Hi Julie! Can you tell us about yourself? Yes the stuff that is on your books and maybe something that isn't.
I’m a (just turned) 39 year old married mother of two, living in Solihull, England,with my family—and our
dog and cats who get on famously. I love
chocolate and cappuccinos. Blue is my
favourite colour. And I wear a (UK) size 7 shoe.
How long have you been writing?
2 ½ years.
Did you always want to write?
No, I didn’t always realise the daydreams and
conversations happening inside my head
were therefor a reason.
What was the first book you wrote?
A (surprise-surprise) werewolf novel.
What was your writing process for it?
I don’t have a writing process. I simply sit down
with an idea and allow it to naturally evolve into
Does it differ from how you write now?
I write slower now because I’m more cautious
of word choices and always striving to do better.
A couple rounds of seriously hefty edits can do that
to a writer, though.
How many times did you submit your story to publishers before you got a contract?
Darkness & Light was submitted to agents as well as to publishers. As to how many times? I seriously lost count. Easily upward of 40 to agents. And for publishers … hmmm … probably around 10.
What was it like to get that first contract?
Darkness & Light wasn’t actually the first contract offer I had. I’d had one come through a few weeks before for a novella I wrote, which I turned down because I wasn’t 100% happy with the stipulations. But when this one came in from J. Taylor Publishing, I spent 24 hours reading and rereading it so I could be absolutely certain of my decision. Then as soon as I’d signed, it was like a great weight had been lifted.
Did you celebrate?
I’m a very understated person. It was more along the lines of telling my immediate family and friends with a glow to my cheeks and being hugged until I couldn’t breathe. I saved the official celebration for after the book had been launched.
I am passionate about all things paranormal.
So when I saw that yours was a shifter series, I did a happy dance!
Where did your story come from?
Um … my head. Ha!
More seriously, the idea for the story—a woman who is (subconsciously) bugged by the presence of a male inside her head—came simply from the male character (Sean Holloway) entering my head and making a lot of racket for his story to be told. I simply twisted it around and allowed him to bother Jem Stonehouse, the main character, instead. On top of that, I knew he’d be a werewolf—and before I’d even written the title page, I knew they had been together before and the story would revolve around some kind of reunion … and I was off, the story revealing itself one word at a time.
Talk to us about the series. You have an anthology out soon, right: Into the Unknown? Tell us what is going on and make sure we have things in the right reading order.
It will be a much shorter answer if I list what is already signed for in order. Here goes:
Darkness & Light (A Holloway Pack Story #1). The #1 speaks for itself, right?
Fated Encounter (A Holloway Pack Mini). This is a FREE short story I wrote as a companion piece to Darkness & Light and depicts one of the scenes from Sean’s PoV—an insight the reader wouldn’t otherwise get as Jem is the MC and I always write 1st person.
Marked. This is the short story the readers will find in the Into the Unknown anthology and in sequence belongs after Darkness & Light. The anthology is due out 1st December 2011.
Instinct (A Holloway Pack Story #0). This novella is a prequel to Darkness & Light. If the reader wants to know where it all began, this is the story for them. Due out 1st January 2012.
Reading the blurbs on your site, I really like your main characters. What went into their creation?
Sean was pretty clear to me, but then I recognise a characters ‘presence’ way more than I do their physical appearance, and he has been my ‘loudest’ character in my mind yet. As for Jem? I went with what I know and based a lot of her mannerisms and attitude (especially later in the novel) on my own.
What can we expect from you in the future? Do you have any specific projects in mind? Are we going to see more from Sean and Jem?
Continuing on from the above list of soon-to-be-released titles, I have:
Eternal (A Holloway Pack Story #0.5). Another novella prequel, but this one will be the sequel to Instinct and will wrap up the entire story of how Jem and Sean came to be where/as they are now—currently being written. Projected release date: Summer 2012.
Blue Moon (A Holloway Pack Story #2). This novel is complete. Told from Jem’s PoV again. It is undergoing some heavy adjustments before I share it with my editor. Projected release date: Winter 2012.
Caged (A Holloway Pack Story #3). 90% complete at 1st draft. Projected publication date is currently unknown.
I also have titles and storyline ‘ideas’ for the 4th, 5th, and 6th novel for the Holloway Pack—two with their openings already written.
So, yes, my readers will definitely get to hear more tales from Sean and Jem, as well as the other pack members.
Ok. Now for some fun stuff.
If you had to pick a favorite author who would it be, and is there one book in particular that comes to mind?
I don’t read just one author, or only one genre, so to pick only one from a list of so many I enjoy is nigh on impossible—especially when none of them are comparable. Karen Marie Moning recently held my attention through her Fever series, so I’ll toss her name out as an example.
What is your favorite part of writing?
Getting to know my characters and being mean to them—promising them what they want but whipping it from beneath their noses at the last moment because I know they’ll always forgive me in the end.
Being REALLY mean to my characters. Physically or emotionally shredding them always leaves me feeling somewhat drained as well as guilty.
Do your characters talk to you?
YES! Sometimes very LOUDLY!!!!!! Hehehe.
Do they develop lives of their own?
I’d say so. I never try and force a scene/plotline to go the direction I think it should go. They always seem to find a natural path of their own, and I will follow it every time.
Ice cream or frozen yogurt?
Ice cream all the way, baby.
What do you listen to when you write?
All different artists.
Do you have a play list?
I have seen some authors even publish their play lists.
Well, whaddaya know—I have a blog post scheduled for Monday 19th September doing exactly that: http://jabelfield.wordpress.com/2011/09/19/music-lyrics%E2%80%94i-mean-writing/
If you could time travel would you go to the past or the future? Why?
Goodness. Um … probably into the past. Then I could nudge myself into realising earlier in my life that writing is the way to go because I’m pretty certain I’ve had some amazing daydreams—and night-dreams—that could have become awesome stories if it had only occurred to me to jot them down.
Is there anything else you want us to know? Anything at all? We want to know!
My birthday is September 10th *wink*. Cadbury is my favourite brand of chocolate *wink*. If anyone personally knows Rachel Vincent, could you let her know I’d love to appear in an anthology with her *wink*. Hehehehe.
Thank you so much for being with us today! I have enjoyed this very much! Please keep us informed of your upcoming projects!
I certainly will. Thanks so much for having me.
Darkness & Light is available at the following outlets:
And folk can grab their free copy of Fated Encounter at http://www.jtaylorpublishing.
You can find J. A. Belfield at: