Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Eryn Black’s character on November 24th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Emily Walker, the author of Julie’s Ascent, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Julie, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Emily in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Julie!
Marie Lavender: Hello, Julie. Please have a seat.
Character Julie: Thank you for having me here.
Marie: Of course!
We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?
Marie: What is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?
Julie: My occupation, if you can call it that, is Succubus. I guess I should explain. I know a lot of people think we feed from sex with men and that we survive and kill that way. It’s not what I do. My task is to send the bad people of the world where they belong. They pass through me and go directly to Hell where their punishment awaits them.
So, tell us. What is your family like?
Julie: It’s hard to remember them since I went to Hell and then came back to Earth. We’re kind of supposed to let it go, the memories. I loved my parents, though, and when I got lost in another dimension, the scariest thing my mind conjured was my parents being tortured. I think about them a lot, even if I can’t remember everything.
Marie: Oh, so sorry to hear that. 😦
Let’s try something else, shall we?
What did your childhood home look like?
Julie: I can’t remember it. I can’t remember being anywhere except the dorms and the park. It’s sad, but some of my memories just didn’t return.
Marie: All right.
Do you have any hobbies? What do you enjoy doing?
Julie: I like spending time with my mentor Asa, and staring at him. That’s not a hobby really. I enjoy reading some. At first I couldn’t find joy in anything, but reading these days helps pass the time.
Marie: Can’t blame you there! Reading is awesome! 😉
So…what is your greatest dream, Julie?
Julie: To send people to Heaven. I can’t; it’s not what I do. I just think it would be nice to send someone to a good place for once. I don’t even know what it’s like.
Marie: I see.
What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?
Julie: I truly wish I could be alive again, tell everyone I care about that I do and soak in every moment so the memories would be too strong to erase. I am dead, so that’s stopping me. (Laughs.) I’m truly not being funny, it’s the truth. It just still makes me laugh uncomfortably to admit that I’m dead.
Marie: It is unfortunate. I can’t even imagine it…:(
All right, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now.
Who was your first love?
Julie: I fell in love with the wrong kind of guy for my first time. I don’t really want to talk about it.
Marie: Okay, I respect that. I think most of us are guilty of that kind of mistake.
So, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you, Julie?
Julie: Drowning was terrible. Being lost in some scary dimensions and not thinking I would ever get out was also terrible. I think they are tied.
Marie: Again, I’m so sorry that happened to you. 😦
Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?
What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
Julie: I don’t remember my dreams and aspirations so I’m just going to guess. When I was in college, I think I was majoring in Science – Biology, if I am not crazy. When I was majoring in Biology, I wanted to be a scientist, like a legit breaking discovery scientist. I gave that major up when I met him so I didn’t achieve that. Then when I changed majors to something else, I can’t remember what, I died.
Marie: All right.
So, tell us…who is your role model, Julie?
Julie: Asa, my mentor, is my role model. He’s also supposed to be teaching me, but the dude has been through a lot, and he’s been in Hell a long time. He’s kept a sense of humor; that takes something special. At least I think so.
Marie: I agree.
Okay, let’s try something else. Well, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question.
Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?
Julie: Not in this lifetime. Unless you count my teachers. Since I have to pretend to be a college student and Asa makes me actually go to classes, I dislike pretty much all of my teachers.
Marie: All right.
So, what is your deepest desire?
Julie: I think my deepest desire is to find peace. It’s hard putting horrible people through me and seeing what they did, how they did it. The world is full of some bad people.
Marie: That’s true.
Let’s try a different question.
What is your greatest fear, Julie?
Marie: I see.
Well, we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Julie. It was so interesting getting to know you! 🙂
(Waves goodbye to her guest.)
Marie: Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective. We have author Emily Walker on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to meet you! Hello, Emily!
Author Emily Walker: Hello! Thank you for having me!
Marie: My pleasure!
We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Julie. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?
Emily: Julie dies in the beginning of the story, so that’s no spoiler she was handing out there. She goes to Hell and has to deal with the fact that even though she doesn’t remember it, she did something on Earth while she was alive that put her in the situation.
So…what are your character’s greatest strengths?
Emily: Julie’s strengths are her drive; she goes into this job pretty much head first and doesn’t know what’s going to happen to her. She accepts it, so she’s driven to find out what happened to her and she thinks doing the job is the way to do it.
Marie: Guess I can’t blame her there! I’d want to know too.
Now, let’s take the opposition on that. What, do you feel, are Julie’s greatest weaknesses?
Emily: Slowly remembering things that don’t make sense are really hard on her and so is the fact that she has to control her power. If she doesn’t control it, she can kill everyone around them just sucking in their life essence. It’s like a drug.
Marie: I see.
So, let’s try something else.
What are some of her favorite foods?
Emily: Asa cooks a mean breakfast with bacon and all the fixings. Since they are in a married dorm, pretending to be married, he makes her food, although she doesn’t have to eat.
What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?
Emily: She was pretty; she was just insecure. In her Succubus form, she’s as close to perfect as it gets, but she doesn’t realize when she was alive she was just as appealing.
Marie: I think a lot of women can relate to that…
So, will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
Emily: I think they will like her. She’s dead and succubae, but she has some real insecurities, a crush on Asa, and fears. She’s realistic about what happened to her. Once it starts coming back, you have to root for her.
So, now that we have a real taste of Julie, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.
What first gave you the idea for Julie’s Ascent?
Emily: Originally the name of the story was The Reluctant Succubus, which I still like. It’s the name of the series and the prequel to Julie’s Ascent, where we explore some characters a bit more before Julie died. Julie’s Ascent has a couple of meanings; she rises to the challenge of finding out who she is, and she rises from Hell to Earth to do her job.
Marie: Works for me! 🙂
Let’s try something else.
What is your writing style like, Emily? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
Emily: A little of both. I pantsed Julie’s Ascent, but I’ve become a lot more fond of plotting.
Marie: All right.
Now, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Julie’s Ascent or publishing it? What would you do differently the next time?
Emily: Writing Julie’s Ascent was hard sometimes; it was dark. It gets dark and while it’s a paranormal romance, there are some scenes that kind of make you cringe a bit. Those are hard for me sometimes to write when I sit back and think man, where’d that come from. Also my mom was like, “Where do these thoughts come from?” I think she was a bit disturbed, but I balanced it out with humor, angst, and romance so I think it all comes together nicely. I don’t think I would do anything differently. I learn every day as a writer, and this one has been written for a while now so thinking things through and just going with my gut, a lot of the same the whole time I’ve been writing.
Marie: Isn’t it interesting how the muse works? 🙂
Emily: Yes. Thank you so much for having me and Julie today! It was a lot of fun.
Marie: Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog! And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Julie’s Ascent appears to be.
Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Emily Walker, a very talented author! 🙂
Here is the blurb for Julie’s Ascent:
When Julie Monroe ends up in Hell, she has no idea why she’s there.
What she’s sure of is: she’s dead, she’s transparent, and she’s been given a second chance.
Given the unique opportunity to return to Earth as a Succubus, she jumps at the chance to get out of Hell. Problem is, she isn’t too keen on sucking souls for the Underworld. To make things even more complicated, she has a crush on her mentor, Asa. He’s been in the business of the Succubae for hundreds of years, and Julie can’t help feeling drawn to him.
Convinced she can escape, Julie tries to run and hide from the forces of hell. But, as she discovers different dimensions of Hell on Earth, she begins to realize that maybe, just maybe, there isn’t a way to escape her fate…
Emily is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!
He doesn’t apologize. He just smiles an unnerving smirk and continues telling me about the world in which I would soon belong. I wonder if he is trying to anger me on purpose to see what I can do. Making me angry is not good for him, I don’t know how I know that, but I can feel the power at the end of my consciousness and it is a scary sensation.
“You will have to watch that temper, too, Julie. It will get you into trouble. Another thing you should know is it’s very easy for a succubus such as yourself to go over to the dark side.” He holds up his hand before I can ask him a question. “I know, you are already on the dark side, but you aren’t. You really have no idea how dark things can get, and I promise you the evil that will rape your soul is not worth the thrill you get from letting go.” His dark eyes hide a memory of some sort that he does not wish me to know.
Ooh…I definitely want to know what happens next! 😉
Universal Amazon link: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00ZPM8Q36
About Emily Walker
Emily Walker loves creating worlds and stumbling around in them. She is constantly losing her chap-stick, and has an obsession with the color pink. Currently a resident of the mountains and loving the view she writes mostly paranormal fiction, horror and some romance. Her small family consists of her red bearded other half, a rat terrier named Rebel, and a cat called Mr. Creepy.
And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Emily Walker, here are some of her author links:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Emily%20Walker/e/B0088EDLDS/
Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Julie, the female main character of Julie’s Ascent, and Emily Walker, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by! It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂