Friday, November 13, 2009

Julie Wright Interview

I'm very happy to post an interview I did with author, Julie Wright. She's a bestselling writer and I thought you would enjoy reading about her.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Since seventh grade where Mrs. Brown in English class told me I had talent, I have always wanted to be a writer in some format or another. I wanted to be an advertising agent, a lyricist, a poet, a screenwriter, a novelist. I just wanted to write and I wasn’t much concerned about how or what for. I was just glad to find out that I had talent somewhere! I did start my first book when I was fifteen.

Tell us a little bit about your new book.
I am really excited about this new book! Eyes Like Mine is a novel about a young girl’s journey of using the past to meet her present challenges. It’s is a time-travel and a love story, but not how you would think. It’s a story of love between family members and the sacrifices they make for each other. It brings together a woman from 1855 who is crossing the plains and a semi-spoiled young woman from contemporary times. They meet up in modern days to learn from each other what the purposes of their lives. It’s filled with heartfelt humor, and deals with the very real struggle of remembering to live our lives to the fullest.

Tell us about your other books.
Oy. Well . . . my first, as I mentioned before I started when I was fifteen years old. The first 60 pages are exactly as I wrote them when I was fifteen. I finished it up when I was 24 years old and to my pleasant surprise got it published. Unfortunately my first and second books were written when I was relatively young and lacking in any real training. The stories are good, but the writing isn’t where it could be. My third book is something I am still proud of. It’s called My Not-So-Fairy-Tale Life. It’s a story of redemption and love. I tell people if you don’t laugh while reading this book—you have no sense of humor, and if you don’t cry—you’re a heartless cave person.

What inspires you and motivates you to write the very most?
It used to be the drive to be published. Once I got there, it was the drive to be on a best seller’s list. Once I got there, I found I’d made lots of friends in the writing world and I wanted to be with them—doing whatever they were doing. Some of my very best friends are authors and I can no longer imagine a life without them. I write so I have the excuse to be where they are. Oh yeah, and I still want to win the Newbery. So there’s that to keep me writing.

Is there an established writer you admire and emulate in your writing? Do you have a writing mentor?
See answer to question 4. YES! I have many established writers whom I admire and emulate. I have several people I consider my mentors (whether they claim me or not). Josi Kilpack, Heather Moore, Annette Lyon, Jeff Savage, James Dashner, Jessica Day George, and Janette Rallison—to name a few. And that is only the tip of the iceberg in naming the people I admire and respect in this business.

Location and life experience can sprinkle their influence in your writing. Tell us about where you grew up and a little about where you live now - city? Suburb? Country? Farm? If you could live anywhere you want to live, where would that be? I spent a few years in LA while my dad went to college, then grew up mostly in the suburbia of Salt Lake City. When I turned 18, I waxed adventurous and hopped on a greyhound bus and moved to Boston. I have to be honest, that short time spent in Boston molded me more than any other place I’ve lived. I was there during a very defining time and it has never left me. You will find a lot of Massachusetts in my writing. I moved back and continued the suburbia of Salt Lake City until ten years ago, my husband and I moved our family to the country. Walnut Grove from Little House on the Prairie was a bigger town than the one I live in. Traffic only happens when someone is running cattle to a new location. It’s a quieter and, oddly enough, busier sort of existence.

Bring us into your home and set the scene for us when you are writing. What does it look like? On the couch, laptop, desk? Music? Lighting, handwriting?
You’re coming into my home??? Wait here on the porch a minute while I straighten a few things up (okay fine, while I straighten everything up)! Okay. Now that the house is tidy, come on in and see my beautifully vacuumed carpet, and my clean counters, and sinks with no dishes in them. Oh wait, did I mention I write fiction? I write on a laptop and write anywhere I can take my laptop. I write at my desk if I’m lucky, but more often, I am writing in the car (while someone else is driving—of course), or while I’m waiting for kids at the dentists or doctors, or writing while I work in my little grocery store. Or writing as I crack the whip over kids doing homework. Basically, I write every in any two minutes that throws itself my direction. Someone once asked me if I listen to music while I write, and I answered, “Sort of. I write to the beat of my children growing up and to the rhythm of my family.

Do you watch television or movies? If so, what are your favorites? Do they inspire your writing?
I love TV and Movies. Unfortunately, I genuinely don’t have time for them. Every once in a while I get to see a movie, but not often and usually only when I’m folding laundry (multi-tasking is awesome). Movies don’t genuinely inspire me to write, but allow me a moment to let my brain lie fallow while someone else does the creative thinking for a couple of hours.

How has being published changed your life?
Being published allowed me to move on to other works. I wrote one book and then sat on it for years, terrified to move ahead because I already had one unpublished book. Why would I want two? Getting that first book published pushed me over my own writer’s block. It helped me see I had other stories to tell, other worlds to build. Without that first publication, I would likely still be at that place where a manuscript lay in a drawer somewhere, but I never said the words, “I’m a writer to anyone.” Other ways my life has changed has been in the opening of doors to things I never would have experienced any other way. I have made friends I never would have had the chance to know, been places I never would have gone to without some provocation. It’s made me come out of myself and become pretty good at public speaking. Before publication, I couldn’t get up in front of anyone let alone thousands of anyones! It’s been an amazing ride—one of ups and downs, and worth every minute.

Do you have any book signings, tours or special events planned to promote your book that readers might be interested in attending? If so, when and where? Also tell about your blog and website.

I am available for firesides and literacy enrichment nights as well as school visits. You can find out more on that and anything else you want to know at my website:

Thanks, Julie. I wanted to post this during a wonderful book tour Julie is doing with her good friend Josi Kilpack. Here's where they will be.

Friday, November 13th
*Oakland, CA: Seagull 11:00-12:00
*Bakersfield, CA: Beehive Books Bakersfield 4:00-5:30(661) 322-7276
Saturday, November 14th
Ensign Books Temecula 9:30-11:30
Ensign Books Riverside 12:15-2:15
Ensign Books Upland 3:00-5:00
Monday, November 16th
*Bookport 10-12 Fountain valley California
(714) 963-4889
*Book Castle 2:00-4:00 Santa Clarita California
(800) 477-2030
Tuesday, November 17th
*Glendale, AZ: Deseret Book12:30-2:00439-4809
*Late Lunch 2:30 (details to follow)
*Mesa, AZ: Seagull 4:30-6:00
*Evening Presentation in Mesa area
Wednesday, November 18th
*Tucson AZ: Latter Day Cottage12:30-1:30885-2635
*Thatcher AZ: Bookworms book signing 4:30-6:00428-8089
Thursday November 19th
*Chandler, AZ: Deseret Book 12:00-1:00 (480) 899-5469
*Book group Las Vegas
Friday, November 20th
*Las Vegas, NV: Deseret Book 11:00-12:30
*St. George, UT: Deseret Book 4:30-6:00(435) 628-4495
Saturday, November 21st
*Cedar City, UT: Deseret Book 12:00-1:30(435) 865-1253


  1. Great interview--Julie is as fun and bubbly in real life as she comes across here. I'm blessed to know her. thanks Kathy.

  2. Yes, Julie is fun and bubbly. Thanks for stopping by, Josi.



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