This morning I have the opportunity to introduce you all to author Julie K. Rose. Her second novel, Oleanna, was recently released and she is partaking in a blog tour to celebrate. Today she makes a stop here to answer a few questions. Please help me welcome Julie K. Rose! Read all the way through for a giveaway opportunity.
What was the inspiration behind this novel?
It all came from an image. I had been struggling with another book that just wasn't working, when an image came to me of a woman standing on a mountaintop, her long blond hair being whipped by the wind into her face. I came to realize quite soon that this was Norway, and that this was Oleanna, one of my great-grandfather's sisters. The characters and their personalities came to me quickly, and the tone and feel of the book was there from the start. The story itself grew and changed in the telling, and was strongly informed by the loss of my own mother earlier that year.
The setting of Norway is an unusual one in historical fiction. How did you select this locale?
As Norway is where Oleanna and Elisabeth actually lived, it was the natural place to set the book. But I also wanted to explore a time and a place not often seen in historical fiction. There are plenty of wonderful books set in Norway during the Viking and later medieval period (Sigrid Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy most notably) but I have not been able to find any others set in early 20th century Norway. Plus, I wanted to share my love for such a wonderful locale.
This is your second novel- how has the process been different this second time around? Anything you learned from the first book that helped with the second?
Oleanna was actually the fourth novel I've written, but the second published, and I've learned a lot. On the writing front, I've learned to both trust myself more, and be satisfied less. I've learned (I hope) how to really accept criticism and feedback. The first book was a whirlwind in a lot of ways, figuring it out as I went—and it was painful, let me tell you! In terms of publishing, I've learned to have a much thicker skin, and to appreciate the entire process—from idea to publication—a lot more.
Any future writing plans you can tell us about?
I'm working on a manuscript called DIDO'S CROWN, set in Tunisia, France, and England, primarily in 1935. It's a kind of literary historic thriller, and I'm deep in revisions as we speak. I'm also working on a novel set in California at the turn of the century, but that one's in the middle of being drafted, so I don't think I'll say more than that!
What aspect do you enjoy most about being an author?
It is really hard to choose one aspect. I love the spark and excitement of a new idea, falling in love with the story and the characters. I love learning about the story and the characters as I flesh them out. I'm learning to love the revision process. I enjoy the publication process, as well as promotion. Interacting with readers is amazing, though. Hearing from just one person that words I've written, characters I've created, moved them is a rush, a joy, and a privilege.
Julie K. Rose is an author of historic and contemporary fiction, and she is particularly interested in the intersection of the spiritual and secular, the supernatural and the everyday, the past and the present, and the deep, instinctual draw of the land.
She is a proud member of the Historical Novel Society, current co-chair of the HNS Northern California chapter, and former reviewer for the Historical Novels Review. She earned a B.A. in Humanities (SJSU) and an M.A. in English (University of Virginia), and lives in the Bay Area with her husband and cat Pandora. She loves reading, following the San Francisco Giants, and enjoying the amazing natural beauty of Northern California.
Oleanna, short-listed for finalists in the 2011 Faulkner-Wisdom literary competition, is her second novel. The Pilgrim Glass, a finalist in the 2005 Faulkner-Wisdom and semi-finalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards, was published in 2010.
For more information on Julie K. Rose, please visit her website.
I have one giveaway copy up for grabs and it is open internationally! The giveaway is open until April 21st. Make your entries through the Rafflecopter below.
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