What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than blogging about a book with the word CHOCOLATE in it’s title!
Julie is one of my writer friends. Like my new book, Valley of Betrayal, Julie’s book, Chocolate Beach, was also released this month. I’ll give you a little blurb about the book and then let Julie tell you about herself in an interview!
Meet Bri Stone, a laid-back “beach chick” from Ventura, California. Bri has it all: the man of her dreams and their surf-ridin’ teenage son, a chocolate-loving best pal, an adorable beach bungalow, and a kicky job as a Southern California tour bus host.
She also has a few things she didn’t ask for: a know-it-all friend, a snobby mother-in-law, and a Fabio-meets-Dilbert boss. Ack! All three of them seem eager to share their strong opinions and suspicions about Bri’s relationship with her husband, Douglas.
When Bri’s rose-colored sunglasses crack after she finds evidence that Douglas has grown tired of her carefree ways, she resolves to win him back.
Can she reinvent herself—and recapture her husband’s heart?
Well, I loved finding out, but I won’t spoil it for the rest of you!
Let’s meet Julie…
What inspired you to write Chocolate Beach?
First, I wanted to write a book set in one of my favorite locales—the California coast. Then I began to think about relationships, and how people often marry their opposites. What happens to them down the road? How do they deal with their differences? Are they still charmed by each other, or bugged? In Chocolate Beach, Bri Stone has always found solace in chocolate and the beach, but will these things get her through when she faces serious questions about her marriage?
Are there any new projects on the horizon?
Yes! Watch for A Curious Thing about Seashells (working title) in Summer 2008. It’s the story of Bri’s best friend, Gaby Flores. See my website for more info: http://www.juliecarobini.com/
Do you prefer to write contemporary chick-lit fiction?
Yes! I read all sorts of genres, but found my voice in Chick-lit. It’s sassy and fun, and allows me to tell stories of life’s challenges in an entertaining way.
Who are your readers?
My readers are the “young at heart.” Mostly women, they are aware of current trends and technology, yet they like to giggle through a good story. They also love to bond with other women over a hot cup of coffee or tea, and of course, designer chocolates!
What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
It can be so tough to find unobstructed time to actually write when there are so many other things vying for my attention: proposing new books, marketing current ones, writing articles, and most especially, caring for my family of five.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run world?
Actually? I’m often overwhelmed. I must pray a lot—and God always steps in
Attending a regular Bible study helps too, because it keeps me focused on what God thinks about my busy life! I also jog on the beach, take a spinning class, and drink (too much) coffee.
What advice would you give to a person trying to become a fiction writer?
I address this on my new website. First, find every opportunity to read. Next, make sure you actually enjoy the process of writing before investing your life into it. Finally, get help. Go to writer’s conferences and watch how the experts do it; make friends at those conferences, the kind who will cheer you on in the days ahead (and who you can cheer along too!); and invest in yearly guides such as Sally Stuart’s Christian Writers’ Market Guide.
As a writer, I know the writing journey is also a spiritual journey. What has God taught you thought the process?
You’ve got that right, Tricia. It is a spiritual journey as well, because the gift of creativity is from God in the first place. We’re made in his image, you know? And he’s the most creative image ever! Regarding the writing journey, God has taught me to expect to receive input from him, that his timing is perfect, and that when I’m unsure if particular nigglings are from him, he will confirm it.
What do your kids think of the book? How do you balance being an author and being a mom?
My kids all keep Chocolate Beach postcards in their school binders, lol, even my 3rd grader. They’re stoked that Mom’s a writer, and I’m thrilled by their support. I try hard to write when they’re in school or late at night when they’re in bed, but if I’m on a particular deadline, that might not work out. So much for balance. They’re flexible, though, because they know that they come first in my heart. I spend most afternoons driving them around town, making sure that they don’t miss out on events just because I’m a busy writer. And we eat dinner together as a family more often than not.
Who encourages you during days when writing gets too hard?
My chocolate stash–ha! Seriously, I’ve got some great writing friends who’ve been there (like you 🙂 and are willing to offer a needed shoulder. Also, my husband, mom, and a couple of girlfriends are just a phone call away, and I’ve been known to dial them up on those kinds of days. And God. I don’t mean that to sound like a cliche, but God comes through during those times with an ‘out of the blue’ encouraging verse, or through the people he’s put in my life. He’s amazing.
Buy the book here
Thanks for coming over Julie!