” Blogger Book Fair is like a blog hop. It is held every six months and showcases
authors and their books. Participating blogs will have giveaways, discounts,
and other events you can’t find anywhere else.”
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This event kicked off yesterday with a feature for an author I had the good fortune to review The Forever Girl for, last year – Rebecca Hamilton. Today I’m featuring / interviewing Julie Flanders. Please welcome her to my blog today and stay and get to know her.
When Detective Danny Fitzpatrick leaves his hometown of Chicago and moves to Fairbanks, Alaska he wants nothing more than to escape the violence and heartbreak that left his life in pieces. Numbed by alcohol and the frozen temperatures of an Alaskan winter, Danny is content with a dead-end job investigating Fairbanks’ cold cases. That all changes when a pretty blond woman goes missing on the winter solstice, and Danny stumbles upon some surprising connections between her disappearance and that of another Fairbanks woman three years earlier. Forced out of his lethargy, Danny sets out to both find the missing woman and solve his own cold case.
The investigation points Danny towards Aleksei Nechayev, the handsome and charming proprietor of an old asylum turned haunted tourist attraction in the Arctic town of Coldfoot. As he tries to find a link between Nechayev and his case,
Danny’s instinct tells him that Nechayev is much more than what he seems.
Danny has no idea that Nechayev is hiding a secret that is much more horrifying than anything he could ever have imagined. As his obsession with finding the missing women grows, Danny finds his own life in danger. And when the truth is finally revealed, the world as he knows it will never be the same.
The Writer’s Interview
The Personal Questions
1. What’s your idea of total happiness?
Spending time with the people I love makes me feel content and peaceful. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or extravagant – I am happy just enjoying a summer’s day with great food and great company.
2. Which trait do you most deplore about yourself?
I am very self-conscious and have spent too much of my life worrying about what other people think.
3. What do you consider to be the most overrated virtue?
Probably patience. Or maybe it’s not that it’s overrated, it’s simply the virtue I really don’t have. 😀
4. What’s your worst vice?
A total lack of patience.
5. What do you most value in your friends?
Kindness, compassion, honesty, intelligence, respect for other people, and a sense of humor.
6. Do you have a mantra or motto?
I love the Japanese proverb, “Fall seven times, stand up eight.” It’s something I’ve tried to remember and live by ever since I first read it.
8. What is your favourite (song) and why?
One by U2. I’ve been a fan of U2 since I was a teenager in the 80s and their music has been a constant in my life ever since. I love One simply because I think it’s an absolutely beautiful song and one I never tire of.
9. What is your favourite cuisine?
I love Mexican food of all kinds. I am always happy sitting down to anything Mexican.
11. What are you reading now?
I’m reading Suspect by Robert Crais. I know he’s been around a long time but this is the first book of his that I’ve read. So far I’m enjoying it a great deal.
12. What other interests do you have?
I love animals and I run a blog devoted to animal rescue that is called Cincinnati Tails. I’m also a tv junkie and addicted to more shows than I care to mention. I love to read and I love walking and going out with my dog to explore the walking trails in our area.
13. What was the last movie you went to see?
I’m embarrassed to say I can’t remember! I usually don’t see movies in the theater, I admit I am lazy and I end up waiting for the DVD or streaming.
The Writer Specific Questions.
1. What got you into writing?
I’ve always had stories in my head and I loved making up stories for characters I read in books or saw on tv since I was a child. But I never thought about writing them down as I never viewed myself as a creative person. I finally started writing some stories down thanks to the encouragement of friends but I didn’t begin to take myself seriously as a writer until I started volunteering for Best Friends Animal Society in 2010. I wrote features for their websites and absolutely loved the work. It made me realize that writing was something I not only wanted to do but also could do.
2. What is your new book about and what inspired you to write it?
My new book is also my first book, and it’s a supernatural thriller called Polar Night. It takes place in Alaska during the dead of winter and pits a Fairbanks detective against a frightening foe who may or may not be human. I was inspired to write it after I had a dream where I was on an ocean liner in the 1920s and I met a man who told me about a woman he had loved and lost in Russia during World War I. It was a long way to get from there to the finished story, but if you read it you can see how that beginning became the book.
3. What are the challenges to being a writer? And what are the benefits? Have things changed lately?
The biggest challenge to me is having the confidence to put my writing “out there.” When I first started out, I was truly terrified of having anyone read my writing. I’ve overcome that, but I still find it challenging to deal with bad reviews. I know they are inevitable, but I haven’t managed to develop a thick enough skin yet. But the benefits of writing far outweigh the challenges. I’ve been fortunate to become part of an amazing community of writers and bloggers that has brought an enormous amount of joy into my life. I’ve also experienced the thrill of having my book published and hearing from people I don’t even know that they enjoyed it. The whole experience of writing has changed my life in ways I never could have imagined in the past.
4. What advice can you offer to struggling writers?
I would say just to not give up and to keep writing. Rejections are very difficult to deal with, and I’m no expert on dealing with them, but I think writers have to learn not to let rejections kill their spirit or their desire to write.
6. Are you an indie or traditional author?
I am a traditional author but I am with a small press, Ink Smith Publishing.
7. Did you publish the first book you wrote?
Yes. Polar Night was the first book I wrote.
8. Why do you write in that genre?
I love anything dealing with the supernatural or paranormal world. I like to imagine that anything is possible and that there could be things we can’t explain in this world. I just think it is fun to imagine “what if?”
10. Do you feel writing is something you need to do or want to do?
Both. I can’t imagine stopping writing now. And I’d eventually love to get to the point where I can support myself with my writing. I’m a long way from that right now, but that is my goal. So in that sense I definitely need to keep writing, but I also want to as I enjoy it more than anything else I’ve ever done.
11. Whose writing inspires you most and why?
I’m a huge fan of George R.R. Martin. I’m in awe of his imagination and I love the darkness of his stories. I love to write dark stories myself and I am a little odd because I prefer tragedy to happy-ever-after endings. At least in fiction, I definitely don’t prefer tragedy in real life. 😀 At any rate, I admire the risks Martin takes with his characters.
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Don’t forget to return for author features, books, and more besides in the coming week. 😀