Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In the Author Spotlight: Dee Julian

Cate: Please welcome Dee Julian to the Author Spotlight. Dee, will you please share a short bio with us?
Dee: Hi Cate. Thanks for inviting me to your blog. I live in Memphis, TN with my husband, two college age kids, and four dogs. I write historical romances, and I began writing about ten years ago. My first novel just got published with Wild Child Publishing in June of 2009. There were a few years in between that I didn’t write at all because I’d gotten discouraged, but now I’m back on track.

Cate: Glad to hear it. Tell us about The Macgregor's Daughter and where it's available.
Dee: Currently, The Macgregor’s Daughter is an ebook, but it's available in several different formats. Rated as sweet yet lightly sensual, it can be purchased through Wild Child Publishing, but it’s also listed with All Romance Ebooks, Amazon, Bookstrand, Fictionwise, Mobipocket, and OmniLit.

Cate: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Dee: Sure!!
In 1776 England, American born Anadreya Macgregor is branded a spy by the arrogant Marquis of Canderlay. Despite her pleas of innocence, he refuses to listen and has her imprisoned. Aided by the Scottish father she never knew, Dreya escapes to Dragon's Breath Castle.
Five years later, the laird is missing and a badly injured Frenchman washes ashore. Dreya is wary of the blind and amnesic man, though something about him is hauntingly familiar. Is he an ally or a ruthless mercenary who stumbled upon her father's smuggling activities?
The stranger's vision and memory gradually return, and Dreya discovers her fate and the continued existence of her beloved clan might very well be in his hands.
As the web of deception binding them together unravels, both are in danger of losing everything. Including their hearts.

To read four exciting excerpts, visit www.deejulian.com

Cate: Love it - and love love love that cover! What inspired you to write about the theme?
Dee: Historical romances have always been a favorite of mine. I can get lost for hours reading such books. When I decided to try my hand at writing, I naturally gravitated toward the historical genre. With The Macgregor’s Daughter, I needed a strong conflict for the two main characters, so I chose opposites sides of the Revolutionary War. I think it worked out perfectly.

Cate: How do you develop your plots and characters?
Dee: I usually have a general idea of the plot, and it gradually expands as I’m writing. For the most part, the hero and heroine stay within certain perimeters. They are always noble with a strong sense of duty and honor. They are loyal to a fault, and in almost every situation they do what their conscience demands. If they stray from the normal, you can be sure there’s a darn good reason. Their individual personalities develop as the story moves along. The secondary characters are the easiest for me. They don’t have to conform to such strict guidelines. I have the most fun when writing their scenes.

Cate: Do you feel as if the characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?
Dee: Yes and yes. They become my best friends in a sense that I’m always trying to think of ways to get them back together because I know they’ll be miserable apart. Several times in this book I ran into writer’s block, and later on I’d “dream” the solution on how the scene should be written. Strange? Yes, but not as strange as when my characters argue with me in my head. For instance, my publisher once asked me if the two main characters of The Macgregor’s Daughter would ever show up again. I answered, “No,” with an additional, “When the story is finished, there’s nothing more for the characters to say.” Apparently Dreya didn’t agree. She wanted the Macgregor Clan to live on, and I finally gave in. Turns out her daughter is grandmother to the hero of the story I’m writing now. Who would’ve thought?

Cate: What's next for you?
Dee: Promise Me is set in 1866 England, and I’m almost finished. Here’s a blurb:
When a hasty promise to her dying fiancĂ© jeopardizes the future of his illegitimate child, Lady Leah Sheridan vows to make amends for the gentleman’s lack of honor by personally seeing to his son’s financial needs. One year later, the boy’s heartless mother abandons him, and Leah has no choice but to take him in. As she finds herself nearing a disastrous scandal, her fiancĂ©’s older brother returns demanding answers she swore never to divulge. Will Leah break her promise and confide in the only man who can keep them both safe?

Cate: Any other published works?
Author: Not yet.

Cate: Describe your writing in three words.
Dee: Sweet…my stories focus more on the romance.
Humorous…a little back and forth banter from the hero and heroine makes for great dialogue.
Attention-grabbing…this book includes a fair amount of action to keep the reader hooked.

Cate: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
Dee: For me, the challenge was finding the right publisher. There are so many scammers and vanity publishers out there, and it’s hard for new writers to sort through all the confusion. Now, most of the traditional publishers won’t even consider your work without an agent. Agents? That’s another thorn. They are overworked, and their slush piles are a mile high. More than half don’t even give you the courtesy of a reply. The most rewarding, of course, is not only finally getting published, it’s receiving great reviews from reputable review sites. I’m always thrilled when someone actually “gets” the story I wrote.

Cate: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your book?
Dee: I would have to say it was the comment from Snapdragon at Long and Short Reviews who wrote:
“The shining star here is the simply fantastic dialogue. It is always fast-paced and believable, sometimes heartfelt, sometimes full of innuendo, and always always revealing. A great story that I have to recommend.”
Contest judges have told me that I write great dialogue, but to have a reviewer write this comment just adds a little more validity.

Cate: And it was voted Book of the Week! Congrats!
Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Dee: My all time favorite author is Jill Tattersall. She created memorable stories with remarkable characters who stayed with you long after the last thrilling page. Sadly, I don’t have much time to read nowadays. I’m sure when I finally retire from this business, I’ll return to my old haunts and find a few new treasures to cherish.

Cate: Where can you be found on the web?
Dee: I’m on Face Book, but I can also be contacted through my web site at: www.deejulian.com

Cate: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Dee: Have you ever gotten so into a romantic movie, your heart is racing and you’re sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for the beautiful finale, when out of the blue the hero suddenly dies, and without a hiccup the heroine marries his best friend? Yeah, me too. That’s not romance. It’s a tragedy. Not to knock Hollywood, but I’m not sure they know the difference. My books always end with happily ever afters. You can count on it.

Thank you, Cate! It was a pleasure chatting with you!
If any of your readers would like a chance to win a copy of The Macgregor’s Daughter, they can visit my website and leave a comment in the guest book. I hold monthly drawings for a free read.

Cate: Thanks again for being my guest, Dee!


P.L. Parker said...

Good morning. I think I'll have to get a copy of . . daughter. Sounds like something I'd like to read. Good luck on sales.

Cate Masters said...

Thanks for stopping by, Patsy!

Alice Audrey said...

I know what you mean about the characters staying with you like friends. Doesn't it make you feel like you owe them your best work?

Dee Julian said...

Cate...Thanks so much for the promo. I truly appreciate the interview.
And thank you, P.L. I hope you enjoy the read.
Alice...I couldn't get the characters of The Macgregor's Daughter out of my head for the longest time. Now they are forever in my heart.

Cate Masters said...

I'm happy to have you, Dee! I hope The MacGregor's Daughter continues to do well for you.

Cate Masters said...

Alice, I love your comment. :)

Judith Leger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Judith Leger said...

Well shoot, I missed spelled something. Sorry, Cate. Just had to stop by and wish Dee the very best on her new release. The MacGregor's Daughter sounds like an excellent read. So from one Wild Child author to another one, wishing the luck of the Irish on the success of this book and all the future ones!

Anonymous said...

I know some writers don't like to think about the research, but it is so much fun writing historicals. That's quite a breadth jumping from the 18th century to the 19th. Do you have a favourite time period?

Alice Audrey said...

Dee made me think of a particular character tho, ten years later still hasn't let me off the hook.

Marci Baun said...

Hi Dee,

I stopped by the other day, but I was on my iPhone, and it's not nearly as easy to respond, especially if I have a lot to say. Well, and that I don't remember my password and rely too much on my password program. LOL

I love reading these interviews as I am constantly learning something new about you, Dee. (g) You reveal just enough to tease us and keep us wanting more.

I had planned on loading Macgregor's Daughter on my iPhone for my vacation, but in the rush to leave, it didn't happen. Of course, I didn't spend much time on there, so, um, I don't know if I would have read it. The few moments I had for sitting usually include a 5 1/2 year old wanting my attention. LOL


Dee Julian said...

Thanks for the well wishes, Judith, and I wish the same for your book.
CM...I don't really have a favorite era. I mean, I'll time travel through any century, but my stories tend to stick to the 18th and 19th centuries for some reason.
Thanks for stopping by, Alice.
And Marci...you sooooo need an assistant. Maybe when your 5 year old gets a little older she can apply for the job.:)