I am thrilled to welcome Julia London to Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf! Let’s find out a little more about her as she answers some fun questions!
And don’t forget to scroll all the way down for the giveaway!
- What is the hardest thing about being a writer?
Would you be surprised if I told you there was nothing easy about it? Sometimes the hardest thing is getting words on the page. Sometimes it is the demands of promoting your work that feel so formidable. Sometimes the hardest thing is working alone, which often puts me and my imagination in a vacuum. But I’d say the hardest thing about it is that because I work from home, my personal life and professional life collide. I can never leave things at the office because I live in my office. I can never get out of the house because my work is in my house. I am lucky in that I’m very active. I run and bike and do yoga—I always have a way to walk out of the intersecting worlds and exist without either of them for a short time. But honestly, in spite of the hard work and solitude, it’s such a great job—I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
- How do you break through a writing block?
I don’t actually get writer’s block. Amazing, right? I may get stuck in a scene, and when that happens, I go for a run and think things through. What I suffer from is motivation block. Writing is a full time job and then some, and it certain points, it can really wear me and my creative juices down. There have been times when I have books coming out at the same time I have books due. When stress is high, I have to make myself sit down and work. It seems the higher the stress, the more I want to wander around and rake leaves or do laundry or clean out closets. But what I do is sit down and put the first word down. Then the second. It’s climbing a hill through molasses, but eventually, I always get to the top.
- Do you read/comment on reviews of your books?
The publishers are very good about sending me the good ones 🙂 Reviews are hard—you know it’s impossible to please everyone. That’s a given, and I accept that. I also know that my loyal fans will not like all my books equally, and may consider one to be a clunker. That’s a given, too, and I accept that. But I work hard at my books and I try to make them as well written and interesting as I can. Everything I do makes sense to me. When I do see negative reviews, especially if they’ve been written with a little venom, it hurts a little. I never want to dismay anyone, right? So I don’t read them. I don’t find them helpful to my creative process and besides, the reviews aren’t written for me—they are written for other readers. I don’t comment, either. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.
- How do you choose the names for your characters?
You know, this is getting harder and hard for me to do. For one, I’ve written a lot of books and used a lot of names. For another, the name has to fit the character, and sometimes, I don’t really understand the character until I’ve written several chapters. So I try and have a general idea of who the person is, and then I use Behindthenames.org to search through names.
- If you could live a day in the life of a fictional character, who would it be?
Any of Jane Austen’s novels. That would be a delight.
- What is your all time favorite book?
That’s too hard! I have so many favorites. However, I remember being absolutely swept away by Sharon Kay Penman’s Here Be Dragons years ago. It’s a fictionalized account of the great love story from which Wales (the political unit) was born. I recently tried to reread it, but the writing is old-school: a lot of description and internal thoughts. I do want to read it again, but I need a stretch of time when I’m not so busy and can concentrate a little more than I’m able to do right now, LOL!
- What is the last book you’ve read?
I read The Gold Finch by Donna Tartt and listened to You by Caroline Klepnes. I finished them within a week of each other.
- Aside from writing, what would your dream job be?
This changes periodically, but right now, I wish I were a painter. I have this idea that it would be so fulfilling to create great, artistic visions and share them with the world. But I have no talent, no knowledge of it—nothing but an idea that it would be fun.
- If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Another tough question! Of course I would love more time with my grandparents or my sister, but for pure entertainment value, I’d go with Mark Twain. He was so funny and so smart. I would love to talk to him.
- Which question do you hate hearing/answering most during interviews?
Where do you get your ideas! I know people want to know that, and I get asked that question all the time. But writing, like any talent, is such an organic thing. Ideas come to me from so many different places and activities. I can never adequately explain it, and there is no easy answer for it.
- What question do you wish you were asked more often? And what’s the answer?
I wish more people would ask me what I’m reading. I am a booklover and I like to talk about books other than my own (not that I don’t like to talk about mine too!). for example, I just finished listening to You by Caroline Klepnes as I said, and I wish someone I knew had read that book. I am still thinking about that book and wondering how the author made me want to turn every page, because the protagonist (antagonist?) is not a nice guy. But he’s an interesting guy. It’s not a typical book and I need to talk about it! Another book I read, The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford, has not yet been released. But I’m going to recommend it here—I got to read an advance copy and it’s a great book with some unusual twists and turns. The basic premise is this: A woman is dead. Another woman down the street, suffering from bi-polar disorder, wonders if she did it. What a great jumping off point!
Thank you for having me! I hope you enjoy my novella, One Mad Night!
The Book: One Mad Night
Title: One Mad Night
Author: Julia London
Age Range: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: January 6th 2015
Available Formats: Paperback
Add the book: Goodreads
Buy the book: Amazon | BN |The Book Depository
Two Romantic Adventures…One Mad Night
Two delightful contemporary romance novellas in one book from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia London.
One winter’s night a blizzard sweeps across the country, demonstrating that fate can change the course of lives in an instant…and fate has got a sense of humor.
One Mad Night
Chelsea Crawford and Ian Rafferty are high profile ad execs in cutthroat competition for a client. When a major winter storm puts New York City on lockdown, the two rivals have to make it through the night together—oh, the many ways in which opposites attract…
The Bridesmaid – Bonus Novella
RITA Award Nominee for Best Romance Novella of 2013
Kate Preston has just moved to New York. Joe Firretti is contemplating a move to Seattle. When the weather wreaks havoc with transportation systems, Kate and Joe meet as they are both trying to rent the last car available… As Kate races to make her best friend’s wedding, and Joe races to a life-altering job interview, it looks like together is the only way they’ll make it at all.
It took a moment for Chelsea to notice him, which gave Ian a moment to admire her. He was going to crush her tomorrow, but that didn’t stop him from appreciating a figure that guys like him dreamed about. Chelsea was wearing a skirt today. It hit about mid-thigh and was tight enough to show off all her curves. She looked a bit taller today too. He glanced at her feet and noticed the shoes. Chelsea was walking on stilts, and her legs, good God, her legs. She was smoking hot in that dress and those shoes.
“Hey!” she said sharply, her voice full of accusation.
Ian’s head snapped up. “Hey,” he said con-genially. “Practicing your pitch?” He settled one hip onto the conference table.
“Do you mind?” She gestured to the door in a be-off-with-you way.
“If you want, I could listen and give you some feedback.”
Chelsea’s mouth dropped open. And then her green eyes narrowed into little slits. “You have got to be the most arrogant man I’ve ever met.”
Ian smiled and shrugged.
“You can go, Ian,” she said, marching around the conference table to usher him out. “I think I’ve got it.”
“So hostile,” he said with a wink as he stood up. “I’m just trying to help. It never hurts for someone to hear the pitch, right? You’ve had someone listen to you go through it, right?”
“Yes, I’ve had—Hey, hey,” she said, poking him in the chest. “Are you trying to play me?” she demanded. “Because it won’t work. I’m not some junior account person, you know. You can’t intimidate me.”
“Well, obviously,” Ian said and poked her back. “You wouldn’t be pitching at all if you were a junior account person. I know I can’t intimidate you. It wasn’t a declaration of war, you know; it was an offer to help.”
“It wasn’t a let-me-help, best-friends-forever offer, either. I’m not playing games with you. This account means a lot to me—”
“Oh yeah?” she said, shifting closer. “Well, don’t get too attached to the idea. I’ve got seniority, you know.”
“So why are you so afraid to show me what you’ve got?”
“Because it’s none of your business.”
“On the eve of the championship, it’s okay to go out and shoot some hoops with your competitor. It’s not going to affect tomorrow’s big game. It’s not like I can go out and change weeks of work overnight if I see you’ve got something better.”
She laughed. “Good try, Rafferty, but I think maybe the reason you want to see my pitch is because you’re worried about the strength of your pitch. Is it a little rough? Maybe I should listen to you.” She winked, and her green eyes shone with pleasure at her comeback.
“I’m definitely not worried about my pitch.”
“No? Seems to me if you’re presenting three,” she said, holding up three fingers and wiggling them at him, “then you must be uncertain which one is the winner.” Her smile broadened into sheer triumph, as if she thought she’d really zinged him.
She hadn’t zinged him, but Ian did wonder how she knew what he had…Zach. Of course. That rat bastard. “Have you been talking to Zimmerman?” he asked accusingly.
She shrugged and studied her manicure. “Maybe. Does it matter? I thought we were doing the let’s-help-each-other thing. But if we’re not, would you mind toddling off? I have a lot of work I need to do before tomorrow. I plan to hit the ground running with this account on Monday.”
She was amazingly and annoyingly confident. Ian was generally a confident guy, but she was making him a teensy bit nervous. “You really think you’re going to get this, don’t you?”
“I don’t think, I know,” she said, looking up.
He tilted his head to one side to study her. “Isn’t it obvious to you why they brought me in?”
“I don’t know—I haven’t given it the slightest bit of thought.” She lifted her chin, and Ian realized she lied about as well as she engaged in verbal volleyball. “I’ve been promised that this account is as good as mine. Didn’t they tell you that when they brought you in?”
A bit more of Ian’s confidence leaked out of him. He’d been in New York advertising long enough to know that the industry was full of snakes. He wouldn’t put it past anyone to feed him a bunch of half-baked promises to get him to commit. “Who told you?”
She grinned. “None of your beeswax.”
“Come on, tell me—” His phone rang, distracting him momentarily. He fished it out of his pocket and noticed the number was the Grabber-Paulson main number. That was weird. “Listen, I’ll just say this,” he said, clicking off the phone. “Don’t be so sure of things. People say things they don’t mean, especially in this industry.” He started for the door.
“Uh-huh, I know. And I would offer you the same advice, Mr. Rafferty,” she said in a singsong voice, and she flashed a dazzling smile, full of straight white teeth.
“Cocky too. I like that about you,” he said. “I’ll keep it in mind when I make partner.” He winked at her, smiled as if he was completely unbothered, and went out of the conference room.
The Author: Julie London
Julia London is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including the Homecoming Ranch contemporary series, the Secrets of Hadley Green historical romance series, and numerous other works. She is a four-time finalist for the prestigious RITA Award for excellence in romantic fiction, and RT Bookclub award recipient for Best Historical Romance. She lives in Austin, Texas.