Meet Julia J Simpson. She writes New Adult romantic speculative fiction. She has written seven unpublished novels and more than a hundred short stories. Her debut novel, Ashes Swept, was released on September 29th, 2017. Julia’s writing is influenced by her love of historical eras and fondness for imagining life on earth after a blank slate. Favorite authors include Katherine Mansfield, Maggie Stiefvater, Leigh Bardugo, and Philippa Gregory. She is also a fan of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, and all things Jane Austen. Julia lives in Florida with her husband and zoo of rescue animals.
I asked Julia how old she was when she started writing, and if she always wanted to be a writer. She explains, "I loved writing stories as a child, both on my own and in school. Then I started writing round robins with friends as a teen, and fan-fiction in my early 20s. I've been writing ever since! I did go through an "author" phase among many others when I was growing up, but I never thought of it as a career until I decided to publish my first book."
When I asked Julia if she planned to make writing her full-time career she said, "I'm just happy writing books, whether or not it turns into a full-time career.
Julia's debut novel Ashes Swept was published last September. When asked to give a brief synopsis of her novel she said, "Loosely based on Cinderella, it's the far-future tale of a young woman who must choose between the freedom she craves and her duty to a nation deeply in need of change."
When asked about her favorite character in this novel, Julia said, "I really love Estella, who fills the "fairy godmother" role. She's a wise, strong, hardworking woman with a big heart, whom many people depend on. The protagonist believes she would be lost without her."
I asked Julia if she'd always written this genre and she said, "Yep! My debut novel and my six as-of-yet-unpublished novels are all far-future speculative fiction with a strong romantic twist."
When asked what her favorite part of the writing process was Julia said, "World building. Without a doubt! I love the process of imagining a place and layering on all the little details to make it seem real." When asked what she considered the hardest part of the writing process she replied, "Editing. Mainly because I'm not as motivated to do it as I am to write, so it's easy to put it off and fall out of the habit."
I asked Julia if she had any writing quirks and she said, "I can't listen to music with lyrics unless it's on my playlist for that novel. I can't write with the TV on, either." As far as her favorite writing tools and programs she said, "I typically use a zenware program like FocusWriter for the first draft. Then I usually plug everything into Scrivener for the 2nd or 3rd drafts so I can really focus on the story's structure and other elements. I also love the Time and Date website for making calendars and keeping track of the sunrise/sunset/moon phases in a particular location during a particular time period."
What a great idea!
When asked if any other authors had inspired her Julia said, "Jane Austen for her ability to illustrate the social nuances of her settings; Philippa Gregory for the way she weaves intrigue, drama, action, and romance into her novels; Maggie Stiefvater for her ability to craft vibrant characters and illustrate the complex relationships between them."
I asked Julia how long it typically takes her to write a book and she said, "I can write the first draft in a month because I do it during NaNoWriMo. The second draft usually takes me anywhere from a few months to a year, depending on how much work it needs. Ashes Swept took me five years of near-constant work." Julia also has advice for writers just starting out on their writing journey stating, "Read, practice, and have patience."
I asked Julia about her plans for future books. She said, "I'm currently editing my 8th novel, which will actually be my 2nd published novel. It's about a young woman in the far-future who pursues a dream and ends up in the middle of a corporate conspiracy that leaves her questioning everything."
Oh! Sounds exciting!
To wrap up our interview, I asked Julia what she was currently reading. She replied, "I'm currently reading Out of the Shadows (Broken Gears Book 1), a fun and gripping steampunk fantasy by Dana Fraedrich."
If you're interested in reading Julia's book or would like to find out more information about her, you can do so at the links below: