Happy Sunday you guys!
Awesomeness is happening over here today!! You lot know Julie Hutchings, right? Well I was lucky enough to snag an interview with her!! Julie is here to talk to us about her debut novel Running Home…
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m odd, but not awkward. Married my best friend from high school, got myself 2 incredible little boys. Before that I got myself a black belt, and some fighting titles and was in the Junior Olympics. I peddled panties for Victoria’s Secret for ten years. I’m a reptile expert. I once met Sir Mix-a-Lot and at a different time, the Donald. I could eat pizza for every meal of the day and never look back. I feel that the honey mead Red Dress is the alcoholic beverage made for me, but never ever ever get to have it. I know every line of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I am obsessed with paper products and office supplies. I wish I were Snow White, but I feel as though I look like Ted Nugent in all photographs.
How long have you been a writer?
5th grade was the first time I wrote something that I really agonized over, crumpling up page after page of words if I misspelled something. My teacher, Mr. Waterhouse, was the first one to tell me and my parents that I had real talent.
What do you like to get up to when you’re not writing?
Kids. Kids. The kids. And my husband. We just love hanging out and watching movies in our pajamas with popcorn. I’m such a movie watcher. Not a film buff, a movie watcher. I drink, too. I’m a social girl. We all know this. I still practice martial arts all by my onesies. (hints at need for sparring partner)
Tell us what are you reading right now?
Kristen Strassel’s Night Moves is what I’m beta reading (shameless plug), and Wesley Chu’s The Lives of Tao.
And now, The Book…
Give us the cheats guide to Running Home….
Okay, okay. It’s not the love story it looks like it will be. Romance is not what this book is about. And the way you see all of the characters will likely change quite a bit by the end of the book. The really cool stuff is in the Japanese mythology of the Shinigami, if you ask me, the reason why vampires exist, what feeding does to them, the way they are tied together, and the way new vampires are made. But I’m not telling you a whole lot more than that.
How long did it take you to write? Tell us a little bit about your journey from first draft to publication?
I had no idea I was going to pursue this book to publication when I started it…SIX YEARS AGO. I wrote it because yes, there were a lot of inspirations to it from the outside, but I was able to write it because of the emotional depth I grew to when I had my first baby. That’s when it started. I wrote the entire book longhand, in a hundred notebooks, then transferred it once done on my laptop, that I bought especially for that reason! When I started doing that it was when I teamed up with my old friend, Kristen Strassel to work on her book idea with her, and we pushed each other to the bitter ends of revisions and drafts to querying, and rejections, and finally to Running Home being published with Books of the Dead. I had written a flash fiction zombie bit for the BOTD blog, and James Roy Daley was in one of his rare open submission periods for full length novels. He asked me to submit the book to him, and he was into it, and wanted to get behind it. I’m the only woman of the 7 authors being published this summer with BOTD. Makes me proud.
Do you base your characters on people you know in real life?
Kat started to take on some Kristen like qualities as I edited, to no surprise. Truth be told, the only character really based on anybody is Ellie. She and I are frighteningly alike in all deep, dark ways. Her terror of losing the people she loves to death. The feeling that she was always meant for something bigger that didn’t really fit in this world. All of these feelings were intensified when I had the first baby, and they came out in Ellie. The scene where she tries to separate from Nicholas and it puts her into agonized fits is based on how I felt every single time I left my baby to go to work all day. Right up until he was three years old, it made me physically ill. Ellie helped me through all that. (And that, right there is something I don’t tell many about.)
What are you currently working on?
Oooooh, I am rounding the end of finishing a novel called The Harpy about a girl named Charity whose terrible life and emotional turmoil evolve her into a vengeful monster with a very questionable mission. I will soon be editing The Animal as well, a novel that I needed to break up with for a little while. I finished it, and it needed some alone time before editing. But I certainly do love that book, and am dying to get my claws back into it. And of course, I’ll be diving head first into the sequel to Running Home, which I have great head start on. Long answer, short question.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?
Oh, me and Kristen went to an abandoned insane asylum in the middle of the night when we were doing our March Madness blog series. It was creepy as hell, and we are both ready to go back in daylight without snow on the ground. We need certain materials to gain closer access. If you know what I mean.
If you could co-author a project with anyone in the world (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
Oh wow. Who wouldn’t want to co-write with Edgar Allen Poe, but I think that would send me spiraling into insanity. My real dream would be to co-write with Simon R. Green. His Nightside series blows my mind. All of his work does. It’s perfect to me. I would love to throw my weirdness in the ring with his imagination.
Death hovers around Ellie Morgan like the friend nobody wants. She doesn’t belong in snowswept Ossipee, New Hampshire; she doesn’t belong in the frigging gift shop she works at, she doesn’t belong with people that death will always take from her, and she definitely does not belong at this black tie party with Kat. But that is where she is, and where he is. Nicholas French, the man who mystifies her with a feeling of home she’s been missing, and impossible knowledge of her troubled soul.
Nicholas followed an abomination that is one of his own, but soon finds fate has driven him to New Hampshire as more than a bystander. He reveals himself to Ellie as being of the Shinigami, a heroic vampire order that “save” their victims from more tragic ends. He knows why Ellie is human repellent, and why physical agony grips them when apart. The Shinigami are cornered into isolated human lives, plucked out when they have no one left to be created for their higher purpose. Ellie is destined to be a legendary Shinigami, and Nicholas her creator.
Nicholas and Ellie’s fates intertwine closer when his latest victim in waiting turns out to be the only person who tethers her to this world, Kat. Fate will not be ignored, and in the only real choice Ellie has made in her life, she must determine a horrifying path; let the vampire who would make her a hero wither to shreds or sacrifice the life of her closest companion.
Add Running Home to your Goodreads TBR: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17977192-running-home?ac=1
About the Author:
Julie’s debut novel, Running Home, an Urban Fantasy giving you vampires with a Japanese mythology twist will be published by Books of the Dead Press July 22nd, 2013. In the meantime, the Muscle and Wildcard of the Undead Duo is working on the sequel, Running Away, and a new and fun freakshow called The Harpy. Fear not, the Egyptian sex god, The Animal, patiently awaits a second draft. Julie revels in all things Buffy, has a sick need for exotic reptiles, and drinks more coffee than Juan Valdez and his donkey combined, if that donkey is allowed to drink coffee. Julie’s a black belt with an almost inappropriate love for martial arts. And pizza. And Rob Zombie. Julie lives in Plymouth, MA, constantly awaiting thunderstorms with her wildly supportive husband and two magnificent boys.
Connect with Julie:
On Twitter: Twitter: @hutchingsjulie
Via her Publisher: www.booksofthedeadpress.com
Or shoot her an email: firstname.lastname@example.org