Sunday, December 4, 2011

Interview with award winning author Julie Lessman!!!!!


Hello everyone!! Happy Monday! It’s an especially happy day for me because I’m hosting a very dear friend of mine, Julie Lessman!! Julie is not only one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met, but also an amazing writer whose novels are full of passion -- both for romance and for God. Now that’s an unbeatable combination! Today, Julie will be sharing some fabulous tips about writing love scenes and some information on her upcoming series -- The Cousins McClare.

So with much excitement I present to you the woman whose books I have on auto buy….Julie Lessman!!
Enjoy!


1) What do you like most about being a writer?
Oh, that’s a no-brainer—writing love scenes, of course! I like tension, lots and LOTS of romantic tension, so when I write those scenes, my keyboard is smoking because my fingers fly. In fact, one of my friends wanted to know why I couldn’t just write a nice, “sweet” love scene. Duh, because I would fall asleep! :) Even my husband noticed the fast and furious pace of my love scenes—he said he would be meandering along in a nice, easy passage and then, BAM! A love scene would hit, and before he knew it, he was 20 pages down the road!

2) What do you like least about being a writer?
Oh, cold chills—trying to get published and promotion, absolutely! Thank God half of that is over for me … uh, I hope! :|

3) Do you have a particular place or setting in which you do your writing? Maybe an area that fuels your creativity?
You bet!! My family jokes that I am an “Ambiance Queen” because dim lighting with candles during dinner is a must, as well as a mainstay for my writing. During the summer months (basically May through October), I sit outside on my lower deck that runs the length of the house, overlooking a lush, green wooded area that has sunlight dappling through the trees. I have my feet up on this cushy lawn furniture at all times, hazelnut coffee, lip gloss, phone, a mirror (to capture those expressions I’m writing about) and a fan gently blowing while I sit with my laptop on my ... where else? Lap!!

In the winter when I’m not in the hearth room with a crackling fire, I write in a tiny computer room that my artist husband and I share. It has a big window that lets in gobs of light and lots of fun distractions like chipmunks and deer. It’s a pretty small room, though, so most of the time, we are back to back, which is kind of nice because I like to lean back and kiss him after I put lip gloss on, which is OFTEN! That would definitely qualify as one of my quirks—lipstick and lip gloss. I wear it everywhere, even to bed (the lip gloss, I mean). Also, when I do write in our office, I always have a candle lit next to a favorite picture of my husband and me before we were married. How’s that for romantic inspiration? J It sure works for me!

4) How many words do you write a day? On average, how long does it take you to finish a novel?
Oh man, what an embarrassing question because I don’t write many at all unless I’m really bearing down on a deadline and then I’ve been known to write all day and all night (from 8:00 AM to 5:00 AM several times!). There are actually months when I don’t write on my contracted ms. at all, but when I do, it can be anywhere from four to twenty pages in a day. Of course, it’s different on every book, but generally it takes me about nine months on a book—six to write it and about two to edit/revise. A Passion Redeemed was the only exception, because I literally pounded it out in two months while working part-time, which boils done to one month straight to write an almost 500-page book. Which proves I can do it if I have to … :)

5) Do you plot your novels or do a chapter-by-chapter outline?
I do not do a chapter-by-chapter outline, but I do now plot my novels, all except for the first two, A Passion Most Pure and A Passion Redeemed. Back then, you could pretty much label me a “Seat of the Pants” Queen! You see, I’m a first-line freak, whether beginning a book or a chapter, so all it takes is a key line popping into my brain (while on the treadmill or in the middle of the night), and I’m off and running.
However, with two 3-book series that chronicle fourteen characters in the O’Connor family from 1916 to 1932, I was forced to become somewhat of a plotter as well, creating an age/birthday/anniversary chart that would boggle the mind. In addition, I have created incredibly detailed synopses to help me keep all the plots straight for both primary characters and subordinates, WHICH if the “pantster” in me has its way, may or may not end up in the final story. :)

6) Tell us a little about your upcoming series, The Cousins McClare. How do you think this series will differ from your previous novels?
The Cousins McClare is set in 1900 San Francisco with book one releasing April of 2013 and the subsequent books out at nine-month intervals rather than yearly. It covers the stories of three cousins from a wealthy political family in 1902 San Francisco (four years before the earthquake!) and the unlikely men with whom they fall in love. From the glitter and glamour of San Francisco’s Nob Hill, to the seedy dance halls and gambling dens of the Barbary Coast, you might say “The Cousins McClare” is a study in contrasts between the haves and have-nots, and barriers between rich and poor that only faith can transcend. Think Little Women meets Dynasty.” And for those of you too young to remember the TV show Dynasty, think family wealth and poverty in a political setting.

To please my husband (who wants me to write for the market, which means shorter, less passionate and more linear plots), the next series will be a lot shorter (yeah, good luck with that!), less sensual (everybody’s single, so no married love scenes) and less complicated, God willing!! Which means the books will be about 300-400 pages rather than 500, and the plots will be two tier instead of 3- and 4-tier (i.e. less subplots than A Passion Denied and the “Winds of Change” series). There will be the story between the hero and heroine, of course, but also a second-tier love story between the older couple in the series, a godly widowed matriarch who butts heads with an ungodly brother-in-law to whom she was once engaged before he cheated on her, causing her to marry his brother instead. Now that she is widowed, the brother-in-law wants her back, so of course there will be LOTS of romantic tension between them as well as between the hero and heroine. J

7) How did Seekerville get started and what part did you play in starting it?
Seekerville got started when fifteen contest divas kept butting heads with each other in various contests, so we knew each other’s names. Then Ruth Logan Herne and Tina Radcliffe came up with bright idea of joining forces to support each other (and eventually our readers) on the road to publication and beyond. When we started four years ago, only two of us had contracts, Deb Giusti and Mary Connealy. Since then, all 15 of us are now published and anxious to see our Seekerville friends published too!
As far as what part I played in the initial start of Seekerville? Almost nothing initially, but now I like to think I play an important part because I get my husband to do a lot of the art-related things for Seekerville such as the bookmarks and the ads in the ACFW Magazine. :)

8) What’s your typical writing day like?
Gosh, lately pretty sporadic because life has been “getting in the way." But usually I rise at about 6:30 or 7:00 AM, eat peach oatmeal and drink coffee while I check a few blogs (The Seekers, for one, at http://seekerville.blogspot.com/), then I listen to worship music on the treadmill for 30 minutes followed by Bible reading and prayer time. Laundry, paperwork, etc. gets my attention briefly before I dive into e-mails. When I write (I don’t write everyday like a good author should), I start about 10:30 or 11:00 AM and crank ALL day (usually without lunch) until Keith’s stomach starts to growl around 6:00 PM or so … :) Not real “disciplined,” I know, but it works for me!


9) Recently you had to cut 50,000 words from your upcoming release, A Love Surrendered. How did you go about doing that?
LOL … a WHOLE lotta prayer!! Basically my editor had me cut two sub stories (Lizzie and Brady’s and Charity and Mitch’s) plus half of the epilogue and several bit characters. I also cut a long “come-to-Jesus” revival scene for the heroine where she and her “wild” friends get her drunk and take her to a Billy Sunday revival, who actually spoke in Boston at that time. That accounted for about 30,000 words, and then I was able to cut another 10,000 by simply going page by page, cutting lines and words.

10) What’s the number one tip you have for writing a great love scene? If you can’t name just one, what about the top two tips?
Goodness, great question!!! The #1 tip I would give for a great love scene is getting inside of the hero’s head. The male is key. I personally believe his feelings/reactions generate readers' feelings/reactions even more so than the heroine's because his desire translates into the desire every woman wishes she could elicit. For me, getting inside the male head during “the kiss” intensifies the “desire” factor. You can show his strength, his dominance, his angst at falling in love with a woman he wants, but can’t have, which always enhances the “WOW” factor. Like Rhett with Scarlett in Gone With the Wind or … ahem … Collin with Faith in A Passion Most Pure.

This was one of the tips given (along with actual excerpts to bear it up) in the detailed handout for the ACFW workshop Ruth Axtell Morren and I taught called, “A Kiss is NOT Just a Kiss,” so if the winner of your blog contest would like a copy of that handout, I will be happy to forward it to her.

Lastly.......
Thanks SO much, Amanda, for hosting me on your blog this week. I LOVE to hear from reader friends, so they can feel free to contact me through my website at: http://www.julielessman.com, either by sending an e-mail via my site or by signing up for my newsletter at: http://www.julielessman.com/sign-up-for-newsletter/.


My newsletter is chock-full of fun info on my books and there’s always a contest featuring signed book giveaways including one right now to have a character named after you or a loved one in my next book. Also, I have a cool feature on my website called “Journal Jots”  (http://www.julielessman.com/journal-jots1/), which is a very laid-back, Friday journal to my reader friends that would give your readers an idea as to my relaxed style of writing. Then finally, I can be found daily at The Seekers blog (http://seekerville.blogspot.com/), a group blog devoted to encouraging and helping aspiring writers on the road to publication.

Hugs,
Julie    



JULIE LESSMAN is an award-winning author whose tagline “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 13 Romance Writers of America awards. She was voted as “Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction.” Chosen as #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie was also awarded #1 Series of the Year; #3 Author of the Year; #5 Novel of the Year; and #4 Historical Fiction Author of the year.



Julie resides in Missouri with her husband, daughter, son and daughter-in-law and new granddaughter, and is the author of “The Daughters of Boston” series, which includes A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied. Her “Winds of Change” series features A Hope Undaunted, which ranked #5 on Booklist’s Top 10 Inspirational Fiction for 2010 and is followed by her most recent release, A Heart Revealed. You can contact Julie at: www.julielessman.com 



JULIE LESSMAN GIVEAWAY!
Blessed readers, you have the opportunity to win an autographed copy of one of Julie's books (the book of your choice) by leaving a comment with your email.  The winner will be drawn on Friday and can select the book they would like to recieve.  I will contact Julie to let her know what book you would like and she will mail it out to you. So leave your comments with email to enter.


COMING UP
Next week we are offering yet another interview, this time with author Zeke Lam. Zeke is the author of "subMission" a nonfiction book about Biblical Submission. This is a great opportunity to support a new author so stop by and read Zeke’s inspiring interview!

Next week we will also resume our Countdown to Christmas giveaway with a special Love Inspired christmas book and cookbook package. So stay tuned for more prizes and fun!

As always- Happy Writing,
Amanda




96 comments :

Anonymous said...

JULIE!!! (Big Smile)
O my gosh, I can't believe I'm the first to comment!!!!
Well, I ALWAYS jump on an opportunity to win a book from you Jules, Heaven knows what an AMAZING writer you are!

Thanks for posting!

Blessings,

Ganise

ganise_4life@hotmail.com

Nancy Kimball said...

Julie! I learned a few new things in this interview I didn't already know so thanks Amanda.
I'd love a copy of that handout so I hope I win. I'm with you on always wanting to be in the hero's head in moments of passion. Funny enough, speaking of Mr. Rhett Butler, I have a quote of his from Gone with the Wind on a post-it on my fridge.
"That's what's the matter with you. You should be kissed. And often. And by someone who knows how." ;-)

Nancy Kimball said...

My fault, Amanda, I forgot my e-mail.
nancykimball at hotmail

karenk said...

To Amanda...thank you for hosting Julie...she is amazing!!!

To Julie...Another awesome posting...I loved reading every single word. Wishing you and your family a blessed Christmas.

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Amanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amanda said...

Wow! 3 comments already and the interview hasn’t even “officially” begun yet! Thanks so much everyone!!!

Thank you so much for dropping by, Ganise! And I so agree about Julie being an AMAZING writer! I was just rereading her newest “A Heart Revealed” and WOW! She sure does know how to weave a good plot that still keeps me riveted the second time around!

Nancy! So great to hear from you! That’s actually one of my favorite quotes from GWTW! I have post it notes all over the place with my favorite quotes too. Maybe it’s a writer thing

So glad you enjoyed the interview Karenk! I loved reading every single word of Julie’s interview too. Wishing you a blessed Christmas!

Abbi Hart (gatorade635) said...

I love getting to hear about the author's process to popping out such amazing books! Thanks!
gatorade635(at)gmail(dot)com

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Awesome interview! Thanks for this opportunity! I'm anxious to Read "A Heart Revealed"!

gwen[dot]gage[at]gmail[dot]com

Melanie said...

I recently won 'A Passion Most Pure' on a different blog and I'm looking forward to reading it!

I'd love to win a copy of 'A Passion Redeemed'!

frequentreader19 (at) gmail (dot) com

Julie Lessman said...

WHOA, GANISE, you are on top of things this morning, girl!!! I didn't think this interview started till today, but as ususal I am a day late and WAY MORE than a dollar short ... especially with Christmas coming!! :|

Thanks for taking the time to come by and support me and Amanda's blog, my friend -- you ALWAYS make me smile when I see your name!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Oh, NANCE, I LOVE that quote!!! Sigh ... kissed often and by someone who knows how!!! Actually, that's a tip for writing romance -- the guy HAS to have the edge and know what he's doing in the kissing department in order to sweep the both heroine (and the reader) off her feet. After all, this IS romance (Calgon, take me away!) versus women's fiction (slice-of-life), right???

I'm SO glad I could come up with a few new things to say ... after approximately 200 interviews over the last four years ... that's quite a feat, trust me!! :)

Thanks, Nancy, for coming by and here's to a win, my friend!

Hugs,
Julie

Susan said...

What a fun and informative interview Thank You! If I win, I WOULD like the kiss handout.
Susan Karsten

Julie Lessman said...

AMANDA!!! I cannot say it enough what a pleasure it is being on your blog this week, my sweet friend!! As I told you before, meeting you at ACFW was a highlight of my conference, and I think of you every single time I look at my pomegranate and cider candle on my desk ... and the soap, WHICH sits beside it unused because I like to smell it every now and then!

And you're reading AHR for a second time??? Now THERE'S true allegiance for you!! I do think the O'Connors are fun re-reads, however, because it's kind of like revisiting family, at least for me when I reread them every year prior to the release of my latest book! :) But THANK YOU for making them "family" too!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

KAREN, THANK YOU for always being there to support me, my friend, and I wish you and yours a MOST BLESSED Christmas season as well ... hopefully topped off with a win???

Good luck, sweetie!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, ABBI, it IS fun hearing how various authors do what they do, isn't it? I like reading about it as well to see if their approach/style is different than mine and maybe learn something new along the way ... :)

Good luck in the contest! :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

GWENDOLYN!!! Not as anxious as I am for you to read it, my friend, so here's hoping for a win on Amanda's blog. BUT ... if not, I have two more chances for you to win a free book this year, so please check my website calendar for the details, okay? Good luck in the contest, my friend.

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

MELANIE!!! Now THAT'S the way to do it, girl -- win all the books so you can read them one after the other!! Actually if people knew how lucrative blog giveaways can be, they'd be jumping at them left and right. I win at least 3 or 4 books a year myself from blog giveaways, and I don't enter all that many either, so the odds are very good. In fact, I have at least three different reader friends who have won five of my books in giveaways AND two or three who have won four, so tell me it doesn't pay to frequent blog giveaways!!

And for anyone who doesn't know about it, there is a fabulous website called Fiction Addiction Fix that alerts you to tons of the latest Christian book giveaways, so be sure to check it out at Fiction Addiction Fix.

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

SUSAN ... if I have to say so myself, the "kiss handout" is pretty darn good because it also includes great excerpts and tips from one of the best romance writers out there, my good friend, Ruth Axtell Morren. If you haven't read any of her books -- check 'em out because she is excellent. Here's to a win!

Hugs,
Julie

Anonymous said...

Ah love love love Julies books! I have almost all of them in my shelf and the rest is on my wishlist...Julie you are doing such a great job in writing plus you are a blessing! Keep on writtnig !!! Greetings, Natalia

nataliapenner@hotmail.com

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Wow, I was one of those early Seekerville followers and I did not realize how you all came together! We colonial gals are enjoying how much more fun it is to hang out with a group blog, too! Great interview, Amanda, and as always I love to hear Julie "speak." I have her new book, thanks, and am looking forward to reading it! Blessings!

wfnren said...

Thank you for this interview, would also love to win one of Julie's books.

wfnren at aol dot com
wrensthoughts.blogspot.com

Caitlin O'Connor said...

Wow, this is great!
I recently got a nook for my birthday and found your book about Katie O'Connor in a Hope Undaunted.
I loved it and then realized that there were many more written about the O'Connor family...I have now read Katie's, Faith's, and am working on reading Charity's story as of right now! You have become my new favorite author...I never read a Christian series with this much passion in it and I haven't been able to put the books down, lol. I can't wait to read Emma's story...she such a sweet person and I want to see her loved and cherished. Thanks so much for writing these books!
Also was interested because my name is O'Connor...I love reading about other O'Connors, lol! I also come from a very big family...I am the oldest child out of 11! It's pretty great!
Be Blessed, Julie!

thanks,
----Caitlin O'Connor

email: bigsisof10@hotmail.com

Patty said...

I've been putting off reading Julie's latest hoping I might get a copy for Christmas, but I would love to win a copy!

Patty in SC
pattymh2000@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

LOVED this interview... I always learn something new! Your books are so captivating and encouraging! I know you are supposed to listen to your hubby... but, you tell him that there are passionate women out there that want a LONG, passion filled book! lol...
Jo

Amanda said...

Abbie! I too love hearing about the writing process of authors, especially those as talented as Julie Lessman! Thanks so much for dropping by!!

Hi Gwen! So great to hear from you! “A Heart Revealed” is an AMAZING read, so I hope you get the chance to pick up a copy soon!

Melanie! “A Passion Redeemed” is my favorite of Julie’s novels! But then I LOVE Mitch and Charity! Thanks so much for visiting!

Susan, I had the pleasure of listening to Julie’s workshop live at the ACFW conference and it was sooo good!! Love all the great examples she gives in the handout! Thanks so much for stopping by!

You are so sweet Julie! And I so love the O’ Connor family! They are so much like a real family, especially all their fun interactions in “A Heart Revealed” like all of Henry and Gabe’s pranks and all the scenes where the guys are playing chess. You’ve captured them perfectly!

Natalia! So great to hear from you! And I so agree about Julie doing such an amazing job with her novels!

Thanks so much for visiting, Carrie! Wow, one of the early Seekerville followers! That’s so great! I wish I had a block of time, just to read all the old Seekerville posts that I missed! Sigh….

Wfnren, as a diehard Lessman fan, Julie’s books have a permanent place on my keeper shelf! There are so many opportunities to win them too, so be sure to check those out. Thanks for stopping by!!

Catlin! You sound like you are reading Julie’s books a lot like I did when I first discovered them. Except I read book one, and proceeded to read them all in rapid fire succession! Charity’s story is my favorite, so happy reading!!!! So great to hear from you!!

Thanks so much for visiting Patti! Hoping you get to read “A Heart Revealed” sometime soon!

Thanks for stopping by, Jo! One of the reasons I love Julie’s books is because they are so long and passion filled so I know exactly what you mean!

Blessings to you all!
Amanda

Glenda Parker Fiction Writer said...

Great post. I always enjoy a post I learn from. Thank you for sharing.
Glenda Parker
parker.glenda@ymail.com
http://glendaparkerfictionwriter.blogspot.com

Jennifer said...

What a great interview!! I really enjoyed it! I have all of Julie's books and LOVE them!!! I would like a chance to win the newest book when it comes out!!

Thanks
Jennifer
jmschwindt0306 at gmail dot com

Julie Lessman said...

NATALIA ... thank you SO much for your kind comment and encouragement -- it blesses me more than I can say. And we are just going to have to see what we can do about getting you a complete set of the O'Connors, all right?? You may want to check out my website calendar because there are still a few giveaways left this year, so good luck!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

CARRIE!!! Thanks for dropping by, my friend, and speaking of great blogs -- your Colonial Quills blog is one of the few that I actually follow, not only because of great reviews and the GREAT authors who are part of it (including some of my faves such as Laura Frantz, MaryLu Tyndall, Jennifer Hudson Taylor and Roseanna White, to mention only a few!), but it is SO authentic and enlightening about our Colonial history. And I LOVE the pix up right now of a Williamsburg Christmas --WOW!!

I encourage anyone interested in historicals -- especially Colonial -- to check out Carrie's blog at:

Colonial Quills

And, not to be ignored, I love your personal blog as well -- Overcoming Through Time With God's Help -- because of the psyschological perspective you bring to interviews and reviews, given your professional background, Carrie. VERY unique! Here's that link as well:

Overcoming Through Time With God's Help

Thanks for coming by, my friend!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

WFNREN!!! You're about due to win a book, my friend, along with KarenK given how faithful you've been lately posting on my blog giveaways, so here's hoping we can pull out a win for you, okay?

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

CAITLIN O'CONNOR!!! Sweet saints, you need to win on your name alone, darlin'!!! I just LOVE it when I meet someone named O'Connor. Can you believe my cousin is dating a young woman named Ashley O'Connor who has a best friend named ... Ashley O'Connor ... AND a sister-in-law named -- you guessed it -- Ashley O'Connor!! Needless to say, I LOVE this girl!! "

And you're from a family of eleven??? Oh, I bet that's a fun gathering!! I'm #12 out of 13 kids myself, and I can attest that big families provide LOTS of fodder for great stories ... :)

Thank you SO much for you incredibly kind comment about my books -- to be a "favorite author" of an O'Connor pretty much makes my day! :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

PATTY ... VERY wise to put off buying it till you see if you can win it first, my friend, so do check out my website calendar for two more giveaways I have this year (one not posted yet, but keep checking), okay? Meanwhile, good luck in Amanda's contest, sweetie. :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

JO SAID: "I know you are supposed to listen to your hubby... but, you tell him that there are passionate women out there that want a LONG, passion filled book!"

LOL ... why am I NOT surprised that you feel that way, my friend?? Maybe because we are TOO much alike and the thicker the book and passion, the better??? Thanks for coming by, Jo -- always blesses my day when I see your sweet name.

Hugs,
Julie

Joy Hannabass said...

Great interview Julie and of course I want to win one of your books because I Love Love Love them!!
Blessings.....Joy
ibjoy1953{at]yahoo[dot]com

Julie Lessman said...

AMANDA!!! I didn't realize A Passion Redeemed was your favorite too!!! I absolutely LOVE Mitch and Charity SOOO much, which is why I was able to write their almost 500-page book in about a month!! But I guess I better qualify that APR is my fave of the Daughters of Boston series. In the Winds of Change series, A Hope Undaunted has stolen my heart. Trust me, Luke McGee and Mitch Dennehy are neck-in-neck as far as the favorites of all my heroes. Sigh.

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

JENNIFER, THANK YOU!!! We'll just have to see what we can do about getting AHR into your hot, little hands, all right?? Good luck in this contest, girl, and here's to a win!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, JOY, trust me -- I want you to win one of my books too, so thank you for stopping by to encourage and leave a comment. I think you still have about three books to go, right?? Let's hope today's visit nets a win for you, my friend!

Hugs,
Julie

Jackie S. said...

Love Julie and love her books!!! Gotta have AHR so please enter me.
Merry Christmas to Amanda and Julie and families!
Thanks!
jackie.smith[at]dishmail[dot]net

Edwina said...

Amanda & Julie,
What a great interview!It's good to get to "know" Julie even better. I would really like a copy of that handout and of course, love Julie's books, and there are a couple I haven't read yet. So, please enter me in the drawing.

edwina@edwinacowgill.com

Julie Lessman said...

JACKIE!!!! A blog giveaway is just not complete if I don't see your sweet name, my friend, so thanks for coming by and GOOD LUCK in the contest! :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

EDWINA!!! SOOOO good to see you here, girl, and if you don't win the hand-out here, I have a Seeker blog coming up on 12/14 where I will also be giving a number of them away, so hopefully there's a win in your future!

Hugs,
Julie

Salena Stormo said...

Please sign me up! :)


Salena
srstormo at yahoo dot com

Stephanie Queen Ludwig said...

Hi Julie and Amanda! GREAT questions, Amanda. I've read several interviews with Julie, and many of them ask the same thing (no offense, bloggers), but you asked some new ones, and I learned a lot more about Julie. Great job! (I'm a news reporter, BTW, so finding new questions to ask is something I have to do regularly.)

JULIE!!! I feel like I'm stalking you from blog to blog. I can just picture you with your lip gloss, writing by the fire with your candles and ambiance. My writing picture is sooooo less romantic. Usually me sitting on my bed, laptop on lap, a pile of laundry nearby (I actually write best when I'm taking breaks to change laundry, which is so weird...but good for having clean clothes available!) and my Boston terrier snuggled up next to me.

Please include me in the drawing!

stephludwig at hotmail dot com

Amanda said...

Glenda!! So great to see you! I too always enjoy a post I learn from! Which is every day, since I read the Seekerville blog!!

Thanks so much for visiting, Jennifer! And I too CAN’T WAIT to read “A Love Surrendered”!!

Joy! Thanks so much for stopping by!! And that makes two of us who love Julie’s books!!!

Julie!! I can’t believe this, but Luke and Mitch are my favorite heroes too. Of course Colin, Brady, and Sean are sooo sigh worthy too, especially Sean. Sigh….

Jackie! If you love the rest of Julie’s book you’ll love “A Heart Revealed”!!! And a Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

Thanks so much for visiting, Edwina! The handout is an awesome addition to any romance writers library so I’ll be sure to enter you in the drawing!

Thanks for stopping by, Salena! I’ll be sure to enter you in the drawing!!

Stephanie! Your sweet words about my interview questions made my day! Glad you enjoyed them!! My writing picture is so less romantic too :) I write wherever I can find a quiet place and turn on my movie soundtracks loud enough to block out background noise. LOL. Thanks so much for visiting!!

Blessings to all!
Amanda

JackieW said...

Enjoyed reading the blog today. Have a very happy Holidays.
JFWisherd(at)aol(dot)com

JOYE said...

I would love to win one of your books...they are the kind of stories I enjoy reading. Have a Merry Christmas.
JWIsley(at)aol(dot)com

misskallie2000 said...

Hi Julie, I always enjoy your interviews and look forward to reading "A Heart Revealed". I still have this book on my wish list and hope I am lucky enough to win a copy.
Thanks for stopping by to chat and share with us.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Julie Lessman said...

SALENA!!! Consider yourself entered, sweetie, and good luck in the contest!

Hugs,
Julie

Rev. Kim Justice said...

Awesome interview, and what a great giveaway choice.. would love to win.. Thanks for the chance.

Kim J.

justiceministries@yahoo.com

Julie Lessman said...

STEPH SAID: "I've read several interviews with Julie, and many of them ask the same thing (no offense, bloggers), but you asked some new ones ..."

I TOTALLY agree, STEPHANIE!! Like I said above, I've done approximately 200 interviews since my first book, so the fact that Amanda came up with some solid and different questions, is HUGE!!

And had to laugh at your comment that your "writing picture is sooooo less romantic. Usually me sitting on my bed, laptop on lap, a pile of laundry nearby (I actually write best when I'm taking breaks to change laundry, which is so weird...but good for having clean clothes available!) and my Boston terrier snuggled up next to me."

LOVE the visual there, my friend, and am chuckling over the laundry breaks improving your writing!! I had a stress test last week where I had to be on a treadmill, and the moment I started, ideas for my books started pelting my brain, which is ALWAYS what happens when I'm on the treadmill at home. I asked the nurse why, and she said something about good blood flow promotes clearer thinking, so it's laundry for you and a treadmill for me -- we're BOTH a little quirkly, I guess! ;)

And "stalk" away my friend -- that's what these blog giveaways are all about, and quite frankly, anybody who owns a "Boston"Terrier can stalk all they want! :)

Good luck in the contest!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

AMANDA SAID: "Luke and Mitch are my favorite heroes too."

You know, Amanda, I just KNEW I liked you right off the bat, probably because deep down we think the same way. Don't get me wrong -- like you, I love ALL of my heroes, but there is just something about Luke and Mitch that quickens the pulse. Of course, Collin's picture on the cover of APMP is nothing to sneeze at either ... :)

And you also said you "turn on my movie soundtracks loud enough to block out background noise." WOW, now there's where we are different, my friend. I have to wear ear plugs if the birds are chirping too loud when I'm out on the lower deck, NO JOKE!! BUT ... I absolutely LOVE musicals, so your comment begs a question: What are your faves??? Let's just see how "alike" we really are, okay?? :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

JACKIEW ... Soooo glad you came by to read it and here's hoping it nets you a win, my friend!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

JOYE!!! What a GREAT name to have any time of the year, but ESPECIALLY at Christmas!!

It sounds like maybe you've not read one of my books before, so we are going to have to remedy that, girl, one way or the other. Be sure to check out my website calendar for additional opportunities to win, okay? Good luck!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

MISSKALLIE, goodness, I don't know ANYONE who needs to win this book more than you, my friend, so here's hoping we can pull out a win for you on this. You've been waiting for A Heart Revealed WAY too long!! Have you checked at your library? You know, if you ask them to order it, they will ... :)

Either way, good luck in the contest, okay?

Hugs,
Julie

JoyAveryMelville said...

What a great interview, Amanda!
Looks like you got lots of great comments too.
Good for you, Amanda! I'm so blessed by you and your blog posts!
Keep up the great work.
I'd be most interested in that hand out - from the workshop I did NOT manage to take - When a Kiss is MORE than a Kiss. ;D

I wouldn't even know where to begin with making a choice of Julie's books - she's written some pretty great books. ;)

Julie Lessman said...

KIM JUSTICE!!! LOVE your addy, girl -- "Justice Ministries"!! At first, I thought you were with the legal department. :)

Thanks for coming by to read the interview, and I hope you win because it sounds like you may be new to my books, and if so, YOU are the type of reader I especially love to hook in ... :)

Good luck, sweetie! :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

JOY, THANK YOU for your sweet comments and YES, the hand-out is pretty good if I must say so myself because it's the combination tips from both Ruth Axtell Morren and me, so double experience there!

And if you have never read my books before, sweetie, then it's NO CONTEST which one you should get -- start with the very first book in the entire O'Connor saga, book 1 of The Daughter of Boston series, A Passion Most Pure. It won American Christian Fiction Writers Debut Book of the Year in 2009 and sets the entire stage for this very "passionate" family. Plus, this is a series best read in order due to a number of BIG surprises in APMP, so if you win on Amanda's blog, I will be happy to send it to you.

Good luck!

Hugs,
Julie

Aly Logan said...

Oooh, ooh, pick me! :)

Ann_Lee_Miller[at]msn[dot]com

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, ANN, tell me -- what do you do with all the books you win from me, girlfriend???? You are by far my TOP winner in these blog giveaways (six times now, isn't it? Or is it seven???), so are you this lucky anywhere else??? If so, could I PLEASE send you money to buy me a lottery ticket??? :)

Just kidding. You will be happy to know I have NEVER bought a lottery ticket in my life!!

Thanks for coming by, sweetie, and I'd say good luck, but you and I both know you don't need it! ;)

Hugs,
Julie

beemama said...

What a great interview. Get inside HIS head, huh.
Shirley
beekeeper5(at)bellsouth(dot)net

sugarpeach said...

Loved this interview. :) Just curious, why did you cut out 50,000 words from your upcoming book?

writer.chicka[at]gmail.com

KANdeannaSAS said...

Thanks for the opportunity to enter this giveaway. Julie is a new author to me so I'd like to start at the beginning of the series with "A Passion Most Pure"
kandeannasas@gmail.com

Caitlin O'Connor said...

Well...Julie, I must say that when I found out there was a WHOLE series written about a family of O'Connors, Irish, and BIG...I was so excited. It just makes the books an even greater read!

I love my big family...never a dull moment for sure! I hope one day my prince charming comes for me with all the passion you write about in your books.

Thanks for writing about this O'Connor family! Hope I can win!
Be blessed Amanda and Julie!

---Caitlin O'Connor

Julie Lessman said...

SHIRLEY ... Oh, YES, MA'AM ... definitely "his" point of view is critical to heated romance in my opinion. There are two ways that I like to do that -- 1.) deep internal monologue -- his "guy" thoughts, which MUST be decidedly masculine and NOT how a woman thinks and 2.) I personally like to include both the hero and heroine's POV in a love scene, which is considered a no-no to a lot of people, but if done right (tips in hand-out), WHOA, BABY -- it can ramp up the pulse in a love scene like a sprint on a treadmill ... which, come to think of it ... is calling me right now ... the treadmill, that is, not a love scene. :)

Good luck in the contest! :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

SUGARPEACH (LOVE THAT NAME!!) ... If you have read any of my books, you know they clock in at about 480-510 pages each, which is about 70,000 words, and WHICH my editor let me get away with for five books even though my contract called for only 20,000 words. Unfortunately, due to the economy and such, my publisher is trying to cut print pages and editor workload, so they now hope to stay within contract guidelines as much as possible. Consequently, my editor asked me to cut 50,000 words, which is almost like a Love Inspired novel!! I did that by cutting out two sub stories and a number of scenes, so I honestly believe the book is a LOT tighter now AND actually better! :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

KANDEANNASAS ... Good girl!!! A Passion Most Pure is DEFINITELY the book to start with if you haven't read any of my books before, so if you win, I will be happy to send you APMP to introduce you to this VERY passionate Irish family! :)

Good luck in the contest!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

CAITLIN SAID: "A WHOLE series written about a family of O'Connors, Irish, and BIG."

Oh, YES, this series was MADE for someone like you, my friend, so I hope my O'Connors become like family to you before all is said and done. And goodness, I hope your family is not QUITE as crazy dramatic as they are ... :)

As far as your "Prince Charming," Cait, reality always does factor in, but let me tell you that it IS possible to have a relationship like the marriages in my books as long as God is in the middle and His precepts applied. I know because Marcy and Patrick's marriage is basically my husband's and mine, and I never dreamed a marriage could really be this good. It took years of God's direction and prayer, but it IS possible!! Which is why I like to include all the spiritual lessons God has taught me, so that hopefully some of my readers will not have to go through the fire like I did to learn them! :)

Hugs,
Julie

Caitlin O'Connor said...

My family isn't quite so dramatic...most of them are under 12 years old except for me and my younger sister down (I'm 20 and she's 18). With a family of 9 girls and two boys...there is much fun and love all around. We've had our share of loss, but God is always there to see us through.

I do understand what you mean about reality factoring in...my story more than likely won't be like in these books, but I hope just as sweet! Thanks again!

(I'm surprised out of the characters in your books & in my family...not a one shares the same name, lol)

Amanda said...

Thanks so much for stopping by, JackieW! Glad you enjoyed the blog! Merry Christmas to you too!

Joye, Julie’s books are the kind of stories I enjoy reading too. Books with plenty of passion both for romance and for God!!! Thanks so much for visiting!

Misskallie, consider yourself entered in the contest!! So great to see you here!

Hi, Kim! Thanks so much for your kind words about my interview and for stopping by too!

Julie!! I so wish I could find a place that quiet (with the sound of only birds chirping), but with a very lively family, music is a must for me! The movie soundtracks I’ve been listening to lately have been the music from the movie, “The Young Victoria,” from “Pride and Prejudice” the newer 2005 version, some soundtracks from the newest “Jane Eyre” and a few soundtracks from “A Walk To Remember.” When I write, the story plays out in my mind like a movie (complete with my own cast. LOL) so listening to the soundtracks really enhances the experience.

Joy!! Thank you so much for your kind words, my friend! And you are so right about how wonderful Julie’s books are!! And Julie is so right about starting with “A Passion Most Pure.” Although they can be read as stand alones, it’s so much more fun to read them as a series!

Ann! Hoping for a win for you, my friend! Thanks so much for visiting!

Shirley, so glad you enjoyed the interview! And I so agree with Julie about getting inside the hero’s head during “the kiss.” Julie’s handout in her workshop “A Kiss is NOT Just A Kiss” gives so many great tips!!

Sugarpeach, thanks so much for visiting! I too am curious as to the exact reasons why Julie had to cut so many words. So let’s see if she tells us!

Kandeanna! Julie’s books are awesome and there are so many opportunities to win them as she is so generous about blog giveaways! On Dec. 14 (I think that's the date), she’s going to be on Seekerville, where I think she’s giving away several books, so check that out for more chances to win!

Catlin! Sounds like you’ll fit right in with the O’ Connor family!! After reading the books several times, I truly think of them as “family”! Thanks so much for stopping by!!

Julie! Just had to say, I so agree about not writing your hero’s POV like how a woman thinks, which is tough as most of us romance writers are women :) Such a fun thing to try and do!

Blessings to all!
Amanda

Charity Lane said...

I'm new to Julie's work, but I'd love to read any of her books.
cllane2 (at) liberty (dot) edu

Julie Lessman said...

Oh, AMANDA, I LOVE "A Walk to Remember"!! Literally sob my eyes out the last quarter of the movie every single time!! Now that's a Nicholas Sparks movie I can get behind. Don't like the others as much because of the adultery (Nights in Rodanthe) or the premarital sex (The Notebook), but that one??? Sigh. The best!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

CAITLIN ... 9 girls and 2 boys??? WOW, we had 10 girls and 3 boys, so talk about close!

I've actually used a lot of names from my family for my books -- Mary, Katie, Esther, Jack, then Ellie (Steven's story), and Rosie & Pat (Cousins McClare series).

Just out of curiosity -- what are the names from your family???

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

CHARITY LANE!!! Oh, I just LOVE when I run into a "Charity" since one of my favorite O'Connor characters in both of my series is the 2nd daughter, Charity O'Connor, and let's face it -- Charity is NOT a common name.

And I especially LOVE meeting new people who have never read my books because if you like passion -- both in your romance and your relationship with God -- then my books are for you! So good luck in the contest, and here's to a win!

Hugs,
Julie

Tamara said...

I don't think I have ever been more obsessed over a series as I am with your books Julie! I am sooo hooked and I would love to be in this contest and win A Heart Revealed.

bberry96(at)aol(dot)com

Anita Mae Draper said...

Julie - so many things I didn't know about you that Amanada ferreted out. Ha!

Great interview, Amanda. I enjoyed meeting (and eating) with you in St Louis. You're truly an inspiration.

I can't turn down a chance to win one of Julie's books. Wonderful creations of human intensity. :)

anita at anitamaedraper dot com

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, TAMARA ... "obsessed" is such a very nice word to use with an author, my friend, so THANK YOU!!

I hope the obsession continues with AHR when you win it (how's that for positive thinking!) and with Steven's story next year, A Love Surrendered. Here's to a win and future obsessions ... of the book kind,that it!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

WHOOPS ... too early in the morning, I guess (I was up till 3:00 AM working on The Cousins McClare), so clicked on the wrong button before I proofed that last comment response. HATE typos!!!

ANITA MAE!!! Gosh, it's SO good to see you, my friend, and wish you and yours a BLESSED holiday season. Of course, a book win would go a long way in nudging it in the right direction, I suppose, so here's to a win.

And I am SO glad you met Amanda at ACFW -- is she not THE BEST??? Total sweetness in a pint-sized body!!

Hugs,
Julie

Amanda said...

Charity!! Thanks so much for stopping by! And I can’t recommend Julie’s novels highly enough!

Julie, “A Walk to Remember” was sooo sad!! And I so agree about it being one of Nicholas Sparks’ better novels and movies! Great soundtrack too. LOL.

Tamera!! I am obsessed with Julie’s books too. Seems I can’t get enough of the wonderful O’ Connor family. Can’t wait for “A Love Surrendered” the series’ grand finale! And thanks so much for visiting!

So great to see you Anita! I too enjoyed meeting you in St Louis! Am counting the days ‘till Dallas, but have plenty to do in the meantime, like finish and edit my current WIP. LOL.

Julie, you were up until 3:00 AM!! Now that’s true dedication!! Hope all is well with the Cousins McClare!!

Blessings to all!!
Amanda

Caitlin O'Connor said...

The names of our family goes as follows...from oldest to youngest..

Caitlin Elizabeth
Emily Nicole
Camryn Shea
Erin Rylee
Kylee Grace
Kenzie Reagan
Molly Claire
Maggie LeAnn
Robert Howard III
Benjamin Nolan
and the youngest sister hasn't arrived yet...so don't know her name until February.

Megan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megan said...

I very much enjoyed reading this interview. The Cousins McClare series sounds great!

Thanks so much for the opportunity to win a copy of one of your books!

Blessings,
Megan
lovetoread205 [at] gmail [dot] com

Julie Lessman said...

AMANDA SAID: "Julie, you were up until 3:00 AM!! Now that’s true dedication!!"

Well, actually more caffeine that dedication. You see, I can't drink caffeine past noon or it will keep me up at night, and unfortunately, I had three glasses of iced tea at dinner when we went out, so it's my fault!! But I did get some writing done, so YAY!!

HUGS,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Oh, CAIT, LOVE the names!! Your mom and dad did GREAT!! In fact, I just may steal some ... :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Thanks, MEGAN, and I sure hope The Cousins McClare is great. I'm not so sure right now because I've hit a brick wall on the plot, but I got on the treadmill to get the brain juices flowing (twice in one day!!), and I think I have a plan. Say one for me if you will because for some reason, it's been VERY difficult to wrap this book up. :|

Thanks for coming by, my friend, and good luck in the contest!

Hugs,
Julie

Amanda said...

Caitlin! I love the very Irish names of your family! Your parents picked out wonderful names!!!

Megan! Sounds like we’re both eagerly awaiting The Cousins McClare! I for one can’t wait!! Thank you so much for stopping by!!

Julie! I’ll be praying for the Lord to give you just the right plot as you wrap your novel up! Isn’t it frustrating when we hit those brick walls in our plotting? I usually take long walks, which seems to generate ideas. Kind of like you with the treadmill!

Blessings to all!
Amanda

Caitlin O'Connor said...

Thank you, my dad is a stickler for keeping the names Irish. It's his dream to go to Ireland one day...maybe me and some of my siblings could send him there for an anniversary one day.

and
Julie...
I would love for you to use one of our names in your books!
I have read a series on a girl named Caitlin Renee O'Connor...suffice it to say that was interesting.

Jodi Janz said...

I really enjoyed this post, thank you Amanda and Julie! I haven't read a Julie Lessman book yet, but everywhere I go I am seeing and reading about her stories. So I have added them to my MUST READ pile. I am very interested in seeing how she puts all this romance and emotion in. When I write, I add those elements in as they are a key part to the story, but often edit them out later. I want to discover where an appropriate line is.
Thanks and I would love to receive that article from the class!! (And nay book, too)
jodi(dot)janz(at)gmail(dot)com

Julie Lessman said...

AMANDA, I covet your prayers, my friend, so THANK YOU!!!


CAIT!!! GOOD FOR YOUR DAD!!! I just LOVE when Irish families do that, you know??? My sister (we are only 1/4 Irish ... bummer ... wish we were full blood!!) married a 100% Irishman (also from 13 kids like us) and she named her girls: Maggie, Kelly, Erin and Bridget Laughlin. SOOO FUN!!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

JODI SAID: "but everywhere I go I am seeing and reading about her stories. So I have added them to my MUST READ pile."

WHOO-HOO, good to hear, girl, and YES, you do need to put them in your "must read" file if you like passionate romance, and it sounds like you do!! I think it's adorable you write the romance in your own books like you want, then edit it out -- too cute!!

I actually drafted two versions of my very first book, A Passion Most Pure -- the first a CBA version with minimal passion, no drinking, card playing or alcohol. But then I had an ABA version (secular) with all of those things intact and guess what??? My agent inadvertently sent the ABA draft to my current CBA publisher who actually BOUGHT IT as is!! So, YES, I do know where that "appropriate line" is better than almost any other CBA writer out there, and trust me, I cozy right on up to that line!! ;)

Good luck in the contest, sweetie!

Hugs,
Julie

Amanda said...

Catlin, sounds like your dad would love a trip to Ireland! I sooo would love to travel to Europe someday!!

Jodi, I have learned so much from Julie’s books about where the appropriate line is! Hoping you will too! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Blessings!
Amanda

CrisRoji said...

Your stories have inspired me to be a more loving wife and as a reminder to the passion that needs to be stoked in the fire of marriage. Thank you so much for your bold writing and your commitment to sharing the truth of Christ. You are truly and inspiration to other Christian women.

Kathy said...

Oh A Heart Revealed, please, please, please. And I'd love a copy of the handout as well. Thanks so much for the opportunity to win. Love, love, love Julie's writing!

Kathy
kauppatgridcomdotnet

Julie Lessman said...

CHRISTINA SAID: "Your stories have inspired me to be a more loving wife and as a reminder to the passion that needs to be stoked in the fire of marriage."

Goodness, girl, you have NO idea just how great that makes me feel!!! If more women would realize that and work at it, marriages would be off the happiness chart. Trust me, I know, because I am living my own personal romance novel with my hubby of 33 years, and it didn't happen by accident, I'll tell you that. Nope, it came through prayer and application of God's precepts, and WOW, it really is possible to have a great romance in real life. Marcy and Patrick's marriage in my novels is based on my husband's and mine, so I do have a wee bit of experience in this subject and a fabulous marriage to prove it ... :)

Thank you for making my day with your encouraging comment, Christina, and here's to a win AND a spectacular romance in your marriage.

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, KATHY, trust me -- I would love, love, LOVE to send you a signed book AND the handout, so I hope your comment today nets you a win, my friend. Good luck!

Hugs,
Julie

Martha A. said...

I always love reading your interviews!!! I think you are one of the most interesting people ever! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, MARTHA!!! Uh, I think you may mean "one of the quirkiest people ever," don't you???:)

HA! YOU think I'm interesting ... my kids think I'm embarrassing because I tend to be pretty what you see (or read) is what you get. So much so that they like to joke about getting me a dog shock collar so that when I say something too personal, all they have to do is press a button and ZAP -- Mom is silenced.

But, thanks anyway, Martha, because that's a VERY sweet thing to say, and yes, I tend to be pretty "out there" for a Christian romance writer, but I'm pretty "bottom-line" real, so I have no choice but to be who I am. Sometimes I wish I were more dignified like a Francine Rivers or Tamera Alexander, but I'll just pin the blame on God because He made me, so I'm going with it!!

Good luck in the contest, sweetie, and thanks again for your sweet comment.

Hugs,
Julie