Welcome back for our second day with author Julie Klassen, where we’re helping celebrate the release of her latest Regency novel, The Secret of Pembrooke Park!
Julie, what is the most interesting (or unusual) thing you’ve done in the name of research for one of your projects?
To research The Dancing Master, I donned my Regency-era gown and danced with hundreds of other Janeites at the annual meeting of the Jane Austen Society of North America.
Wow, what fun! I’m sure that was an experience you’ll never forget. When you start a new book, do you tend to begin with a character and find her story, or do you have a story idea and discover who lives it out?
I usually think of the situation someone finds themselves in first, and then figure out the most interesting type of character to put in that situation.
You’ve been writing historical romance for quite a while. How do you keep your stories fresh for yourself as a writer and for your readers?
I don’t have any secret formula. When I uncover fascinating historical tidbits, or hit upon a story idea that excites or intrigues me, I find most of the time readers will be intrigued as well. I have tried a few different tones (some more gothic or mysterious, for example) and types of characters. I haven’t gotten bored yet, and hopefully readers haven’t either!
Reading fiction can be a way to escape reality for a while, but those stories can still teach some valuable lessons. What points do you hope readers take away from your books?
Like the rest of us, my characters are not perfect. Many of them make big mistakes. But they find forgiveness and second chances through God—something that has been important to me in my own life. I hope readers are reminded of God’s grace, and perhaps pause to consider the importance of family, faith, and friends.
Can you tell us about any other projects you have in the works?
I hope to have two books in 2015. Lady Maybe in July, and The Painter’s Daughter (my first “marriage of convenience” premise) in December. Lots of work ahead!
That’s exciting! We’ll look forward to checking those titles out when they’re available. In closing, what advice can you share with novice writers?
Write what you love—what you personally love to read. Then stay in that chair and tough it out until you complete that first draft. Study the basics (point of view, plotting, characterization) online, at a writer’s conference, or with local writer’s group. Once you have written a first draft, have well-read friends or a critique partner read the manuscript and revise it based on their feedback before submitting it to an agent or editor. Writing is a lot of work, but definitely worth the effort.
Julie, thanks again for joining us! Visitors, don’t forget to enter our Rafflecopter drawing below for your chance to win a copy of The Secret of Pembrooke Park – just click the button and answer Julie’s question. The drawing will be open until Friday morning.
Also, if you’d like to learn more about Julie and her books, you can find her in many places online:
- Website: www.julieklassen.com
- Blog: www.inspiredbylifeandfiction.com
- Twitter handle: julie_klassen
- Facebook page: Author Julie Klassen (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Julie-Klassen/102060596587055)
- Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/Julie_Klassen/
Thanks for joining us. Have a great day!