Friday, October 28, 2011

A Talk With Julia

Okay boyos!  Time to talk to a fair wee lass from Ireland--residing-in-Canada, Julia Madeleine.  I have to come out and say this; the lady makes me slightly jealous.  She is, among other things, one of the writers in the Drunk On The Moon Series, and her take on the PI-turned-Werewolf, Roman Dalton, was excellent.

But that's to be expected from Julia.  She has, like so many of us, been writing for years.  For her it's been writing as a career in the beginning and before other opportunities came along--and that urge to write has stayed with her.  Now she is back creating some really great stories and novels and she's showing the universe that dark, twisted, murderous minds can be found in the feminine form as much as in the male form. 

And, like I've always said, "If you really want to torture a man, just ask a woman to . . . ."
Er  . . . . never mind.

Personally I am as happy as a six year old kid playing in a summer rain storm in the deepest mud hole I could fine knowing that Julia is a fellow Trestle Press writer.  That growing epublisher is making waves and expanding exponentially and is only going to grow bigger and more interesting as the months and years roll by.  It's good to see that both Julia and I are one of the original authors to come aboard.
I decided to ask Julia the traditional six questions.  Plum her thoughts, as it were, on what and how she writes.  Dig into her sick (and I say that with the most loving respect, Julia!) little mind in an effort to understand what terrors she like to bring to her fictional perps.  So, without further ado, lets get to it.

1. A woman who loves the dark hard boiled/noir life style. How did this come about?

 Probably all the drugs my mother did in the 60s while I was in utero. Or maybe it was the beatings I took as a kid by my two older brothers. I had to develop my scheming skills early on to learn how to pit one against the other and protect myself. But really I think it was a regular diet of old horror movies that warped my childhood brain. I owe it to Alfred Hitchcock.

 2. Are you more into noir or hard boiled or horror? Meaning; do you write stories where the character cannot possibly get out of his/her situation unscathed (noir)--or where at the end of it all, the main character survives (hard boiled).

 I think I like psycho-noir best. Where you have a main character like the protagonist, being mentally unhinged, yet see themselves as perfectly justified in their dastardly deeds. I like psychological suspense. Whether or not the main character survives I think has more to do with the particular story that’s being told. I don’t always write happy little endings where everything gets tied up in a neat little bow, sometimes a bleak ending is what the story needs, sometimes not. But I like it all: noir hard boiled (over easy with a side of toast) and horror.

 3.Our publisher, Trestle Press, loves to do a continuing series of short stories with their writers. Are you doing a series? And what/who resides therein?

 Yes, I’m doing The Devil’s Music series. It’s about Sadie, a femme fatale character who is actually the daughter of the devil. She has an insatiable appetite for music. And she enjoys time travelling to different eras, collecting the souls of all the great musical legends who have signed a contract with her. It’s lots of fun.

 4. Describe your writing habits--do you write by fits and starts? Or are you more methodical and planned?

 I’ve been both. But I find planning a novel works best. Nailing down an outline first, writing a quick draft with an emphasis on getting down the main plot points and then going back in subsequent drafts and refining it, expanding on the main ideas. It helps to know the direction of the story and what you want to accomplish. Writing short stories is a lot more simple.

 5. Your favorite authors, who are they and how did they influence you? And . . . do you base your writing style off any one of your favorites? Or do you blend all of them into an amalgam you call your own?

 Growing up I read nothing but horror, King, Koontz, Poe, Anne Rice. I think they were very influential as they’ve been with countless writers. In college I was encouraged to focus on literary fiction. One of my instructors was fond of referring to writers who penned genre fiction as hacks, which I always thought was narrow-minded. So I read a lot literary fiction back then: Margaret Laurence, Michael Ondaatje, Alice Munro, Joyce Carol Oates. I’m sure they’ve influenced me. I love Janet Fitch, Evelyn Lau, and Mary Gaitskill. As for crime fiction, James M. Cain, Stuart Neville, Jenn Ashworth, Chuck Hogan, are some of my favourites. I don’t try to write like anyone else, I prefer to develop my own style but I’m definitely influenced by some of the writers I admire.

 6. When it comes to the human race, are you a pessimist or an optimist? And does either one seep into your writing?

 I’m an incurable optimist. My mother always said, “Count your blessings, not your sorrows”. Words I live by. As far as my writing, I don’t know, I write about some pretty fucked up people, characters that inhabit the dark side. Maybe my writing is just a medium to let the demons out so I can stay focused on living in joy. I know that when I'm not writing, I'm less happy.

NO ONE TO HEAR YOU SCREAM, available now on Amazon. THE TRUTH ABOUT SCARLET ROSE, scheduled for release Dec. 2011. Visit Julia's website for updates

So there you have.  One talented writer.  One you should go out and discover for yourself.  You won't be disappointed.

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