Monday, June 10, 2013

Break Out the Bubbly & the Dark Chocolate: Celebrating Historical Author Julie Johnstone's New Release WHAT A ROGUE WANTS

Author Julie Johnstone
      Hi Everyone: Please join me in welcoming my sister Southern Magic chapter mate and Linda Howard Single Title coordinator, Julie Johnstone to the Veranda. After many years of writing Historical novels, Julie decided to take a risk on herself and self-publish her books. And wow!!! What an instant success as a result. She made PAN (that's Romance Writer Speak for Published Author Network) in three months. I'm so pleased for her. I asked her if I could share her story and her next release on the Veranda--naturally tempting her with dark chocolate and champagne. And now here she is visiting us and telling her special success story.

      Welcome to the Veranda, Julie. Tell me how did you end up becoming a writer? 
      Good question! I ended up becoming a writer because I fell in love with historical romance and thought to myself ‘I could write a romance book.’ Little did I know just how hard it was! Also, I really have always written since I was a child. I wrote short stories and poetry in college and then moved on to longer stories.

That's just how I started writing romance novels. And I'm so glad you challenged yourself to do the same. What is your favorite genre to write? 
It depends on what day you ask me! I’ve written contemporary short stories and historical romances and paranormal romances. Of the three, I suppose the historical and paranormal are my favorite.
Oh, I bet the contemporary short stories are good, too. and I love historical and paranormal romances. When you write your historical novels, are you a plotter or do you follow the muse? 
I’m a plotty punster. If I plot too much I get in trouble, but I do like to kind of know where I’m going.
I like that term: punster. After you finish "punsting" how do you relax? 
This one is easy! I relax with a bubble bath, a good book and a glass of wine!
Sounds deliciously serene!! What do you read when you're tucked beneath the bubbles? What are your favorite genres? Who are your favorite authors? 
I read mostly historical romance and paranormal romance. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t pick up a contemporary book, it’s just rare for me. I also read non-fiction self-help parenting books sporadically. Oh, and I have been known to go back to the classics like Tolstoy. My favorite authors are Diana Gabaldon, Jeaniene Frost, Delilah Mavelle (she’s new for me, but great!), Susanna Sandlin (also new for me, but great!), Phillipa Gregory, Julie Garwood, Suzanne Collins, Lisa Klypas and Erin Morgenstern.
Wonderful authors! I used to read a lot of self-help parenting books, too. They helped a lot :-) Now that you've published three books, tell me about your current project. 
I’m just about to start a new project which is the next book in my Whisper of Scandal Novels. This book is called Dancing with a Devil.
I love your titles! Any new releases?  
I am releasing a new book tomorrow – What a Rogue Wants, Book 1 in the Lords of Deception series.
The series sounds intriguing. Where do you get your ideas for your stories? 
Everywhere. I really can’t pinpoint exactly where. They just come to me and the strangest thing is new ideas often come to me in the shower!
Oh, the shower is my characters's favorite place to talk to me. And when I'm putting on makeup. What is the most difficult part about writing for you? 
Editing. Bleck! I hate it.
Ditto! How long were you trying to get published before you decided to self-publish? 
I was published before I self pubbed. However, I was published with a magazine for my short stories. I had been really trying to get published for the last five years with my longer novels when I decided to give self-publishing a go.
I think having a history in publishing has to give you so much more confidence as a writer. What were your greatest challenges in preparing the book for publication? 
Oh my goodness, formatting was a nightmare for me to learn! I am not technical at all! I do mean AT ALL!
I know I'd be lost without the College Kid doing all my fancy foo foo stuff on this blog and my new tumblr blog. I'm hopeless at it. Tell me what advice would you give writers considering independent publishing? 
Do your homework and don’t rush. Make sure your book is just as polished as any book published by a big NY firm.
Excellent advice! I know of a few great courses being offered to help teach future Indie authors how to go about putting out a quality novel. Are you still querying agents and publishing houses? 
I am not querying agents for my historical novels at this time. I am about to send my paranormal book to an agent who requested it off a pitch at RT, so we shall see how that goes.
How exciting! What advice would you give aspiring writers? 
Write every single day, find a good critique group, develop thick skin, take workshops and never give up!
Stay in the story--great advice. And continue to learn and grow as a writer. Very valuable. What encouragement can you give writers who face rejection? 
We have all been there. You can learn from most rejections, truly you can.
I agree. I call them Badges of Courage. What encouragement can you give writers who wish to self-publish? 
Hmm… this one is hard. It’s a leap of faith in a way. The self-publishing market is tough. However, you can break through and if getting your book into readers’ hands is your MAIN dream then go for it.
What is the most surprising thing you discovered after you began marketing your book? 
Word of mouth is KEY!
Word of mouth is still the greatest form of advertising. Excellent to hear that maxim is the golden rule of selling!!

You can buy Julie Johnstone's book, WHAT A ROGUE WANTS at the following venues: 

And check out the blurb!

What a beautiful cover!! I'm intrigued.
Lady Madelaine Aldridge might be the worst lady-in-waiting to ever grace King George III’s court. An oddball who prefers archery to knitting and honesty to deception, she earns the dislike of the Queen, the cruelty of the other ladies-in-waiting and the advances of a lecherous fiend who wants to make her his whore. Her father demands she find a proper husband―a task that seems hopeless until Lord Grey Adlard rides into court.
Grey Adlard lives up to his reputation as a dangerously handsome rake when he proposes Madelaine meet him in the stables for a tumble. Yet when she needs a protector the most, Grey offers his services and vows he wants to court her. Wary yet intrigued by the mystery he presents, Madelaine slowly allows Grey to capture her confidence and then her heart.
Things seem perfect until her father is imprisoned for plotting against the King and Madelaine learns Grey is not who he pretends. As King George III sinks deeper into insanity, Madelaine must prove her father’s innocence in order to save his life. With the future of England hanging in the balance and a ruthless murderer hunting them Grey and Madelaine engage in a clash of wills and a battle fraught with suspicion, secrets, betrayal and two hearts that cannot deny the impossible, irresistible love between them.


Meda White said...

Great Interview! Congratulations on your success, Julie. Best wishes.

Robin Delany said...

A bubble bath with a glass of wine sounds like a heavenly way to relax. Congrats on the release of What A Rogue Wants. It's a great book!

Julie Johnstone said...

Thanks, Meda! I'm looking forward to reading your success story soon!

Julie Johnstone said...

Thanks so much, Robin!

Angela N. Blount (RedPeril) said...

It's great to learn so much more about you and your journey, Julie! :) And congratulations on the rapid, self-made ascension to PAN! You're an inspiration to all of us still trying to find their way in the ever-changing world of publishing.

Anne Gallagher said...

Congratulations! It's very exciting.

Thanks for another great interview Julie.

Julie Johnstone said...

Thanks! The publishing world is ever changing and mind-boggling to keep up with. Let me know if you ever need any help if you decide to self publish anything.

Julie Johnstone said...

Thanks, Anne! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Larynn Ford said...

I enjoyed hearing your success story. Congratulations!

Julie Johnstone said...

Thanks so much, Larynn! It's such a wild ride!

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