Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wednesday Wonder Writer - Julia Barrett

Hey everyone! Welcome to another edition of Wednesday Wonder Writer. Today I have Julia Barrett visiting. Please give her a big welcome!

Julia, author’s lives intrigue readers and other writers. Tell me about your typical daily schedule.
My schedule depends upon whether I’m working IRL or not. If not, I get up early, do a quick check on my email stuff, and then head out for a five mile hike with my dog – we go to a nearby wilderness park. The hills are super steep, we walk on some trails that are only about six inches wide along the edge of a’s very cool. Hiking keeps me sane! I come home and get on the elliptical for 40-50 minutes and then I make coffee and start my day. I write, I answer emails, I cook, shower, late afternoon, the dog is itching for me to throw a ball. If the weather is good, we go outside, if not, we make do with the living room. Plus I have birds and cats and a fish and they all want my attention. Oh yeah, and the hubby and kids! If I’m working, then it’s off to my job and I’m gone for anywhere from eight to ten hours. I get the most writing done after supper. I can get in a solid 3-4 hours on my WIPs. I kind of have ADD and if the day is nice I have a very tough time sitting still!

Do you have a pre-writing routine to prepare yourself to get down to business?

I guess, see above. If I haven’t gotten any exercise, I will be too hyper to sit down to write. I do find that I am more efficient if there’s some background noise...and not music. I discovered in college that I could do my best work in a noisy bar, my worst in a library. So I’ll often grab my laptop and drive over to the busiest coffee bar in town to work. Other times, I’ll stick on a movie like Galaxy Quest or Dodgeball. I won’t even hear the movie, but the background noise helps me focus.

What’s your writing style? Slow and steady? Quick and prolific? All over the place?

When I’m in a good place, quick and prolific. Right now, I’m trying to slow down after writing like crazy for nearly three years.

What are you working on now?

As we speak, I’m working on book four in my Daughters of Persephone series for Resplendence Publishing. This is a futuristic science fiction series about a line of genetically enhanced women. It’s very feminist in its take on the future, but, you know, the guys are pretty hot too!

What’s your favorite genre to write?

A year ago, I would have said romance/suspense, and I think it’s still my favorite read. But now? Most definitely science fiction/fantasy romance. I am in love with writing the genre! I’m a fan of paranormals, but I haven’t tackled that genre yet. Who knows?

I find a lot of authors like to read outside their chosen genre. What do you like to read?

When I’m writing, I rarely read romance. I have a big taboo about being derivative. I stick with nonfiction, biographies, history books, and straight fantasy. I am a huge history/religious studies buff.

Do you have a favorite author or someone you look up to in the industry?

A lot of my friends are great authors and I look to them for guidance. Linda Howard was the first romance author I read and I love most of her stuff. Author Alexis Morgan gave me a lot of encouragement when I was just starting out and I give her a lot of credit. She could have ignored my questions, but she was really sweet and responded to my emails. She gave me valuable information.

Tell me your writing story…when did you decide this was what you want to do? How long did it take you to get “the call”? When were you first published? Etc.
Oh gosh...I began writing poetry years ago, and I had some stuff published early. In college, I majored in creative writing and after a few years of rejection letters, went back to school to become a nurse. You know...a pay check and all that! I began writing again several years back after an injury sidelined me. I started with a nonfiction book and then moved into romance/suspense. My first romance/suspense got picked up immediately by an epub. I put out two more within the next year. I’m no longer with that publishing house, but I have several books coming out with Resplendence this year and a couple next year. I have one with Siren, another coming out with Cobblestone Press, and I have a story in a Cougar anthology with Logical-Lust. But...remember...I spent years being rejected. I got rejected so many times that I stopped opening the envelopes! Just tossed them straight into the recycling bin.

How many books have you had published and for whom?

I had three romance/suspense books with Cerridwen Press. Of those three, one will be out with Cobblestone Press this year and the other two will be out with Resplendence in 2011. Captured, my first work of romantic science fiction, just came out on January 6th with Siren-Bookstrand. Beauty and the Feast will be out on March 16th with Resplendence, it’s a humorous contemporary romance. Oh yeah, my story ‘You Might Just Get It’ will be released on Valentine’s Day in The Cougar Anthology with Logical-Lust. I have a four-book futuristic series, Daughters of Persephone, coming in July and August with Resplendence, so it’s a pretty busy year for me!

What’s your latest release? Can you tell us about the book and how you got the idea?

My newest release is titled Beauty and the Feast, with Resplendence Publishing. How did I get the idea? Well, I love to cook and I’ve catered, owned a restaurant, and been a personal chef. My heroine, Eva Raines, is a personal chef. She’s hired by a winery owner to prepare a seduction dinner for another woman, but sight unseen, Gabriel Abbott decides his chef is a whole lot more interesting than the woman he intends to seduce...and when he tastes Eva’s food? He’s lost...

What’s your writing space like?

My lap. Sometimes the kitchen table. That’s it. That’s all I got.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Hike, go to baseball games, hang out with my hubby and my kids, cook. I love nothing more than to visit farmer’s markets and really cool, out of the way spice shops, tea shops, exotic food stores. I love walking in new cities. Love to travel. I like plays, museums, sailing. I no longer own horses, but I love to ride. I go to Montana every summer to work on a cattle ranch.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?

I think of my readers when I write, and I hope they have fun sharing my crazy worlds. Oh, I’m a huge rock and roll fan. The Allman Brothers, in particular. And I’ve flirted with David Crosby of Crosby, Stills and Nash and baby, he’s got the voice of an angel!

Last questions… Coke or Pepsi? Oh, honey, C.O.K.E. The word Pepsi is not allowed in my house.

Bronte or Austen? Bronte. I know...I know. Seems like most people prefer Jane Austen. I just like the pathos in the Bronte sisters’ writing. [hey I'm a Bronte girl too - nothing wrong with that, lol]

Star Trek or Star Wars? Star Trek. For sure. Nobody can compare to Spock.

Team Edward or Team Jacob? Neither. But if I cared, Team Jacob because Jacob Black is the most fleshed out character in the entire series.

McDonalds or Burger King? Taco Bell.


Thanks for being here Julia! Readers, you can find Julia at:


Taylor Tryst said...

Great interview, ladies.

All of that hiking sounds wonderful, Julia. You must be in great shape, and if it helps with the writing, that's even better!

Congrats on your new release.


Katalina Leon said...

Great interview Brynn! The more I know about Julia the more I love and admire her. Go with the Sci-fi baby you got that down!

Bronwyn Green said...

Holy cow, Julia - I wish I had that kind of energy! Huge congrats on the new release. It sounds great!

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Thanks Brynn! I have been so spaced out that I just now remembered this was being posted today! So cool of you to do this. Yeah, Bron, all this stuff has it's down side too! Like falling frequently and breaking bones and stuff!
As a kid I broke both ankles trying to fly off a garage roof. I've broken my arm three times falling off cliffs, Broken my pelvis, back and fractured my skull, broken every finger in one hand. Crushed one knee and broken the other knee cap. Not to mention all the torn ligaments and sprains! Can you imagine what my doctor thinks of me? Can you imagine what the doctors thought of my parents when I was growing up? Poor things! LOL!

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Thanks, Taylor, thanks Kat, thank you Brynn!

Regina Carlysle said...

ADD? Yes I think you must be to have so many irons in the fire on any given day. A regular whirling dervish! :-) Impressive. Congrats on all the wonderful things you have going on. Great interview.

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

No kidding ADD. My kids can't sit still either. Ah well...
If I was growing up nowadays, somebody would probably stick me on meds.

Fran Lee said...

Take a sat phone with you on your hikes, girl...walking a 6 inch wide path at the top of cliffs means you should also take a small parachute suitable for base-jumping. If I get a call telling me you are at the bottom of the cliff with two broken legs, I will need the latitude and longitude of where to send the EMTs.

Safety First!

Tessie Bradford said...

Julia, I'm exhausted just reading about what you do before you write!! Congratulations on your releases.

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Well Fran, last time my dog and I slipped down a mudslide, I had my phone, but I was too embarrassed to use it to call for rescue. I mean, we were in such a hard place to reach and neither of us was injured, just stupid! I figured we'd just have to slide to the bottom and work our way out. I always carry a phone in case I run into a bad dude or I get stung since I'm deathly allergic to bee stings. Those steep trails are my very, very favorites! When I lived in SLC, I used to climb in the Wasatch.