Saturday, September 22, 2012

Julie Garwood Revisted

     Julie Garwood is the author of more than 30 historical and romantic suspense novels, and 36 million copies of her books are in print. Twenty  of them have appeared on the New York Times Bestsellers list. She also writes YA novels as Emily Chase. 
    
   Julie, tell us about The Ideal Man.
  
   It's a story of  a young woman who is facing two threats.  The first one has been with her from her childhood, and the second one comes from an incident that she is thrown into by coincidental circumstance. 
     
    Despite the fear she's faced since she was young, she's managed to become a dedicated surgeon. She's successful and self assured; yet, there's always that vulnerability inside. She's never really allowed herself to let go . . . until the second threat appears. She accidentally becomes a witness to a crime, and the FBI agent on the case not only helps her resolve her fears but also opens her up to emotions she's never felt before.
   
   How did growing up in a large Irish family lend itself to storytelling?
  
  The Irish are by nature great storytellers I think. It seems to come with the genes. They bring out all the nuances of a situation, and I loved sitting around the dinner  table listening to my family talk. Also, growing up in a family of seven children taught me that self-expression had to be quick and forceful.

   Why did you begin your novel writing with YA books and historicals?

   I had young children when I began, so I was drawn to that genre, but I was also interested in historical novels. I had taken a medieval history class in college that I absolutely loved, so I was following that passion as well. My first book, A Girl Named Summer, was published by Scholastic, and shortly after that, Gentle Warrior was published by Pocket Books. The historical novels found a growing audience, and the publishers asked for more of them, so that's that direction my writing has taken.

    While I really enjoy writing the  adult books, I'm hoping to find the time to write a few more for young  readers someday.

    How have your books evolved over the years?

    I haven't changed my themes much. I still write about family and loyalty, and I try to insert some humor into my stories. There's always an element of intrigue or suspense and the romance between the hero and heroine is absolutely key. The setting has changed somewhat. I started with historical novels and I've moved into contemporary settings in the last few years. I enjoy each of them, so my goal is to find the time to write both.

   What's your writing schedule like?

   I like to begin writing early in the morning. It's a routine I started when my children were young. I'd get up early and work on my book before they were awake. I usually have the TV on, though I'm not watching it. It's just background noise. This is a habit that developed when I was a child doing my homework around a table with my siblings. In order to concentrate, I learned to block out the distractions.

    Do you outline your novels and do you aim for a certain amount of words each day?

    I know where the story is headed, but I don't follow a rigid outline. I find that if I let the story evolve, there will always be some surprises along the way that make it more fun. I can't predict how much I'll produce. There are times when the words just flow and I'll write one or two chapters in a day. Then there are times when I can't seem to get a scene right and I may spend two or three days on one page.

    In your opinion, why do some books make the bestseller lists while other equally well-written books fail?

    That's a million dollar question. If I had the answer to that, I'd be a genius. I do believe, though, that there are a great many elements involved. They include some marketing, some talent, and a great deal of luck.

   Advice to fledgling novelists?

   First, stay focused and set aside some time each and every day to work on your writing. It's important that you get into a rhythm and have the discipline to finish your manuscript.

   Second, let your voice be heard in your writing. If your reader can  hear you talking to them in your words, they're more likely to listen to what you have to say.

   Third, develop a network. Writers' organizations and conferences and conferences give you opportunities to meet agents and editor, and that will help you learn more about the publishing business and perhaps give you a leg up in getting published.

    How would you occupy your time if you weren't writing?

    Family would probably take up most of my time. I have a large extended family, so there's always something going on.

   Thank you for an enjoyable visit.

   You can visit Julie Garwood's website at: http://www.juliegarwood.com/
    At Facebook: www.Facebook.com/juliegarwood
    and at Twitter: @JulieGarwood

  

12 comments:

Jean Henry Mead said...

Welcome to Mysterious Writers, Julie. It's great to have you here.

Anonymous said...

I love your books and I can't wait to read The Ideal Man. I also loved the interview.

Mary K.

Earl Staggs said...

An excellent interview, Julie and Jean, and great advice from someone who knows her stuff.

Jackie King said...

Julie and Jan, this post was fascinating to me. I loved hearing about Julie's large family growing up and about her writing schedule

Jackie King

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Julie,

I've been a huge fan of your novels for many years. I'm thrilled that Jean has you as a guest. It's great to learn more about you and your background.

M.M. Gornell said...

Julie, you're an author I've never read--how can that be with 30 novels and 36 millions copies of your book in print? I'm in awe, and loved this interview. I especially liked letting your voice be heard by your readers! It's very good advice to remember, especially when you're editing... Great meeting you here, and of course your new book is on my list so I can "hear" your voice! Great interview, Jean!

Madeline

WS Gager said...

Jean: What a wonderful guest. I just love Julie's books. My daughter and I listen to them in the car back and forth to soccer practice and she has taken several others from the library to read. (She has more time to read and I'm jealous!) It was great to hear about your writing schedule and I'm going to try and make my schedule stick!
Wendy
W.S. Gager on Writing

Sun Singer said...

I really appreciate hearing the advice about allowing one's own voice be heard in his or her writing. After all, that's the voice where our power is.

Malcolm

jenny milchman said...

Good advice for emerging writers--and I am oh so with you on the luck factor, in many aspects of publishing. Good luck with a return to children's or YA--but your work now sounds really interesting!

Morgan Mandel said...

I'm a morning person myself, but sometimes get distracted by social networking. That can be dangerous!

Your new book sounds fascinating and I love the cover and the title!

Morgan Mandel
http://www.morganmandel.com
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Sheila Deeth said...

Loved this interview. Nice to meet you and thank you for the advice.

Chewie said...

I have been a huge fan of your books Julie, since I was 16 years old. I never enjoyed reading until one day I was bored and happened to pick up your wonderful book "For the Roses" I have been a book worm ever since. All of your books, especially the historical ones, have a special place in my bookcase and I read them over and over! Thank you for producing such wonderful worlds to escape into!