The Hardest Post… As goes the publishing world, so goes the blog.

After six years, I’m done. The publishing world has changed, we all know it. So has the world of blogging.

Once upon a time, as recently as 2-3 years ago, a blog was crucial for outreach, for getting to know readers and other authors. Blogging meant putting oneself out there. No more.

Readers find books and authors via other algorithms. Via Amazon and Goodreads and who knows where. There is far less interest in the individual thoughts of individual authors like me.

I’ve loved this blog. It is precious to me. I’ve loved interacting with my readers and my friends. I will miss writing posts and reading your comments. But it’s time to make a change. And change is good. I’ll have more time to write regular old books.

Regular old books… Therein lies the reason I began this blog– to get my books read. Well, you’re reading them. And I thank you.

This blog will become a website. I’ll keep my blog posts archived. You can read them anytime! I plan to include a number of features and I’ll post updates whenever I release a new book.

So ends an era. It’s been fun. You all keep in touch because I would be lost without you. Love, Julia

I’m jumpin’ on the Lawrence Block bandwagon!

He has the right idea. I just don’t know if I can implement it.

He goes into seclusion to write a new book. Wow. He’s so prolific!

I could write a whole lotta stuff if I could only put the rest of my life on hold.

Well.

Unfortunately isolation, even for a few weeks, is out of the question. At least for the time being.

But yeah, I can see it. I’m going down my mental list of all those books in the queue.

Solitude.

Solitude.

 

Writing Intelligent Romance. And Why I Have a German Shepherd.

Yes, the two are related!

That’s my overarching theme. My philosophy if you will– Intelligent romance. It is not a contradiction in terms.

I received a letter from a long-time fan, Joy. She wrote to thank me for writing decent heroes. She’s not a fan of what my author friend, Penny Watson, informs me are known as Alpha-holes- Alpha male protagonists who use and abuse women. (Think Fifty Shades or worse.)

I appreciate the feedback, Joy. :)

It is my goal to create characters who are intelligent, competent, courageous and kind. Men and women who love with all their hearts and souls yet retain their independent identity. I detest heroines who are TSTL and heroes who are jerks. I read a lot, a whole lot, and I always wonder why an author would glorify a woman who would hang around to fix an abusive man. Why do I wonder? Because once upon a time, in real life, I tried it. Didn’t work out so well. It’s self-defeating and frankly, dangerous.

Unfortunately I experienced quite a bit of physical and sexual abuse when I was younger. I have revisited these events in some of my work – Anytime Darlin’ and Come Back to Me – but once I opened my eyes to the reality of abuse there was no closing them. There was also no fixing the abuser. Only in fiction does the love of a good woman fix a bad man.

One of the things I learned was, or is, this– Each of us must take responsibility for our own behavior. An abusive man or woman only changes if he or she wants to change. There is no magic tool in any tool kit that will do the trick. There is no snap of the fingers to make it all better. I know other women who’ve survived abusive situations. They say the same thing I say – Thank god I came to my senses and got out. I’ll add- Before I got killed.

And so I write intelligent heroines. They like Alpha males, (I like Alpha males), but not Alpha-holes. And yes, an Alpha male can be both Alpha and kind at the same time.

Now you know why I keep a German shepherd like Jake around. He’s not only my best bud, he’s my protector when I’m alone at home and off alone on my hikes.

 

Why is it when you’ve spent all day making a nice Bolognese

Yummy Bolognese!

Yummy Bolognese!

your husband texts you at 6:30 p.m. to say he has a dinner meeting?

Sigh.

Wait. You know what this means???

Means I get to watch anything I want that is NOT sports! Yeee Hawwww!

Not Sports!

Not Sports!

 

What’s beneath that kilt?

Oh Jamie Fraser. I love you so. You epitomize the romance hero. (Don’t tell Oscar.)

The truth is, in my mind Jamie is Gerard Butler, the way he was back in the day, when he was Jamie’s age – mid-twenties.

Gerard Butler

There it is!

But the new Jamie is not bad. I can accept Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser. He may be a little too pretty, but he’s appealing. He has promise, a great voice, he’s sweet, he’s sexy, so I’ll suspend disbelief for the moment.

The new Jamie.

The new Jamie.

I’ve waited years for someone to bring Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon, to life. It’s not a book that would translate well to the big screen, but it works as a series. Starz surprised me. They’ve made some smart moves. They hired my favorite director, Ron Moore, oh he of Battlestar Galactica fame. Ah those Sharons… The casting is terrific. I have pretty much zero complaints. The feel of 18th Century Scotland is spot on. The dialogue may be a tad stilted, especially Claire’s expletive- Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ – but I think this little problem will work itself out over time.

If you have a subscription to Starz and you’re an Outlander fan, you won’t be disappointed. Totally worth your time.