Friday, December 10, 2010

JulieAnn Carter-Winward

Posted By on December 10, 2010, 11:53 PM

click to enlarge blog4718widea.jpg
Quite frequently when talking with an author, much like the interview today, we discuss the impact of digital media on the medium. As we continue to progress every form of entertainment toward some form of digitization, the idea that one day most written literature will be found on a tablet or monitor of some kind is inevitable, even if some companies continue to distribute the traditional way. For a number of authors they've dropped the bindings and moved forward with that progress willingly, embracing the new technology as they pen new works.
click to enlarge 92_Love_in_Motion_oil_on_canvas__JACW.jpg

--- Writer JulieAnn Carter Winward has been voicing her opinions online via her blog, "Ravings Of A Semi-Mad Woman", since 2006. As well as producing her own brand of erotica over three different books during this time. While her first title found physical pages, the others have been exclusively online via Amazon, taking her audience into the digital age while still keeping her thoughts and subject material very earthly, angsty and lusty. Today JulieAnn chats about her career and blog, moving into online publishing, thoughts on local writers and a few other topics. All with shots of her interacting with fans, and a few selections of artwork she's created in recent years.

JulieAnn Carter-Winward
click to enlarge face_glow.jpg

http://ravingsii.blogspot.com/

Gavin: Hey JulieAnn! First off, tell us a bit about yourself.

JulieAnn: Well I'm a snappy dresser. I think that's important. I'm happily married to another writer--a brilliant poet and writer, who has a day job as an attorney. We have five kids between us, the majority of them adults, which is why my eye twitches like this. They are all great kids, though. They range from 8 to 22 years old. The eight year old is the only boy, and parenting him is a piece o' cake comparatively. No offense to my daughters, but girls are just more complex. This isn't because of anything biological or personal. I feel our culture makes it harder to raise girls. We are supposed to raise them and somehow imbue them with strength, femininity, pragmatism and a great self-esteem. Then the popular media goes about destroying those attempts. When I'm not writing and doing the 'mom' thing, I'm also a painter. I took up painting in 2008, and for some unknown reason, people really like my work. I paint in impressionistic/abstract style and a lot of people like how I paint portraits and the female form. I enjoy painting because it gives the more analytical part of my brain a rest. It's a medium for the creativity I feel that doesn't exhaust me the way writing does. They both require a tremendous amount of concentration and focus, but it's as though the creativity I use to paint counter-balances the creativity I use to write.
click to enlarge 21_World_Famous_Author.jpg

Gavin: What first got you into writing and what were some of your favorite titles and authors over the years?

JulieAnn: Well, I had a knack for writing at a young age. Conveying what I felt via words seemed to agree with me. By second grade I was reading with the sixth graders. I think when I wrote my first poem, that's when I knew writing was magical. To be able to paint feelings across a canvas and have them be so nuanced and multi-layered all with the use of words... that fascinated me. It still fascinates me. When someone can take a collection of words, put them together, and make another person laugh or cry--that's magical. My summers as a child were not spent at friends' houses or out riding my bike. My mother took me to the library and I'd stack as many books in my arms as I could carry. I did this all throughout Jr. High, too. I was a total geek. I devoured books. I would literally curl up on the couch with a snack and read for hours on end. When I found an author I liked, I'd read everything that author put out and I would grieve the end of a book or series. I had my mother's collection to choose from downstairs when I didn't get to the library, along with some of my brother's old college texts. I read my fist college book in elementary school--Edith Hamilton's Mythology. I became obsessed with Greek Mythology. I stripped all of my Barbies naked (I was a Barbie geek, too) and wrapped them all in some spare material mom had around the house. They all wore togas. I reenacted the myths with my Barbies. This early exposure to mythology really paved the way for me to leave my church when I got older. But don't tell anybody, or they'll ban education. I read James Clavell's Shogun probably six times. I read Mary Stewart, Taylor Caldwell--lots of romance novels because that was my mom's penchant. My mother told me that Caldwell had a novel published when she was in her teens. That inspired me. My material also included Ayn Rand, Steinbeck, Cervantes, Voltaire, Shakespeare, Arthur Miller, Virginia Woolf and Robert Frost. I read the complete--cover to cover--works of Shakespeare while in 6th grade. I didn't have to think about the words, they floated in me and through me and were beautiful, even though I may not have followed the story exactly. I continually pushed my limits as a reader. When I was in Honor's and AP English, I felt as though life finally had meaning as I read the Existentialists. I know, hysterically ironic. The general feel of Camus and Sartre... Kierkegaard matched my general mood which amounted to "Who gives a shit? We're all going to die anyway." I can safely say that by the time I was 17, I'd lost my faith in everything. They called it "clinical depression". I call it reality. Meh, semantics. I didn't return to any of the romance novels once I found literature. And once I found actual romance. Romance in real life was nothing like in the novels; all that romance novels did was serve to make my little heart palpitate with love at the slightest provocation. It ended badly for me most every time. So to this day I don't read, write or watch romance--anything. I find it trite, tiresome and predictable. Sorry romance fans. Personal opinion. Some of my favorite authors are Robert Olen Butler, Jane Smiley, Chuck Palahniuk, Anne Rice, Judy Blume, Anais Nin, Henry Miller, Brady Udall, Milan Kundera, Carole Maso, and Ian McEwan. Poetry is a huge inspiration for me, so David Whyte, Mary Oliver, Sylvia Plath, Dickenson, Frost, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Sharon Olds., Marge Piercy, Bukowski... gee, I did go on and on, didn't I? Hey, you asked.

Gavin: Did you take any formal education in writing and literature prior to writing?

JulieAnn: Only a few classes in college. One college professor told me that he hoped I had considered writing as a profession. At the time, no, I had not. It wasn't because I didn't want to, but rather a strange addiction I had to eating, having a roof over my head etc. It had been hammered into me by my pragmatic parents that being an artist/writer was impractical. No one becomes a writer for the money. And if they do, they're in for a surprise. I have been writing a long time, and I've been working on improving my craft for a long time. There are some strengths I possess as a writer that can't be taught, like timing and voice. My timing, I've been told, is very good, my voice natural and engaging. These are things that classrooms can't teach you. Classrooms, I feel, are important so you can learn the nuts and bolts of writing, and it also forces a person who may not have the discipline to write every day. What a classroom can destroy, however, is the artistic flow, the process of inspiration, the "magic" of writing. I don't intend to say that education is a bad thing. The demystification of certain things is important. Where would we be if we still thought babies coming into the world was magic? But writing is a careful balance of craft and art. Every writer has a different process. Mine is more organic, but I've had to learn to be more analytical. I think this is an easier problem than the reverse. I knew a writer once with a BA and MFA who told me that it took him years to get his education, but even longer to forget it. I think that's a fair assessment of it. To develop your own style and voice comes from within and not everyone will like your insides. If your professor doesn't like your insides, he or she will ask you to conform to their standard. This is how a natural voice can be lost. Will I insist my children go to college and learn to write well? Absolutely. But I also hope to impart the idea that conformity for a grade is different than conforming for approval.
click to enlarge 115_Entangled_oil_on_canvas_JACW.jpg

Gavin: What sparked your interest in writing more romantic and erotica material?

JulieAnn: Well, as I said earlier, I don't write romance. Nothing in my writings or stories convey romance. This is because I prefer reality. Romance is not reality. Sex is. Sex is a reality, for better or worse, in all of our lives. If it weren't for sex, we wouldn't be here, obviously. I wrote my first erotica short story a few years back and won an award and a publishing contract. I just have a gift for the nasties. Seriously, though, Judy Blume's Wifey was my first naughty story I'd ever read. I actually pilfered it from my Bishop's book collection in his basement. I can only assume it was his wife's book and she never intended an eleven-year old to get her hands on it. She was pretty uptight, so I hope the book helped her unclench a little. Sex and sensuality play a huge part in all of my books. I attribute this to the fact that I'm a very sexual, sensual being and it's totally interconnected with my creativity. I celebrate sexuality in all of my work, but not in a false, romantic way; I like reality and sex is real and glorious in all of its permutations. Ironically, for all my posturing about the bullshit of romance, I literally live the most romantic life ever ! Haha. My husband is honestly the most romantic man I've ever met, so I can't say I don't believe in romance anymore--I just think it's very rare.

Gavin: How did the idea come about to officially start work on a novel?

JulieAnn: I'd written a juvenile non-fiction book based on Tarot cards. Back then, tarot cards were still considered "of the debil", so publishers didn't show much interest. It was about the time Harry Potter came out and I remember thinking to myself, "Man, it's too bad I don't write fiction!" Suddenly, my first novel, a YA fiction, opened up to me--Life In A NutsHell, completely, from start to finish. I was like, "Holy shit this is awesome!" The other novels just came pouring in one after another after that. Ravings Of A Mad Woman was my third novel and my first adult fiction. Judy Blume definitely had an influence on that one.
click to enlarge GB13.jpg

Gavin: Where did the concept come from for Always Listen To The Ravings Of A Mad Woman?

JulieAnn: This is a true story. I had a really good Mormon friend who showed up at my house one day and she was crying. She told me that she found out her husband looked at porn. I tried to sympathize, I really did, but I told her that looking at porn was... normal. She said "For eight hours at a time?!" All of a sudden, the reality of what she said hit me: What if you were in a religion, a female in a religion, run by men, and your beliefs taught you that the only way you can get to your heaven is through your marriage to your eternal mate? And what if that mate endangered your eternal salvation by breaking the rules? The thoughts of such a puritanical (when it comes to sex) religion juxtaposed with the prospect of sexual addiction fascinated me. So I wrote Ravings.

Gavin: What was the process like for you while writing it and defining those characters?

JulieAnn: Interestingly I fell victim to some stereotypes, but they were sort of periphery, so they worked. The coffee clatch, the distant mother, the sweet but elderly and demented father... but I tried very hard to stay away from LDS stereotypes. For instance, in one scene, I have two visiting teachers visit a strip club to come rescue my main character, who had passed out from dehydration. How many Mormon visiting teachers would do that? Maybe a few. Maybe not. But I tried very hard to make each character very human and real. I mean, it's really hard to feel sorry for my main character because while she rages about her husband's porn proclivity, she has an affair with her dentist. It's really hard to hate the husband because he's a really nice guy and great father. I know a lot of LDS people, including my family. They are just as moral and good as anyone else and they are trying their best. I think too many "ex" Mormon authors try to demonize the LDS Church through their characters. I think if you separate the people from the religion, you'd find that we are all pretty much the same. As Plato said, "Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle." We all seek the same things, we just go about the search in different ways. Too many people think that Ravings is autobiographical. Every writer pulls their life into their work. With that definition, every work of fiction is autobiographical. Don't tell Phillip Roth. About half-way through the book, my life did take a strange turn. I found that my husband at the time was looking at porn, not just occasionally, which I would have shrugged off, but consistently and for long periods of time. This changed how I wrote the book--dramatically, and infused it with emotional nuances that may have not been available to me had it not happened.
click to enlarge Ravings_book_cover.jpg

Gavin: Was there a lot of rewrite work to it or did everything just kind of fall into place?

JulieAnn: Yes and no. Or no and yes. As a writer you become blind to your own work; it's almost impossible to see typos and mistakes. That's why writers don't edit their own work. My publishing company at the time thought it would be a great idea to make me do all the edits. I was a complete newbie in the industry. When they offered me a contract, I took it. I should have held out. I should have hired an editor. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. The point is, rewriting is the story (no pun) of every writer's life. The story itself fell into place and then toward the end it stalled. I think it stalled because I had no idea if the main character would stay married to her addict husband--or not. This predicament strangely echoed my own life. I had to consciously separate myself from my life and go into hers, realize what her particular set of circumstances were and how she should proceed. Once I did that, the end was easy.

Gavin: Did you show it to anyone prior to finding a publisher?

JulieAnn: No, I didn't have time. I was offered the contract within a month of finishing. In hindsight I should have done a lot more to get it ready.
click to enlarge GB4.jpg

Gavin: You had actually started up your blog prior to the first release. Why did you choose to do that rather than wait for publication and response?

JulieAnn: I really didn't see the potential for publicity through a blog at the time. I mean, no one will read it, right? Gah...! Now I get over 200 hits a week and I wonder how the word spreads. My whole life is in there--all the uglies and personal stuff. But I don't regret it... I enjoy being open. I am who I am. I had one local blogger criticize me because I plan to release some YA fiction and my blog has stories of vibrators, masturbation, sex and all sorts of things young adults know nothing about. Ehem. Can you say Judy Blume? My feeling is that she wants her blog have a certain "tone" of professionalism to it. Bashing me in it notwithstanding. That's her prerogative. My goal is to live my life out in the open as much as possible and as long as it doesn't hurt people. Sometimes that's not mutually exclusive and that's where I have to be careful. My new publisher will have a writing blog for me through their press soon and that blog will focus more on writing. My personal blog is just that--and if people want the dirt and dish on me, it's there for the asking.

Gavin: What was it like early on writing to an unknown audience, and what was that reception like?

JulieAnn: I think any blogger starts out wondering who will choose to read. I'm continually surprised at my following. Early on I wrote solely for me. I told a few people about it and it was back when blogs were just hitting their stride. Dooce was in full swing and I had hoped at the time I could do what she was doing--blog for cash! Ha! But that takes a lot more than a few hundred hits a month. And she had national exposure because she'd gotten fired over it. The thing is, I don't think any of us (bloggers) really know why we take off and become popular. I know that my readers expect honesty, authenticity and passion from me. What really blows my mind is there are people who read my blog who are not exactly fans. I would even call them detractors. It's a little creepy.
click to enlarge 07_15_06_001.jpg

Gavin: Did you feel any hesitation talking about your private life and thoughts on life around you, or was it more liberating to expose it?

JulieAnn: The blog was very liberating at first. The medium of writing for me helps me to uncover things about myself and situations that might otherwise stay unconscious. Then I realized that I was being read by unfriendly eyes, and I had to censor my blog, which really pissed me off. I mean, who reads the blogs of people they dislike? I found at the time that my soon-to-be ex-husband read it and I realized my readers were only getting my voice, my perspective. It wasn't fair to him, so I stopped the really personal things about him and focused on a balanced picture--listed all of the good stuff about him, and there's plenty. That was even more liberating.

Gavin: When it finally got released what did you think of the public reaction to it?

JulieAnn: The reaction was surprisingly tepid among a lot of the local stores. I had signings at Golden Braid--one that changed my life, actually--more on that later, and Central Book Exchange in Sugar House. A shout out to them for supporting a local author. Gateway's Barnes & Noble held one for me, too. There were other local bookstores--independent book sellers, that flat out refused to sell the book, let alone help me promote it. I won't name names, but at the time, they were carrying a book about the life of a call-girl in SLC. When I asked them to read and carry Ravings, they said "We don't carry that type of book here." They literally judged a book by its cover. How cliché. City Weekly had just reviewed Ravings and the only complaint was the twenty-one word title and sub-title! Other than that, it was a very positive review, so the lack of other community support was disappointing. Many stores saw the cover and didn't want trouble from the LDS community. I tried to hire a PR firm, and they flat-out refused me. The subject matter, when mentioned in the same breath with Mormonism or the LDS religion, was immediately rejected and treated with what can only be described as mild panic. "Pornography Addiction? 'Mormons? Never!" Golden Braid and CBE actually held events/readings for me, which was awesome. At Golden Braid I met a fellow blogger and pot-stirrer who wrote in a scandalous blog which shall remain nameless. He read and commented on my blog every day, which was nice but also a little curious Hehe. I'd like to say he had a crush on me, but it was really my writing that compelled him. This guy read my book, reviewed it on his blog and invited me to discuss it, which I did. We argued like Tracy and Hepburn online, all polite, innuendo and double-talk, but butting heads nonetheless. He didn't agree with my premise at all, and felt that the culture creates sex and porn addiction, therefore they can't be classified as classic addictions. I disagreed--and we still disagree. Yes, the blogger who dissed my book and stalked my blog became my husband in August of 2008. It looks really bad on paper because I had only been divorced officially for about three weeks when he proposed. But the former mister and I had been living separate for more than a year and only stayed married for insurance purposes. However, it was still a shock to most everyone--including me, when my then-friend and fellow blogger fell head over heels in love with me. I mean, who knew? It happened in what can only be described as one of the hardest times in my life, and so it was a very emotionally charged period.
click to enlarge 119_The_Woman_in_Me___oil_on_canvas_by_JACW.jpg

Gavin: Between books there's a four-year gap. What had you been doing during this time and what motivated you to write another novel?

JulieAnn: I was actually writing more books. Hehe. There were also some huge upheavals in my personal life, including a divorce, the death of both of my parents within a year, and finally, my remarriage to my current husband. After Ravings came out, I wrote a book Called Screwdriver: Mormons, Swingers, Murder. It's a murder mystery involving a group of Mormon swingers living on South Mountain in Draper and their connection to the building of an LDS Temple there. I am aware that an LDS Temple has indeed been built on South Mountain. At the time I wrote the book, the plans for that temple hadn't been made public. And yes, swingers are alive and well on South Mountain--I interviewed a whole group of them. I'm really good at writing books, but the business side--notsomuch. So I went on to write my next book, Princess Of The Blood. It's the story of a suburban vampire in high school who discovers she is in line to be sacrificed for the good of all vampires on the Earth; she's just not feeling like a savior, so she runs. The moment I sent this out to agents, Twilight hit the scene. Meh, timing.

Gavin: You actually had two come out recently, Talk Dirty To Me and Falling Back To Earth. Why take on two books rather than focus on a single?

JulieAnn: I didn't write them simultaneously--I just staggered the beginning of TDTM in the middle of Falling edits and they were released at the same time. I started Falling Back To Earth in 2006, and it was only the first chapter. I let it rest, and in 2008 I was ready to write it. I knew it would be gut-wrenching to write--a feeling. I was right. It was like taking a potato peeler to my skin every day. Hard to explain, but I went deep to create those characters. I re-wrote Falling three times within one year--complete re-writes, almost different books with the same characters, thanks to a New York editor with whom I'd been working. Not that I'm complaining, she helped a lot. However, I wanted to write a literary masterpiece, she wanted me to write Dan Brown. Right before I began the arduous re-writes and conclusion of Falling, I came up with the premise for TDTM in the spring of 2009. I wrote the first scene in that, and then let it rest. After the third and final re-write of Falling, I recommenced TDTM. I was excited to write it. It was my comic--albeit dark comic--relief. My goal was to write a Chuck Palahniuk-esque book for women. My voice and style is very different in TDTM. Reminds me of my sarcastic snark from Ravings a little bit. That book came out fast and furious, but it was almost as painful--in a different way, than Falling.
click to enlarge FallingBTE_coverthumb.jpg

Gavin: Was it hard for you separating the two stories at once, or was it more of a swap working on each at a time

JulieAnn: As I said, they were indeed staggered. Separating the stories wasn't hard because I immerse myself so fully in them, it would be impossible to be confused. It would be like visiting Paris, then going to Istanbul. You wouldn't walk around Istanbul confused as to the location of L' Arc de Triomphe. Each book is a mixture of hard work, logic, plotting, planning, creativity and imagination. There are people who say it's only an art; some say only a craft. I believe, like any fine art, you must have a technical foundation of craft within your framework of creativity. However, you can't teach someone how to be inspired by life, people, situations, tragedy, comedy. You can't teach them how to immerse themselves. I've had things happen in my life that immediately would translate into a scene. My stories all come from my ability to observe and watch life around me. But I can't just watch. That's the coward's way. I watch, then I plunge in, head first into the melee, whatever it might be. I come out covered in the muck of experience and from that, I write. Many writers equate writing to pain, as you can tell. I find those writers who eschew that are great technical writers. No matter what, for me, books hurt. But they hurt in a way that tells me I'm alive. Some would ask why I do it when there are so many vocations out there that don't "hurt". Haha! I guess you could say that I believe that Life hurts, and it has always hurt. But in that fiery realization, I know more joy and elation for having been through the pain of it.

Gavin: You also chose to have them published digitally as opposed to the traditional paperback. What made you decide to go that route?

JulieAnn: A lot of things. I'm not interested in a handful of friends and family buying my book. I'm interested in becoming a career novelist. I want fans. I want people to find me and devour everything I write--these are the readers who own Nooks, Kindles, iPads etc. They devour books, they don't buy a book every six months. I do feel for people who want a hard copy in their hands, but most of these folks have a smart phone or PC or laptop. My books are available in all of those formats, so just because the hard copy isn't available, doesn't mean you can't read them. With the digital age overtaking traditional publishing, I see the days of large advances and celebrity authors coming to a close. As I stated earlier, I want a solid fan base; I want to be known as a great writer. Every book I write is a stepping stone to another book that's better. It's not a quick process; it takes patience and understanding of how the market works. I'm in it for the long haul, not to make a quick buck, so digital publishing made sense to me. Also, unless you are a celebrity or celebrity author, traditional publishing is becoming more and more difficult to break into. Once in a blue moon, someone comes along who snags the hearts of teens and tweens everywhere, and that's great for them. The agent's job is to sell, sell, sell. The publishers job is to make money off of what sells. Sometimes, the books that are more action and thriller or YA sell better than literary fiction. I write literary fiction, and so my outlook is grim. As one agent told me, "Don't tell people you write literary fiction; it's the kiss of death." Apparently, literary fiction isn't interesting! Every book for me is a way to push myself, challenge what I think I know and perfect my craft. Readers get to read my books and watch the progression. I would say that I'm an artist, but what artist doesn't create with their fans in mind? I write stories I think people will read. I'm not into verbal masturbation. Some writers think that stream-of-consciousness "whatever comes out of my head and onto the page is art", but they need to remember something: within that framework of "artist", we also carry the pedestrian mantle of "entertainer". We are creating something unique, beautiful, edifying (hopefully) and entertaining. It can be the most beautifully written book on the planet, but if readers aren't compelled to turn the page, what's the point?
click to enlarge TDTM_cover.jpg

Gavin: Are there any plans in the works for the next novel or are you kinda kicking back for now and just concentrating on the blog?

JulieAnn: I am writing another book called The Rub. The story is about two families, four years after a suicide pact between a daughter from each. One of the daughters survived. The book explores the impact the death had on each individual, and how they can possibly find redemption when each of them carries a modicum or more of guilt for the death of the other girl. I also have another one baking. It might look and smell like a sweet romance novel. It isn't. Haha!

Gavin: Going local, what's your take on the local literary scene and the writers coming out of it?

JulieAnn: Well I've got to be honest here when I say I have no idea what's going on locally. I'm pretty isolated in my little writing world. Part of the struggle for me as a writer and a person is that I seem to want isolation because I do tend to absorb so much. I don't watch the news because the pain of seeing so much suffering can paralyze me. I know many people feel that networking is the "key" to success. I believe that that might be true, depending on your definition of success. My definition of success is to get read. People read my blog every day... I'm a success. People are buying my books. Success. Whether or not I made a bundle of money has never been my priority. Even as a single mother, money was a practical reason for wanting to be well-known, but not the ultimate reason. I want to be known as a great writer. That is success to me.
click to enlarge GB6.jpg

Gavin: Is there anything you think could be done to make it more prominent?

JulieAnn: Well, yeah... but it's unrealistic. I think more writing groups could get organized, local competitions, and maybe even writing conferences could be brought here. But face it, every group has their hierarchy. There are scads of local writers who think they are the bees knees and they're much too good for conferences, workshops and groups. Writers are a funny lot. Our egos can be very fragile. Writing is a solitary business for a reason.

Gavin: Do you have any advice for writers about their work and getting published?

JulieAnn: Yeah. Read Charles Bukowski's poem; So You Want To Be A Writer. Decide if you want to take a potato peeler to your skin every day. Choose to live in the moment and never shy away from the ugly, the raw, the gaping wounds within yourself. That's where your work will come from if you want it to be authentic. If you want to write about puppies and love and cute romances, these rules don't apply. But if you're serious about writing from your white hot center, as Robert Olen Butler says, then that's where it has to come from. Read the types of books you want to write. And if you say to yourself "Damn it, I should write today." Then please don't. No one wants to read a "Should-y" piece of writing. The publishing industry is rapidly changing, as I've stated before. But one thing hasn't changed--good writing is good writing. You want to get published and you want people to read you? Be a damn good writer.
click to enlarge GB10.jpg

Gavin: If you had to make a list, who are some of your favorite local authors?

JulieAnn: I've read only a couple. As well as being a personal friend, author Natalie Collins writes great Mormon-themed romantic suspense. Although a screenwriter, I thoroughly enjoy Neil LaBute's stuff, even though he was only local for a minute. That list is bigger... I really enjoy Brady Udall, too.

Gavin: What are your thoughts on the local book stores and how they're holing up against bigger chains?

JulieAnn: I think small local bookstores are going to bounce back. They couldn't survive against big bookstore chains, but now big book stores can't survive the digital age. Smaller indy stores would do well to carry and specialize in books that e-books can't format and sell. Smaller bookstores need to embrace digital publishing, not vilify it. Start selling Kindles at the small, local book stores right next to the pictorial review of Nine Mile Canyon and Mormon Handicrafts. There's plenty of room on the coattails of the digital age. But too many people are afraid of change and resist rather than accept and incorporate. Sounds like I'm doing a commercial for the Borg, huh? Haha! Seriously, though, there's enough room for all of us, and authors who are stubbornly holding out for big advances and a NYC publishing contract are going to be waiting a long time unless they are a celebrity or already a celebrity author.
click to enlarge GB5.jpg

Gavin: Do you feel like books are in decline with digital publishing, or do you believe there will always be an audience there for a hand-held copy?

JulieAnn: The "hand-held" audiences are not, in my opinion, obsessed with books. They love to rhapsodize on the smell, feel, taste, whatever, or "real books" but how many people will sensually enjoy a book they hate from page one? Are they going to keep reading because the smell and feel of the book is so exciting and "real"? No. What we fall in love with are words. The vellum Shakespeare wrote on isn't how we read Shakespeare anymore--we've modernized. But his words are timeless. Frankly, I don't think real readers are complaining about Nooks and Kindles and iPads. The people who buy five or six books a month are reveling in the ease of reading now. The people who buy a book every six months and who don't own e-readers, these guys are the ones making the most negative noise. I do think that hard copy books will be available, but they will change. They will be limited editions, sold as art for a price. They will have collectible value rather than practical value. I mean, who wants to tote around five books at once when you can tote all 300 on your Kindle?

Gavin: What can we expect from you over the rest of the year and going into next?

JulieAnn: I have a finish time for The Rub mid-February. I have previous novels such as Screwdriver and Princess Of The Blood that need re-writes and edits. Life In A NutsHell, my other YA needs lots of editing. I'm not worried about job security! Haha!
click to enlarge 15_The_crowd_awaits.jpg

Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to plug or promote?

JulieAnn: My two books available digitally are out. Falling Back To Earth and TDTM. Falling is about the eternal question of identity and how it plays out with a woman who believes she was kidnapped and her real identity erased. TDTM is about a prudish misanthrope who inherits a pornography empire from her wayward, estranged mother, Estella. Estella has a Q&A sex blog called Mom's Vice. I'm in the process of putting up Mom's Vice and it should be available any moment! I plan to have a writing blog through my publisher's website. That's under construction because they're revamping how they want it to work. They want it to be more interactive and not just a one-stop shop. Things are in progress Haha!. But I promise, if you want to find me, you'll be able to find me. I'm not going anywhere.


Follow Gavin's Underground:

Tags: ,

Pin It
Favorite

More by Gavin Sheehan

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

© 2014 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation