Julie Shelton

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 Julie has always loved stories, both reading and writing them, ever since she was old enough to hold a book in her hands. One of her favorite childhood activities was smuggling books under the covers to read by flashlight after she was supposed to be asleep. Another was writing little plays that she and her sister performed for their very patient parents. Her very first novel was about an amateur teenage girl detective and her two sidekicks—hmmm. Perhaps it was more than just a coincidence that she happened to be devouring all the Nancy Drew books at the time?

 After years of dead-end jobs, she finally wised up, finished college, and got a Master’s Degree in Library Science. A career as a children’s librarian eventually led to her dream career as a freelance storyteller and puppeteer, a business she operated successfully for twenty-five years. During that time she created and wrote all the original material for a monthly language arts newsletter full of poems, songs, puppet and flannel-board stories, fingerplays, and other resource material for early childhood educators. For that endeavor she won the prestigious EDPRESS Award for the best educational newsletter of 1982. She has also written other resource materials for preschool and early elementary teachers.

 After moving more than two dozen times in her life, Julie now lives in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. Now widowed and retired, she once again has time to devote to her two favorite things—reading and writing—especially her new love, erotic romances. Not a single amateur teenage girl detective in sight.

Q: What is your writing day like?

A: Since I am widowed and retired, and an inveterate night owl, I write at all times of the day and night. When inspiration strikes, I can go at it for hours, often forgetting to eat. I know it’s time for a break when my cat walks across the keyboard, making his own small contribution to my latest scene. That means I have to get up fast before he lies down on the keyboard and sends all my hard work out into limbo somewhere. As a total novice on the computer, that’s my biggest fear—losing all my hard work. Only because it has already happened to me—I somehow managed to erase an entire novel!

Q: Do you keep notes?

A: Copious notes. Reams of notes. Boxes and boxes of notes. That’s because I do mine the hard way—on 3 x 5 index cards, one note, scene, sentence, description, etc. per card. I wrote the entire first draft of a medieval romance novel on index cards—two shoeboxes full of index cards. It’s still in those shoeboxes, waiting to be immortalized in print.

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?

A: Everywhere. Everything I’ve ever seen, everything I’ve ever heard, everything I’ve ever read. That medieval romance still hangin’ out in those shoeboxes? The entire novel came to me just from seeing a blue dress worn by a minor character in the movie, Becket. It just burst into being, full-blown—I could hardly write it down fast enough.

Q: What do you do when you’re blocked?

A: I edit or revise the last chapter or pages that I wrote. I go through my notes, I try writing the opening scene of a new novel. It’s important to do something to try and push through the block.

Q: What do you do when a scene just doesn’t work?

A: I try like heck to keep it in and make it work, since, as any author knows, every word put to paper is pure gold. But, let’s get real. If I had kept every scene I ever wrote for Loving Sarah, the book would weigh 80 pounds. So the short answer is, you make a new document out of it and put it in stasis, hoping you can resurrect it later to use in another book.

Q: Do you do your writing at the computer?

A: I do now. All the other novels I’ve written (that have yet to be published), were either on the aforementioned note cards or written in longhand on legal pads. Lots of legal pads. I am in the glacially slow process of transcribing everything onto the computer—something else I do when I’m blocked.

Q: What do you do just for fun?

A: Writing is just for fun. But, in my increasingly diminishing spare time, I make jewelry out of handmade papers, polymer clay, cloth, fibers, and beads. I also make Christmas tree ornaments. I have sold these and other hand-crafted items at both local and national, juried art and craft shows.

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