Julie Lessman, award-winning author of “The Daughters of Boston” and “Winds of Change” series, was named American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards. Julie has also garnered 17 RWA and other awards and made Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction. Check out the video for her independently published book, A Light in the Window, which was an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers' Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Best Award winner.
but is she over her head when it comes to love?
As a shy and pudgy child, Megan McClare has always been ridiculed by her classmates, but when she returns from her senior year in Paris, the wallflower has suddenly blossomed into a beauty. Hopeful of becoming a lawyer or doctor to help the disadvantaged women of the Barbary Coast, Megan accepts an internship at the District Attorney’s office only to discover she’ll be working with the boy who mocked her in school. She turns to her best friend Bram for support and advice, and Bram—fighting an unwelcome attraction to a friend he’s always perceived as a little sister—encourages Meg to forgive Devin and pursue a friendship. The friendship with Devin evolves into a serious romance, but when a sailboat accident tosses Bram and Meg into the seas of attraction, both her heart and her emotions capsize, threatening to change the course of love …
WHERE IS JULIE?
You can contact Julie (and read excerpts from her books) at www.julielessman.com, or through Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest, as well as sign up for her biannual newsletter. Be sure to check out Julie’s group blog, The Seekers, Writers Digest 2013 and 2014 “Best 101 Websites for Writers, and Julie’s own personal blog, Journal Jots, which was voted blog of the month in the Readers’ Choice poll of Book Fun Magazine. Finally, you can download a FREE eBOOK of Julie’s award-winning debut, A Passion Most Pure, at most online booksellers.
My next release is a Christmas novella called A Whisper of Hope, which is part of Christmas anthology called Hope for the Holidays Historical Collection, with stories of hope from award-winning authors (and fellow Seekerville blogger friends) Mary Connealy, Myra Johnson, and Ruth Logan Herne. There is also a Hope for the Holidays Contemporary Collection as well, featuring award-winning authors Audra Harders, Mary Connealy, Sandra Leesmith, Ruth Logan Herne, Tina Radcliffe, and Missy Tippens. Both collections are available in ebook only for $2.99 each.
Alexa: You’ve been called “The Kissing Queen” of Inspirational romance and have even written a writer’s handbook called Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Inspirational and Sweet Markets. Can you explain your tagline, “Passion with a Purpose” to our readers?Julie: You bet! Those who have read my books know they are a tad more passionate than the majority of Inspirational romance, and I did that on purpose. You see, I’m the type of woman who loves a heated romance. You know—the heart-fluttering, pulse-pounding emotional tug-of-war between a man and a woman? It draws me, always has, from my early days when I first read Gone With the Wind at the age of twelve.
But for me and many women, heated romance is not enough. Without faith in the middle, it becomes more lust than love—heat that burns but doesn’t keep you warm for the long haul. I figure if I’m going to invest large chunks of time in reading books, I want more than the race of a pulse. I want to be encouraged, inspired, uplifted in addition to swooning over a heart-melting kiss. Kind of a double benefit, for instance, like organic health foods. Not only do organic foods satisfy one’s hunger, but they also nourish one’s health. So when I turn that last page? I want to walk away with a WOW factor that goes well beyond a kiss, leaving a feel-good feeling for both body and soul.
Julie: Well, I don’t really remember the first book I ever read, but I DO remember the first one that impacted my life. From the moment Scarlett seared Rhett with a look on the winding staircase of Twelve Oaks, I was hooked, and my “romance-writing career” began! Gone With the Wind inspired me to begin my own novel at the age of 12, a 150-page, single-spaced manuscript that actually became the basis for my debut novel, A Passion Most Pure, some 40 years later.
In fact, I was so hooked on romance after reading GWTW, I actually dressed up as a nun in high school to see a free showing of GWTW for the local religious and clergy. One of my friends had a sister in the convent who loaned us novice habits and off we went! I sat there mesmerized, shoving free popcorn into my mouth as I watched the tug-o-war between Rhett and Scarlett. It was one of the most fun times of my teens … until we ran into the nuns from our high school. Whoops!
Alexa: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
Julie: Ha—big surprise! That would be Gone with the Wind, of course, followed closely by The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and My Fair Lady.
Alexa: What is something that not a lot of people know about you but you WISH more people COULD know?Julie: Well, not only do few people know this about me, but most would not believe it either because in my books and online, I’m a bit of a clown with a CDQ (caffeinated drama queen) personality. But, yes, it’s true—I am a bona-fide hermit who seldom leaves my laptop/comfy chair to go out unless my husband drags me. I like to joke that I’m a recluse who has the misfortune of having an outgoing personality because I literally lose myself in my writing and my work, which my husband and daughter refer to as the “zombie zone.” If I had my way, I’d stay at home, grafted to the seat of my chair and write, write, write! Hate shopping of any kind, no longer do scads of lunches with friends like I used to, and NEVER talk on the phone if I can help it. So I guess I wish friends and reader friends understood this so they wouldn’t get their feelings hurt when they don’t hear from me because I reallllllly hate to hurt people’s feelings.
Alexa: What’s the best birthday (or any holiday) present you ever received?
Julie: Without question, that would be the gift my artist husband gave me for Mother’s Day one year. He’d just built us a beautiful media room in our basement, a work of art really, because the man is incredibly creative and handy, and it had these multi-colored pillows on our leather sectional couch. Would you believe he took a picture of one of those pillows and designed three different versions in the same colors, then superimposed them on canvas frames as a wall grouping? “It’s beautiful, babe,” I said, amazed once again at his mind-boggling creativity. “Look closer,” he said, and I squinted a bit, suddenly seeing our entire life before my eyes. Yes, you guessed it—this incredible man actually super-imposed pictures of each of us—me, my son, daughter, daughter-in-law and himself—over the multicolored canvases to create living artwork that captured US. WOW!! Let me tell you—I teared up on the spot and threw myself into his arms, giving him the biggest, most grateful kiss I could! What can I say—MasterCard has nothing on him—he’s “priceless.”
Alexa: What would you say is your most interesting quirk?Julie: Mmm … not sure how “interesting” this is, but I have a number of writing quirks such as MUST HAVE a cup of hazelnut decaf with Half ‘n Half, a box of Kleenex (for the soggy scenes I write), a mirror handy for those facial expressions I’m trying to capture on paper, and … ta-da! … lip gloss! That would definitely qualify as one of my quirks—lipstick and lip gloss. I bet I apply one or the other 20 times a day because I wear it everywhere, even to bed! :)
My biggest quirk, however, is I’m kind of freak about ambiance. I have to have candles lit when I watch TV or eat dinner or visit with friends, and the lighting has to be turned down real low, which drives my husband crazy because he likes to actually see his food!
Alexa: What will always make you smile, even on a bad day?
Julie: This sounds silly, I know, but my hubby has this adorable habit of fixing one of the ten different Keurig K-cup flavors we have in our Keurig carousel, and he’ll very carefully bring his cup to me to test taste, making me guess which flavor it is. He always has this sweet look on his face, like this is the most important thing for him at the moment, and I can’t help it—it always makes me smile. Not to mention crave a cup of coffee!
Julie: Oh, goodness, every chance I get, to the tune of 6-8 books a month. I carry a book in my purse at ALL TIMES, plus keep one in the powder room during the day and then on my nightstand at night. I read in the car while my husband drives, after I’ve given him his token 20 minutes of conversation, of course! ;), in store checkout lines, at railroad crossings while I’m waiting for a train, in doctor’s offices, and even when my husband leaves the table for anything when we are dining out. I never miss an opportunity to read if I can help it, because for me, “getting lost in a story” is not only how I relax, it’s one of my favorite things to do!
Julie: If you are an inspy reader, how many kisses do you like to see in a book?
Folks, Julie will choose 1 commenter to receive a copy of one of her books. (US: either paper or ebook, international: ebook only) . Thanks for stopping by!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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