A Chat with Author, Julia London (part 2)

working on the train
working on the train

TS.  My kind of interview…one sprinkled with terrific tongue-in-cheek humor.

Q. Who is your muse at the moment?

JL. My muse is a sloven blob, and she wants to eat chocolate and float in the pool and watch Real Housewives of Name Your City. She’s not much help, to be honest. I kick her out, and then she lurks around the windows, peering in, shouting things I can’t really hear. But every once in awhile, she comes up with a gem. Just every once in awhile. For the most part, she does not earn her keep around here.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

JL. I have always written. I have had many jobs that required good, technical writing skills. But somewhere along the way I was bored with my jobs in public administration. I had never aspired to be a fiction writer, but one day I picked up an Iris Johansen book at a garage sale. I really love historical fiction at the time. I didn’t recognize the book as a romance because I never read with any eye toward genre. I just read books that appealed to me and never thought about their category. The Johansen book really appealed to me because of the guy on the back cover, LOL. It was a great read, and an easy read after a stressful day at work. I read more books like the Iris Johansen book, and I began to think I could actually do this. Turns out, I could.

Q. How long after that were you published?

JL. Very quickly. I wrote a book and learned how to construct a novel, how to build an arc of a story into it. So then I wrote a shorter, better one, which became my first book, The Devil’s Love. I was extremely lucky that the first book I wrote and sent to an agent caught her eye. She offered representation, then sold that book two weeks after that. I was really lucky to have hit the right agent with the right book at the right time.

Q. What makes a writer great?

JL. What makes a great writer? Or what makes a writer great? As to the former, I’d say a lot of reading, a

Julia with writer pals in Scotland. L-R Julia London, Teri Wilson, Karen Hawkins and Holly Crawford
Julia with writer pals in Scotland. L-R Julia London, Teri Wilson, Karen Hawkins and Holly Crawford

lot of writing, and let’s face it, an innate understanding of how to tell a story that captures imagination. It’s all about the imagery—if a reader can submerse herself in your world, you are a great writer. For the latter, what makes a writer great is empathy for the human condition, on and off the pages, as well as living her life. Writers have to be in the world to understand the world.

Q. and the all important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like?

JL. It’s so painful it makes me cringe. I have learned along the way that every writer has to embrace her unique ugly process. Mine is full of bright hope and self-loathing. I always love my ideas when I first come up with them. But then I start writing the first draft and I am reminded what a hack I am on the inside. It’s just utter crap. However, if I can get to the end of the draft, I can do a heavy edit and fix all the tragic writing I did in the first draft, and believe me, some of it is absolutely tragic. There is a reason authors don’t like people to see a work in progress—like me, they’re afraid someone will see what a hack they are….

Did you miss part 1? Click here
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Part 3 in this fascinating Interview — October 24th

DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!       Julia London in October and Matt Jorgenson later this winter. Coming in December!  My review of a new release by Dean Koontz, Ashley Bell.

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One thought on “A Chat with Author, Julia London (part 2)”

  1. It’s funny hearing such a talented author talking of herself as a hack. I write a lot of reports and am terrified that somebody will see my first drafts in case they notice how appalling they are. It’s much easier to edit or rewrite somebody else’s work.

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