Saturday, August 14, 2010

Interview & Giveaway: Author Julia Rachel Barrett

It is my pleasure to welcome author Julia Rachel Barrett to Michelle's Book Blog. :)

Julia Barrett has lived many lives, but the one central theme of each is her writing. She’s written prose and poetry since she was a child. She comes from a long line of men and women who love to read and write, starting with her beloved grandmother, a playwright. Julia has had articles published in medical and nursing magazines and poetry published in various literary journals. Now she writes romance in several genres, including science fiction, futuristic, paranormal, romantic-suspense and she dabbles in contemporary romance. (Source - Siren Publishing)

Julia's latest book is an Erotic Fantasy Romance: Daughter's of
Persephone I&II which is available from Resplendence Publishing.

Aja Bokinan, of noble blood, is the Thousand Year Empress who has grown to adulthood in exile. Throughout the Empire, women are banned from public life, have no legal rights, and have become little better than property.

In an attempt to kill off the royal line and end all resistance, Aja is kidnapped by a General who intends to inject her with a lethal virus, hoping she will infect her family and Women of the Blood everywhere.

Kyr Aram, is a smuggler and secret resistance fighter. He must find a way to protect Aja from both the General and a traitor on his own ship who wishes to see her dead. With the Thousand Year Empress, he gets more than he bargained for.

Tell us about Julia Barrett.

(JB) Hmmm. If you were to meet me, you'd think me quite shy. I'm not shy, just quiet. In 2007, I resumed a career I gave up a while ago, writing. I majored in Creative Writing at the University of Iowa, but despite receiving some attention as a poet, I realized I needed to eat and writing would not pay the bills, nor would it help support my son - I was a single mother. I returned to school to become a registered nurse, one of the more practical things I've ever done. Since that time, I've worked as a hospice nurse, become a pastry chef and owned a restaurant and catering business. I've lived all over the United States and spent a year overseas. I'm lucky enough to be married to the love of my life. We have three amazing children and a house full of animals.

(MBB) You write in several genre's: Erotic Science Fiction, Paranormal Romance and Contemporary Romance: Do you find one easier to write?

(JB) The truth is, not really. I write the stories that are in my head. Sometimes those stories are grounded in contemporary culture, sometimes in a future world or even on another world. I even dream stories from start to finish - Captured, which is a work of science fiction, was a dream. My Everything, a work of romantic suspense, came to me in a dream. All I had to do was write the words. I've been making up stories in my head since I was a little kid. The stories have just become more sophisticated as I've grown up.

(MBB) When writing Science Fiction, you get to create a world and populate that world any way you wish: Is that a daunting task - or do you consider it a challenge?

(JB) You've nailed the fun part! That's what I love about science fiction, creating a world from scratch and populating it any way I wish. The challenge is establishing your rules and sticking with them. A writer can create any bizarre world he or she chooses, but the world he or she creates must remain internally consistent. Every world, every dimension, has its rules - unless you create a world without rules, but then...that's a rule too! For instance, if you create...say...a character who is invisible at night, and he's always invisible at night, unless you come up with a dang good explanation, one that makes sense within your world, he better remain invisible at night.

(MBB) In Daughter's of Persephone I&II, your male and female lead have very distinctive names: How difficult is it to name your characters?

(JB) Oh, not hard. The problem I have is naming minor characters. Usually the names of my main characters and significant secondary characters come to me. A lot of my characters end up with Hebrew names, or names that are related to Hebrew words - Hebrew is my second language. It's very expressive and the names have lovely meanings.

(MBB) In the past, writing/reading an erotic novel was a naughty little secret: Do you find that erotic novels are more readily accepted by the mainstream reading public - and how has that effected you as a writer?

(JB) Reading erotic romance is still a naughty secret. Do you think someone would be caught dead reading Daughters of Persephone on a plane? There's a naked man on the cover! Of course I think the cover rocks, I'd read it anywhere, but that's me. With the invention of computers, laptops and e-readers, many people feel more comfortable buying and reading erotica. Right now, sales of all kinds of romance are growing. Why? Reading romance is fun, affordable, sometimes very quick - as in el-cheapo quickies you can read over your lunch hour - and you are almost always guaranteed a happy ending. Much of what I read in mainstream fiction is self-absorbed and depressing...right now there is enough bad in the world, enough stress. What's wrong with reading something that makes you feel good for the space of a few hours or a few days? I'm not sure how this affects me, other than to say I will keep writing what I consider to be quality fiction.

(MBB) In your day job you are a hospice nurse: My younger sister is a nurse, so I understand the rewarding/exhausting feeling you may get at times: Do you find your writing to be cathartic?

(JB) No. I find hiking my ass off to be cathartic. I have a new puppy so right now, m y hiking is down to every other day, but especially when I'm working the day job, I have to get out and hike for at least an hour and a half, regardless of the weather. I'm a bit obsessive about it. Hiking keeps me in shape, controls my stress, and clears my head. I think I do some of my best work - in my head - when I'm outside.

(MBB) Inspiration can be found anywhere: What inspires you?

(JB) I'm husband. Our love affair. It's like the stuff of dreams. Every hero I write ends up a version of him. But, my husband aside, I'm inspired by my life experiences - which have been varied. I've always been a bit of a risk taker. As my husband says, I'm impulsive. That attribute has led me down some pretty weird pathways. As a result, events from my life do occasionally end up in my stories.

(MBB) When not working, writing or hiking - do you read? What is your favorite genre and who are some of your favorite authors?

(JB) Oh my gosh...I read so much. When I'm working, I do not read romance. I read nonfiction. I don't want to be derivative. My current favorite author is Guy Gavriel Kay. The first book I read of his was, A Song for Arbonne. I just finished his recent release, Under Heaven. He is brilliant. Most of the time I'm reading history books, biographies. I love Sharon Kay Penman's works of historical fiction. Right now, I'm waiting for George R. R. Martin to finish his amazing series, A Game of Thrones. Other than the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it's the best work of fantasy I've read.

(MBB) And finally: I've recently read a "mash-up". This is when a contemporary a uthor takes a classic novel and adds paranormal elements: If you could take any of your characters and "mash" them into a classic novel - who would it be, what classic novel would you put them in, and why?

(JB) Well, I kind of do send a character back and 'mash' her into the ancient world in books three and four of Daughters of Persephone, Reborn and The Red Demon. One of my characters, Tem, otherwise known as The Red Demon, spends her time on ancient earth, flitting from place to place, time to time, appearing to her followers as any number of goddesses - Artemis, Kali,Persephone, Isis, Cybele...
If any of my characters could go back and fit into, say, Jane Eyre, it would probably be Gabriel Abbott from Beauty and the Feast. He's a bit like Rochester, he tends to take charge and thinks he knows best when it comes to the woman he loves. Fortunately for him, just like Jane, Eva Raines has other ideas.

For more information on author Julia Rachel Barrett - please visit her websites.

Julia Rachel Barrett

You can also find her work here:


Julia has generously offered one copy of her book Captured to one lucky commenter. :) I've just reviewed Captured and loved it.

Giveaway is open to all followers of this blog with a US mailing address. Just leave a comment or question for Julia along with an email addy so I can contact you when you win.

Winner will be chosen Tuesday 8-17-10.

I would like to thank Julia for her time and generosity. :)

Good luck everyone.



Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Thanks for hosting me, Michelle. It's always kind of odd to read your own words - it's like listening to a taped version of yourself - you never quite sound the way you see yourself!

Taylor Tryst said...

Awesome interview, Julia!

Love the new puppy, by the way. He's adorable. You just have to love shepherds.

Dottie (Tink's Place) said...

Hi Julia and Michelle!

Well, this is another new author to me, but one I'd like to try. Both of the books you've showcased here look interesting. Persephone is one of my favorite Goddess. And Captured is unlike most of the science fiction/science fantasy I've read.

Where's your favorite place to write? (love learning more about authors!)

Dottie :)

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Dottie - my favorite place to write? Lately it's in chair in my backyard so I can keep an eye on the puppy. It depends upon my day. Sometimes the kitchen table. I just made an office for myself in our extra bedroom, but haven't had time to move anything in yet - once I do it will be great! Occasionally I'll go to a coffee shop and write for a change of pace.
Thank you for asking!

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Thanks for stopping by, Taylor! Yeah, shepherds do rock! Busy busy boy!

Laurie Ryan said...

So it IS possible to write in multiple genres and be successful. Good to know because I have a fantasy romance rumbling around in my head I'm dying to try out. Great interview, Julia.

Blodeuedd said...

Lol, yes I do not think I would dare to read this one in public ;) I can almost not read PNR in public

jeanette8042 said...

Loved the interview! Captured sounds like an interesting read and I'm in love with the tattoo cover!


Linda Henderson said...

I have not read much futuristic or science fiction books, but this one certainly captured my eye. I would love to read either one of these books.

seriousreader at live dot com

JenM said...

Very interesting and in-depth interview. Julia, if you had to limit yourself to writing in only one genre, which one would you choose?

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Laurie - it is possible. Before I moved from contemporary and romance/suspense, someone in the business advised against it. I decided not to take their advice - for my own sake, because of what I wanted to do as a writer.

Blodeuedd - I'm willing to read almost anything. I draw the line at porn. I've had guys read over my shoulder when I'm working on my laptop while traveling, or reading a romance novel.

jeanette - thank you and I love tattoos too! I have two.

Linda - thank you! It's hard for romance readers to switch to science fiction romance. Captured is easy because the focus is on the relationship.

JenM - I write whatever comes into my head, but I think I'll be sticking with science fiction. I'm working on a two-book post apocalyptic series now. There will be romance in it, but probably not until the second book.

Steph said...

Michelle - I am thrilled to see a photo of Julia. She has become an online friend and it is so weird not to know what she looks like. Thanks for the thoughtful interview as well - well done!

Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust

Steph said...

Oh yeah, her books are steaming hot too!!!
Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Thank you, Steph! Your site is steamin' hot!

Beverly said...

Great interview! Congrats on making your life such a success and going back to writing!
Please enter me - I am an old follower - thanks for hosting!

Book Junkies said...


We gave you an award :)

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Thanks Beverly!

Michelle Greathouse said...

Thank you everyone for stopping by and making Julia feel welcome. :)


SusiSunshine said...

Don't enter me. I already had the pleasure to read the book.

Just wanted to say hi and tell you ladies that I loved the interview. It's so great to learn something new about the authors you love.
Great job ladies!

And seriously, isn't that a gorgeous pic. Me approves. ;)

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Thanks, Susi!