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Good morning, Booklovers!

Julia Joseph, author of YA paranormal fiction, is with us today! So grab your favorite morning drink (or whatever time it is where you live) and sit back for a little book talk with other avid readers.

How do you take your coffee, Julia?

I absolutely adore a good caramel macchiato, but I’ve got severe stomach issues.  Boo.  So, I’ll have to settle for a nice mint tea, if you’ve got one.  No sugar, no milk.  Just some hot minty goodness.  Thanks!

Ally: My magic pot will pour anything you want. So please tell people something about yourself, including a fact that isn't in your official bio.


Julia Joseph taught Theatre for nine years in Texas middle and high schools, where she wrote and produced three original plays for her students.  In 2011, Joseph left teaching to devote all of her energy to her own children and to writing a novel.  She earned her B. A. in English Literature and Language with a focus in Drama from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. 

Julia spends most of her free time reading, writing, and chauffeuring her kids between activities.  She lives happily with her husband and two children wherever the Army happens to station them.

Extra fact: 
Only people who know me well know that I come from a HUGE family.  I’m the youngest of nine children and was born one week before my parents’ 20th anniversary.  I’ve got 20 nieces and nephews (about half of which are within ten years of my own age).

Find Julia Joseph--

Friend on FB:
FB page:
Twitter:  @juliajoseph7

Ally: Why did you select Young Adult fiction as your writing niche? What about the characters or the themes particularly appealed to you?

JULIA:  I write YA because I’ve dedicated most of my life to young people—even when I was one myself.  It was weekly routine that I babysat my nieces and nephews.  They spent almost as much time at my parents’ house as they did their own.  I spent many hours at my elder siblings’ homes as well, just to be with them and their kids.  I went to college at 17, and there was never a doubt as to whether I’d become a high school teacher.  I spent my summers working at day camps and started teaching as soon as I graduated at 22.  Kids are my life.  Writing was just another way I could try to help them get through those crummy teen years and the horrors so many of them unfortunately face at such a young age.

Ally:  How long did it take you to get published? What was your journey like?

JULIA:  The quest for my first publishing contract only lasted about a year—a blessing, I know.  But that doesn’t mean my ride was easy.  For me, the most arduous part of the journey was actually finishing my first book.  I had it about 75% completed when a debilitating disease ravaged my life, and it took doctors about three years to get that under some kind of control.  Once it was, my critique group spent another year convincing me to submit my MS in earnest.  (And, yes, part of my official bio is a lie.  I really left teaching because my doctors and my health forced me to, but that’s a bummer for a public profile, isn’t it?  Lol.)

Ally:  How do you name your characters and choose their character strengths and flaws?

JULIA:  Choosing character names is so much fun.  I love it!  For my first book, I used a lot of family names.  My girls are of Arab descent, and, let’s face it, there’s not a lot of everyday inspiration for Middle Eastern names floating around west Texas.  Sometimes, I’ll use the name of someone who’s touched my life or I’ll ask my kids for suggestions.  Other times, I’ll use baby name books.  Always, though, the name has to have deep meaning (either for me or on its own).

Ally:  What comes first when you start writing a first draft: characters, plot or setting? Why?

JULIA:  Characters come first for me.  Why?  Because they’re the easiest!  I get people.  I know what makes them tick.  Maybe that’s from growing up in a house full of so many or it could be the years I spent as an actress and director.  Either way, characters come to me easily.  Plot is so much harder.  It takes me forever to figure out where my books are going and get the journey just right.  Oh, and the setting is a no-brainer for me.  I set everything I write in my hometown of El Paso, Texas, or nearby southern New Mexico.  (We need all the good publicity we can get, okay?)

Ally: Let's see if we can get to know you better through some quick answer questions.

  • last meal you actually cooked:  Gluten free green cheese enchiladas (my baby girl has celiac disease, so everything I cook these days is GF.)
  •  where did you spend your last birthday? Went to lunch with the hubby.  When he asked me why we’d made the special trip, the kids could only look at him sadly, shaking their heads.  (I laughed my butt off at his ensuing distress.  It was a lot of fun for me.  Does that make me a bad person?!)
  • do you have pets?  We’ve got two mutts in our house—B.D., a thirteen year old blind and deaf herding mix, and Trajan, a seven year old terrier type who thinks an awful lot of himself.  (It might be the name…)
  • an item on your bucket list:  I want to travel more.  I’ve already been to the Middle East and all over the U.S., so I’m thinking a cruise in the Caribbean or a tour of Europe…
  • What one food would you want delivered to you on a deserted island?  Chocolate.  Always chocolate.

Ally: It's been a pleasure having you for coffee, Julia. Thanks for coming. Now let take a look at the all important book spotlight...

Born into a family of Guardians—extraordinarily gifted humans who battle demons to protect mortal souls—seventeen year old Rose Kazin is relieved that she shows no signs of being blessed with her family’s supernatural talents.  When she and her father figure, an age old celestial Warrior, are horribly wounded in a demonic ambush, Rose awakens to find a younger Warrior, Ouriel, has volunteered to stand in as her protector.  She rails against his presence, but Ouriel seems interested in only one thing—teaching Rose how to protect herself from the demons she was never supposed to fight.

Genre: YA paranormal

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B & N:

Thanks to everyone for joining our chat. I hope you visit again soon!



07/23/2014 4:20pm

Thank you so much for letting me stop by! I had a great time.

07/24/2014 12:28am

My pleasure, Julia! Drop by again. :)

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