cover. 

Thanks!  I was
so, so, happy when my designer sent it to me.  It is exactly the look and
feel I wanted.

You have two names, Juliana Stone for your paranormal
romances and an alter ego who calls herself Julie Blackstone and writes YA.
Which do you go by the majority of the time?

Well, I've been
published as Juliana Stone since my first book was released in 2010.  I've
not written 7 paranormals, two futuristic novels, and I've got a new
contemporary romance coming out next year as well.  (I love writing
 J) When I decided to write young adult and pursue it
aggressively, I decided to utilized a second author name, simply because my
adult books aren't for teens and I wouldn't want anyone to be confused as to
what they're buying. 

In the future I'd
like to divide my time equally as I totally enjoyed the difference between the
two types of books.

Okay, so you mentioned to me in an email your original
"motivation" for writing Ravyn's Fall and I laughed a bit, thinking
it was perfect. Can you explain a little bit about that?

Sure! I have a
daughter who reads voraciously and I was determined to write something that she
could read and share with her friends.  I honestly didn't know how much
I'd enjoy it and I'm glad I tried my hand at young adult.

Besides wanting to write a book that your daughter could
read, how did Ravyn's Fall come about? Was it always something scratching at
the inside of your head, or was it a deliberate project?

The idea came from
one line that didn't even make it into the book.  "I thought falling
to earth would hurt."  The idea of a girl falling from heaven came to
me and then the title…the idea changed a bit from the original but once I
fleshed it out, the story kind of flowed.

I noticed the name of the book is the same as your son's
band (which is way cool, btw. LOVED Heartless). Any special reason you went
that route? And since they share a name, are they going to have anything to do
with the books?

Well, I'm a pretty
proud Mama!  My kids band stole the name.  I'll be honest!  I'd
written the book about 3 years ago and at the time I believe they were called A
Million Pennies, which I thought was a cool name, but they dropped it and
adopted Ravyn's Fall and just this past spring Ravyn's Fall made it to the top
200 on Canada's Got Talent! So we're kind of sharing now, but that's
okay.  I got my son to write the original music for the book trailer and I
think he did an awesome job.  But, that's about the extent of their
involvement with this project.  If anyone is interested, check out their
music on facebook and you can find them on twitter as well!

Two part question: I loved your spin on demons and angels—that
the angels aren't necessarily all good and the demons aren't necessarily all
bad.  Zeke puts it best when he says that they're basically the same, they
just live in different zip codes. Why did you choose to go that route? And,
where does your view of angels & demons originate? How did it morph into
the meld you have in this book?

I've always been sort
of ambiguous when it comes to religion and I totally believe every single one
of us has the potential to be good or bad.  I look at it almost like racism. 
Creatures from the upper realm don't understand those from below…they're
different and so they don't like them….and vice versa.  BUT they each need
the other to survive so to speak. I love this concept and use it in my adult
paranormal series as well, The League of Guardians.  Different world, but
basically the same idea.  WE all need each other to survive…it parallels
the human world of today.  It's just kind of sad that so many people are
blind to this and sadly, I do believe that (especially in the past) religion
kind of perpetuated this myth.

Poor Ravyn.  It seems that wherever she goes death and
destruction follow. She even calls herself at one point a harbinger of death.
Is this a key part of who she is, or is she just having a killer streak of bad
luck?

A lot happens in this
first book and sure, she feels like her life is sucking…she doesn't know who
she can trust and she's afraid to trust because nothing she's believed in has
been true.  Her life has been a lie. We'll find out more about her as the
series continues, but I can tell you she's got balls, she's not afraid to take
chances.  And, well, she does have a hellhound!

And Zeke, did you have anyone in particular in mind when you
wrote his character? What's his deal anyway…I know we'd all like to believe
that he truly does care for Ravyn and that in some cosmic, mixed up way,
they're destined for each other, but right now he's so hot and cold. Is that
going to change? Soon? Like, in book two???

Zeke's already
struggling with his growing feelings for Ravyn, but it's hard for him. 
She represents redemption, or what could be redemption for him.  A happy
ending so to speak but at the end of book one he knows he can't sacrifice
her.  The question is, what will he do when things heat up? When his feelings
grow as does the danger and the fact that his ultimate prize isn't one he wants
to claim?  I can also say Dragon might be giving him a run for his money
in book 2.

As for who did I
write him after….I had a picture of Steven Strait from The Covenant on my
computer and uh, I'd look at it a lot!

Besides the obvious, how does writing a YA book differ from
your normal books? Do you have a different process? Do you have to get into the
"zone" before writing for YA when you've been writing your normal
paranormal romances?

The process is the
same for me.  I love disappearing into my words and I sit down and just
write.  I don't like any noise, no music…nothing. I sit, have some
munchies on hand and write.  The cool thing about YA, is I get to focus
more on that whole 'first love' thing and the sweetness of it.  The
intensity of it.

How many books will be in the series?

There will be three
books.  The second is titled, Ravyn's Grace, the third Ravyn's Creed
(which might change).

This next question is solely of a selfish nature: How's your
progress coming on Ravyn's Grace and when can I read it? I NEED to know what
happens next!

LOL I'm glad you're
enjoying it!  I plan to have Ravyn's Grace available for purchase in the
fall. October.  I'm working on it at the same time I'm writing my second
adult contemporary romance but that's the plan right now.

What does your writing process look like in general? Are you
an outliner or a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pantser?

I'm a total
pantser.  I do have a clear vision of the beginning, middle and end….but
everything else is organic and flows when I sit down to write.  I think
that's why I find it all so exciting…I'm finding out where these characters are
going and what they're doing as I write.  It's a lot of fun and not for
everyone but for now, for me, it works.

Do you prefer to edit on a computer screen or on paper?

I do everything on my
computer.  I've never used paper and pen though I have a few friends who
do their entire first draft on paper.  I edit as I write and subsequently,
my first draft is very clean.  I usually do a once over and then send it
to my critique partner.

I just wanted to comment on the fact that you wove so much
mystery and "OMG, that did NOT just happen!" moments into the story,
that it pulled along so well. I was disappointed when I finished it in only a
day and was left with
 nothing else to read while
camping. So, great job. Oh, and I love Joe. He's probably my favorite
supporting character.

Joe just kind of came
to me and I love him dearly. I wish I had my very own personal hellhound.

And now….for some fun questions:

Where do you call home? If you could call anywhere else
home, where would that be?

I live in Canada and
love it here!  I suppose if I could call anywhere else home it would be
New Zealand.  I fell in love with that country while watching The Lord of
the Rings.

E-reader or a good old fashioned book?

If you'd have asked
me that a year ago I would have said BOOK, but, I bought an e-reader last
summer and I love it.  I've read more in the past year than in a long time
and I love everything about it.

Favorite current TV show?

Okay, I have a 3-way
tie between The Vampire Diaries, Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. 
All of them are shows I HAVE TO WATCH OR I'LL BE IN A REALLY BAD MOOD. And I
watch all of them with a few girlfriends so it's more of an event.  I was
really into True Blood for a while, but I'm finding it
meh this year.

Best YA book you've last read (besides your own, of course)?

I've read a lot of
really good ones, but the ones on my keeper shelves are, The Scorpio Races by
Maggie
 Stiefvater, I loved Simone Elkeles Return
to Paradise and Leaving Paradise and I really enjoyed the Mortal Instruments.

If you could co-write any type of book with any author
(alive or dead) who would it be and what would the book be titled?

I'd co-write a book
of poetry with Jim Morrison and we'd call it, On The Other Side.

Thank you so much for your time! Is there anything else
you'd like to say?

Thanks for having me,
this has been fun!

 

 

Since that Farnsworth guy got sick, you've hardly...

dealt with male authors in Voices, not you nor the others.

Is there any reason that this blog is currently mired in romance and fantasy novels?

Surely women read other books?

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Questioning Abby

Good Questions

If you refer back to our original post of the types of books we're focusing on (easy, everyday fun reads), we explain why we picked the genres we did to read and review.

 That being said, books told from the male POV (point of view) in our genres are few and far between. I can't speak for Pam and Janice's books with much authority, but for YA it's more difficult to find a book in the male POV because they're hard for literary agents to sell to publishers because--in turn--it's hard for them to sell in the market. It's a proven fact (in the YA world, at least) that young males don't read as much as young females (a sad statistic that the powers that be are trying to change), hence more female narrators.

I have reviewed a few books I've found told from a male protagonists voice, and they've been good. I've also reviewed some books written by male authors told from a female character's POV. I'll post some of those up on the blog.

--Rachel

For the record, few of us males believe there is any...

good man out there.

It's a siren's call to a spammy email box.

It's not like all I read is how to bore a big block Chevy Or Asimov.

I just wondered when you ladies will find it in your hearts to stop wondering what we all want in your words...

and realize that we want you to stick around because it's not easy and realize that we WILL likely pass years before you, leaving you back at start.

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romance is nice. life is not romance.