Monday, August 22, 2016

Hidden Gems: Julia Erickson

Who likes Christian Contemporary/Suspense novels? Because I have an author to introduce to you today who writes just that! For the fourth Monday of the Hidden Gems blog event, I have Julia Erickson on my blog with an absolutely fabulous interview! Thrilled to show off this sweet lady's super awesome books!

Stay tuned for giveaways! *smiles*

Reasons I Think This Author Is One You Need To Discover

  • Books are both Sweet Romance and Suspenseful Action
  • Characters are Great - Relatable and Fun, they seem like Real People *grins*
  • Christian, Wholesome, and Clean!
  • Secret Agents, Action, Wild Adventures, Traveling in Europe ... Non-Stop Epic-ness!


Introducing ... Julia Erickson

JULIA ERICKSON has always adored reading. As a little girl, she even read while rollerblading, floating in the pool, and climbing trees. Her love of words and expressive personality naturally flowed into writing her own stories. Off the pages, Julia is also a budding graphic designer, photographer, and blogger. She loves to sing and dance and has her own handcrafted-jewelry business. Sparkle and style and colors are some of her favorite things. Growing up homeschooled all the way (Thanks, Mom!) allowed her to nurture her many hobbies. She loves her Lord and Savior, and believes the Bible is the best and truest story ever told.


~ I.C.E AGENCY Series ~

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 dreamed 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 survive the trip!

Penny’s last love story ended tragically, so she hides among her paints and brushes while keeping a bubbly fa├žade firmly in place. Could a dashing realtor with a sidesplitting sense of humor be the first step of her fresh start?

Blake has always lived in the shadow of his older brother, using jokes to mask his insecurities and uncertainty. Searching for purpose and direction, he runs into a red-headed stop sign, and wonders if she might be the key to open his locked doors.

When calamity hits Cara, Penny’s best friend, and Bryce, Blake’s brother, they’ll have to lean on each other and race to the rescue, and a bitter billionaire planning a major terrorist attack on America might turn out to be the smallest of their problems.

~ Standalone Novel ~

What if a young woman who’d never gone anywhere and a young man who was a wandering traveler fell in love?
A story that’s wistful and dreamy. 
A tale of woods and mountains, 
fireflies and campfires, 
streams and cascading waterfalls, 
the wind blowing through the pines and the chestnut trees, 
of love songs and traveling and the open road, 
of family and hearth and home, 
of longing and hopes…
 of friendship and adventure.

Coming Soon ... !


Author Interview

What genre(s) do you write?

Julia: I write contemporary christian fiction, usually with a hint of romance, but I also have a historical fiction story inspired by the works of Jane Austen that I hope will someday see the light of publishing. :D My first two books (Ashburn and Diamond) fall under the "suspense" category, packed with action and high-stakes adventure, while my next book (Smoky Mountain Serenade) is a cozy outdoorsy romance with a totally different feel. 

Do you have a release date for your next book?

Julia: Smoky Mountain Serenade doesn't have an actual release date per se, but I'm pushing myself to finish writing it over the summer, edit it in September, and hopefully release it near the end of October. (If all goes well) :D 

What impact do you hope your books will have on readers?

Julia: Well, I hope they walk away going "I absolutely LOVED that book!", but I really hope that in some way, my stories draw people a little closer to the love of Christ Jesus. Missing out on a relationship with Him is a devastating thought! I hope readers are inspired by my character's struggles and faith to turn towards the Lord. 

What’s one of the best things about being an author?

Julia: Getting positive reactions from a reader. Hearing how a scene tickled someone's sense of humor, how much someone loved a character, how an action scene made their heart pound, how the love my characters share touched a real-life heart. THAT makes everything worth it. 

What made you decide to start writing?

Julia: I'm not sure if it was a conscious decision. More like - "These stories are bursting out of my mind and I have to write it down because this stuff is good!" ... But my spy novels were partly a frustration that there wasn't enough clean spy fiction out there, so I decided to write some because secret agents are just. so. cool. :) 

Which one of your books would you call the ‘story of your heart’ (or are they all)?

Julia: I am attached big-time to each story that comes out of my head, but I think the true "story of my heart" has yet to be written. Smoky Mountain Serenade comes the closest, and it isn't even out yet! I have other novels brewing as well that really resonate with my soul ... perhaps a little piece of my heart is in every book. :) 

Why do you write?

Julia: Short answer? Because I love it. And I can. Hard work is 55% of it (ok, maybe more) but you have to have at least a glimmer of talent before you even get started. Writing a book isn't for everyone - although at the same time I think everyone has a story of their own to tell. But I write because I find it exhilarating. And there's nothing like holding a copy of your own book in your hands. :D

Of all your books, do you have a favorite cover?

JuliaI'm delighted with how each of my self-done graphic designed covers look, but I don't have a favorite just yet. Ask me when I have ten books published. :D 

Are there any fellow authors who inspire you?

Julia: Indeed! My good friend Rachel Heffington, Jan Karon, Jane Austen, Davis Bunn, Mindy Starns Clark, Dee Henderson, and my as-yet-unpublished (but-soon-to-be-I'm-sure) friend Victoria Grzybowski. :D (And I have to laugh because I think between all of those people I've covered nearly every single genre from romance to murder mysteries to historical fiction to action/suspense ... etc ... I read widely in many different themes!) 

What do you do for fun?

Julia: Well, I have too many hobbies for my own good. While I love devouring a good book or movie, my favorite things to do are spend time with friends, (having a party? I'm there) sing on our church's worship team, crochet afghans, dance ballet, play Ultimate Frisbee or volleyball, and I also love interior design, graphic design, photography, cooking and baking, making handcrafted jewelry, thrift-store shopping, and ... wait for it ... writing novels. :D In short, there aren't enough hours in the day nor days in the week. 

What was your hardest book to write, and why?

Julia: I think I labored most over Ashburn. It was the first book I was sure I wanted to publish and I wanted to get it JUST RIGHT. :D (I did a ton of research on my foreign locations, wanting the reader to feel like they were actually there.) Not sure I completely succeeded ... but there's always next time. :)

What writing project are you working on right now?

Julia: Smoky Mountain Serenade, a wistful romance set in the smokies, starring a girl (Avalon) who has always lived with her father at their creekside campground and never left their small town, and a guy (Eric) who grew up in foster homes and now tours the country in his refurbished van blogging about his travels, having never set down roots anywhere in his life. When their two viewpoints collide, it gets interesting, real fast. :D I love the setting of this book and I can't wait to share it with the wide, wide world. :D 

What are some of your favorite books (not your own)?

Julia: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen (actually, everything she wrote), The At Home in Mitford series by Jan Karon, The Million-Dollar Mysteries series by Mindy Starns Clark, and ... a multitude of others!

What does your writing process look like?

Julia: - Come up with BRILLIANT idea ;) (haha or at least the beginnings of one)
- Write down bare bones of idea
- OUTLINE like mad and write intricate backstory that never makes it into the final novel
- Start writing the book on a creative high and get three chapters in
- take about a year to get over the midpoint and hope it doesn't sag
- finish the last two-fifths of the book on a crazy madcap downhill rush to the climax and satisfying ending
- Edit the first draft of the story
- Edit again
- Editing 
- Completely rewrite the first chapter
- Make the ending even more glorious
- Find ten mysterious typos that can't possibly have been there the whole time
- Finish formatting and fix issues with the cover and, and,  
- Sit back and wait for reader's reactions
- Glow :D ..... get another glimmer of an idea ...
- Repeat the entire cycle all over again

Where do you usually write?

Julia: At my large white IKEA desk, on my aqua laptop with white dandelions on it. In my room, which has warm vanilla-y walls, one which I have stenciled with a crisp white moroccan pattern. On one side is a tall bookshelf crammed with books, on the other side a deep closet even more crammed with clothes, organized by color. The books are also organized by color. :D Color is important. 

When do you usually write?

Julia: I either cram it in between everything else in my busy life (writing for an hour at a time) or I spend all day on it and write 5 or 6,000 words, there is no in between. Most of my best writing happens in the evening when the house is quiet and I can concentrate. Once in a while I can make myself get up early and write ... but I'm more of a night owl by nature.

This was tons of fun, thanks for having me!

Thanks for being here, Julia! I loved reading your answers and getting to know you more! ^_^ I hope this helps your amazing books find more readers!

Connect Further With Julia Erickson:

Website: Buy At ~ Warfare By Duct Tape

Blog ~ Jewels By Julia

Facebook ~ Julia Erickson

Additional Blog Stops:

Mon. ~ Deborah O'Carroll @ The Page Dreamer: Book Review of Ashburn


Enter the rafflecopter form below to win an e-book copy of both Ashburn and Diamond! One winner.
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  1. I need to read these books sometime! I've heard they're really good!

    1. Yes, you do, Jesseca! They're spectacular! :) :)

  2. She has some good books. They look really interesting.

    1. She does, indeed! They're unique and intriguing! ^_^

  3. Eeee, I loved this post! :D Very fun review! I greatly enjoyed reading it. ^_^ And I'm intrigued by the upcoming book too. :) Great post! (I just got my review up too. :D)

    1. Yay, glad you do, Deborah! ^_^ Wonderful!! Yes, Smoky Mountain Serenade does sound quite good! :)

      Thank you so much for you review post! It was lovely!! *hugs*

  4. Replies
    1. I hope you check them out, Olivia! They're super fun! :)

  5. Love reading these interviews! Feels like you know them a little bit now :)

    1. Yes, doesn't it? It's so cool! :) Glad you're enjoying!

  6. What a wonderful idea this was. You are a blessing!

  7. Looks interesting...thanks for posting! I'm always excited for a new read:).

    1. You're welcome, Emmaline! Me too! ^_^ I hope you pick them up and enjoy them! :) :)

  8. Thanks for doing this interview, Shantelle!! I enjoyed it! And I appreciate the boost of publicity for my stories! ☺️

    1. You're welcome, Julia!! ^_^ So glad you could be part of this series! The interview was super fun! :) Hope this does indeed help you get more readers! :)

  9. I've had my eye on these for awhile. Spy adventures are so much fun. :)

    1. Do read them, Claire! :) Spy adventures are great, yes! :D

  10. Lovely post! I really want to read these books sometime soon! =)

    1. Thanks, Deborah! Ah, I hope you can! They're so good! I think you would like them! :)

  11. Replies
    1. Aren't the covers cool? And they are so good! :D You should definitely give them a try! :)

  12. This was a great interview! I enjoyed reading. And I definitely do want to read her books - they certainly look intriguing!

    1. Thanks, Raechel! I thought so too! So fun! :) They're fantastic! I think you'd like them!! :D

  13. I've always loved secret agent-y stuffs, and I should read these. Great interview too!

    1. I find myself really loving secret agent/spy novels as well, Victoria! :) You should definitely try them!

      It was a really fun, interview, yes! Cool getting to know Julia Erickson a little bit better! :)