Welcome back, Julie Arduini!
Linda: Thanks for stopping by. Congratulations on your newest release, You’re Brilliant (Book 3, Surrendering Stinkin’ Thinkin’). What was your inspiration for the story? Is this an ongoing series you plan to continue for the foreseeable future?
Julie: Thank you, Linda! The series is the brainchild of our teen daughter, Hannah. She has some health issues that make life a little more challenging than for most, and when she finished middle school, we were both drained from the experience. She was processing it by sharing how she wished there was a way to encourage girls younger than her before things start that make girls believe lies about themselves. As she shared, I realized she was sharing a story. It was good. I told her if she continued, I’d work with her and get it published. You’re Brilliant is the last book in the series. We started with You’re Beautiful, and there was also You’re Amazing. I’m really proud of the series, and of Hannah.
LM: How long does it take you to write a book? Do you write lots of drafts or does the manuscript just need some “tweaking” and editing to be ready?
Julie: It depends on the book. For You’re Brilliant, it took a few months. The quarantine really helped us as we were both home to work on it. When I write romance, that definitely takes me drafts and drafts.
Julie: Yes. Seriously, when I am in that zone where I know where the story is going and I’m deep in the character world, it energizes me. That doesn’t happen as often as I wish. Typically I’m drained because I’m in that gap between plot points and I need to fill it, and the characters aren’t talking to me!
LM: You co-author young adult books with your daughter and write contemporary romance for adults. How do you balance the two careers, and how is writing in the two genres different? The same?
Julie: I thought when I started the series with Hannah I could write both genres, but that did not work. I pushed the current romance series I’m working on, Surrendering Opinions, out until I finished the series with Hannah. I don’t have what it takes to juggle more than one book at a time, or different genres. I think what’s the same about writing in two genres is the process---creating characters, plot, writing, revising, editing, publishing, and marketing. What’s different is the story world. With You’re Brilliant, I observed the teens in my life and was intentional about knowing their world. What triggered them. What issues come up for them that my age might not notice. When I write romance, I’m still in a story world, but the characters are older and their goals are different.
LM: If you could tell your younger writing-self one thing, what would it be?
Julie:. Don’t let the fear of what others think hold you back. That fear kept me from writing for decades. God healed me from that, and a wise mentor encouraged me to have the “skin of a rhino and heart of a dove.” It has helped me overcome and move forward.
LM: Here are some quickies:
Walk, bicycle, or drive: Drive. The other two aren’t bad options, but my favorite moments are when I visit my mom and have 300 miles to drive alone.
Cookies, pie, or cake: That’s hard! That answer could change by the minute. Overall, I’ll never turn down a good piece of cake.
Favorite shoe style: Flat and comfortable. I have bad knees and have never worn heels. Shoes aren’t my thing, I’m pretty low-key about footwear.
LM: Can you tell us what writing projects are on your plate right now?
Julie: I am writing a new contemporary romance series called Surrendering Opinions about a group of sextuplets who stay in the national spotlight because of tragedy. Now that they are adults, they are each trying to find a love that was as strong as what their mom and dad shared. Each sibling will have their own book, and it starts with the oldest, Jordyn Collins, and the title is Anchored. My hope is for a winter release.
Linda: Where can folks connect with you?
Julie: I love when readers connect!
Monthly Newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/321e32f02e17/juliearduininewsletter
About You're Brilliant:
Amazing things happen when a group of high school students and women discover they are more than competent.
Bethany's not excited to start high school in a new community where she doesn't know anyone. She quickly befriends KJ, a popular sophomore, and it looks like the transition will go well until Bethany discovers KJ's boyfriend is a bully. With a strong sense of justice, Bethany challenges Brent Sullivan, and he's determined to make her suffer.
Cheri takes on an additional job in a school to help pay for Sabrina's wedding. It's a different atmosphere than at the church where she feels more comfortable as the pastor's wife and mentor with the Linked ministry. After several mishaps, Cheri feels like she's found an assignment where she can make a different until a teacher belittles her work.
Can Bethany and Cheri resist the lies about their competency and hold on to the fact they're brilliant?
Purchase Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0874Y5B4C