Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Meow! Welcome Julie Chase!

Merow!  I’m pleased to welcome the author of the “Kitty Couture” mysteries , Julie Chase, to be my guest today!

Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). As Julie Anne Lindsey, she also writes the Geek Girl mystery series and the Patience Price mystery series. Visit her at juliechasebooks.com.

  • Welcome Julie! Tell us a little about your background Hello! Thank you so much for having me over to your blog, Rocco! I’m Julie Chase. I’m a Midwestern mother of three. I started writing about seven years ago when I read a book that gave me a much needed escape. When I put that book down, I opened a search engine and typed “How to write a book” because I wanted to give someone else the kind of gift my book had just given me.
  • Tell us a bit about your Kitty Couture mysteries for Crooked Lane. How did that idea come about? The idea emerged just over a year ago while I was in New Orleans researching for another project. I rode a streetcar to the Garden District and immediately fell in love with the neighborhood. The shops along Magazine Street were so eclectic and inviting. The homes were breathtaking. I had to write about them, and my heroine had to make pet clothing because there’s nothing cuter on this planet than a cat in a hat. 
  • How do you “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books? I spend several weeks pondering new concepts and playing with possibilities before I begin writing my stories. It gives me time to understand the personalities I’m dealing with and what to expect from them when I put them in various situations.
  • How do you construct your plots? Do you outline or do you write “by the seat of your pants”? I’m a dedicated outliner. I always leave room for flexibility, but I have three kids and no time, so outlining keeps me on track and more importantly on deadline.
  • Which do you consider more important, plot or character? Oh, Rocco, you sly kitty. This is a tricky one. I think both are important, of course, but I must admit that I’m a plot girl! I come up with my twisted and mischievous schemes first, then build characters into them and not the other way around.
  • What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and what inspires you and keeps you motivated? The biggest challenge I face as a writer is dealing with self-doubt. I spend far more time questioning myself, my lack of talent and whether or not I’m wasting everyone’s time than I care to admit.
  • Do you have a “How I got my agent” story you want to share? My agent story is fabulous, but unusual. I’m represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. Jill was and is my “dream agent.” About a year ago, I had a big glass of wine and sent her a query for Cat Got Your Diamonds. It was late on a Friday night, and I woke Saturday morning to a lovely note from Jill. She’d read the query and loved it. She wanted to read the whole manuscript! I spent the day rereading the pages, then sent it to her Sunday night. She called Monday morning to offer me representation, and she had multiple publisher offers by the week’s end. And now, she is my Yoda.
  • What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans? I’ve just finished writing a third exciting Kitty Couture adventure, and I’ve begun working on a Christmas themed cozy for next fall. I also have frameworks for another cozy series and a traditional mystery concept filling notebooks that I can’t get to until early spring, but I hope they will both find themselves in the hands of readers one day, too.
  • What is a typical workday for you and how many hours a day (or week) do you devote to writing? I get up at five every morning. On Monday through Friday I wake three children at half hour intervals between 6 and 7. Make breakfasts. Pack lunches. Run the vacuum, clean house, and do laundry between walking to the bus stop and back three times. When the last bus leaves, I sit down and begin writing. I write until the children start coming home at three, three-thirty and four. I help with homework. Mend hearts. Make dinners. And run the kids to various sports and other activities until their bedtimes. I spend time with my husband from nine thirty until he goes to bed at eleven or twelve, and I repeat the process five days a week. I also write late at night and on most weekends. I easily spend forty hours a week writing.
  • If you could take only three books with you for a year-long writing retreat in a gorgeous setting with no library, which three would you take? I’d love to be stuck on an island for a year. I guess I’d take my Bible, and two giant notebooks. I could probably write a hundred stories with that kind of time and solitude!
  • What advice do you have to offer to an aspiring author? Don’t give up. This industry can be tough, and the rejections can wear you down, but you can make it through. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. You can do this. You will do this. And you’re probably already much closer than you realize.
  • What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done? I once walked the plank on the Jolly Roger in Barbados. (I was much braver when I was in college).
  • What’s one thing your readers would be surprised to find out about you? I’m extremely introverted and struggle with social anxiety. You probably wouldn’t guess it if we met online or at an event, but behind the smile and faux confidence, I’m probably overanalyzing everything I say and feeling like it’s all ridiculous and wishing I was hiding behind the nearest curtain. 
  • Where can we learn more about you and your books? You can find me online day or night on Facebook and Twitter as Julie Anne Lindsey. I also keep a website with all the latest Julie Chase updates at juliechasebooks.com

Just for Fun:
Night or Day?  . Day
Dog or Cat?  Cat!!!
Beach or Pool?   Beach
Steak or salad?  Salad
Favorite Drink?  Coffee by day. Pinot by night.
Favorite Book?  Wuthering Heights
Favorite TV Series?  Castle
Favorite Movie?  You’ve Got Mail
Favorite Actor: Ryan Reynolds
Favorite Actress: Katherine Heigl
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? Pina Colada
Hawaii or Alaska? Hawaii
Finish this sentence:  If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be Janet Evanovich. Her Stephanie Plum books inspired me to try my hand at mystery writing.
If I had just one wish, it would be to live long enough to see my children graduate college, choose professions, marry their best friends, and have brilliant, happy, healthy kids and grandkids of their own. I don’t want to miss a moment of their amazing lives.
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be … Honestly, I love my life. Profoundly. It’s a Cinderella story filled with unfathomable blessings, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Ever.
Thanks Julie! Folks, you can find out more about Julie at:

Crooked Lane will give away a copy of CAT GOT YOUR DIAMONDS to one lucky commenter! (US and Canada entries only, please)
To enter, leave a comment on this blog post with your name and email address (entries without email will be disqualified). For extra entries, you can do any or all of the below:
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Winner will be chosen at random using random.org.  Don’t forget to mention all you’ve done in your comment. Good luck! Contest ends midnight, Nov 20!


  1. Delightful, as always, Rocco
    I check your blog regularly
    We are FB friends and I linked this to my page
    I don't tweet or blog
    libbdoddy at comcast dot net

  2. Rocco your interviews only get better and better. Julie Chase's book catches the eye of the reader from the beginning with the cover and continues with the words inside. I follow your blog, am a friend on Facebook but I don't tweet or blog. robeader53@yahoo.com

  3. Another great interview, Rocco. I can't think of a better place than the Garden District in New Orleans and a shop dedicated to cats for a mystery book. I'm really looking forward to reading.
    I follow your blog, on twitter and friends on Facebook, also sharing on Facebook.

  4. What can I say two things I love - New Orleans and cats (my cat would not wear a hat). Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Cat Got Your Diamonds. Vicki Highley vlhcats@gmail.com

  5. How have I missed this series???? Definitely need to read!!!!
    Oneponychick66@hotmail.com!!!!!!! Thanks for interview and GIVEAWAY!!! Follow on Twitter and Facebook and follow ROCCO of course!!!

  6. You always highlight the best books. I am off to explore this author and her books.
    * Follow my blog (+ 1 point)
    * Follow me on Twitter (+ 1 point)
    * Tweet about the contest (+ 1 point)
    * Friend me on Facebook (+ 1 point)
    * Mention the contest on Facebook (+ 1 point)

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