Monday, October 18, 2010
Julie Lessman Interview!
You attribute your dream of becoming a writer to reading Gone With the Wind at a young age. What was it from this epic story (Scarlett’s sassy attitude, Rhett’s dashing good looks, the Civil War setting) that steered you toward writing?
GRIN … are you kidding??? The ROMANCE, of course!! Yes, Scarlett was sassy and selfish, but what drew me was the pull she had over Rhett—a man who wanted her but couldn’t have her. To me, seeing a strong male type like Rhett Butler “who wasn’t the marrying kind” give in and marry her because he loved her and wanted to cherish her, spoke volumes to me.
All of your characters are so realistic with ups and downs like everyone else. How do you manage to keep a balance between the good times, the bad times, and the romance in your novels?
DOUBLE GRIN … honey, all I do is emulate life (mine, anyway!) with its constant ups and downs, good times and bad, all tightly anchored by my faith in God and the romance in my own marriage, both of which keep me afloat through it all. As an EXTREMELY passionate person in every thing I do (whether it’s brushing my teeth with a vengeance, piping guest initials into twice-baked potatoes, or nearly getting arrested by Facebook for spam charges when I responded to too many comments too quickly at my Facebook Party last week), I tend to live a VERY dramatic life, much of which I breathe into my novels! I have to laugh at readers who liken my books to a roller-coaster ride because honestly, that’s everyday fare for me—in my mind, in my life, day in and day out—so I see it as normal for the most part. All I know is that my husband always says what Mitch Dennehy says about Charity in A Heart Revealed:
"Yes, she was a handful and challenging and infused his life with more drama than any woman he’d ever known, but life with Charity was never boring, never dry and always an adventure. She was the most passionate woman he’d ever met, loving her family, her friends—him—with an intensity that took his breath away."
I’ve heard rumors about a Marcy and Patrick prequel. Is this just a rumor, or is it actually a possibility?
Oh, it’s WAY more than a possibility, I can tell you that! I have this burning desire to get Marcy and Patrick’s story on paper, so I fully intend to, maybe after I finish Steven’s story, which is the last book in the “Winds of Change” series AND the last book about the O’Connor clan. I don’t know if it will be published, but to show you how serious I am, here is a glimpse of what I have in my mind:
A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW
An Irish Christmas Love Story
I am the light of the world:
he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,
but shall have the light of life.
— John 8:12
A Light in the Window is the prequel love story of Marcy and Patrick O’Connor whose discovery of each other is as turbulent as the era in which it takes place. The year is 1894, and following a decade of explosive industrial growth and immigration that Mark Twain called America’s “Gilded Age,” the nation plummets into the worst economic depression thus far. But in the midst of these trying times, in an O’Henry-style “Gift of the Magi” tale that wrenches the heart, one woman discovers that although two men have professed their undying love, only one has responded to “the light in the window.”
Your trademark for all of your novels is “passion with a purpose.” Have you ever considered writing a book that could help couples jazz up the passion in their marriages?
Okay, Christy, you’re making me laugh WAY too much here!! With zero training in counseling or psychology, the only thing I have to back me up is the success of a marriage literally “made in heaven” through the application of God’s precepts. Trust me, they work—HE works—when He is front and center in a marriage. It is my personal belief that most “normal” marriages (i.e. those not involving spousal abuse, infidelity, addictions, etc.) can become passionate love affairs between mates when one or both parties diligently apply God’s precepts. Period. And when that marriage lines up with His precepts, I guarantee you from personal experience, the result is PASSION galore!!
When you’re not writing or popping up all over the web, what do you love to do with your free time?
Oh, you mean how I USED to spend my free time? That’s easy: watching old movies (Gone With the Wind, That Touch of Mink, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Susan Slept Here are some of my favorites), reading more books, gardening and hosting elaborate dinner parties a la Martha Stewart. I’m pretty driven in whatever I do (anal might be a better word). And, yes, I’ve been known to cut napkin rings out of real lemons to hold lemon green beans as well as make a toasted almond-encrusted, dark/milk/white-chocolate streuseled bowl just to HOLD the white-chocolate mousse I was making, all of which would sit in a pool of raspberry sauce!
Which … was fine when I was younger and had the energy to do it, but these days, sitting at my computer with a candle burning and a cup of Hazelnut Cinnamon coffee is my pastime of choice. Although … I do enjoy occasionally lying out in the sun while listening to oldies, bike riding on the Katy Trail, chatting with friends and family around the fire pit on our lower deck, or just dinner out with people I love.
Where can readers find you on the web?
I LOVE to hear from readers, so they can contact me through my Web site at http://www.julielessman.com/, either by sending an e-mail via my site or by signing up for my newsletter at http://www.julielessman.com/sign-up-for-newsletter/. My newsletter is chock-full of fun info on my books and there’s always a contest featuring signed book giveaways including one right now to have a character named after you or a loved one in my next book. Also, I have a cool feature on my website called “Journal Jots” (http://www.julielessman.com/journal-jots/), which is a very laid-back, 3-or-4-times-weekly journal to my reader friends that would give your readers an idea as to my relaxed style of writing. Then finally, I can be found daily at The Seekers blog (http://seekerville.blogspot.com/), a group blog devoted to encouraging and helping aspiring writers on the road to publication.
Thank you, Christy, for hosting me on your blog—it’s been fun!
God bless and hugs,
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Julie, for making this reader’s dream come true, and sharing some time with me today! I hope you’ll stop back by again soon! :o)
Now, the fun begins!! Julie is offering to give a way one signed copy of any of her four books to one special reader. To sign up for the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post with your email address so that we can reach you. No email addy...no entry. Be sure to get your comments in before October 29th, and US addresses only, please.