Meow! Today my guest is bestselling author Julie Anne Lindsey!
Julie Anne Lindsey is an award-winning and bestselling author of mystery and romantic suspense. She’s published more than forty novels since her debut in 2013 and currently writes series as herself, as well as under multiple pen names for various publishers, including Kensington, Harlequin, Sourcebooks and Crooked Lane Books. When she's not writing the stories that keep her up at night, Julie stays busy in Kent, Ohio with her husband and three amazing kids. Today she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world. Learn more about Julie at julieannelindsey.com
- Tell us a little about your background My name is Julie Anne Lindsey. I’m a full time author mom with three teenage children in Kent, Ohio. I got into writing after watching the movie Twilight and reading the books. Stephenie Myers’ stories gave me an escape when I needed one most, and when I finished the books, I knew I wanted to do that for someone else. So, I opened Google and typed, “How to write a book.” I’ve been working on that ever since. Today, I write cozy mysteries and romantic suspense for Harlequin, Kensington, Sourcebooks and Crooked Lane Books. I write as myself, as well as under the pen names Bree Baker, Jacqueline Frost and Julie Chase.
About the book:
It's almost Halloween, and the small island of Charm, North Carolina is decked out for the festivities. When Everly Swan agrees to close her iced tea shop early to help her aunts host their annual haunted historic walking tour, she expects some good-natured spooks. But the night turns grave when one of the ghostly actors is found dead. To complicate matters, the victim scratched Everly's name into the ground before she died, making her a key suspect.
The murder mystery heats up when Everly's potential boo, Detective Grady, takes the case—and he definitely doesn't want her getting involved. Will their seaside romance be threatened by all the ghostly drama? But when a phantom sailor straight out of local legend starts leaving Everly threatening messages, she has to get involved... With a local election under way, ghosts on the loose, and a search for long-lost buried treasure, Everly can't help but stir the pot!
- How do you “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books? I get to know my characters by writing them and spending time with them. Also, by considering the things I know before I begin, and how those things might’ve impacted them. For example, where they grew up and where they live now, what they do for a living and who raised them. All these things tell me about who they are and a re good predictions of how they might react to various people and circumstances. From there, I just write. I hang out with them and let their personalities unfold with the stories.
- How do you construct your plots? Do you outline or do you write “by the seat of your pants”? I’m a dedicated outliner and spend a few days to a week outlining before every new project. I give an entire workshop on how outlining saves authors time, eliminates redundancy and plot holes while helping deliver a richer, deeper story. I LOVE my outlines.
- What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and what inspires you and keeps you motivated? For me, the biggest challenge has been staying positive and moving forward when nothing seems to be going my way. Harsh reviews and contract rejections can be a lot to manage when I’ve put my heart and soul into every project. There’s a lot of joy in this business, but there’s also a lot of distress. Keeping my chin up, come what may, is hard, but I love what I do, so I keep going. And thankfully the incredible days far outweigh the bad.
- Do you have an “How I got my agent” story you want to share? I do! I’m represented by Jill Marsal of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, and I’d been watching Jill for a while. She’s smart, and I dig smart. Her clients are a who’s who list of successful authors, and I wanted desperately to get her attention. It’s not uncommon for authors to send queries to dozens of agents, even 100 before finding one to represent their work. For me, Jill was the deal. So, I polished up my first traditional cozy mystery, now titled CAT GOT YOUR DIAMONDS, had a big glass of wine for bravery and sent the query on a Friday night. Agents’ websites usually say to expect an up to 12 week wait for a response. But Jill responded Saturday morning. She wanted to read my manuscript! I spent the weekend rereading it, trying to think of a way to improve it, but it was the best of my abilities, so on Sunday night, I hit SEND. – It’s not uncommon to wait months at this point for an agent to get to your manuscript and read the whole thing, then respond. So, I put the kids on the school bus Monday morning and poured a cup of coffee. Then, my phone rang. Jill said she was up all night reading and was prepared to offer representation. It was 9 am. – It was 6 am her time! She already had a list of publishers she wanted to send it to, and we hit the ground running. In the four years we have since been together, we’ve signed contracts for nearly 40 books with 4 publishers. It’s been a wild ride, and I can’t wait to see what comes next!
- What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans? Right now, I’m laying out plans for a new cozy mystery series I’m launching this fall. BURDEN OF POOF is book one in the Bonnie & Clyde mysteries, wherein my heroine, Bonnie, and her black cat, Clyde, run a second chance shop in small town Georgia. With names like theirs, what could possibly go wrong? 😉 There will be 8 books in the series, releasing monthly through next spring, and a spin off series is already in the works! I’m a planner!
- What is a typical workday for you and how many hours a day (or week) do you devote to writing? I work about 14 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week. (It’s not easy being 4 people! LOL) And there’s a lot more to writing than writing 😊. There’s editing, outlining, polishing, sprinting, reading for my critique partner when she sends pages to me for feedback, writing newsletters, creating graphics, writing daily social media posts, plus reader-group content, designing games and responding to emails. I also take staged book photos for Instagram, create and execute giveaways, make post office runs and read industry news to stay on top of things as often as possible.
- What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done? I walked the plank on the Jolly Roger in Barbados
- Where can we learn more about you and your books? At my newly revamped website! Julieannelindsey.com
Just for Fun:
Night or Day? Day
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully) Cat (ROCCO approves, meow)
Beach or Pool? Beach
Steak or salad? Salad
Favorite Drink? Red wine
Favorite Book? Wuthering Heights
Favorite TV Series? Vampire Diaries
Favorite Movie? Twilight
Favorite Actor: Timothy Olyphant
Favorite Actress: Amy Adams
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 or Stephen King_
Thank you, Julie!
Folks you can find out more about Julie and her books at:
Julie will give away a digital ARC copy of PARTNERS IN LIME, book 6 in her upcoming Seaside Café Mysteries, written as Bree Baker, for a giveaway. PARTNERS IN LIME releases August 29th! To enter, leave your name and e-mail address comments section below, and good luck! Contest ends midnight, April 30th!