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Friday, August 22, 2014

Celebrating Small Things and a Talk With Julie Musil

VIKLIT




LG KELTNER @writing off the edge
KATIE @TheCyborg Mom
CAFFEEMAGGIEATO @mscoffeehouse


Celebrating my hike to Summit this week. Hot, but worth the sweat. 


One more ridge and you're at the Pacific Ocean.

And a huge thanks to Darby Karchut for her generous giveaway. She sent me a $25 gift certificate for B and N. Guess which books I'll be buying? You can check out Darby's books HERE.


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Interview with Julie Musil


I read Julie's The Boy Who Loved Fire a few months ago, and really enjoyed her story. I was glad to see her come out with another one and asked her to stop by and give us some information about this new book. 


When her protective older brother disappears, sixteen-year-old Melody infiltrates a theft ring, gathers clues about his secret life, and falls for a handsome pickpocket. 
At what point does truth justify the crime?



Hi Julie,
Is there a story behind your story that you wish to share? The ah-ha or lightning moment where the story inspiration struck?

Thanks for having me here, Lee! Yes, I remember the exact moment when inspiration struck. I was watching the news while a police chase took place on a Southern California freeway. The chase ended with a teen girl and guy sprawled out on the freeway beside a small white pickup truck. Police found a cache of weapons in their truck.

The wheels in my YA writer brain started turning. Where did they get the weapons? Where were the teens headed? What got them to that point in their lives? That moment on the news became a major scene in my new release, The Summer of Crossing Lines. I worked backward from that moment and created a story.

How important is community in keeping you inspired? What authors are a part of your virtual and/or hometown community? How do they keep you inspired? How do you inspire them?

The writing community means everything to me. I can’t imagine writing in a time without social media--I’m sure I would’ve quit a long time ago. I love meeting new people via blogs or Twitter and chatting about books and writing. My local writer friends are Lisa Green, Leslie Rose, and Sarah Skilton. We’ll meet for lunch or dinner, with or without kids, and just hash it all out. The writing community keeps me ground and inspired.

What were some of the challenges you encountered when working on this book? How did you overcome those challenges?

I had to do some major re-writing, re-structuring, and character work before I got this story right.  Beta readers pointed out the glaring flaws and helped brainstorm solutions. The biggest hurdle was the fact that my main character Melody crosses several moral lines. I had to make those decisions believable while also keeping Melody likable. In the end, all the hard work was worth it.

How do you juggle the marketing and press of your books and still continue to find time to get the exciting stories in your head down on paper?

This is a big challenge for me, as it is for most writers. I compartmentalize. I do the creative work first--especially when I’m writing a first draft--knowing that my mind is less creative when it’s burned out. I do the other work later in the day.

What’s your idea of a perfect day?

Reading a good book, in the warm sunshine, near the water...pool, beach, river, it doesn’t matter where.

Now the Lightning Round:

Pantser or Plotter? Definitely a plotter, but I give myself some wiggle room for changes.
Morning person or Evening person? Morning person. I run out of steam by 8 pm and I’m usually asleep by 10.
Beach or Mountain Vacation? I love hiking in the mountains, but I’d rather spend vacations at the beach, as long as it’s warm. Cold, windy beaches are not my thing. But a toasty beach with waves lapping on a sandy shore, and me holding a book in my hands? Heavenly.

Thanks for visiting here today! I'm looking forward to reading this one. 



Julie Musil writes from her rural home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband and three sons. She’s an obsessive reader who loves stories that grab the heart and won’t let go. Her Young Adult novels, The Summer of Crossing Lines and The Boy Who Loved Fire, are available now. For more information, or to stop by an say Hi, please visit Julie on her blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Here are the buy links for The Summer of Crossing Lines




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Now, of course, it's time for my thought for the day. Ready? "Your whole life passes in front of your eyes before you die. This is called living." Terry Pratchett, Author.

What are you celebrating this Friday? Have you read Julie's book The Boy Who Love Fire? Ready to order The Summer of Crossing Lines? Happy Weekend!

62 comments:

  1. Our beaches are beyond toasty.
    You worked backwards from the ending. That's how I write as well.
    Congratulations again, Julie!

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    1. Alex, thanks! It was fun to work backwards from that initial spark. I had never written hat way before.

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    2. Writing from end to beginning must be our impatience to reach our goals. :-)

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  2. The beach I was on a couple of weeks ago was so toasty it actually burnt my foot! Note to self, always wear flips flops in hot places! Congrats to Julie, I enjoyed the interview.

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    1. Suzanne, ouch! I've done that, too! I've also been on beaches where I ran to the car just to get out of the wind. I'll take warm toes any time :)

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    2. Glad you stopped in to "chat" with Julie.

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  3. I love that thought for a day. A good reminder to do something while you're living.

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    1. Patricia, I also loved that quote! What a great reason to get out there and LIVE!

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  4. It's been so many years since I've seen the Pacific Ocean.

    I used to be a night owl, but as I've grown older I discovered I do better in the morning.

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    1. L. Diane, you know the weird thing? I wasn't even a night owl when I was younger. It seems my mind and body are wired to wake up at 6:30 am :/

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    2. Morning is my time. By 3PM I'm dragging and so is my brain.

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  5. Good interview. This certainly sounds like an interesting book. I was also interested in Julie's approach, doing the creative stuff first, before burning out on the other work.

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    1. Elizabeth, I swear, if I try to be creative at the end of the day it will NOT happen. That's what Seinfeld reruns are for! To entertain me when my brain is fried :)

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    2. Yay for those reruns. Love 'em.

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  6. Sounds like a really original tale, and what a fun cover!

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    1. Thanks, Catherine! I hope readers enjoy it :)

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  7. Congrats on your B&N GC! I'm going to have to try the creative 1st strategy. I always put it later, and that does seem to be causing some problems.

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    1. It's hard to hold off on some information, but I'll agree with doing it. Keep the story moving forward as much as possible. One of my biggest issues.

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    2. T. it is a tough balance, isn't it? Deciding how much to trickle in and at what moment.

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  8. Great interview ladies! I always start with my ending too, but I'm still struggling (really struggling!!!) with how to plot from there. I'm definitely a morning person too :)

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    1. While plotting, think in reverse, Jemi! :-)
      We should create an early morning club and meet once a week during the wee hours for some writer talk.

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    2. Early morning club! I like it! Even if it's virtual :)

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  9. Congrats on your B&N gift cared, Lee!

    Working backward, how interesting! I always know my ending but can't say I work backward. I have to try it! And congrats to Julie, The Summer of Crossing Lines sounds great!!!

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    1. I'm starting to walk backwards, too. Is that sign of something? Writeritis?

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    2. S.K., working backwards was a fun thing to try. Lee...you may want to see someone about that <3

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  10. Hi Lee - a gift card is always welcoming ... and working backwards makes sense somehow! Great to read Julie here with you Lee ... I'm not sure where those guns would have come from ... congratulations on hiking up the top - next stop the Pacific ... could be cooler there!

    Cheers to you both - enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

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    1. Your comments are always so much better than my posts! Love 'em. :-)

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    2. Hillary, thanks so much! You know, I still think about those kid in the truck. I wonder where they got the guns, and where the kids are now.

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  11. Great pic of your hike! Also, cool interview:)

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    1. Mark, you're very nice to stop by and say hello. Thanks.

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  12. Congrats, Julie! The book sounds fantastic. Enjoyed the interview!

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    1. Cherie, thank you! I hope readers enjoy some mischief :)

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    2. If this is anything like The Boy Who Love Fire, you'll enjoy the read.

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  13. C Lee and Julie, I really enjoyed the interview. Julie, I am so excited about learning the inspiration for this story, which sounds very intriguing.

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    1. Angela, it's one of those things that a few years ago would've exited my radar as soon as the news was off. But now I'm always on the lookout for these little gems.

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    2. Hi Angela! Great to see you here for Julie.

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  14. Great interview. I love that cover! The way they used the crime tape to tie in with the "crossing lines" title is awesome!

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    1. Stephanie, your kind words mean a lot to me! That police tape was a fun thing to add in the cover shoot.

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    2. I agree. It's different and it's intriguing.

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  15. That's a beautiful picture! And a $25 B&N gift card is a wonderful thing! Have a great weekend!

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    1. Now I just have to find the time to go shopping. :-)

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  16. I want to be a morning person, but alas, I am a night owl! I'll set my alarm for early and then 'snooze' it to death. =) Congrats on your newest release, Julie!

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    1. Come to my house and maybe I can pass on the morning person habit. If not, you can make dinner. I'll have already eaten breakfast by the time you get up. :-)

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  17. I'm a pantser who i s seriously considering plotting as my work tends to run away from me and I can't keep up. I love that you found a moment and worked back from that. I did that to a degree as well. Much success with "Crossings" for you.

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    1. I love pantsers. Adventurous. Unpredictable.

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  18. Julie is one of my favorite people EVER. Fab interview. So excited for her success. <3

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    1. You must be a fan. Welcome and thanks for your comment.

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  19. Leandra, thanks so much! I tell ya, on a Saturday morning, when I have all day to sleep in and I'm awake at 6:30 am, I wish I was a morning person!

    Dean, thanks so much! I think it's cool that you're a pantser! I'm amazed at writers who just click away without any idea of where they're going. I need a definite road map.

    Morgan, you are SO sweet! Thank you <3 <3

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  20. How exciting about that B&N gift certificate. Congrats!

    And Julie's book sounds so intriguing! How cool that the news inspired it initially. Just goes to show that you never know when motivation will strike!

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    1. Books coming from news items is always exciting for me. That only serves to show how we take the real and serve it up in a different package. Julie does a bang up job.

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    2. Heather, so true, right? Now that I've got my eyes and ears open for plot ideas, the news takes on a whole new experience.

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  21. I love reading about where a story idea came from. Both of Julie's books sound like something I'd enjoy. And Terry Prachett is right!

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    1. It's always interesting, isn't it? Authors are such an amazing group of people.

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    2. Bish, if you ever do get a chance to read them, I hope you enjoy :)

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  22. Congratulations, Julie! :)

    P.S. I LOVE Pratchett quotes!

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  23. Congratulations Julie! Great interview!

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  24. I enjoyed Julie's first book. What an interesting point of inspiration and it's so important to stick to a story despite initial flaws.

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  25. Carrie, Nas, and Medeia, thanks so much!

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  26. I think having a community to turn too would be important for many jobs or hobbies, especially in the creative fields.

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