Julianne MacLean is a USA Today best-selling, award winning, author of over ten historical romance novels. Rich in atmosphere and extensive period research—readers are quickly pulled into her emotion-packed stories. Please join us as we find out more about Julianne.
Tell us how you became a writer.
I think most of us who are writers were born as writers, but many of us didn't know we would do it professionally until later in life. From the time I was twelve I kept a diary, and when things would happen to me during the day, I would feel a rush of excitement about writing it all down at bedtime. (I reread those old diaries recently, and was surprised to discover they were quite a set of page turners!) Nevertheless, when I went to university I didn't set out to be a writer. I majored in English simply because it was my favorite subject, and passionately so. Maybe I was a bit thickheaded, because even after that, I went for a degree in Business Administration so I could get a "real job." Let me tell you, that didn't last long. I was an auditor for about three years before I lost my mind and gave up all that numerical glamor to become a writer. Finally. (Though I must confess, the business degree has helped me with the business end of writing.) If you think you're a writer at heart, check your palm. You might find the "Writer's W."
How long did it take you to get published?
That was a long, hard road. It took me six years and four unpublished novels and many difficult rejections. But I kept learning and growing, and finally my fifth book sold to Harlequin. But it was never a chore. I loved every minute of those six years. I was incredibly fulfilled during all of it, and I still am.
Tell us about your books.
I write historical romance set in the late-Victorian period, and just finished a series about American Heiresses in England searching for titled husbands. It started out as a trilogy about three sisters, but there were three more spinoff books about some of the secondary characters who took on lives of their own - as characters so often do! The last book in that series was SURRENDER TO A SCOUNDREL, which came out in January 2007.
I've now begun a brand new series (the Pembroke Palace Series), and the first book, IN MY WILDEST FANTASIES, is about the heir to a dukedom - Devon Sinclair - who betrayed his family in the past and is reluctantly returning home after a three year exile. He arrives home to discover that life at the palace is falling apart. His brother despises him and his father is losing his marbles and believes they are all cursed. Meanwhile a woman who has idolized Devon since she was a girl sets out to become his bride, but the last thing he wants to be is anyone's hero. He's the kind of man who is born to lead, but resists the notion until a very passionate woman steps into his life and makes it impossible for him to deny his destiny - as both her hero and lover. I would say it's a book about fate.
What's your writing schedule like? Do you write every day?
A writer's schedule is never the same, which is what I love about this career. Some days I'm writing the first draft of a book, which I do with great fervor, 5-10 pages a day until it's finished. Then I spend time rewriting which is a very different task, and again, it's full-time days and very intense. But to break that schedule up, edits and galleys are always coming and going, interrupting the writing on the current book. And between books, I have to plot future books, write synopses, and turn them in to my editor. And let's not forget the promotion an author has to do when a book is coming out. I just finished my first video trailer which was definitely a departure from my usual workday.
A video trailer? Really? Tell us about that.
Video trailers are becoming the new hot promotion tool for authors these days, and authors are having them produced for their websites or other sites like You Tube. They can vary in format, but I decided to go with live action. We hired professional actors and a crew, wrote a script and rented costumes and designed a Victorian set. It was quite the undertaking! I was fortunate to have some very talented contacts in the local film community where I live, so I just put everything into their hands. One of the producers worked with Roman Polanski in Germany, so it was easy to trust the crew and the whole creative team. If anyone wants to see the trailer, it's on my website [http://www.juliannemaclean.com].
What kinds of music and movies do you enjoy, and what do you do in your spare time?
I have very eclectic tastes in music - I like popular music and tunes from the 80's. I'm the daughter of a jazz musician, so I enjoy jazz and blues and the old big band classics. As far as movies go, I have a very long list of my favorite fims on my website if anyone wants to check it out. In my spare time, I enjoy reading and relaxing, and I try to go for a run every day. I take dance lessons with my husband. We love doing that together. We also love going to our daughter's basketball games. We have a dog named Molly and she gives us all much entertainment at home. Life is just fun - all the daily things we do.
What's next for you?
I've already finished book two in The Pembroke Palace series. It's called THE MISTRESS DIARIES and it's coming out in August 2008. Very shortly I'll be starting book three, which is due on my editor's desk next April, so I'll busy with that over the winter. I'm really excited about that book, but I'm not going to tell you why. That would spoil the suspense.
Julianne, thank you for spending time with us!
Thanks for having me! I enjoyed the interview.