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Friday, September 25, 2015

Interview with Author Julie Particka and Giveaway

Julie Particka was told to get serious about her future in Junior High. Several years after getting a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, she realized being serious was over-rated and went back to her first love–writing. Now rather than spending her days in the drudgery of the lab or teaching science to high school students, she disappears into worlds of her own creation where monsters sometimes roam, but true love still conquers all.

She can most often be located in the Detroit area with her favorite minions (the ones who know her as Mom) where she is currently hatching a plot for world domination. It involves cookies for everyone, so she’s pretty sure there’s no way it can fail…except the minions keep eating the cookies.

First off, can you tell us a bit about you?
I was born on a very snowy day in January… Er, that probably isn’t what you meant. Let’s try this again. I’m currently a full-time author and write as both Julie Particka (contemporary) and Selete deLaney (“the weird stuff”—aka anything remotely speculative in nature). I’m also a divorced mother of two. And I have a degree in chemistry, so when the kids get bored, we talk about how to make bombs. (*shifty eyes* Not big ones. I’m not crazy…they’re both almost teenagers…)

Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes and no. A few years back, my mom gave me an old school assignment I’d written about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said I wanted to be a writer because I wanted to make up world to tell stories in. But I also remember wanting to be a nurse, doctor, veterinarian, astronaut, fighter pilot… But I never fully gave up on my love of writing, and I’m definitely happiest when I’m doing that.

What kind of writer are you? Panster or Plotter?
I’m an in-betweener. I have a couple novels that I’ve pantsed completely, but those are rare. I have more that I’ve plotted before writing, but that’s due to contractual necessity. When left to my own devices, I prefer to start out panting and then draft a loosey-goosey plot (I call it a road-map as it really only contains the main “sights” I want to be sure to hit on my way to the end.)

Where do your ideas come from?
Everywhere. I know that sounds like a cop-out answer, but my 2016 Plot Bunny list is filled with ideas that were sparked by random things:
  • A meme of a person at confession 
  • The ghost-hunting road trip the kids and I went on for vacation this year
  • A random comment a friend mentioned about YA BDSM
  • A conversation with my niece
  • This weird thing my son mentioned about story jumping
  • Another from my son that is like a combination of Stephen King’s The Dead Zone and some sort of Dan Brown religious thriller
  • A meme about camping
  • And I really want to finish my mermaid story that was inspired by a storm at the beach on vacation a couple years back. 

A la Twitter style, can you describe your book (or series) in 140 characters or less.
#BlackmailedbytheHero Take 1 divorcee’s quest for sexual reawakening, add brother’s best friend, mix w/1 wrong turn, add a dash of blackmail

What are some of your favorite kinds of stories to read?
Anything that draws me in enough that I’m not critiquing it. This became a huge problem for a while where I couldn’t shut off my crit partner brain. It destroyed my reading speed and made it hard to lose myself in the book. This year, my top reads have been The King and The Virgin (both by Tiffany Reisz) and The Martian (by Andy Weir). The Martian was such a nice surprise for me because I haven’t read sci-fi in such a long time. I thought I’d have a hard time getting into it, but it sucked me right in and I breezed through it. I’ll probably read it again before the movie comes out. It also made me realize it might be a good time to take a shot at reading thrillers again (I burned out on them several years back and haven’t tried again.)

Do you have a favorite book and if so what is it?
My favorite book (I’m actually planning a re-read very soon) is Phantom by Susan Kay. I love The Phantom of the Opera but it’s riddled with plot holes. The way Kay re-imagined that story to fill in those holes without altering the original plot was nothing short of brilliant. My original copy is falling apart and I recently purchased a hardcover on Amazon so that I would be sure to have it if/when the first copy is no longer readable. I’ll likely buy it for my kindle at some point too.

What are the scenes that are the hardest for you to write? Why?
This varies by book. I was recently stalled on a sex scene for days and days, but usually I really enjoy writing sex scenes and find them easy. That one was an exception. The ones I probably dislike the most often are any where I realize (while writing) that I have to research things. I have a really tough time leaving blanks or “find this later” notes. So I stop writing to go research whatever it is and then come back, but I’ve lost the flow then. I just don’t like breaking my writing sessions that way.

If you could have dinner with any three authors, who would you choose and why?
OMG, I am so bad at questions like this. I get really bad anxiety when meeting new people, especially people who I’m likely to fan-girl over (Seriously, just ask John Scalzi—who probably doesn’t remember meeting me at RT—what an idiot I acted like when I met him. I remember—it was embarrassing.), so odds are I’d pick people I’m already acquainted with. So I’m going with a group of ladies I know I would have a good time with—I want to have dinner with the Smutketeers (Eden Bradley, RG Alexander, and Robin Rotham. There would be lots of laughs and drinking and dirty talk. It’d be fabulous—social anxiety be damned.

Last question, are you working on anything right now?
Right now (as I answer this in August), I’m working on a new adult contemporary for a box set that comes out in the spring. It’s called Not the Marrying Kind. By the time this goes live, I will either be working on the last book in my Blood Kissed series or the next (last?) Gone Hollywood book, which is Jade’s story.

Blackmailed by the Hero starts with the heroine making a wrong turn and ending up in the bed of the hero (who happens to be a famous actor). (Pretend you’re single if you aren’t :P)  If you were to make that kind of wrong turn, what famous person would you most want to be in the bed?

The wrong bed. The wrong guy.

Party planner Vicky Stone is on a post-divorce mission. Not only does she intend to land her dream promotion, she's going to indulge in a night of hot hook-up sex. Preferably with the hunky actor she just met at a work function, no-fraternization rules be damned. Fortunately, his drunken directions included a right that should have been a left, landing her in bed with her brother's extra-hot, extra-off-limits best friend instead of the unemployment line.

And, oh, he feels good. Too good.

Bad boy Dante Palladino's forbidden fantasies are about to come true...until Vicky realizes who she's feeling up. And to find out she risked her job for sex with some loser? Not on his watch. Dante throws down the ultimate, albeit self-serving, blackmail. Vicky will date him-and only him-and her secret will be safe. But Vicky swore never to fall for another guy who could break her heart...and Dante's on course to do just that.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

Check out the Gone Hollywood series:

Check out what's up for grabs.

Up For Grabs:
  • 1 $5 Amazon Gift Card

To Enter:
  • If you were to make that kind of wrong turn, what famous person would you most want to be in the bed?
  • Please fill out the Rafflecopter form.

Good Luck!

Special thanks to Julie Particka for sponsoring this giveaway.
a Rafflecopter giveaway