This week Tag Line Tuesday is happy to welcome Julia Crane, author of “Coexist: Keegan’s Chronicles.” Julia combines a degree in criminal justice with a belief in magical creatures, one of which dates from the day her grandmother first told her an Irish tale. I’m guessing that’s the magical creatures thing. She’s spent most of her life on the US East Coast, but Julia currently lives in Dubai with her husband and three children. Seriously. Dubai.
She can be found at http://juliacraneauthor.com/
Ed: Top of the morning, or whatever time it is where you are. 😉 Now, by way of introduction, please answer each of the standard biographic questions twice, once with the truth and once with a lie. Name?
JC: Julia Crane, or Dymphna Estep.
Ed: Hello, hello. So where you from?
JC: Dubai, or Virginia.
Ed: I know one of those “is for lovers,” but I forget which one. Day job?
JC: Author, Secret Agent
Ed: Dream job?
JC: PI, Author
Band – U2
Food – American
Game – Scrabble
Album – I don’t know (Ed: I love that one.)
Word – “ACK!”
Color – Green
Animal – English Bulldog
Piece of clothing – Sweater
Movie – Braveheart
TV show – Bones
Drink – Coffee
Song – A Great Day to Be Alive
Pizza topping – Pepperoni
Crime – Jaywalking
Place – Ireland
Quote – “I cannot live without books.” Thomas Jefferson
Ed: Three random things about yourself, please.
JC: Practice Krav Maga, handy with a 9mm, barely 5ft.
Would you call yourself a “Plotter” or a “Pantser?”
Ed: How about the Best/Worst advice you ever got as a writer?
JC: Best – Don’t worry about the first draft, just write.
Worst – You don’t need an editor.
Ed: And the Best/Worst thing about being a writer?
JC: Best – Good Reviews
Worst – Bad Reviews
Ed: Is being a writer what you expected? How so or how not?
JC: I didn’t have any expectations going into this. So far it has been a lot of fun and I’m greatly enjoying the experience.
Ed: Have you, or would you ever, collaborate on a story?
JC: Yes, I just wrapped up a story called “Mesmerized” with Talia Jager.
Ed: If you were starting to write for the first time, what would you do differently?
JC: Take writing classes in college.
Ed: What is the most important thing you have learned about writing?
JC: Show, don’t tell.
JC: With magic anything can happen.
Ed: And now I’m humming that whole album, “Presto!” 😉
JC: I like to ask strangers their favorite book. I’ve read lots of great books that way.
Ed: That’s a really cool answer, I might have to try that. 😉
What genre do you enjoy most?
JC: I’m all over the place with genre. I guess if I had to pick one it would be thrillers.
Ed: What genre would you read only if you lost a bet?
JC: I know it sounds corny, but I think there is at least one line in every book you pick up that you were supposed to read. I wouldn’t cut out any genres.
Ed: I like that thought, too, though I shudder to think what line I was supposed to read in William S. Burroughs “Naked Lunch.”
Do you have a favorite author, and do you think they influence your own writing?
JC: Many favorite authors. Ayn Rand always comes to mind first though. No, she does not influence my writing. At least not consciously.
Ed: Do you have a favorite book, and how many times have you read it?
JC: Either “Atlas Shrugged” or “The Fountainhead,” I’ve read them both three or four times.
Ed: What’s the first book you remember buying with your own money?
JC: I don’t recall. As a child my mother wouldn’t buy us toys, but we could buy any book in the store. She still buys my books when we go to the bookstore together. I really don’t want to know how much money I have spent on books over the years.
Ed: Any books you have been told you should read, and know you probably never will?
Ed: Ever lied about reading, or not reading, a book?
JC: Probably in high school. I tended to skim a lot of books for school. Of course now that I’m older I go back and search those books out.
Ed: Ever read a book you were sure you were going to like, and not liked it?
JC: Sadly, yes.
Ed: Ever grudgingly read a book, and loved it?
JC: Many. “Eaters of The Dead” by Michael Crichton.
Ed: Always thought that one was underrated among his, and the movie version didn’t help much.
What’s your favorite line from a book? (not your own)
Ellsworth Toohey: Mr. Roark, we’re alone here. Why don’t you tell me what you think of me in any words you wish.
Howard Roark: But I don’t think of you.
Ed: And now, onto a bit about the books you did just happen to write yourself. 😉 How, and when, do you tend to come up with titles?
JC: They usually come to me about halfway through the book. When I get an idea I think I like I’ll write down five or six other words that are similar in meaning and pick from that.
Ed: How do your characters get their names?
JC: My family has a lot of unusual names, so many are family names.
Ed: If you could live in the world or with the people of one of your stories, which one would it be and why?
JC: I’d live with the elves. You get to have a special power, and your perfect mate is predetermined.
What do you think your books say about you?
JC: Hmm, I don’t know…that I don’t want to grow up?
Ed: Who does?
Is there anything you have written which you would now like to change or revise, wish you had written differently, etc.?
JC: Not really. I do wish I had been more particular when looking for editors in the beginning.
Ed: Tell me about your favorite character.
JC: I think Rourk is my favorite. He’s very loyal, the strong silent type, and won’t hesitate to kill for someone he cares about.
Ed: Have your favorite character tell me about you.
Rourk: “Julia, keeping me apart from Keegan is getting old.”
Ed: To JC again, What’s your favorite line which you have written?
JC: “Father, the only thing that bothers me is that I felt nothing. No remorse. I always thought it’d be hard to take a life, that it would haunt me. I snapped his neck and walked away as if nothing happened. I felt calm. How could I feel calm about taking a life?”
And now, the dreaded HYPOTHETICALS (cue sinister music)
JC: Whatever story I am working on at the moment.
Ed: You are looking at the back of a book in a bookstore, reading on online blurb, or whatever. What sort of thing makes you say “yes,” what sort of things makes you say “pass?”
JC: I like there to be action and a strong male character doesn’t hurt.
Ed: You have one perfect day of free time, no obligations, needs, or responsibilities. What do you do?
JC: Hit the sauna, or grab my laptop and head to a coffee shop to write.
Ed: Just don’t get confused and take the laptop into the sauna. 😉
Someone “in the business” suggests you change something you feel is a critical part of one of your books, and guarantees it will increase sales. What do you do?
JC: I had to deal with this with my first editor. She wanted me to remove scenes that I felt made the story. I went with my gut and didn’t listen. I have no problem taking advice, but sometimes you just can’t compromise.
Ed: You are offered just enough money to live comfortably for the rest of your life, if you will just stop writing. What do you do?
JC: I don’t think you are comfortable if you are not allowed to do things you enjoy.
Ed: What question do you wish I had asked?
JC: Why is the sky blue?
Ed: It’s magic. 😉
Please do take a look at Julia’s work, the best point of entre is the first volume of her YA Parnormal Romance Elf-tacular. As I make everybody give a FIVE WORD SYNOPSIS of their book (just because I know authors hate doing it, and I’m kind of a jerk), Julia says of “Coexist” –
Elves, destiny, life and death.