Author Interview: Julie Halpern

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Julie Halpern

A native to the Chicago suburbs, I have been a school librarian for more than ten years (old much?).  I live with my sweetheart husband, illustrator Matthew Cordell, and our gloriously large Siamese cat, Tobin.  In my spare time I like to read, watch TV, play Sims 2, and travel. 
1. What were your influences in writing Don't Stop Now?
I'm a huge road tripper, and I always wanted to write a travel guide. Since I write fiction, this is how my travel guide came out!

2. When did you first start writing?
I have always liked to write, although I mostly wrote letters and newspaper articles as a kid. I started writing fiction in Creative Writing classes in high school.

3. Have you ever went on a road trip like the one protrayed in the book?
I've been to 46 states, and I've been to pretty much every place in Don't Stop Now. If not the exact spot, then definitely at least the states.

4. On your travels, have you ever seen something that inspiried you like it inspired Lillian to continue when she saw the sign Don't Stop Now?  And if so, what did you see?
I think travel itself is the most inspirational thing one can do with life. I would much rather save my money to travel than for a fancy new car. I did see a sign that read "Don't Stop Now" when I was traveling around Australia, but that was close to the end of the trip. Maybe I shouldn't have stopped!

5. How long did it take to go through the writing process of your novel?
I used to write my first drafts over the course of a summer, since I was a school librarian. Now that I am a stay-at-home mom/author, I can take more time to write. But I also don't have as many hours a day to do so.

6. What was your favorite scene to write? And why?
I don't remember the scenes! Once I finish a book, I move on. And I'm actually deep in the copyedits of my fourth novel, the sequel to Get Well Soon, which comes out next year. So that's where my head is.

7. What is your favorite novel?
To read? Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden, and Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison.

8. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Write a book. People are always talking about how they want to write. So write! And don't look back until you get to the end.

9. If you were to describe your novel in three words, what would they be?
Don't Stop Now. (ha!)

10. What are you working on now?  Can you tell us about it?
Have a Nice Day is the sequel to Get Well Soon. The story is how do you go back to normal when you just got out of a mental hospital? I LOVE it. Really. The Tracy character is the funniest character I've ever written. I can't wait for people to read it! It will be out next fall.

Thank you so much, Ms. Halpern!  If you want to hear more about her, go HERE.  If you want to read my review of Don't Stop Now, go HERE, and if you want to buy that awesome-ness, go HERE .

Hope you all have a great weekend!

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