Julie Flanders’s first novel, Polar Night, is a mystery novel set in Alaska that was published last month by Ink Smith Publishing, and it is available as an eBook and a traditional paperback. Julie’s natural love of books and writing carry over from her job as a librarian at Mt. St. Joseph College in Delhi to her “moonlighting” as a first-time novelist. She is also a serious blogger and has made connections with other writers online.
Q: How do think the process of writing has changed now that electronic communication is so prevalent?
A: Since I am still new to the writing world, I don’t know much about what it was like before the explosion of the Internet, but for me it has been amazing to connect with other writers through my blog. It’s not only a source of support and encouragement but also an amazing way to learn about writing and publishing opportunities and resources. I’ve no doubt there have always been writing groups for writers to exchange ideas and feedback with each other, but the Internet makes that so much easier. It also seems like the Internet has opened so many more doors for writers by making the process of self-publishing much more accessible and also giving small presses more chances to establish themselves. My impression is that writers now have many more choices than in the past.
Q: What else are you writing these days?
A: I am trying to get started on a sequel to Polar Night and am getting ideas together for that. I also wrote a novel during November’s National Novel Writing Month challenge called The Ghosts of Aquinnah, which I am currently working on editing and revising. That novel takes place on Martha’s Vineyard and is set in both the present day and back in the 1800s. I’m not sure what kind of novel it would be categorized as, but it includes a historical love story and a modern day ghost.
Q: Any words of advice for other aspiring writers out there?
A: I would encourage all aspiring writers to start blogging. The blogging community is so supportive and it’s also a perfect way to keep practicing your writing and get used to writing on a regular basis. Also, don’t give up—rejection is an inevitable part of writing and you can't let it get your down. Easier said than done, I know!
Julie’s blog covers what she’s reading, what she is writing, and her travels with Clancy, her dog, as well as interviews and information from other authors in her writers’ network. This is the second of a two-part interview; read the first part for more about her new novel, Polar Night.