Julia, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi there! Let's see... I have always adored reading. As a little girl, I even read WHILE rollerblading, floating in the pool, and climbing trees. Off the pages, I am also a budding graphic designer, photographer, and blogger. I love to sing and dance and have my own handcrafted-jewelry business. Sparkle and style and colors are some of my favorite things!
Everyone’s homeshooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
Well, for one thing, my amazing mom homeschooled me and my two younger brothers from age 5 all the way through high school, while at the same time battling a tough auto-immune disease, RA. (I know. She's awesome.) She always made our learning experience fun, doing unit studies by topic... e.g, the ocean, chocolate, Australia. Since we weren't always slaving over textbooks, we had a lot of time to play outside, and spent hours nurturing our creativity in various forms. My brothers became master LEGO builders, and I have a ton of creative hobbies, one of which is... writing! :)
How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
Hmm. While homeschooling certainly helped, I've always been extremely expressive, verbal, and good with words and spelling. It's a natural bent of mine that my mom encouraged. (Honestly, I was talking at nine months and in full sentences when I was one year old, learned to read at age 3, was reading high school level material in 2nd grade...) ;) Math and numbers, on the other hand? NOPE.
What caused you to start writing?
Short answer: I ran out of good books to read! Haha! I began typing stories on our old XP desktop computer when I was a young teen. My brothers and me and the girl across the street did so much play-acting (our playhouse-slash-chicken-coop became a castle on many occasions) that coming up with exciting stories was easy. Making them sound as good on paper as in my head? I'm still learning that one. :)
What inspired Ashburn?
I've always loved the concept of spies and urgent missions and secret agents. Also a very good, clean, light romance that had an interesting plot line and wasn't all about the emotions. And the combination of the two seems to be quite rare. Also - I discovered an old 80's TV series called Scarecrow and Mrs. King about a suburban housewife and a government agent. If you looked past the BIG hair and the shoulder pads, it was actually really funny, and I found myself wanting to put my own spin on it. :)
Would you give us a synopsis?
Gladly! (can I share what I wrote for the back cover of the book? Because I love it)...
Cara Stephenson, a talented graphic designer at Silver Strand technologies, never thought she’d see her childhood best friend again… but when he suddenly reenters her life ten years later, he’s a completely different man. What is he hiding, and why should she trust him?
Bryce Reynolds is a man on a mission… a top-secret one, at that. He never imagined the girl down the street would one day become his link to the destruction of Ravenmeister, Inc. – a front for black-market arms and ammunition. Will he crumble underneath the burden of all his secrets?
When the hunt for a missing technology developer in possession of a priceless prototype drags Cara and Bryce on a high-adrenaline ride through the streets of Paris, Venice, and Munich, they must work together to find what they’re looking for… and to survive the trip!
(oh come on, you KNOW you wanna read it...) :D
Who will enjoy Ashburn?
I think it will appeal more to women, simply because of the thread of light romance, but it's actually a very exciting book packed with adventure and action, especially near the climax... ;) So I hope readers of both genders will enjoy it. I think it's clean enough for anybody 14 and up, although there is some "mild peril" as the movies put it. :D
Do you plan to write more books?
YES!! There are two more books following ASHBURN in the series, possibly even a fourth. I'm already partially into writing the sequel, titled DIAMOND, which I plan to publish Spring 2015, and I also have some other stories simmering - a coming-of-age tale of two sisters living in south Florida, and a Regency-era romance in the style of Jane Austen. Those may also morph into series. :)
Where can people connect with you online?
The best place to keep in touch with me is my author page on Facebook - , and I also blog at Julia's Journal and my new lifestyle blog, Sparkle Song. :)
Do you have any final thoughts?
I just want to say thank you, Sarah, for being such a great friend AND squeezing me into your September schedule here on Homeschool Authors! I hope the readers enjoyed this interview - I certainly did! :) Keep on writing!
Julia is giving away one paperback and one Kindle copy of Ashburn! Enter below.