Thursday, May 5, 2016

Author Julie Reece talks writing Book 2 vs Book 1 + a chance to win THE PALADINS

We are thrilled to bring you another successful author chat, this time with Julie Reece, author of THE ARTISANS and its recently released sequel, THE PALADINS.  Don't forget to scroll to the bottom of the post for a chance to win your own copy!

Without Further ado, please join me in welcoming Julie Reece to Thinking to Inking!

Hi Julie!  Thanks so much for joining us.

Thank you so much for having me here today. I’m really excited for the chance to talk about my new book.

How did the process of writing the second book (THE PALADINS) differ from the first (THE ARTISANS)? How did you make sure the two stories flowed together and built on each other?

This is a great question.

I tend to describe the first book (THE ARTISANS) as a (very) loose retelling of Beauty and the
Beast, and I actually wrote it as a stand=alone. The story poured out of me with zero writer’s block. I used the basic outline from the fairy tale to get a start—that is—until the plot took a hard left turn 1/3 into writing it. But that’s a story for another day. I had a blast creating my twisted fairy tale version of B and B. Start to finish, the manuscript took around four months to complete. I gave it to my agent, said goodbye to the characters and thought I was done.

Not so much. Because when Month9Books acquired the story, they asked me to write more books based on the new world I’d created. I can honestly say I was shocked. The story line seemed so clearly finished in my head. I couldn’t think where I would take these characters next. They had their happily-ever-after, didn’t they? What more could happen to them? Did I want to torture them further? I told my editor thanks, but I didn’t think that there wasn’t enough material to make a good sequel. Since I was green, and maybe a little slow on the uptake, the folks at Month9 were very patient and assured me they believed there was more to say.

Turns out they were right.

Writing The Paladins was a completely different experience. I didn’t have a concept, and the story took me a whole year to write. Where the first book came swiftly, I dug this one out of my heart slowly, using a very dull, metaphorical spoon. The funny thing is, that made me love this story even more. Maybe I’m weird, (okay, forget I said that) but it’s true. I don’t always appreciate things as much as I should when they come easily. Paladins made me work for it, and, as an artist, the journey was more satisfying for the effort. While writing, I realized that though the hero and heroine fought hard to be together in the first book, they still had a lot of baggage that they’d brought with them into their relationship. Baggage doesn’t simply evaporate when you’re in love. At least, not in my world. And the reality was their past issues were either going to bring them closer or rip them apart. In addition, there were supporting characters’ whose stories hadn’t been told yet, along with questions I’d left unanswered in book one.

I brought the two stories together based on those ideas. That happily-ever-after isn’t a guarantee. We have to work for what we love, maybe accept what we can’t change, and exercise some demons along the way. If The Artisans is twisted around the tale of Beauty and the Beast, I would describe The Paladins as Alice in Wonderland meets Labyrinth, only creepier. I should give readers fair warning that The Paladins is darker than the first book. And while I think the stories complement each other in style, they definitely have their own vibe. I hope you enjoy the story. It’s a wild ride and took it’s time getting here, but I’m really excited about the result. : )

Thank you again for having me here today! If you’ve read the book (or plan to read) I’d love for you to drop me a line on Twitter, Goodreads or IG and tell me what you thought. XOXO

Thank you Julie! I can't wait to read The Paladins!

About The Paladins:

The Paladins (The Artisans #2) by Julie Reece
Publication Date:  May 3, 2016, from Month9Books

The Artisan curse is broken. Souls trapped in a mysterious otherworld called The Void are finally released. Now, Raven Weathersby, Gideon Maddox, and Cole Wynter can finally move on with their lives...or so they thought. If the ancient magic is truly dead, then why are mystical fires plaguing Gideon at every turn? What accounts for Raven’s frightening visions of her dead mother? And who is the beautiful, tortured girl haunting Cole’s dreams?

Last year, a group of lonely teens sacrificed secrets, battled the supernatural, and faced their own demons to set one another free. Yet six months later, the heart of evil still beats within The Void. And the trio is forced to face the horrific truth: that their only way out is to go back in.

The Paladins completes this eerie YA Southern Gothic where loyalties are tested, love is challenged, and evil seeks them on the ultimate battlegrounds—in their minds, their souls, and their hearts.

Add it to GoodreadsGoogle Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

About Julie Reece

Born in Ohio, I lived next to my grandfather’s horse farm until the fourth grade. Summers were about riding, fishing and make-believe, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all.

I struggled with multiple learning disabilities, did not excel in school. I spent much of my time looking out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) I fought dyslexia for my right to read, like a prince fights a dragon in order to free the princess locked in a tower, and I won.

Afterwards, I read like a fiend. I invented stories where I could be the princess… or a gifted heroine from another world who kicked bad guy butt to win the heart of a charismatic hero. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Later, I moved to Florida where I continued to fantasize about superpowers and monsters, fabricating stories (my mother called it lying) and sharing them with my friends.

Then I thought I’d write one down…

Hooked, I’ve been writing ever since. I write historical, contemporary, urban fantasy, adventure, and young adult romances. I love strong heroines, sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. My writing is proof you can work hard to overcome any obstacle. Don’t give up. I say, if you write, write on!

Giveaway Information:  Contest ends May 20, 2016.  Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of The Paladins (The Artisans #2) by Julie Reece (INT)

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for inviting/having me on your blog today. I had a great time and you're all wonderful! XOXO