Friday, July 20, 2012

Crux Blog Tour: Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!


Me: Hi, Julie! It’s wonderful to have you here. How about you tell us a bit about yourself? 

Julie Reece: Thank you for having me. I’m thrilled to be here! 

I grew up with learning disabilities and assumed I could never do anything like write a book. I only discovered writing about three years ago. That’s the time when, as my family fondly explains, ‘the age of obsession’ set in! LOL I don’t think it will pass, either. I live in Metro-Atlanta with my husband, two daughters and a small zoo (not really but it feels that way sometimes). 

I was incredibly fascinated with all the mythology woven into Crux, why did you choose to focus on Norse mythology? 

I wanted to write the story I couldn’t find. I’ve always loved Thor (one of my favorite comics as a kid) and the influence Norse mythology had on J.R.R. Tolkien’s work. Another story I love is Michael Crichton’s ‘Eaters of the Dead’, later made into the movie, ‘The Thirteenth Warrior’ with Antonio Banderas. Vikings seemed a subject largely ignored so far by YA writers so it was a perfect fit for me. :) I’m planning more with this theme. 

I absolutely loved Birdie and Grey, and pretty much all of your other characters (with the exception of Isabel...but I don’t think I was supposed to really like her :P), so I was just wondering, how do you go about crafting your characters? Are they completely fictional and crafted within your mind, or do you prefer to draw a bit on the people that you know and care about? Feel free to talk about Grey all you want too. ;) 

You’re right, Izzy is supposed to be fairly horrible. :) 

I’m afraid this will sound lame, but this bunch of characters sort of wrote themselves. I must be influenced by people I know, I think we all are, but I also make these folks up as I go along. I write characteristics of people I wish I could meet, dream I could be like, would be afraid to encounter or that make life more interesting. 

As for Grey … 

Crux is the third full length novel I’ve written. The first is horrible and unreadable and the hero was a ‘nice’ guy. Ugh. The second (you may yet read) is in editing right now. The hero is a huge alpha-arrogant-bad-boy (not a jerk) but he’s definitely full of himself. :) With Grey, from my third novel, I wanted to write a completely different hero—someone strong, sexy, seductive, and self-assured but flawed with some growing up to do. I hope I accomplished that. 

I’m a big dog fan, so of course I loved Fenris...but he’s not your typical dog. What kind of stories or myths did you draw on for Fenris’s character? 

Well, the legend of Fenris comes from Norse mythology where he is termed Fenrir— the father of the wolves. However, I took a lot of liberties with him in my story. Birdie grew up alone and animals can be such a comfort. I wanted to give her a special ally and friend, yet avoid the traditional idea of a werewolf. I remember thinking, dude, what if someone powerful and terrifying like that were on your side! Then I went a step further and added some humor into their relationship. 

At the very end, I pretty much had a crush on Fenris and decided to throw all caution to the wind and make him half human. Even though I wrote this as a stand-alone, in the back of my mind, I wanted to leave an opening for a sequel. If Grey needs a little competition, Fenris might be just the guy… or not… stay tuned. :) 

The whole mythology behind Birdie’s amulet, Alarr, was amazing, especially the parts involving the Wielder, the Guardian, Haddr, and Thorolf. How did you think of it? 

That’s a tougher question, and the simple answer is I don’t know. That idea grew from my weird imagination. As I said, I loved comics as a kid and am enthralled with the idea of super powers. I wanted to give a homeless kid with a sad past a shot at a different future, make a seemingly weak girl powerful and see what she could do given a chance. I thought about being homeless, and in a fantasy world, what I would want to happen to me if that were my life. Throw in some Viking folklore, mix well and serve. 

You’ve heard all writers are a little bit crazy, right? It’s true! 

I couldn’t get enough of Crux, and I won’t lie, I wasn’t ready for it to end! Do you have any sequels planned, or is it firmly a standalone? And if you don’t have any sequels planned, what can we expect from you next? 

Thank you! You’re making me smile pretty big right now. Truthfully? I wrote it as a stand-alone because I’m a chicken. I was scared to death people wouldn’t ‘get it’ so I didn’t want to leave you (the reader) hanging and assume you’d want any more. How’s that for honest? 

I am considering expanding Crux into a series. I’m busting with ideas for it even now :) but I have three other novels in various stages of completion. My favorite is a YA historical paranormal romance that is finished and in editing right now. It’s heavier on the romance part … cough… (steamy) … and less, how do I put it, odd than Crux. LOL! Still plenty of action and adventure, though. 

Finally, how do you feel now that people are reading your book? Are you reading all the reviews or avoiding them like the plague? ;D 

I’m equal parts excited and nervous. I really want people to like it, of course, but I realize not everyone will. Writing is a dream I never knew I had, and now that I’ve discovered it, I’d write even if the only ones listening were my cats! I think every story teller hopes to move, inspire or entertain their readers. It’s my goal to improve with every story and grow as an author. 

I’ve read some reviews and am thrilled (overwhelmed) with the response so far. Releasing a book, for me, was/is a very ‘heart-in-my-throat’ type experience. At some point, though, I realized it’s important to set my ‘peep-hole gawking’ at the reviews aside (authors are so insecure) and get busy with what I love most—writing more stories. That’s my focus right now. 

Thanks for stopping by my blog for this interview, Julie! It has been fantastic chatting with you! :D

Oh, no, thank you! I had an absolute ball. Your questions were great, and I love talking about writing. Can you tell? :)

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About Crux:
She should have run. Now, she’ll have to fight.

Eighteen year old Birdie may be homeless, but she’s surviving, that is until a mysterious guy throws money in the air like a crazy game show host, and she grabs some with the idea she’ll be able to buy dinner that night.

In that singular moment, unassuming Birdie becomes the girl in everyone’s viewfinder. Thugs want to kill her. Money-guy wants to recruit her. The very hot, very rich, and very out of her league Grey Mathews wants to save her.

Birdie, though, wants nothing to do with any of them, until she realizes fate didn’t bring them all together.

Her heritage did.

Now, with only twenty-one days left, she’s got to decide whether to follow in the footsteps of those before her or risk her life for people she’s only just met.

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About the author, Julie Reece:
Born in Ohio, I lived next to my grandfather’s horse farm until the fourth grade. Summers were about riding, fishing and make-believe, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all.

I struggled with multiple learning disabilities, did not excel in school. I spent much of my time looking out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) I fought dyslexia for my right to read, like a prince fights a dragon in order to free the princess locked in a tower, and I won.

Afterwards, I read like a fiend. I invented stories where I could be the princess... or a gifted heroine from another world who kicked bad guy butt to win the heart of a charismatic hero. Who wouldn't want to be a part of that? Later, I moved to Florida where I continued to fantasize about superpowers and monsters, fabricating stories (my mother called it lying) and sharing them with my friends.

Then I thought I’d write one down…

Hooked, I’ve been writing ever since. I write historical, contemporary, urban fantasy, adventure, and young adult romances. I love strong heroines, sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. My writing is proof you can work hard to overcome any obstacle. Don’t give up. I say, if you write, write on! 


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GIVEAWAY DETAILS:
- US/Canada Only
-1 Winner
-Giveaway ends August 3rd at 12:01 AM (EST).
-Winner will receive an ebook of Crux, a Crux waterbottle, and signed bookmarks
-Winner will be chosen using Rafflecopter
-The ebook has generously been donated by the publisher, and the author has generously donated the swag. :)

To enter just fill out the Rafflecopter below: 


So, what do you think? 
How does Crux sound, and did you think of my interview with Julie??

7 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I can totally vouch that it is amazing! :D I loved it!

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  2. Hi everybody!

    :)

    I just wanted to thank Ambur and Burning Impossibly Bright for having me here today. I had a ball answering the questions, and I really appreciate your support. You rock!

    Thanks to all who enter the contest, good luck! I hope you enjoy the interview and, if you read Crux, I truly hope you'll like the story. I'm grateful to you for giving a new author a shot. :)

    PS This site is fun and beautiful, don't you think?

    XOXOXO
    Julie

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  3. Awe, thanks Julie! :D You're so welcome! I loved having you stop by and vist, and thanks! I'm glad you like my blog. :)

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