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

If I were a reviewer, I’d seek out Indie Writers.

There’s an implied question in the above statement, actually two-

Why?

What does it mean to be an Indie Writer?

Where do I begin?

I’ve gone round and round attempting to answer the questions.  I planned to write a very long post but then I remembered Robert Frost had already answered both questions.

The Road Not Taken

By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

 

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

 

I’ve read some outstanding works by Indie Writers of late.  In fact, I barely bother with the big pubs anymore, at least when it comes to genre fiction.  How do I get my recs?  Friends.  Small book bloggers.  Small indie presses.  The authors themselves.

Can’t help it.  I’m curious.  If I were a big time book reviewer I’d be watching the creative risky pushing the envelope wild wild west world of Indie Writers with tremendous interest.  Mainstream publishing certainly is, yet reviewers tend to ignore us until one of us signs a six figure publishing contract.

Because of Indie Writers more people than ever are reading.  Unique genres and forms are introduced and reintroduced to the public.  Serialized fiction, the short story, and even poetry have been born again.  Instead of living in the passive voice, waiting for others to determine our destinies, we indies are active.  We are the boss of us.

It’s a great time to be a writer!

I encourage your participation.  I’d love a discussion.  Are you a Indie Writer?  What do the words Indie Writer mean to you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chances are…

you won’t read a whole lot about romance on this site.  Sorry.

I love romance.  I love to read a good romance.  But I can’t think of anything more boring than promoting my books.  Even though if you haven’t already you really should give them a try!

Read me.  Read me.  Read me.

BeautyandtheFeast_200

Blah-blah-blah.  Boring!

I’d rather talk about food or health or history or religion or dreams or ghosts or Tudor England or the calamitous Fourteenth Century or the pope or the First Century A.D. and early Christianity/Rabbinic Judaism or my favorite books (not necessarily my books) or numerous other obscure factoids.

Henry and his wives.

Henry and his wives.

You want to talk coffee?  I have a favorite.  It’s the dark, rich, chocolaty, full-bodied allegro extra-dark French whole bean.  I grind it in my coffee grinder and use my REI insulated French press to brew it.  I like my coffee sweet so I drop four La Perruche Pure Cane Rough Cut Cubes into my cup along with a couple tablespoons raw cream.

allegro extra dark French.

allegro extra dark French.

La Perruche

La Perruche

Chocolate?  Milk chocolate (other than Hershey’s).  Period.  Tried to develop a taste for dark chocolate for years.  Failed.  Occasionally, in an emergency, I’ll eat some semi-sweet, but the rest?  Forget it.

Milk Chocolate.

Milk Chocolate.

Tea?  I hate green tea.  There.  I said it.  It makes me wanna puke.  What do I like?  The Republic of Tea Ginger Peach with a teaspoon of raw honey.

Ginger-Peach Tea.

Ginger-Peach Tea.

I hate tarragon.  Uck.  I never met a green pepper I could tolerate.  Whenever I was pregnant I couldn’t even be in the same store with a green pepper.  I think green peppers should be illegal.  Followed closely by a ban on broccoli.  (I have strong feelings– hate, love, passion, green bitter things…)

Ewwww.

Ewwww.

If a food of the god’s exists it’s not ambrosia, it’s cheese.  Yummmmm.

My idea of ambrosia.

My idea of ambrosia.

I make a point of avoiding raw mushrooms and raw nuts and seeds.

I like fresh squeezed orange juice – juice the oranges myself – but there is no way in hell I can support juicing as a lifestyle.  I believe in eating food and I believe, as Richard Wrangham says in Catching Fire:  How Cooking Made us Human – that cooking (and thus eating) did indeed make us human.

Catching Fire, How Cooking Made Us Human

My wardrobe consists of jeans and one single dress which I never wear.

I love my scuffed cowboy boots.

I say this – a great horse is better than an okay man.  And no, I mean actually riding the horse, a relationship with a horse.  I’m not into Catherine the Great shit.  I still miss my cutting horse, Image.  She died way too young.  She was the best friend I’ve ever had.  She was beautiful.

This is a stallion, but Image was a liver chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail.

This is a stallion, but Image was a liver chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail.

My dog Jake is my new best friend.

I’m passionate about my kids and protective as all hell.  You mess with my kids you will face a mama lion.  I have needle sharp claws, big teeth, and a very long memory.

My kids and me.

My kids and me.

I’m married to my soul mate.  If he’d married someone else I’d have seduced him and had his kid anyway.  I was just that determined to have him.  I know… I’m a rotten person.  But in my defense, I’ve loved him since I was fourteen years old.

I hate bullies.  I hate liars– especially those who use the big lie concept to promote an agenda.  (Little white lies to save feelings are A-okay.)

I’m terrified of clowns and I don’t much like dolls except for Barbies and they must face the wall.

Oh dear god...

Oh dear god…

I don’t trust politicians.

I don’t like extremism.

I don’t trust the popular press.

I’m not worried about global warming, the polar bears, the penguins, or genetically modified foods.  It will be okay.  Polar bear populations are stable and growing in most areas, as are penguin populations.  Climate change is a complicated issue.  Please don’t assume the worst and don’t assume a single report in the popular press has all the answers or even some of the answers.

Polar Bear.

Polar Bear.

I worry about over-fishing, over-grazing in Africa, clean water and the number of raptors killed by wind turbines.  I worry about my kids.  I pray they will have a future.  Isn’t that what we all pray for?

I like being a woman and I like my freedom.  I am the boss of me.  But I’m not stupid.  Experience and commonsense have taught me that all men are not nice men.

I was a geek in high school.  I was too tall, my teeth were too big, I wore glasses and braces.  I was too flat-chested, too skinny, and too damn smart for my own good.  And I was one messed up kid.  I’ve never attended a high school reunion because it took a long time to put that dysfunction behind me.

So there you go.  I believe in six degrees of separation and I believe in you.

The really nice thing about connecting online?  I’ve come to realize just how intelligent, how aware, how conscious, how patient, supportive, and how totally cool you, my readers, are.

Yay you!  I would love to learn what you’re passionate about.

 

 

 

 

I’m actually doing a book signing Thursday.

 

Yikes-a-loo!

I’ll be with four other authors on the 20th from 6-8 p.m. at Solovino, the Rios Wine tasting room in Calistoga.  It’s a good thing I’ve been out of town or I might be nervous.  It’s also a dang good thing I’ve remembered with everything else going on in my life.

My fellow authors are these wonderful and sexy ladies – Tawny Weber, Dee Brice, Regan Taylor and Mary Martinez.  Should be lots of fun.  Prizes, books, food, wines, gift bags.  Yup.  Ya’ll oughta fly in for this one.

I promise to try to get back to normal this weekend, try being the operative word…

Why I give away books.

Because you support me and I want you to read them.  Plus this guy has a nice butt.  I like the woman’s face and eyes and the background is fantastic – Dune-ish, you might say.

Look, reading is important.  My father has always said that the most important thing you can do for your kids is read to them.  He’s never played games with us, games make him nervous, but he read to us.  By the age of eighteen months, I could read on my own and thus began a literary life.  In other words, aside from sports, painting and horses, I walked around with my nose buried in a book.

He gave me a great gift, one I passed on to my children.  I enjoy nothing more than passing the gift of reading on to you.

Reading takes you places you can’t otherwise go.  I learned when I was a kid that there are two kinds of infinity/eternity – external and internal – and the two are separated by a fragile piece of bone, but otherwise, they’re the same.  I can go anywhere in my mind, and I can get there instantaneously.  But that’s an illusion, you say?  Seriously?  I’m not entirely certain of that.  An interior life can be very real – it’s a simple matter of knowing the difference between the two.

Anyway, tomorrow I’ll announce the winner of my contest.  I do have a few extra paperback copies of books available and I’d be happy to send a book your way.  You just have to let me know which book you want, give me your email address and I’ll contact you.  Um…I have The Cougar Book too  – my short story You Might Just Get It is great.  No print copies of the Daughters of Persephone series though…dang!