Monday, April 09, 2007

Make-Believe Mondays with Julie Kenner

Today on Make-Believe Mondays I'm pleased to introduce Julie Kenner.

Julie, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.

Julie: At this very moment, I'm working on three things:
a) plotting and starting to write the fourth book in my demon-hunting soccer mom series, DEJA DEMON,
b) finishing a proposal for a new paranormal romance series (which DESPERATELY needs a title), and
c) putting together a proposal for a project that I'm hoping will come to fruition, but is still in such an early stage that it may not get off the ground. Fingers crossed!
(Okay, a quick amendment ... the proposals are out the door! Yay! So now I'm focusing on the demon series, working on the next book and updating the series bible.)

Debra: It's nice to know I'm not the only author working on multiple maunscripts. Yes, fingers crossed on those proposals!

Ray Bradbury said, “We are cups, constantly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” How do you keep your creative cup filled?

Julie: I think Bradbury is right and it's not something that you actively do. Your cup is always being filled simply by being in the world around you. Going to the store, playing with your kids, reading books, taking long walks, sitting in a dark theater with a bag of popcorn! I think with regard to storytelling in particular, so much creativity spins off of the simple question: What if? If you're open and let yourself go from there, you can come up with any number of wonderful tales to tell!

Debra: Oh yes, the "what if" is the ultimate question for any weaver of stories.

Julie: The harder part, I think, is the second part of Bradbury's quote: tipping over and letting the good stuff out. I think that's what stymies a lot of potential authors. I know that I had hundreds of false starts in fiction, and a lot of that stemmed from a basic shyness in my personality. I wanted to write, but I didn't necessarily want to reveal myself.

Debra: This is so very true and I suspect it's where voice comes from. The more personal, the harder it is to share.

Julie: And even if you're writing about superheroes or psychotic killers or demon hunting soccer moms, a little bit of you will always seep into a story. It wasn't until I was finally able to get over that hurdle of letting other people (my mom, my friends) read my stuff, that I was able to step back and seriously think about trying to get it published.

Debra: For some writers, dreams play a role in creating fiction. Has this been true for you? Have you ever dreamed a scene or an image that later wound up in one of your books?

Julie: Not really. I tend not to remember my dreams, and if I do remember them, they're usually more Lovecraftian than I tend to write.

Debra: As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?

Julie: Oh my gosh, yes! I was so influenced by books as a kid. Madeleine L'Engle and A Wrinkle in Time and it's sequels, Half Magic and all the other books by Edward Eager, Paul Zindel, Paula Danziger, Judy Blume. Zilpha Keatly Snyder. E.L. Konigsburg. Shel Silverstein. Man, I could go on forever!!

Debra: Madeline L'Engle and Shel Silverstein were also favorites of mine. I'm always happy to continue this conversation any time you bump into me at a writers conference. :)

If there were no categories for books, no reader expectations to meet, and you could create the wildest work of imagination that you could think of what kind of story would that be?

Julie: Honestly, I'm writing them! If you look at my book history, you can see that I've had a very varied past within women's fiction. I've been very fortunate that the ideas I've pitched have sold. That's not to say there haven't been rejections along the way – there most definitely have – but I don't feel like there's some story out there that's the book of my heart just waiting for the market to open up and let me write it.

Debra: Is there anything else you would like to add about the role of imagination, and dreams in creating fiction? Any other message for our readers?

Julie: Just that it's important to follow your dreams!

I'd love to hear from readers. I'm online at my website,
At my blog:
And on MySpace:

Debra: Julie, I'm pleased you could join us here on this Make-believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers.

Julie: Thanks for having me!

Debra: It was my pleasure. :)

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