Julia: Oh, man. I admit to being of the age where Anne Rice and Poppy Z Brite were my first tastes of same sex love. I was very much like, "You can do that in a book?" I was hooked, but I didn't start writing m/m until I got back into fiction in the late '90s. I wrote feature articles and ad copy for a long time. Once I got back into the romance genre, though, I thought there was a missing niche, and my journey into m/m was on its way.
Jen: Tell new readers about the Bloodrose series.
Julia: I started the Bloodrose series on a whim. I was writing about werewolf genetics, and I needed a place for creatures of the night to meet and feel safe. Jonny, the owner of the club was meant to be a bit character, but he was so yummy that I had to write more. The series started with The Werewold Code, which is about private investigators Deke and Kasey, One's a vamp, one's a werewolf, and I mention briefly in this mystery story how the two met at an auction at the club Bloodrose. Readers demanded that story, and it all started rolling from there.
Jen: In Cereus: The Building, you collaborated with other authors, using the Bloodrose series as a platform. What was it like to have other authors contribute to a world you created?
Julia: It's amazing. The questions they ask when they're writing their stories are so neat, and such fuel to the creative process. They think of stuff I would never even imagine.
Jen: I've noticed that many authors have other author friends that form a close support or collaborative network. Is that true for you? And if so, what does it do for you personally or professionally?
Julia: Oh, absolutely it's true for me. Back when we were all novice authors I got to be friends with Sean Michael, Chris Owen, Jodi Payne and Tory Temple. BA Tortuga is my life partner, so I'm not sure I can classify her as just a collaborator. We're all close enough that people have accused us of being the same person (man, I wish I had time to write as much as all those folks combined) but we're all over the world and all different, and it makes for a wonderful sounding board and a great group of inspiring conspirators. I also get great geographical information, as they range from the far East Coast to California to Canada.
Jen: Some of your stories are very short. For instance, Crate Trained is less than 20 pages. Is it still satisfying to publish short little snippets of stories? Are you ever tempted to go back and further develop your short stories?
Julia: I love short stories. When I first started writing fiction, back in my late teens and early twenties, that was what I did. I wrote horror and gothic fiction, and I loved that the shorter a story was, the scarier it was. As I got into romance, I found that sometimes I just wanted to know how two guys met, or how they got over a hurdle in their partnership. I find in general it's the readers who want more, and sometimes that's awkward, as all the story I have to tell is told!
Jen: You have several different series out there. Which are the most fun to write? Tell us about a few.
Julia: Oh, I love the Bloodrose, series. I love my Colorado smokejumpers, the Thatcher brothers. Those are all novels, and while the second book, Landing with Both Feet has gotten me more hate mail for having a breakup in it, it's still one of the best books I've ever written. If I had that one to do over, I would rearrange it a little as far as what goes in what book, but I love it. I also really like Jackass Flats and Just a Cowboy, which are two related stories about my hometown in New Mexico.
Jen: So many authors of m/m romance are women. Do you find most of your readers are also women or a mix of men and women? What are your thoughts on that?
Julia: Well, this is just my experience, but most of my fans are women. If I can get my books into men's hands, they love them, but in general women are the readers who are looking for romance. I think reading m/m gives women the opportunity to take out their need to relate to the heroine, which so often just isn't possible, and let's face it, two men is a lovely, lovely visual.
Jen: What is releasing next from you?
Julia: I have a m/m coming out from Torquere called Loose Snow. It's a novela about two Forestry service rangers and one of them gets caught in an avalanche, leading them to really look at their relationship. I also have a m/m/f coming out in February from Changeling Press. called Outfoxed. It's the beginning of a new series called Mixed Breeds, and it's all about different kinds of shifters making lives together.
Julia: Oh my gosh. I'm looking forward to meeting all sorts of new people, and to seeing old friends. I'm on a bunch of paranormal panels, so I get to blather about stuff I adore, and I'm doing a party this year with my partner, BA Tortuga, so everyone can come see us! (NOLA in August? Not so much with the hooray. I will be wearing lots of tank tops and capris and still sweating) grins.
Jen: Thank you so much for sharing your work with me and for taking the time to chat! I look forward to meeting you in New Orleans!
Julia: Thanks so much for having me! It's been a blast.
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