Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Author Spotlight: Julia Laque


Hello, Julia!  Welcome to the Black Rose Blog’s author spotlight segment. We are excited to learn more about you.  Pull up a comfy chair and grab some snacks and let's get chatting!!!

What inspired you to write your first book?

 
My first manuscript was a contemporary novel loosely based on my life.

During a sleepless night in college I tossed and turned, anxious over a big teacher exam the next day. That night, my first novel presented itself. The whole story! It was amazing. From that moment on, story upon story would keep me up at night beginning my days as an insomniac. I was truly overwhelmed with ideas that I didn’t know where to begin. I started a journal to record all my stories, but it would take years for me to finally put my first to paper.

 Once I finished my first manuscript, I immediately began researching publishers. Unfortunately, I started this process when the recession hit. I received great feedback, but no contract. One publisher suggested I find what’s hot on the market and throw my hat in the ring. Trueblood and Twilight were all the rage and I thought, why not try out fantasy?

I had just finished a paranormal series and being the avid reader that I am, was sad to see it come to an end. That night, an image of a beautiful woman and a werewolf sitting by a tree came to mind and I knew the brute had kidnapped her. It was amazing how fast this world came to me. For several weeks it felt like I was watching a long movie in my head, wondering what would happen next. Tortured Soul, my first novel was born.

I can say with all honesty that I am happy that the stories kept coming and you kept writing.  We look forward to seeing more of your stories in the future.

How many books have you written?

I’ve written two books. My first, This Moment was shelved when I could not get it published. Funny thing is, I want to keep it there. This story is so personal to me, that I’m happy to keep it to myself. My second, Tortured Soul is published and set to release in September. I am currently working on my third, the next book in the Tortured series.

Isn't it funny how sometimes the words need to find their way onto the page not for readers but for ourselves?  I am anxiously awaiting the continuation of the Tortured Series.  You  did a wonderful job of tying up the first part of the story while leaving us wanting more!!!

When was the first moment you felt comfortable saying, “I am a writer?”

 This is still hard for me. I feel like a fraud every time I say it, which is not often. Once I have my first novel in my hands (my author copy is on its way) I will say those words again and hopefully really feel like one.

You are definitely not a fraud!!!  A lot of authors struggle with this feeling and I think it is completely normal.  But you ARE a writer and one with a soon-to-be-released book!!!!

What type of stories do you like to write and why?

Romance baby! Growing up I was always boy crazy and a hopeless romantic. Writing romance gives me a chance to have fun with the hero and heroine and describe my most hidden desires and experiences. ; )

There is something exciting about being the one in charge of creating a romance!!!  The ultimate match-maker and who wouldn't love crafting romantic moments and fulfilling fantasies!!

What type of stories do you like to read and why?

Romance, of course. I’m also a big fan of fantasy. As a teacher, I love to read anything with magic and dragons.

I would have LOVED having you as a teacher when I was a kid and so would my children!!!  There doesn't seem to be enough fantasy-loving teachers out there in the world.

When do you write (daytime, nighttime, on your lunch hour, before the kids get up, after everyone is asleep?  In large chunks of time or stolen snippets?)

Although I try not to do this too much, I always end up writing at night. Every time I do, though, that little clock on the corner of my computer jumps from 9:00 to 3:00 way too quickly. I get ideas at weird times of the day. If I’m at work, I’ll send myself a quick email. If I’m out, I’ll jot it down in my notes app on my iphone. My favorite time to write, however, is on a Saturday afternoon with a steaming hot cup of coffee.

Isn't it funny how time seems to run away when you are immersed in writing?  I like how you've woven writing into your everyday life with the assistance of modern technology :)

Are you someone who can write on demand? Or do you have to stew and coax an idea before you sit down and write?  Or maybe you write when the muse knocks you upside your head?

Considering my tight schedule, I have no choice but to write on demand. I don’t start a story unless I have completed an outline, so I basically know what I’m going to write. When I sit at the computer my characters take the lead and I just type.

Ahhh... an outline type of girl.  I admit to being horrible at outlines and even resorted to creating them AFTER finishing assignments back in my school days.  I truly admire those who can sort out their thoughts prior to putting their fingers to the keyboard!!!

Where do you write?

I write at home in my office. Surrounded by blue walls, my desk faces the window where I sit for hours staring out at nothing. My cocker spaniel is the only one allowed in there. The hubby was banned when I started on book three. He’d disrupted the flow one too many times and being the understanding guy that he is, he’s complied.

LOL!!!  Do you have a sign on the door that says no hubby allowed???   I've often thought about putting one of those up myself when I am working. 

How do you come up with your title and main characters’ names?

Most of my characters pretty much introduce themselves to me, their names coming right out. I don’t have a hard time finding names. Adam is one of my favorite names for a boy so it was only fitting to name my hero this. The few times I have had a hard time, I searched online for ones with meaning. For instance, Cyrus means lord, which fits a vampire king.

A friend suggested the title, Tortured Soul, although she didn’t know it at the time. When I was jotting down the outline one evening, she texted me to go check out a band called Tortured Soul. I can’t remember if I ever texted her back, but I loved the name and wrote it down. I never saw the band that night. Once I got my contract, I did listen to their music on itunes and toasted them with a glass of wine.

That is wonderful that you don't struggle for names and an interesting turn of events with the title of Tortured Soul as the title truly does fit the story. 

Do you put pieces of yourself or your life in your stories?

Tortured Soul is set in Illinois where I live, but other than that, not really. My hero and heroine do share a frozen pizza and my husband and I simply love a good Tombstone at least twice a week.

Everyone should enjoy a nice frozen pizza now and then!!!  Though your characters do it with much more passion and zing then you find at my dinner table!!!

How long did it take you to get your first project sold?  And was the project your first actual completed manuscript?

Tortured Soul was not my first completed novel. My first is shelved and the more time passes, I’m thankful it did not get picked up. It was loosely based on my life, and I’d rather not share those memories now, as some were not so nice. I finished Tortured Soul in January of 2012 and signed my contract in July.

While I can completely understand your feelings about keeping your first work private and on your personal shelf I am very glad you decided to take a chance and share Tortured Soul with us!

Do you use music as a motivational source when writing?

When I write I always listen to classical music. I can’t listen to music with lyrics because I either start singing or dancing.

I can't help but smile at the thought of you suddenly jumping from your chair and dancing around the room.  Now we know the real reason you've locked hubby out!!!  :)

You have an upcoming release from The Wild Rose Press don't you? Can you tell us a bit about it?  
 

 Why, yes I do. Tortured Soul will be released September 13, 2013. (My grandmother’s birthday.) It’s a contemporary paranormal romance about a werewolf falling head over heels for a human.

Fun question (possible blackmail material down the line, LOL) What is the most uncharacteristic thing you have ever done? Please, no censoring? I have no qualms about placing a content warning on my blog!

No comment! ; )

Ahhh... well maybe with your next release we can delve deeper and find out the answer to that question!!!

Do you have any goodies you'd like to share with our readers?  

I do!!!  I have a signed copy of Tortured Soul ready to go out to a reader.  I love reader feedback and would love to hear from you.  Please leave a comment and I will choose a name at random (maybe even let hubby choose it!!!).
 

BIO:

Julia Laque holds a B.S. in Education and an M.A. in School Administration. She is entering her tenth year of teaching fourth graders while working on her next novel. She lives in Chicago, Illinois with her family.

Visit Julia at

Website - www.julialaque.com

Twitter - @julialaque

Facebook – Julia Laque

Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7144942.Julia_Laque

BLURB:

After Evangeline Wolcott learns her family is in trouble with the Vampire King of North America, she reluctantly agrees to marry the blackmailing vampire in an attempt to save them from financial ruin. This act spurs Adam Perez, the King's avowed enemy, into action.

Adam, leader of the Blacktail werewolf pack, believes Cyrus kidnapped his sister in retaliation over attacks against his coven. Fueled by hatred for this fiend, Adam takes something of his, a spirited beauty who sets his soul on fire.

Wrought with grief over her predicament, Evangeline soon finds herself falling for her enigmatic captor. Will Adam and Evangeline's love prevail when she is destined to belong to his enemy?

EXCERPT:

Adam walked into the bathroom and shut the
door to keep the warm air in. “I told you to call me if
you needed anything,” he said roughly as he grabbed
the towel from the hook and threw it over his shoulder.
He stepped to the tub, keeping his eyes leveled on her
face and reached out to help her up.

She jerked away from him. “Wait.” Her wide eyes
met his. A flush filled her high cheekbones as she
licked her succulent, wet lips. She had no idea how
damn provocative her simple action was and he went
hard instantly. Thank God he was hunched over.

“Aren’t you going to close your eyes?”

He snorted. “Then I won’t see what I’m grabbing.
Besides, it’s nothing I haven’t seen before.”

“You haven’t seen me!” she said angrily, her eyes
blazing.

Yet, he thought. He shook his head. What the hell
was wrong with him? “Fine. I’ll close my eyes and you
lead my hands, but if I knock you into the sink, it’s your
own fault.”

“Okay,” she uttered meekly.

He closed his eyes and felt her pull his hands into
the water and place them on her rib cage. She fit
perfectly in his hands and he took his time lifting her
out of the water, reluctant to let go of her sleek, soft
skin. When he set her down, he let go unwillingly and
grabbed the towel from his shoulder, holding it out to
her with his eyes still shut.

She took it from him. “Thank you. You can open
your eyes now.” Evangeline stood before him with the
beige towel wrapped around her torso, her hair dripping
wet, sending droplets down her shoulders.

This woman would be the death of him.

 

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