Friday, August 5, 2011

Firsts Fridays: NYT Best Selling Author, Julie Kagawa!

So today I am all about First’s Fridays and why shouldn’t I be. I only have one of my favorite authors here with me. You might remember, if you are a regular reader of mine, a time when I posted about being all wrapped up in a few books. Well, Julie Kagawa is the author of said books and not only is she cool straight down to the core because of the characters and worlds she creates, BUT she is a Kentucky girl like me! Let us take a trip down the meet Miss Julie road shall we?
Julie Kagawa was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish, and the odd eel.
When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her Math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time, but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a real job.

To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dogtrainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full-time.
Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all time low. She lives with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian Shepherd who is too smart for his own good, and the latest addition, a hyper-active Papillon puppy.

DB: Julie, thanks so much for doing this interview!  I know you must be super busy with Iron Knight coming out in October and allJ 
Speaking of Iron Knight (due out 10/25/11), I have to know…
Are there any goods you can spill the beans on in reference to Iron Knight?  Probably not, but you can’t blame a girl for asking?
JK: Lol, sadly no.  The news for Iron Knight has been very hush, hush and I can’t give out spoilers at this time.  BUT, in August, Teaser Tuesdays returns on my blog, so stay tuned for that. J
DB: Yay! It’s August folks. If you are interested in checking these teasers out Julie’s blog is
And for starters, here is the new front and back cover of Iron Knight….SQUEE!

DB: Have there been any talks of Iron Fey movies?
JK: No movie talk yet, though I’m still crossing fingers it could happen someday.  Sadly, authors have no say whether or not their books get made into movies, but it would be a dream come true if Meg, Puck, and Ash made it onto the big screen.
DB: I couldn’t agree more!
Tapping into the writer in you…
How do you write?  Are you a plotter or a pantster?
JK: A little of both.  I usually have several things I know have to happen, and I write towards those.  But the story always goes a completely different way then what I’d envisioned at first, so sometimes you just have to go with it. 
DB: I know this is your fourth book, but can you take us back in time to before you were first published.  Is there anything you know now that you would tell yourself then?
JK: What would I tell my just-published self, hmm.   Well, fasten your seat belt because it’s going to be a crazy, wild year.  You’re going to meet a ton of awesome people,  freak out over deadlines, do more interviews then you can ever count, get reviews that will make your heart soar and reviews that will crush your soul.  You’re going to win a RITA and hit the NYT bestsellers list and its going to be insane and overwhelming and completely amazing.  But the most important thing to remember is this: don’t forget the ones who saw you here, your fans and readers.  It’s because of them that you made it here at all, so always remember to be grateful.
DB: What a whirlwind experience! I love that you haven’t forgotten your fansJ
Can you tell us a little about the process, and how long it took for you to go from writing your first draft to being a New York Times Best Seller?
JK: Well, I decided I wanted to become an author in high school (after discovering that becoming a veterinarian required me to know lots of MATH, agh!).   It took many years to hone my writing skills well enough for an agent to want to represent me.   Lots of years spent writing, trying to get a book finished, and learning everything I could about the publishing process.   Even when I got an agent,  my first book never sold; after a year of no luck, she told me to write another book.  So I did.  I wrote The Iron King in a little under two months (using NaNo WriMo), and Harlequin Teen picked it up within a few weeks.
And the rest, as they say, is history. J
DB: OK, now that is cool! All you NaNo lovers out there did you hear that? Julie that is so inspiring to know it wasn’t easy for you either, but you never gave up. I’m all about perseverance.     
Last question and I’ll let you choose how to end it…
If you could give us aspiring authors any advice, what would it be?
JK: Persist.
DB: Mmm hmm, seeJ
JK: This is the best advice I can give you. There is no magic formula, no secret code for becoming a published author; it's all hard work and patience and yes, a little bit of talent and luck. Writing is a skill that takes practice and time to develop, same as painting or kung fu or playing the guitar. You're not automatically good at it, at least, I never was. While you're writing and honing your skills, learn everything you can about the business. Read books on writing. Start a critique group. Go to workshops if you can. Know that if you're serious about getting published, you're going to be rejected, probably multiple times. But it's all part of the journey. Remember this: all authors started exactly where you are right now. The difference between a published author and just a writer is that the published author never gave up.
DB: Now those should be every writer’s words to live by! You’re Awesome Julie, thanks so much for hanging with us today!
JK: Thanks so much for the interview! 
DB: Didn’t I tell you she is just great! I can’t wait to read Iron Knight! I’m telling you if you haven’t started the Iron Fey Series yet…YOU NEED TO! You will fall in loveJ
Just a little update on my situation. We are moved in. It is a crazy mess, but at least I am no longer crazyJ We, however, didn’t get to go on our long awaited vacation because of the hub’s work. Oh well, it happens, maybe it is better this wayJ We still plan to get away for the weekend though. I’m pumped about that. I hope you all have a fab weekend too!
Join me back here Monday because I am doing another interview, this time with author SB Niccum. She is kicking off her blog tour with me and I couldn’t be happier! Her book Veiled is out, she’s awesome, her book is awesome...yup that sums her up…AWESOME! Hope to see you MondayJ
Until then…
Keep writing. Keep learning.


PK HREZO said...

What a fun interview! I haven't heard of these series so I'll def check it out. So jealous JK lived in Hawaii. It's my fave place in the world. And I love her advice... it's something so easy to forget when we're in the midst of query doldrums.
Wow, Deana, did you just move?? You are so lucky to finally be in your new place. We are inbetween homes now--with fam--and it's miserable. lol Mega stress here knowing we have to move again. Happy unpacking anyway! :)

Anonymous said...

Great interview!

Thanks to Julie for sharing & for the excellent advice & inspiration.

All the best,
RK Charron

Deana said...

Thanks guys. Pk you should read these books FOR SURE!

And yes I am moving. Blahh

lindy said...

Thanks a million for doing this interview Deana! Julie is a fav of mine. Great advice for writers--Persist!

Julie writes riveting fantasy! "My name is Meghan Chase. In less than twenty four hours, I'll be sixteen years old." When I first read this line, I was completely hooked. It made me feel like I better hold onto my seat, something completely amazing was getting ready to happen. And it did!

--Oh, am glad you're settled and hope your weekend helps make up for that missed vacation!

Book Lover said...

Great interview! Can't wait to read her newest :)

Michelle Fayard said...

I like the Sacramento roots, having lived there myself. :)

Katie Gates said...

Hi Deana, I linked over from your lovely comment on my interview with ER King. Great interview here and I agree re PERSISTENCE. I have a friend back in NYC who first witnessed my writing path almost 30 years ago. She refers to me as "the energizer bunny."

LisaAnn said...

Great interview, Deana, and I'm so glad you are officially moved in! I've never read any of Julie's books, but I'm thinking I definitely will... Thanks for enlightening me! :)

Deana said...

Lindy and Mandie- I couldn't agree more! October can't get here fast enough to read the new book.

Michelle- I like those roots just because I have always wanted to visit Sacremento:)

Katie- I'm glad you stopped by:) There is no doubt, after reading your interview that you are in fact an energizer bunny!

Lisa- YES! You have to read these books. Thery are fabulous!