Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Interview with Mark McCann from Following the Nerd

Following the Nerd Interview: Urban Fantasy Author Julieanne Lynch By Mark McCann

Recently we at FTN had the pleasure of a quick Q&A session with the fiery Julieanne Lynch, an author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens, with her latest offering; In The Shadows, described as "one hot vampire read" currently being primed for a second edition.

According to her Bio Julieanne is: originally from Northern Ireland and now lives in the Republic of Ireland, where she works on her Shadows Trilogy and other series full-time. Before becoming a writer, she considered a few different career paths, a rock star being one of them. She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at The Open University, and considered journalism as a career path. However, she decided writing was the way for her and believes all of her education and reading prepared her for it. 

An avid reader, Julieanne has always had an encompassing fascination with folklore. When not writing, she enjoys crime series such as Criminal Minds, CSI, NCIS and Cold Case, and loves anything with Vampires, listening to metal, meeting new people, drinking lots of green tea, and sharing her dreams with her children. She is a self-professed goth wanna-be,and is happy when left to write into the early hours of the morning. 

I caught up with Julieanne and hit her with some quickfire qestions a few weeks back and here's what the Author had to say:                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Tell us a bit about yourself, who are you and what do you write?
Well, firstly, I am Julieanne, a native of Fermanagh, a mother of four brilliant children, and I have a love of all things dark, horrific and erotic. Mostly I write horror stories, erotic flash fiction, psychological drama, but I have a new found love of urban fantasy. Basically, I just love to delve into the unnatural and create something that leaves me breathless as well as satisfied. My debut novel In the Shadows, follows Giselle Bergman, an eighteen year old ‘girl-next-door’ on a journey that opens her eyes to the supernatural elements of her world - or what she thought was her world. She is never in one place, and throughout the story I introduce my readers to some pretty amazing settings. It is a fast paced, adrenaline filled story that leaves you craving the next installment.

What is it about the supernatural fantasy genre that drew your interest as a writer?
 I love the thought of being pulled into something that is completely out of this world. I hate to be pigeonholed, and I love nothing better than my imagination being pushed beyond its boundaries. Even as a small child, I remember sitting on my own, watching Christopher Lee portray Dracula, and instead of being scared, I was drawn in. I wanted to be a part of it, and call me weird, but most of us (even closet horror fans) love the adrenaline kick from being frightened. So in a sense, the thought of being able to create this for my readers gives me a rush that I cannot explain. Being able to hold a readers attention is the best feeling in the world, and I think that I do that to great effect. The fantasy genre drew me in simply because I wanted to write about unexplained phenomenons that cannot be rationalised by science.

Which genre do you feel most heavily influenced your own writing?
I love the horror genre. I love anything that can be described as macabre. There is just something so beautiful about constructing a piece of writing that you know will deliver horrific visions in your readers mind. Some people would call that sick, but to me, I love shocking an audience. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t just add things for the sake of it. Most of what I create has a good solid plot, and back story, but I just love to add certain elements that will grab my readers attention and leave them bewildered and craving for more.

Is there any particular author that gets your creative juices flowing? 
I’ve always had this fascination with Stephen King, John Saul, and Dean Koontz, but the one that constantly helps me strive for success is Poe. I am obsessed with his work. The Murders in the Rue Morgue and The Fall of the House of Usher were two of my first encounters with Poe’s writing, and I can tell you now, reading these stories at the age of thirteen was terrifying, but it opened up my own imagination. 150 years later, and his work still carries the same weight as it did then. More and more young people are drawn to his poetry, it proves to us that we are masters of our own imagination.

Do you feel the traits of your main protagonist Giselle, reflect your own or do they stem from external experience?
 I love my Giselle. I knew as soon as I outlined In the Shadows, that I would find it hard to let her go. In a sense Giselle does reflet some of my own personality traits - she’s moody, curses, and is insecure, but overall she’s a trooper. In the beginning of her story, she is timid, easily domineered, but come full circle, she knows how to kick ass, and finds that she isn’t so submissive. BUT, I did use my little ‘black book’ of notes from people watching to help me construct her in a believable way, and by that, I mean I wanted to keep her outlook on life similar to girls her own age. It would be too easy for me to draw on my own life experiences, and craft them into her own personality. I didn’t want to do that, I wanted to make sure that when my audience (predominately young adults) read this, they would connect with her way of thinking, how she deals with certain situations, and to me as a writer, that is an important key point when constructing characters.

You’ve written some fairly racy material; do you ever worry about upsetting some people’s delicate sensibilities?
Absolutley not. Why would I? Seriously, in this day and age were sex and violence is thrust in our faces on a daily basis, why would folk be offended by something I’ve written? It’s simple, if you don’t like what I write, don’t read it.

With a plethora of five star reviews, what is it about dark erotic stories with mysterious supernatural creatures that really excites your audience and leaves them wanting for more?
I think when I create my story-lines, I create them with my audience in mind. I want my readers to connect with every pitfall that a main character goes through. I don’t want my books to just have a straightforward, beginning, middle and end. I want them to be a journey that my audience undertakes. I think the way that I weave the darker elements of horror and serious drama through my story excites my reader. I make my stories faced paced, I create monsters none of us want to meet day or night, and overall, I like to play with my readers, I like them to think that they know what’s going to happen next - when in actual fact, I take them in the opposite direction.

If you could be any supernatural creature from the universe that you’ve weaved what would you choose and why?
This is hard. I obviously would love to be one of my classical vampires, but there is something so sinister about the shadow creatures, that I find myself drawn to their existence more. Being able to evaporate into thin air, causing mischief and pain, excites me. I would love to have their compelling powers, their way of mentally torturing people, and their unique sense of doom. They don’t care what or who they inflict their pain on, they just do it because it’s their purpose - it excites them.

If you could meet any of your characters in real life who would you choose and why?
Oh, now this is easy, Antoine. He is simply delicious, and he can bite me anytime. Seriously, he is a great strong character, and just when we think we know him, he stuns us and does something so out of character, that you are left slightly confused, but overall even more in love with him. He is a great man, and although he is a vampire and not wholly trustworthy, there is just something about him that draws me in - but I am biased.

What’s next for Julieanne Lynch?
Next, the second edition of In the Shadows will be released in the next few months, and my publisher plans to have the complete trilogy published in the next six to eight months. My adult novel, Ice Goddess will be released in the new year, as will my spin off series, based on Antoine. I am also writing a series of short stories, which I hope to have published in the next year or two, as well as working on a series of children’s books, which has been inspired by my own children. Busy times, but good times.

The novel, In the Shadows is the first of a Shadow World trilogy with Julieanne working on the second book, Walking with Shadows

Julieanne's The Shadows Trilogy follows the war between vampires and shadow creatures and Giselle Bergman, an 18-year old human girl, falls victim to a scheme by one of her closest childhood friends, and embarks on a journey that sees her become the center of a between good and evil.

Sounds fantastic and we will definitely be putting the Shadows Trilogy on our 'to read' list. For more info on Julieanne and her upcoming projects click http://www.julieannelynch.co.uk

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