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Friday, February 3, 2012

I Need Friends Friday: Julie Wright

(Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow-author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.)
Today's friend is Julie Wright, fantastic author, endlessly fun gal, blog guest extraordinaire, enjoyer of fine books, writer of even finer books, Whitney Award winning author, a very snappy dresser and someone I am quite pleased to be actual friends with in real life. She is the author of many absolutely lovely books, including Cross My Heart (2010 Whitney Award winner for "Best Romance"), last year's Hazzardous Universe and coming this year, Olivia and Hazzardous Universe 2: The Magician's Last Word.

Time to get to know Julie!  

Julie Wright - She says she'll be here, but I wonder . . . is she lurking in the shadows of blogland waiting to pounce upon my entry?

SME - *someone's watching you*

Julie Wright - I knew it!

SME - I'm attempting to steal the "World's Creepiest Author" title from Dan Wells. It's an ongoing effort.

Julie Wright - You're going to actually have to kill someone to get that, you know. I can help. I live in the west desert, loads of body hiding opportunities . . .

SME - I appreciate the offer but... not necessary. *ahem* That's all I'm legally permitted to say about that.

Julie Wright - I thought this was "I Need Friends Friday* what better way to show my friendship than to hide bodies with you. THAT is devotion.

SME - I'll put you on my list for next time. 'Cause there will be a next time. whahahaha! (Did that sound creepy? It sounded creepy in my head, but when I actually typed it, it kinda seemed lame. I worry about that.)

Julie Wright - Yeah, I wasn't going to say anything, but it sounded like it could use some practice. Dr Horrible taught me that villains really don't work hard enough on their evil laughs, but I think you're getting there.

SME - I may just have to use my fall-back: expressionless stare and dead eyes

Julie Wright - Now *that* is creepy. You win. Dan loses.

SME - Take that, Dan!

Julie Wright - Meet Sarah, the five foot . . . wait . . . the creepiest almost-five-feet-tall author!


SME - Almost! Almost!
So, Julie, for those readers not fortunate enough to know you, tell us a bit about yourself.

Julie Wright - I am old. I've written 13 1/2 books. Come February, eight of those will be published. I have three kids and one husband--in spite of the fact that I live in Utah.

SME - And come March, that number will jump to nine. Books, not husbands.

Julie Wright - What's going on in March? What do you know that I don't know?

SME - I thought that was when the next Hazzardous Universe comes out? Am I even more confused than usual?

Julie Wright - Hazzardous Universe 2 comes out in March . . . you're right . . . I'm not.
It used to be a February release date. I'm still not used to the idea.

SME - *phew!* I'm sitting here thinking, "I was so sure. I PROMISED my 11yo it was coming out in March. He's going to kill me!"

Julie Wright - It's awesome you keep better track of my releases than I do.



SME - When I told my son I was interviewing "The author of Hazzardous Universe" he had some questions for you. May I ask you on his behalf?

Julie Wright - of course!

SME - #1- "How many HU books are you planning to write?"

Julie Wright - Originally there were going to be four, but my publisher wanted a trilogy. So there will only be three. BUT I am writing short stories of adventures we won't be seeing in the actual books. I'll be posting those on the Hazzardous Universe web site for free.

SME - As my 11yo would say: "Got it."
Question #2 - "Who is your favorite character in HU?"

Julie Wright - Oh, that's tough! I really love both Hap and Tara! I think they are funny and sarcastic, and yet adventurous and brave. But I think my absolute favorite is Confucian in book two. He's an ancestor of the great Confucius, and has lots of great sayings but most of the time they don't make any sense. He's a really good person, trying hard to do good things. he's also incredibly talented and smart.

SME - "Great sayings but most of the time they don't make sense" - I can, sadly, relate.

Julie Wright - Yeah . . . Me, too.

SME - Okay, my son's last question: "In the beginning of the first book it says the spaceships look like a slice of pizza. What made you think of describing the spaceships that way?"

Julie Wright - I think I was just hungry . . . actually no. I was thinking of how a teen boy would view the charred underbelly of a wedge-shaped object. He would be able to relate it to a burned piece of pizza because that's something from his frame of reference and is also the kid's favorite food.

SME - Obviously it was some good imagery. My son reads a lot - A LOT - and he remembered that out of all the books he read last year.

Julie Wright - Awesome! Your son has excellent taste in reading.

SME - Agreed. He has sort of become the go-to kid in his grade when other kids are looking for book suggestions.
Okay, let's get back to *my* questions. I mean, these interviews are about me, not my kids. *rolls eyes*

Julie Wright - But your kids are pretty amazing.


SME - You have another book coming out very soon--Olivia--which is part of, I think, a rather ingenious take on a book series.

Julie Wright - YES!!!!!! Olivia is something totally different.
Olivia is the first in a series written by four different authors, Josi Kilpack, Heather Moore, Annette Lyon, and me. Each author wrote from the point of view of a different character. Their lives intersect on several occasions as the four women join a book group together. And though those few scenes will be the same in each book, they will also be totally different because of the viewpoint they're in

SME - This, I understand, has required a lot of collaboration and group effort.

Julie Wright - It was a lot of group effort. Which is not to say it wasn't fun. it was an absolute blast. We'd get together and type like crazy and then one of us would look up and say, what color is your character's hair again. Or one of us would look up and say, "Oh by the way, your character has grandkids. Just thought you should know."

SME - Love it!

Julie Wright - It was hilarious and fun, and humbling to work with such neat women who are all awesome authors.

SME - So, give us a quick blurb on Olivia.

Julie Wright - The Robbins household is perfect on the outside—no dust, no stains, no w rinkles.Inside the house, things are different because there’s no communication either. Olivia Robbins believes that if she keeps everything clean, and serves the meals on time,
things are bound to get better. But when they don't, she realizes she's lost herself. When she joins a bookgroup and for the first time in her adult life makes real friends she realizes finding herself might be the key to saving her marriage.

SME - From what I've gathered talking to the other ladies, Olivia is to a large extent a romance, in that a big portion of it is this married couple falling in love again. Sound about right?

Julie Wright - Yep. That is exactly right

SME - Wahoo! I love, love, love romances that involve married couples. Too many people are convinced that the "romance" part ends at I Do. Way to go, Julie!

Julie Wright - I love romance that involves married couples too!

SME - That is because we both have impeccable taste, you and I.

Julie Wright - We do have impeccable taste. We are brilliant.
I've been wanting to write a story like this for a long time. It was fun. I can honestly say it is my most beautiful book

SME - I am so excited! And I'm looking forward to the entire series. (That totally sounded like a gushing fan-girl, huh? I'm okay with that.)

Julie Wright - The entire series and how it all plays together is really truly awesome. The series as a whole is called the Newport Ladies Book Club. And you can gush. I've gushed over your books often enough.

SME - We have quite the Mutual Admiration Society going here, don't we?

Julie Wright - Totally. But it's Okay, because we make this whole writing gig look good.

SME - Okay, traditional question here at INFF: What is your favorite continent?

Julie Wright - hmmm . . . Some loyalist part of me would like to say the one I live on, but . . . I've never really tried the others. When my kids are unruly I always threaten to move to Australia, but I don't know that I can qualify it as my face if I've never been. Okay. North America it must be.

SME - North America is definitely the front runner for INFF, but I bet Australia appreciates the shout out.

So, ya wanna see your portrait I drew specifically for you!?!?

Julie Wright - YES!!!

Julie Wright - Awesome! look how skinny I am!
Nice boots.

SME - Oh yes. Saw those boots online yesterday (not that I spend time looking at shoes online) and I thought, "Those are some kicking boots"

Julie Wright - I am a butt kickin beauty queen in that picture. You must really know me.

SME - I do. I most certainly do.
Well, that brings us to the final question of the interview. Top 5 reasons this is the best blog interview you've ever done. Ready. Go.

Julie Wright - 1. Sarah Eden is letting me dress up like Jane Austen and therefore is on my list of favorite people.
2. Sarah drew a portrait of me that makes me look skinny. I dare you to find that sort of generosity anywhere else.
3. I got to talk about both of the new books coming out in the next couple of months, not just one in the genre the interviewer likes best.
4. I was able to contemplate the continent Australia which always makes me happy.
5. Sarah Eden is my hero.

SME - It has been an absolute pleasure, Julie Wright. Thanks for joining us for INFF!

Julie Wright - Thanks for having me. I am officially part of the cool kids club now.
I'll tweet this so people can see how cool we are

SME - Oh yes. The world must realize our awesomeness!
*cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next week when I will make another friend!!

If you'd like to be interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!

5 comments:

MKHutchins said...

I love that you do these interviews. I only stumbled onto INFF a few weeks ago, and they always make me laugh. Thanks!

Karlene said...

Fun! Can't wait to read both of Julie's new books. :)

Becca said...

I LURVE Julie Wright. And I LURVE that you put her little side-twisty-braidy things in her portrait, because Julie's hair and Julie's shirt are two things I always look forward to noticing when I'm in company with Julie's Self.

Luisa Perkins said...

Yayyyy! Julie is so very awesome, and so are you. I can't WAIT to read OLIVIA once I finish all of these Whitney finalists.

Heather B. Moore said...

I am always super late reading these. But love it!