Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hangin' Out with Julie Cantrell!

I am so excited about today's author, mostly because she's a Southern gal like me.  :o)  Julie Cantrell has been lighting up the bestseller lists for her debut adult novel, Into the Free, most recently landing at #21 on the New York Times Bestseller List.  It is my honor to welcome this busy author to Southern Sassy Things today, and fair're gonna have a blast hangin' out with Julie!


Not including writing, what was your first job?

Like Millie in my novel Into the Free, I gathered pecans and sold them to my neighbors when I was very young. However, I donated all my money to my church mission fund. I had always dreamed of being a missionary and exploring the world. By the time I was ten years old, I started working at a snow cone stand. I’d ride the bus there after school and whip up rainbow-flavored treats until the tiny shop closed at night. I really can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t have a job. You name it, I’ve probably done it.

What is one movie that you could watch over and over again?

Chocolat. Seriously, you could run that 24/7 for the rest of my life and my eyes would never tire of Johnny Depp. Yummy!

If you could have any one superpower, what would it be?

Easy. I’d want to control Johnny Depp. Hmmm….

What food do you love, even though you know you shouldn’t?

Chocolate. Notice a theme here?

I do...scary.  ;o) 

Which magazine do you pick up when you’re stuck in a waiting room?

Oooh...I’m busted! You’ve unearthed my one guilty pleasure. I actually look forward to awkward medical/dental visits because it’s the only time I catch up on juicy articles from People. Of course, I hold it inside something that makes me look really intelligent like Architectural Digest. Admit it. You do that too.

Ah, you almost busted me...except I've given up on lookin' intelligent!

Have you ever met anyone famous?

Well, I happen to live in a town with lots of famous authors including Ace Atkins, Tom Franklin, Sam Haskell, Neil White, and many more. My town, Oxford, MS, is a wonderfully unique place that boasts a culturally rich literary community, and it’s not rare to see John Grisham (who has a house here) or Morgan Freeman in local hot spots. The famous Manning football family lives here as well (yes, I do mean Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning!), and we have other claims to fame too. For example, when we moved here, I lived next door to Miss Mississippi and across the street from Miss South Carolina Ideal Girl, so I am kind of used to being the odd duck of the bunch with my frizzy hair and bare feet. But I guess my first real star struck moment of meeting someone famous other than my own neighbors was during a live Thacker Mountain Radio show when I was booked to follow the infamous Kinky Friedman. This guy is a master. He’s toured with Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, you name it. And he’s hilarious. Then, there was me trying to stumble through my first live show. It was intimidating to say the least!

Well, when I get a hankerin' to see a celeb, I'll know where to come!  Good thing it's not too far of a drive for me.  

What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?

Wow…you really want the dish, don’t you? Are you sure you don’t work for People? Hmm…well, I totaled my very first car. You can certainly say I got into trouble for that! That was a very big faux pas. I still feel guilty about that.

Ha!  Now, I can finally say "busted!"  Yep, I work for People.  It's my side job.  Gotta find out why my byline is not showing up in the mag...

You’re next in line to audition for American Idol. What song do you sing for the judges?

First of all, God forgot I was supposed to be a rock star. I can’t carry a tune. At all. But it’s probably a blessing to the universe because my inner diva might just go wild. I guess if I ever made it to that iconic stage, I’d attempt one of my two favorite songs of all time. Either Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen or Imagine by John Lennon. Then, I’d be voted off immediately. But I’d sure live it up while it lasted. I’d flirt with Steven Tyler and give Randy a big hug because he’s from my home state of Louisiana. Then I’d ask Jennifer Lopez for all her beauty secrets and stand as close to her as possible hoping some of her lucky dust would rub off on me. I think she has enough to share, don’t you?

Surely she does.  *wink*


Julie, thank you SO much for stoppin' by today, and giving readers the opportunity to get to know you better!  I hope you'll come back for another visit soon.  :o)

If you'd like to connect with Julie online, visit her Facebook page, her Twitter page, or her website.

And now, for the icing on the cake!  You have the opportunity to win a copy of Julie's novel, Into the Free.  Simply fill out the form below in it's entirety before Tuesday, March 13th, 11:59pm CST.  A winner will be chosen Wednesday, March 14th.  Contest open to US residents only.

If you would like to leave a comment for Julie or about today's post, scroll down below the form to the comment section.  We always love good conversation around here!

Come back again next week to "hang out" with another great CF author!


  1. What a great post. I LOVE catching up on People in waiting rooms. That and US.

    I ADORE Chocolat. The sweet magical town with the ultra hottie. Love it.

    1. I have an addiction to visiting at least once per day. At least if I don't have the opportunity to read a book, I can say I've read something (although, I'm sure I'd be a lot smarter if I went to Fox News or something)!

      And still my heart! Such a great movie. *sigh*

  2. What a fun interview! Thanks for the smiles and for helping me discover another author to add to my reading list

    1. Kim,

      You are most welcome! Isn't it so much fun when we discover a new author? :)

  3. Thanks to Tamera Alexander for sending me this way! I loved the interview! Thanks for a chance to win. : )


    1. I am tickled pink that Tamera recommended today's interview with Julie...sounds like I need to thank her profusely! :o)

  4. I enjoyed your fun interview!! Chocoleteeee for me too!

  5. I have enjoyed reading Julie's work. It was a blast to find out that she is in my neck of the woods.
    Wonderful interview. I know this books will be good too.


I love your comments!! They make me happier than cold sweet tea on a hot summer day! :o)