Juli will you tell the readers a little about yourself.
Let's see. I have been married a while and have a teenage son who is learning to drive (a car that is. Driving mom crazy is ongoing). I have always had a hyperactive imagination and have story fragments that date back to
my early teens (note those will NEVER, EVER be published except in my nightmares). That being said, I have published articles on and off in between working as a teacher and raising aforementioned child whose imagination is about as wild as mine. I enjoy working with the adult special needs class at church and discussing various books with my church book group. My mom always said I had an inquiring mind. Although she may have cringed at some of my book choices, she never censored me. I have always loved a good story regardless of genre. I enjoy reading mysteries, fantasy novels, and nonfiction that is well written. I also enjoy Christian literature that makes me think.
What is the title of one of your articles and where is it published?
My article is titled "Pausing at Pisgah" and appears in the April issue of Asheboro Magazine.
My first love is mysteries. Since I enjoy history as well. I have just finished a historical mystery set during the American Revolution. Researching this book has been fascinating. I wanted to explore the life of an everyday person, a tavern keeper trying to survive during this time. I hope others enjoy reading her story as much as I did writing it!
I also enjoy the paranormal. Since I have volunteered at the NC zoo, I became a fan of the Red wolves and wolves in general. They are intelligent and fascinating creatures. This morphed into an interest in werewolves (No, I really cannot explain why.) I also love stories with elves and dragons among other creatures featured in folklore. (Ok, perhaps I read a little too much as a child under the covers with a flashlight!)
I try to write stories like I would like to read, stories that have believable characters with dreams, hopes, flaws and vulnerabilities. People that even when life throws them for a loop, they persevere with faith, humor and sheer stubbornness. They do not give up and they would sacrifice everything for those they love.
I know your aspirations are to become published in fiction writing. Please tell the readers about your novel. Who or what was your inspiration behind it?
My novel is titled, Cry of the Innocent, and is the first in a series set during the American Revolution. This is a mystery featuring Faith Clarke, a recently widowed tavern keeper in Colonial Williamsburg. Faith is struggling to keep the inn afloat while raising her son. When a man is found murdered in her tavern, she becomes the prime suspect. Since murderers were punished by hanging, she has a lot to fear. Permeating the book is the issue of slavery. Faith owns two slaves given to her and her late husband as a wedding gift. Faith was raised to believe slavery is evil and she is very conflicted. In order to solve the murder Faith is forced to delve into the dirty business of owning people. She also is being pushed to choose side in the upcoming conflict with England.
The inspiration from this is hard to trace. I have always enjoyed reading history and the true stories to be found in amongst the dates and maps. I once took a trip with my husband to Colonial Williamsburg and I mentioned the idea for a mystery set there during the American Revolution. He looked at me and said, "That is a story I would like to read." It wasn't long after that I began Faith Clarke's creation, although there was a stretch where the story stayed stuck on a disk drive when I was immersed in being a wife, mom and working woman. Now I've learned that I have to have a little time for myself or life can become overwhelming.
That's so true Juli, we all need to have a little time to ourselves to be creative. Especially if we enjoy writing. There's always a story or article that must come out! What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?
I look for a well written story with characters I can identify with whose actions I can accept are believable even if a bit wacky. I love stories where the descriptions are so vivid I become lost entirely in the author's world. I love characters who have a sense of humor and aren't afraid to take risks especially for those they love.
Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do?
I love to draw and paint. I take a lot of inspiration from nature, but I have completed portraits of family members as well. I also knit and garden.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with the readers about your books or about you personally?
Most people who have looked at my work say it is humorous, regardless of genre and that probably has to do with my personality rather than any set plan to be funny. I am fortunate to be surrounded by people who are remarkably tolerant and supportive. My dream is to be a professional writer. It gives me great joy to create something others enjoy. There are a lot of tragedies in the world; I would like to encourage some smiles and a chance to escape into another world, at least briefly.
Thank you so much for participating in this interview and giving everyone insight into your non-fiction work.
I know Cry of the Innocent I know will be a wonderful novel. (I must admit Juli’s a member of my local writing group) This lady has talent. Her novel will find a published home soon, for all of us to enjoy.
You can visit Juli at: www.juliebates/weebly.com.