Interview: Julie A. Burns
- HomeInterview: Julie A. Burns
Name: Julie A. Burns
Latest Release: The Purse
Genre: Mystery/LGBT/Women’s Fiction
Julie A. Burns is a native Iowan born in Marshalltown, Iowa and raised in Davenport, Iowa. After her parent’s divorce at age 7, she took to writing, whether it was her diary or poems about people she met or situations that bothered her. After graduating from high school in 1983, she spent time working as a Nurse’s Aide in different nursing homes in Iowa. In 1989, she gave birth to a daughter, Brittany and raised her as a single parent. In the same year, she enrolled at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology in 1994. Since then, Julie has spent time working with developmentally disabled adults and the mentally ill throughout Iowa and also in Wyoming, where she lived for 6 years. Julie currently lives in Waterloo, Iowa with her spouse. When she’s not writing, she enjoys being a grandmother to 3 year old Sophie.
- How long have you been writing?
I have been writing something since I was in my early teens, though mostly poetry. While I was in my late twenties, I wrote my first novel.
- What kind(s) of writing do you do?
Now I like to write novels; fiction
- Why did you choose that particular field or genre?
I chose mystery/fiction because I love the element of surprise and I found that I was truly addicted to weaving the story and living the lives of fictional characters that have some part of me.
- What inspires you?
A real heartfelt story. Something that is real and shows human flaws but how a person overcomes those flaws, learning to accept who they are.
- Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing, etc. come from?
It really came from my mother’s love of reading and taking me to the library every weekend. We would talk about favorite characters in books and different types of books to read. As I would read, I was fascinated with trying to understand how authors would work the plots. I always wondered if I could do it.
- How do you find or make time to write?
This is always a struggle for me. Life happens. I cannot force it. Once I start, it’s hard to stop.
- Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Summarize your writing process.
I write more when I think about the characters. It’s like a movie in my mind. I guess I would say intuition. I just kind of know when it’s going to happen. I don’t write everyday. I never have that kind of time or motivation.
- How did you get to be where you are in your life today?
Perseverance. I have just carried on when there was no choice. Many things have just fallen into my lap and other things I had to fight for. I am enjoying the balance now that I am older.
- What projects are you working on at the moment?
Right now I am working on revising my 2nd book in hopes of submitting it.
- What process did you go through to get your work published?
With The Purse, I wrote to publishers for years(I finished it in 2004) with no luck. I self published with a “vanity press” in 2013. I wasn’t happy with the result and always wanted to try to re-publish it with a traditional publisher.
- What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Finding the time to write and the motivation.
- What do you enjoy most about writing?
My favorite thing about writing is how I can get lost in the characters and their lives. The wonderful thing about fiction is that I get a chance to in essence, play God.
- What is the biggest thing people THINK they know about your subject/genre, that isn’t true?
People might think they know what’s coming in a mystery. It is not a typical mystery. Because there are main characters that are gay, people might give in to the stereotypes. It’s not a coming out story.
- What is the most important thing that people DON’T know about your subject/genre, that they should?
They should know that nothing is what it seems. There is a melting pot of people in The Purse, and that is by design.
- For those interested in exploring the subject/theme of your work, where should they start?
They can find me on Facebook
- What are some ways in which you promote your writing? Do you find that these add or detract from your writing time?
I am on twitter and facebook mostly. Sometimes, they are distracting, but I have been amazed at the networking possibilities.
- Who are some of your favorite authors?
I love Rita Mae Brown, Alice Walker and Kate Chopin, author of my favorite book The Awakening
- What makes your writing stand out from the crowd?
I think the plot and relatable characters that are passionate, emotional and sometimes make bad decisions
- What are you currently reading?
I am reading Rita Mae Brown’s autobiography: Rita Will
- What do you think is the future of reading/writing?
I think the sky’s the limit with all of the people writing and self-publishing. People are reading more. It doesn’t mean everything you read is great but reading helps you weed out the good from the not-so-good.
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