Author Interview: Julia Karr

Saturday, July 02, 2011

I grew up in the small town of Seymour, Indiana. Although I’ve lived as far east (and south) as St. Augustine, Florida, and as far west as Longmont, Colorado, I now live about fifty miles from my hometown.
I’ve been writing nearly all of my life. When I was young, I lived with my grandmother and my older sister, but my mother lived in Chicago. I spent a lot of time writing her long, newsy letters about what was happening in my life. She would sometimes correct my spelling by return mail! (I learned to love being edited! lol!)
I also loved to write poetry and draw. I would design greeting cards and send them to my friends and relatives.
When I was sixteen, I moved to Chicago to live with my mother. I fell in love with Chicago, and have never fallen out of it! There is nothing quite like the thrumming heartbeat of a big city!
I have two lovely daughters, who are grown. They both live within five miles of me, and I like that a lot! When they were little, I used to make up stories for them. That was when I first starting thinking about writing for children. But, it wasn’t until they were out of the house that I began to take my writing seriously.
I love writing young adult novels. XVI is dystopian fiction, but I am also working on some fantasy and some contemporary themes. Too many ideas, too little time! --Bio
1. If your book became a movie, who would you cast as Nina and Sal?

Answer: Hailee Steinfeld as Nina and Daren Kagasoff (although he might be a little old to play Sal)

2. When did you first start writing?

Answer: I've been writing since I was little, however, it wasn't until my own kids were young that I began to take my writing seriously.

3. What is your opinion of sex in YA novels and why did you choose to write about such a taboo subject?

Answer: If it's not gratuitous and if it's necessary to the plot, I think it's perfectly fine. I mean - teens are thinking about sex, wondering about it, and often having sex. So, I think if the story calls for it - it should be included.
I didn't set out to write about sex - but as the dystopian world of XVI revealed itself, it became clear that sex played a major part in it.

4. Where do you like writing? Where do you like reading?

Answer: Right now I'm stretched out on my sofa, writing on my laptop. I write there, at the dining room table, at my desk, and in bed. I'm a writer in many places! And as far as reading goes - there isn't anyplace I consider off-limits when it comes to reading!

5. If you were to describe your novel in three words, what would they be?

Answer: feminist dystopian thriller

6. Who was your favorite character to create and write about?

Answer: Well, I love my main character, Nina. She just flowed out of my fingertips. And, maybe second to her was Pops. I love him!

7. What influenced you to write this book?

Answer: The ever-presence of the Media in our lives today and its influence on teens in particular. Also, the increasing amount of surveillance in cities around the world.

8. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Answer: Write every day and read everything you can get your hands on. You learn as much from reading poorly written books as you do from reading great literature.

9. When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?

Answer: I love to read, garden, bake, and hang out with friends.

10. If you could live in a fictional world, where would it be?

Answer: In any Jane Austen novel - probably Pride & Prejudice's Pemberly (with Mr. Darcy, of course!)

Great interview.  Thank you, Julia. 

If you enjoyed her interview, you can check her out at her website HERE.  To find out more about her book, XVI, go HERE or to just read my review, go HERE.

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