Thank you so much Julia for spending time with us this week. I think we all agree that My Everything is definitely a book that will stop a person in their tracks. I’m so glad that you agreed to do an interview because the inspiration behind My Everything is quite unique and interesting.
1. What inspired you to write My Everything?
The entire story came to me in a dream. I simply fleshed out my characters and searched my memory for perfect locations for the events that occurred. I lived in Austin, Texas, for two years and I’ve spent a lot of time in Los Angeles and surrounding counties.
2. What is your favorite scene in the novel?
My very favorite scene is when Ben and Grace encounter each other – ten years after their very first meeting, after life has dealt them both lousy hands. Big, macho, military Ben drops his guard with Grace as he hasn’t dropped his guard with anyone, ever, and he weeps. The scene gets to me every time I read it.
3. Benjamin McCall is the perfect security consultant. He’s sexy, smart, and has many identities as he travels the world on security jobs. How did you go about developing such a unique male character?
As I said, I dreamed Ben, but he’s based upon a real guy, a young man very much like Ben who I met at a swimming hole when I was eighteen and he was twenty-four. We were an item for one summer, the summer he was stationed at an airbase near my home. He was kind of a mystery man who traveled the world. After that summer, he left for additional training in Israel and I never saw him again.
4. I loved how you developed so many layers in this story. There was romance, mystery, intrigue, suspense. Did you already have the plot to the story mapped out or did it develop through the writing process?
Yes, because of the dream, I did have the plot in my mind, but Angel, Ben’s sister, developed into a very interesting young woman as I wrote the story and I found myself sympathizing with the villain. In his own mind, he had justifiable reasons for acting as he did.
5. Which character was your favorite to write about? Why?
Hmmm. I love both Ben and Grace, but learned, along with Ben, that the important women in his life were strong and stubborn and survivors. His first wife, Julie, never struck me as a survivor. I guess Grace and Angel were the most fun to write for, but Ben was such a strong, silent type that I had to work my way around his defenses to get into his head.
6. What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing My Everything?
I had the opportunity to do a little research into private security firms. An acquaintance of mine works for the CIA and he was great about answering my generic questions.
7. Are you working on a new novel? If so, can you tell us a little about it.
I’m working on two. One is a contemporary romance based upon my recent wilderness canoe trip from hell, the other is a work of fantasy, a post-apocalyptic sort of dystopian novel. I’m really excited about both!
8. Where do you go when you need to get inspired to write?
Oh, I have so many stories in my head…I’ve made up stories since I was a kid! However, unless I get a hike in every single day, I find it hard to concentrate. I’m fortunate enough to live in a place that has great wilderness parks so I go with my dog for 4-5 miles every single day. I have a new puppy now, he’s not quite the protection from mountain lions my other dog was, but he’s getting there!
9. Do you have any writing quirks?
Don’t laugh…I hate silence. I can’t write if everything is quiet. I’ve always been like this. I need something to concentrate against and it can’t be music. When I was in college, I’d go to a noisy bar or coffee shop to work, never to the library. Now I keep a TV on in another room for background noise. My husband is the exact opposite, he needs silence.
10. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I love to cook and bake, so do my kids. Otherwise, I’m outdoors – we hike, bike, swim, camp, go to the beach – not for swimming, too cold, but just to enjoy the Pacific. I do a little gardening, growing herbs, chilies, tomatoes, and greens of all types.
11. Would you rather have the power to be invisible or the power to read minds?
The power to be invisible, for sure! I can already read minds to some extent and I do not like it.
12. Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob (from Twilight)?
Team Jacob – when I read the books I felt that Jacob was the most fleshed out of all the characters. I like him a lot. After the first book, Edward sort of became pretty wallpaper.
13. Which would you rather have: the perfect fall boots or the perfect fall sweater?
Boots, oh yeah!
14. What is your favorite romantic comedy movie?
The old ones – The Philadelphia Story, with Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant, Bringing Up Baby, starring the same two actors, Arsenic and Old Lace, with Cary Grant and Priscilla Lane, Gentlemen Prefer Blonds and How to Marry a Millionaire – with Marilyn Monroe. But…I also love Dodge ball! Go figure!
15. If you could redecorate any room in your house, which room would it be?
Probably my living room. I have plenty of books, but they don’t fill the entire large space! I need new furniture desperately – my kittens have shredded everything!
Thanks so much for having me! The interview was lots of fun! Julia