Happy Tuesday all!! I want you all to meet the awesome Julie Hutchings! I have gotten to know her through twitter, bought her books and they are waiting to be read. She is such an exciting person! So sit back and get to know her with me.
About the Author Julie Hutchings:
Julie’s debut novel, Running Home, gives you vampires with a Japanese mythology pants kicking is available through Books of the Dead Press. Julie revels in all things Buffy, has a sick need for exotic reptiles, and drinks more coffee than Juan Valdez and his donkey combined, if that donkey is allowed to drink coffee. Julie’s a black belt with an almost inappropriate love for martial arts and pizza like some turtles we know. Julie lives in Plymouth, MA, constantly awaiting thunderstorms with her wildly supportive husband and two magnificent boys.
Now to our interview!
Christina: What’s your current project? Tell us a little about it.
Julie: I have two right now. The sequel and the prequel to the YA witch and demon novel I’m querying, THE WIND BETWEEN WORLDS, and I could not be having more fun. THE WIND BETWEEN WORLDS is about the 16 year old Witch of Stars and her coven that has to overthrow their oppressive mothers, the Elementals, and take control of the world with the help of the demons they’ve been at war with. The Craft meets Romeo and Juliet. I love it. I’m not afraid to say it
C:What has been your favorite scene to write so far?
J: I couldn’t say my favorite, but the most memorable one for me is in RUNNING HOME when Nicholas comes back from taking the first victim when he’s with Eliza. It’s the scene that sparked the entire book, that I could visualize and had a soundtrack (Closer by Kings of Leon), and that had the tone I wanted the whole story to have.
C: Who or what has inspired your writing?
J: Oh wow. That’s a long list. I’ll limit myself. My 5th grade teacher, Mr. Waterhouse was the first person to tell me I had talent. That changed me. Kristen Strassel, who jumped into writing as a profession with me. Chuck Wendig who taught me that writers are badasses. Maggie Stiefvater who entrances me with her writing style. Simon R. Green who showed me a world of dangerous beauty with the Nightside series. Dracula and Frankenstein. Okay, I’ll stop.
C: What is your biggest goal with your writing?
J: Oh, just to be loved by the masses. No big.
C: Do you have any pre-writing rituals?
J: I collect little inspiration bits forever, and my rituals evolve with every book, but one thing I can never not do is have a brand new 5 subject Mead notebook at the ready. I need to have it. Like I cannot even think unless I have one.
C: What is the weirdest location you’ve ever written at?
J: Oh, I love this question because it’s also the first place I went public with trying to become an author—the upstairs of this pub in downtown Plymouth, the British Beer Company. Kristen Strassel, a childhood friend and my heterosexual life partner that I share the blog with, decided to get together there with our vampire novel ideas and work on them together because we wanted beer and nobody really goes up there. Well, that night the place became suddenly packed with people and these like, St. Pauly Girls that were hosting some booze party for their booze company. One of them came to our little table and asked us what we were doing, and we kinda had to say we were writing books in the middle of their party.
C: How do you handle writer’s block?
J: I don’t allow it. I refuse to allow it. I can honestly say I have never said that I have writer’s block because the only thing you can do is write through it. Sit my ass down and start writing. Start writing something with zero plan, no idea what I’m going to type in that first line. Turns out I wrote two books that way.
C: How much research was involved in your latest piece and how did you tackle it?
J: Oh good lord, I knew that THE WIND BETWEEN WORLDS series was going to take a boat load of research. I got my 5 subject notebook, a ton of highlighters and I dove in. It wasn’t long before I had three 5 subject notebooks for this story. Witchcraft, Wiccan principles, demonology, the symbolism of the numbers 5 and 7 in religion, palmistry, Tarot readings, color theory, night blooming flowers, star charts, astrology, elemental magic, blood magic, voodoo…… I never stop researching for this series. But there’s nothing else to do besides just do it.
C: Are you a panser or a plotter?
J: Panther all the way.
C: What has been your biggest learning experience so far in your career?
J: To write the book you have to write. Without worrying who will read it, if it fits in a genre, if people will like it, if it will be good. Write it. If it’s the book you have to write, if you throw your everything into it because you never looked back, people will have to read it. It will beg them to.
C: Is there anything you wish you were told prior to writing or publishing?
J: I learn something new every day about writing and publishing. Wouldn’t have changed a thing. My mistakes are all steps to get me to next, and no matter how much research you do, there’s always something you have to learn by experience. That the contracts you sign aren’t always good ones, no matter how okay they look. That not all business partners are the right ones for you. But regret nothing and move forward.
C: What’s next for you?
J: Doing everything I can to see THE WIND BETWEEN WORLDS series come to print. I have a book I adore, THE HARPY, coming out with REUTS Publications in spring 2016 and I am so in love with that press, I cannot wait to see what comes of it.
C: What do you like best about writing fantasy (horror ) ?
J: I love blending the extraordinary and the ordinary. Taking a small town and sticking a mythological harpy in it. Taking backwoods New England and throwing a bunch of vampires from a Japanese mountaintop in it. Taking a banker with OCD and possessing him with a defiled Egyptian fertility god. This is the stuff I love.
C: Is there another genre you have tried writing?
J: I don’t really try to write any genre, which sounds super pretentious, but it’s really just me being a little ignorant probably. I just write the ideas I have, the characters I make up. Turns out I don’t really know how to make regular people interesting, so I don’t see myself writing anything but fantasy ever, whether it be YA, adult, erotica, etc…..
C: Have you taken any writing classes? If so, share those experiences
J: I was an English major with a minor in creative writing, so pretty much all I ever did was take writing classes. I sucked up as much as I possibly could is all. I took writing of any kind I could—journalism, poetry, short story writing. Thrown in with as many literature classes as I could handle every semester, and I was totally immersed in it. That’s how I do best, is if I’m totally saturated with what I’m trying to do. So I had no idea where I was going with writing, but I just threw myself into learning about what I loved as much as I could. I didn’t write a book until ten years later.
C : Is there any talent or skill you wish you were better at within the writing/publishing process?
J: All of it. But definitely the nuts and bolts the most. I’m just plain thick when it comes to the business end of it. I’m lucky to have great people to help me.
C: Have your parents read your work?
J: My mom hasn’t read all of it, but she’s read RUNNING HOME a few times. My stepfather has read both of my published books, and eagerly awaits anything else he can get. My dad passed away when I was sixteen, but he was a huge reader and the reason I love reading, and I know he’d be proud.
C: What made you decide to self-publish or traditional ?
J: I want my books out. Period. And the path is different for every book, not just every author. I learned that with RUNNING HOME. I started querying agents with it, and got no bites because of the subject matter. When Books of the Dead Press asked me for the book, I was flattered and excited and more than happy to publish with them. It was great to see that there wasn’t just two ways to go—traditional or self pubbing. I love small presses. I start with the dream—the agent, the big press. If that’s not right for the book, I go to small and medium presses on my own next, like I did with THE HARPY. It was represented by an agent, but traditional publishers were terrified of it. It’s risky as hell. So my first stop after that was REUTS, who I really admire and I was thrilled to go to them. My real decision is that my books are coming out, and I won’t stop until they do.
C: What scares you the most?
J: Losing the people I can’t live without.
C: When did you start to feel like an author?
J: Literally last week. When the people in my neighborhood all read RUNNING HOME and talked about me in their book club. To be recognized that way, not just in the publishing world but in the REAL world by your community was wonderful.
C: Have you ever acted out a scene to see if it worked? Share a funny or embarrassing story about acting it out.
J : Dear Jesus, absolutely not. That’s probably the most uncomfortable thing I can think of. I don’t even like reading my own words out loud.
C: Which poets or authors have influenced you in your own writing?
(same answer as above, really, in the inspirations question)
Thank you so much Julie for taking time to answer my questions! 🙂 Everyone head over and get her books at the links above!! 🙂 Tell Julie I sent you.