Do you have any writing rituals?
Not really. I’ll grab any snippet of writing time I can find, and any place that’s quiet and has an outlet for my laptop. Food and writing generally don’t mix for me — given the choice between snacking and writing, snacking’s bound to win. And I don’t play music while writing, though if I’m in a café and they play some nice instrumental music, that doesn’t bother me any. Given my present situation as mom to four young boys, I generally end up writing at night, and that means I write in my bed, curled up with my laptop and a portable lap desk. What’s awful about this is that I do have an office in my home. We refashioned a small bedroom with a lovely bay window into Julie’s Writing Space, but somehow it turned into The Place Where Julie Dumps Her Mail and Pays Her Bills, and Where Her Kids Dump All Their Junk. So there’s no room in the inn for me, and it’s all my fault. I write after the kids have gone to bed, because if they’re awake and popping into say hello, I can’t complete a thought. When I get the chance to write during the day, which isn’t often since I have a job, it feels luxurious. The brain fires on more cylinders in the morning.
What is one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?
I’m happy to answer any question I’m asked, but I’ve never wished someone would ask me something particular. I just hope the day never comes when someone asks me some basic question about a book I’ve written, and I can’t remember the answer, or remember the character’s name, or whatever. This is bound to happen. I can’t remember my children’s names most days. I can read the same murder mystery twice and forget whodunnit. I have a mind like a sieve, which is why I’m a writer and not a bard.
Name a book that inspired you to write.
This would probably be LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott. I realize it’s a highly fictionalized account of her life, but still, I saw myself in the writer-as-heroine identity Alcott created for herself in Jo. I read LITTLE WOMEN dozens of times in elementary school and beyond, and that’s probably where the dream first began. I loved books so much that creating one seemed like the pinnacle of human existence. I had no idea whether or not I could. I don’t remember writing stories as a child, though I did write in a journal daily. Recently I read back through some of those early journal entries, and many times I’d written, “I worked on some stories today.” This astounds me. Apparently I’ve written a fiction in my mind about my own childhood, in which I wrote no fiction, when in fact, I did. I wish I could find those stories now.
Julie, thank you for your being a guest blogger! For more about Julie and her books, visit http://www.julieberrybooks.com/.