Julie is a life-long animal lover with a passion for writing about animals. She has written features about the joy of pets and the importance of animal rescue for several media outlets including Best Friends Animal Society, Cat Fancy, and Thrive in Life.
Julie's published novels include the paranormal thriller Polar Night and the historical mystery The Ghosts of Aquinnah. Both are available in both ebook and paperback format from Ink Smith Publishing. (Amazon)
BBB: What inspired you to become an author?
JF: I am a late bloomer when it comes to writing. I always loved writing, whether in school, in my job as a librarian, or even just in writing letters or emails, but I never thought of trying to write fiction until about four or five years ago. After turning 40, I was feeling unfulfilled and depressed and wanted a new outlet. I started writing features for Best Friends Animal Society as a volunteer and quickly realized I loved doing that more than any job I’d ever been paid for. I enjoyed crafting the features and loved writing them as stories as opposed to just a dry listing of the facts of a situation. This led me to start thinking about the stories I’d always enjoyed creating in my head but had never written down. I decided to give writing them down a try and haven’t stopped since.
JF: I have written two books – Polar Night and The Ghosts of Aquinnah. Both were published by Ink Smith Publishing in 2013.
BBB: Where do the ideas for your stories come from?
JF: The idea for Polar Night came from a dream I had. In the dream, I was on a passenger steamer crossing the Atlantic Ocean not long after World War I. I met a tall blond man who told me about a woman he’d loved and lost during the war. While the final book doesn’t bear a great deal of resemblance to that dream, if you read Polar Night you will see the connection.
I got the idea for The Ghosts of Aquinnah when I was planning a trip to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts and looking at a webcam on a Vineyard site. I started wondering, what if I looked at this webcam a lot and always saw the same person on it? Who was that person and what were they doing there? What did they want? I eventually made the person into a woman who lived on the island in the 19th century but is seen regularly on the webcam by a woman in 2013. The rest of the story developed from that idea.
JF: I do and really struggled with it this past year while trying to write my sequel to Polar Night.
BBB: What are you currently working on?
JF: I’m happy to say that I am working on editing and revising that sequel! I got over my writer’s block and was finally able to finish the manuscript. It’s called Polar Day and the tentative plan is for it to be published by Ink Smith in January, 2015. I am also working on revising a novella that is a prequel to Polar Night. I hope to publish that one myself in the fall.
BBB: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
JF: I have a website at julieflanders.net and also blog regularly at julieflanders.blogspot.com. I have information about my books and other writing on both sites. I have been blogging since 2011 so my blog is a great place to get to know more about me. I live in Cincinnati, Ohio and I am an animal lover, tv addict and sports fan in addition to being a writer.