Welcome Julie Ann Levin to Plain Talk Book Marketing. Julie Ann is the author of Worth the Wait.
If you had a choice to live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
That depends on what I’m reading. When I read Kristin Kimball’s, The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food and Love, I swore I wanted to live on a farm in upstate New York.
[bctt tweet=”The books I read make me want to live just about anywhere. @julieannlevin” username=”Gillianfx”]
And I think that’s the point. Every place has it’s good points and bad points. I live in Miami, FL, which some people consider paradise. I live here because my whole family lives here. I lived apart from them for seven years of my adult life and then decided I didn’t want to be away from them anymore. Miami is beautiful, and I love being near the ocean. And the coffee is out of this world. The beach and the coffee are reason enough to be here. But, the people can be rude, and there’s lots of traffic. But I refuse to be away from my family. So I’m right where I am supposed to be. I’m stuck here in Miami forever.
What is your writing process?
First, I write a summary of the plot that I’ve been working in my head. Then, I write a detailed scene for scene outline. I’m flexible, though. I’ll alter the outline as I write if needed. Then, I write the first draft. I write at least two thousand words a day. There is a lot of coffee involved. Once the first draft is done, I go through it to make sure the sentences aren’t too wordy. It’s an edit that only deals with making sure the sentences are clear. I call it my Hemingway edit. Then I read it again and start making notes of things to add, and take away. I go through it maybe two more times, adding and deleting, fleshing out the story. Then I have a couple trusted people read it. Then, I take their comments, which I don’t always agree with, and read it again, edit again, and do this five more times until I feel like it’s done. Of course, it’s not done because then it goes to the editor.
Describe your journey as an author so far.
I graduated from Florida State University, majoring in Creative Writing. Since I was 18, I knew I wanted to write novels, even though I studied poetry more in school. I wrote my first novel in 2007 – it was YA Romance. It was terrible. I queried and got all rejections. Then, I wrote two more books, one was paranormal romance, the other was romantic suspense. I enjoyed reading several romance genres and was trying to figure out what I did best. I self-published both of those under a pen name and learned the ropes of self-publishing. Now I am writing contemporary romance and publishing under my company KINGBIRD PRESS LLC. The Divine Island series is my first go with contemporary romance.
How do you stay motivated?
I like to set challenging goals for myself, and I stick to them. I stay motivated by telling everyone close to me about my plans because it would kill me not to follow-through. I have a fear of failure and care waaaaayyy too much what other people think. This is very egocentric of me, I realize.
I set up writing schedules for myself twelve months in advance, and I stick to them. I wouldn’t even consider not sticking to the schedule. That’s what motivates me. It’s like I’m in competition with myself.
What has been your biggest obstacle while writing and how have you overcome it?
I am married, and we have a four-year-old little girl. I also work full-time. My commute is pretty long and I try to maximize my time by taking the train. I get a lot of my plotting done on the train. Just finding time to write and then promote (since I’m self-published) is the biggest obstacle. I don’t sleep as much as I should. But my husband is super supportive. He used to play in a band, so he gets it. He gets the drive to get yourself out there. He has no problem picking up the slack and letting me shut off in the room for three hours while I write. So, what I’m saying is… I overcome the obstacle with coffee and a wonderful partner in life.
Why did you write this book?
I wrote this book to get it out of my head. Because I just had to finish the story. It just wouldn’t go away. It’s probably that way with a lot of authors.
What do you hope readers would take away from this book?
I hope that it helps them understand other people a little bit better. That’s all I hope for in books. That’s why I read books. I like being able to understand people better. I hope the reader gets a few hours of escape, a little bit of laughter; I hope they smile as they’re reading. Continue reading