Friday, February 18, 2011

Featured Author: Julia Rachel Barrett

Today we are featuring author Julia Rachel Barrett, a woman whose list of romance works published in 2010 is impressive, to say the least. So we thank her for taking a break from writing long enough to share her thoughts with us!

Thank you for taking time to join us on the blog, Julia. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a registered nurse and a writer of both fiction and nonfiction.  I’m fortunate enough to be married to my childhood sweetheart.  We have three children, a very large German shepherd puppy, two cats and two birds.

Tell us about your works:

I have a number of books in publication. 
Captured, a work of Science Fiction Romance and an EPIC finalist was released 1/6/10 by Siren. 
My Everything, a work of Romantic Suspense, released 2/12/10 by Cobblestone Press. 
Beauty and the Feast, a Contemporary Romance and an EPIC finalist, released 3/16/10 by Resplendence Publishing. 
Daughters of Persephone, Book One Exile, Book Two Return, a work of Science Fiction Romance, released 7/21/10 by Resplendence. 
Daughters of Persephone, Book Three Reborn, Book Four Red Demon, released 9/8/10 by Resplendence. 
Anytime Darlin’, a work of Romantic Suspense, was released 8/19/10 by Siren. 
One Four All, a Science Fiction Menage, was released 9/22/10 by Siren. 
Come Back to Me, a work of Romantic Suspense, was released 11/24/10 by Evernight Publishing.  
I have an upcoming release – Pushing Her Boundaries, a Contemporary Romance to be released by Siren in April 2011.

What is Pushing Her Boundaries about?   

Pushing Her Boundaries is my fictionalized version of real life events.  It’s about two people at cross-purposes who must work together when they are lost in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Northern Minnesota.

What inspired you to write this particular story?   

Pushing Her Boundaries was inspired by a trip my husband and I took to the Boundary Waters last summer.  Our guides provided us with substandard equipment, got us lost in the wilderness, and we ran out of food.

One look at your roster of stories lets the reader know you're quite the prolific writer. How do you do it? What kind of structure do you hold yourself to as a writer?  

I was just thinking about that.  I don't know how I do it.  Lately, my writing life has been very unstructured because I have lots and lots going on in my personal life.  There are days when I get 3000 words written and other days when I get 100 words written.  Today is a 100 word day.  I do try to reserve at least three hours for writing, usually at night, but I don't beat myself up if I can't.  There's a lesson in that - don't beat yourself up if you have a bad day.

Genre-wise, you offer a lot of variety for the reader. How difficult is it for you to switch gears between the unique demands of each particular genre?  

It's not difficult for me to write in several genres, but I'm told it's difficult for my readers.  Some readers expect, or at least so I'm told by editors, to get the same sort of story from a writer every single time.  This is an issue I struggle with because I have many interests.  I love romantic suspense, but I also love a good contemporary.  My very favorite genre is fantasy.  I write about what intrigues me at the time, or I'll start a story that appeals to me on the spur of the moment, regardless of genre.

Is there a particular genre you haven't tackled yet that you're eager to take on some time in the future?  

I haven't yet published a paranormal.  I'm actually working on one as we speak!

How long have you been writing? Have you been at this for a while, or is this a new journey?   

I’ve been writing since I was a kid, mostly poetry, which morphed into articles for medical and nursing journals and finally romantic fiction.

What tools have you used in your journey to improve your writing? 

The tool I rely on the most?  Reading.  I’m a voracious reader. 

Are you a solitary writer, or do you utilize critique groups?   

I’m a solitary writer.  Nobody reads my work before I send it off to a publisher.

How much of yourself is present in your writing? 

I’m present in every book, as is my husband and any number of people we know.  I don’t include all of me, just bits and pieces.

Tell us a little about you, the reader. What authors/genres do you love and why?   

I’m a big fan of Romantic-Suspense.  Linda Howard is my very favorite author in that genre.  Otherwise, I read a lot of nonfiction and science fiction and fantasy.

Name one character in any book that you would like to share a cup of coffee with. What would you discuss? 

Oh my gosh, I have no idea!  I’ve never even thought about that.  I guess rather than share a cup of coffee with a character, I’d like to share a cup of coffee with nonfiction authors Laurence Gonzales and Jon Krakauer.

What advice would you offer to new authors just starting down the path towards publication? 

I would never discourage anyone, but I will say - don't quit your day job.  While there might be many opportunities, there isn't as much money to be made in publishing as you might think.  Start slow.  Try your hand at a short story, polish your work until it shines, and then begin submitting to reputable publishing houses.  Keep an eye out - there are always calls for short stories.  My honest advice?  Learn how to be a good editor.  Write what you know.  Keep it simple.

Thanks again, Laura for stopping by the blog. Readers, mark your calendars for the release of Pushing her Boundaries, and make sure you check out the rest of Julia's works! For more information, visit her websites at and

And now, it's time for the icing on the cake: Giveaway! 

Julia has generously offered to give away a pdf copy of one of her  back-list stories to a randomly selected commenter. Just leave a comment on this post, and make sure we have your email address to contact you if you are chosen as the winner. 

Winner will be chosen Sunday, February 20th. Good luck!


  1. I really enjoyed your interview. I know exactly what you mean about the 3000 - 100 days. I sat and stared at my block for 3months and all I manged was ahalf a page but this week - I have managed to reel off three chapters. Thats how it goes. I agree with you 100% Don't beat yourself up if the muse isnt upon you. It will come.
    I do envy you your ability to swich genres. My wip is a little out of my comfort zone and I was struggling. Hats off to you and I wish you every success in your career.

  2. This is a great interview. I have those days too when I can wring out about 2,000 words and some when I'll get in 20. But the thing is to just keep writing. I'm so glad to see that I'm not the only solitary writer, I was beginning to think this was the wrong way to go about it. Like you, no one sees my work before I send it off. I've also heard that too about readers expecting the same thing. I'm inclined to believe it, but there's always room for exploration!

  3. Hi Julia! I've been to Boundary Waters (ahem, a loooong time ago), it's an incredible place - but oh my god, what an experience you had! I'd have been terrified.

    I always thought I'd be a writer, but I'm totally undisciplined when left on my own - so your 100 words a day sounds perfectly good for a pro to me. I'd also be unable to stick to one genre - I love too many of them to ignore the others, so it makes sense to me that you'd write exactly what you enjoy reading no matter where it falls.

    Terrific interview!

  4. Hi Julia,

    I remember the hilarious blog posts of your "special" vacation last year, and love that you created a story around it. Can't wait to read Pushing Her Boundaries.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  5. Hi Julia! Great interview. I always admire authors who write many different shows great versatility. What is the paranormal you're working on? I can't wait to read this new book based on your canoe trip....I'm really looking forward to it!

  6. Thanks for the lovely comments. I'm on the East Coast right now doing crazy things so I'm barely on the computer. Pushing Her Boundaries got moved up - the release date is not Feb. 21. Yikes!
    Thanks for hosting me here! Great site!

  7. I can't wait to read Pushing Her Boundries. Hope you're having a good trip!

  8. Bad blogger! I managed to exclude Julia's links in the initial posting here, these have been added now, and of course I encourage everyone to visit! Apologies to Julia, and stay tuned for winner selection Sunday!


  9. I'm right there with you about writing and reading--anything you can get your hands on. Wishing you great sales with your new book, Julia.

  10. Terrific interview, Julia! I'm glad that some good came out of that difficult trip! (I guess for an author, almost all experiences can become fodder for future inspiration ;)) Congrats on Pushing Her Boundaries--that sounds like it's going to be one excellent story!

    Wishing you safe travels in the meantime!

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

  11. This sounds like a fascinating book. Having the relase date pushed forward must be a bit diesconcerting, but here wishing your good luck with it. :-)
    sherrygloag @ gmail dot com

  12. Julia, I didn't realize this book was based on the infamous canoe trip. I read those posts and almost died laughing. Should be an interesting book. Best wishes with the release.

    jen at delux dot com