Thursday, March 13, 2014

Checking In with Julie Clements

It's been a busy week here at the blog, and that doesn't stop as we begin the slide into the weekend.  As we head for home plate, I'm pleased to welcome an author to the blog to highlight what it's like to not only write novels for a living - but to also balance that with a writing day job.  Let's give a warm welcome to fellow indie, Julie Clements.

DAB:  Was there a point in your life that prompted your desire to write or have you always wanted to be an author?

JC:      I have always loved to write since I can remember. When I was a child I would take my note pad and pencil and sneak around the outside of our house peering in windows to see "what crimes were being committed." After investigating the crime, I would go in and write the story. I would do this all summer. I also liked writing skits for me and my friends to perform.

DAB:  So what I hear you saying is you were a Peeping Tom all summer, is that it?

JC:      I guess you could say that, but I don't think it counts since it was my own house.  Just don't turn me in.

DAB:  Where do you come up with ideas for your novels?

JC:      No where specifically. They just pop into my head. Usually I will be working on something else when another idea will come to me. If I can't stop thinking about it for a few weeks, I know I'm going to have to write it. 

DAB:  Tell us about a typical day in your writing world.

JC:      I also work full time as the editor of my local newspaper. It is a small staff, so I write a lot of the stories. After I get home from work, then I find time to work on my novels. How much I get done in the evenings usually is affected by how many stories I had to write at work that day.

DAB:  Do you write full-time or part-time?

JC:      I am managing editor of the Butler County Times-Gazette. It's a great job that lets me meet numerous people in and around the area, as well as learn about a vast variety of topics. I often find a lot of that knowledge helps out in my novels later. It also allows me to do what I love at work -- write.

DAB:  So you write all day and then write again in the evening.  Do you ever get tired of writing?  How do you find time to get anything done around your house?

JC:      I have to admit, some days I get home and the last thing I want to do is write more, but usually I am excited to get back into my story. It's a completely different kind of writing. As for the house, well...I try to find a little time.

DAB:  What kind of research practices do you utilize for writing?

JC:      It depends on what I am writing about. If I can, I base my stories in places I have been, whether where I live or places to which I have traveled. If I choose a different location, I will use the Internet to research the area, such as scenery, landmarks, etc. If my topic gets into an area I'm not real familiar, I also will research that. An example of this is in my first novel, "The Eleventh Hour," where it deals with DNA and medical experiments. I did a lot of research to decide exactly what I wanted to be happening in my novel.

DAB:  Have you ever experienced writer's block?

JC:      Sure. If I can't get past it one day, I'll put the novel away and do something else, such as work in my garden. I usually find if I put it out of my mind for a while, the next time I sit down to write, the writer's block is gone.
DAB:  There's the eternal debate whether to outline or not.  What is your preference?

JC:      I prefer not outlining my story. I usually know how it starts, where it will end and have a general idea of how I'm going to get there. The fun part of writing is the ride it takes you on. I discover the story as I write, which keeps me going so I can see what happens next. If I get to a chapter where I seem to be stuck on how to keep the story moving ahead I will do a rough outline just to get back on track.

DAB:  Do you belong to a critique group?  If so, tell us a bit about it.

JC:      I belong to GK Brainstormers. It is a critique group that was formed from a novel writing class. They are a great support group and inspiration to keep writing. They provide valuable insight into my story and offer suggestions I may not have thought of. It's also great just to get together with other writers and share ideas. We've become good friends over the years.

DAB:  Usually authors are also avid readers - what are you currently reading?

JC:      I'm currently reading "Lone Survivor" by Marcus Luttrell. I had heard a lot of great reviews of the movie when it came out. I didn't make it to see the move, so I decided to check out the book.

DAB:  What are some things you’ve done to get the word out about your novel(s)?

JC:      I have a writing blog, as well as have done a lot of promotion on Facebook Twitter, and of course, word of mouth locally.

DAB:  Care to tell us what is next on your writing horizon?

JC:      I was going to start the third novel in my series, but one of those "other" ideas wouldn't leave me alone, so I have started a different novel, "Past Regrets." It tells the story of a man who is running from the mistakes he has made in his past and that lands him back in his home town where he is forced to face the things he has done in order to turn his life around.

DAB:  Now’s your chance – give us the final plug for your novel.

JC:      I have two, "The Eleventh Hour" and "Double Time." Full of mystery and danger, they tell the story of Tad Moreland, who in the first novel finds a young girl who's family has mysteriously disappeared and he has to reunite them. This leads him to a web of deceit and medical experimentation. In "Double Time," Tad's investigation into a house fire, brings more questions than answers. Too late to back out, Tad finds things spinning out of control as his home is torn apart in a search and his daughter disappears. He sets out to get to the truth -- discovering tales of murder, deception and cloning along the way. Both novels are available as e-books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords. You can find "The Eleventh Hour" at or  You can find "Double Time" at or

There you have it then, dear readers!  Thanks to Julie for providing this insight into what it means to write, write, write.  Some days I should take a cue from her and just keep at it, I think.  Good luck on The Eleventh Hour and Double Time.  I look forward to seeing Past Regrets soon too.

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