Welcome to my stop on the AUTHORS ARE ROCKSTARS TOUR! I am so excited to be hosting Julie Cross!
I am so glad that I randomly decided to stop in my local bookstore over a year ago and stumble across a copy of Tempest. As soon as I picked up that book and started reading it, I couldn’t put it down, nor did I want to. Over the past year or so, I have found myself looking up to Julie and I really do consider her my mentor when it comes to writing. Julie truly is a ROCKSTAR and I so hope to one day be able to meet her in person so I can tell her ‘thank you‘. If you haven’t read anything by Julie, I highly recommend checking out her Tempest Series & most definitely her newest release, Letters to Nowhere.
[You can find my review of Vortex, book #2 in the Tempest series, HERE]
Everyone really should check out her latest, Letters to Nowhere. I can’t tell you just how much I loved this book and the characters, Karen and Jordan. Check out my release day post I did the other week to celebrate the release of LtN!
Here’s the summary via Goodreads:
Her family may be shattered, but her dreams aren’t…
From the International Bestselling Author of the Tempest series
A Mature YA contemporary set in the tough world of Elite Gymnastics.
Seventeen year old Karen Campbell has just lost both her parents in a tragic car accident. Grief stricken and alone, her gymnastics coach opens his home to Karen, providing her a place to live while she continues to train, working toward a spot on the world championship team.
Coach Bentley’s only child, seventeen year old Jordan is good-looking and charming enough to scare away a girl like Karen—someone who has spent ten times more hours on balance beams and uneven bars than talking or even thinking about boys. But the two teens share a special connection almost immediately. It turns out Jordan has a tragic past of his own, grief buried for years.
As Karen’s gymnastics career soars, her nightmares and visions of the horrible accident grow in strength. She can only avoid facing her grief for so long before it begins to surface and ultimately spin out of control in a very dangerous way. Can discovering love and lust (simultaneously) help with the grieving process or will it only provide a temporary distraction while waiting for reality to hit full force.
I had the opportunity to interview Julie & do a character interview with Jordan from Letters to Nowhere.
Interview | Julie Cross
– Growing up, was becoming an author what you absolutely wanted to do?
No, I wanted to be a teacher and then eventually a gymnastics coach and that led to a PE major in college.
– As a huge fan of your writing, what advice would you give to those who hope to get published one day? Something you wish someone would have told you when you started writing.
I always tell aspiring writers to read a lot, especially in the genre you hope to be published in. And second, be open-minded. Accept the fact that you have to write a ton of crap before you create something that’s worth publishing. I’m sure there’s a select few that aren’t this way, but I know I’ve got six crappy manuscripts to prove this point. As long as you enjoy yourself and feel passionate about what you’re creating at the time you’re writing, it’s going to get you where you need to go.
– I love Tempest and Vortex! As do so many other people that I’ve talked to. Where did your inspiration for Jackson’s story come from?
TEMPEST truly evolved on the editorial floor. The premise came from my first manuscript (one of those crappy ones) and it was sort of time travel but there were aliens and gymnastics. An editor at St. Martin’s Press had that first manuscript, rejected it, but asked me if I wanted to work with him on developing a teen time travel story. I said yes and TEMPEST was born. The rest of the plot came in layers as I wrote that first draft and then continued as I rewrote and rewrote again.
– What song would you choose to best describe Jackson and Holly’s relationship?
Oh man…this is a tough one because I actually have a very long playlist that has a song for almost every chapter. I also think it’s tricky to pick one because Jackson falls in love with more than one version of Holly…lol. But I guess if I have to pick one song it would be Collide by Howie Day.
[Here’s the full list if anyone’s interested http://www.juliecrossbooks.com/p/tempest-playlist.html]
– What is your favorite part about your job?
When I’m first developing a story, those early stages plus writing that first draft.
– Who was your favorite author growing up? How about now? Do he/she/they have an impact on your writing?
Judy Blume. She taught me everything I need to know about puberty and first loves.
– Do you include bits and pieces of yourself in some of the characters you’ve created?
Usually just general knowledge type stuff. I haven’t written characters that have my personality. It’s much more fun to create someone new.
And now, let’s learn a little bit about Jordan, a boy who is bound to earn your interest as you read Letters to Nowhere. I absolutely loved Jordan when I read this book & couldn’t get enough of him.
Interview | Jordan from Letters to Nowhere
– What was your first impression of Karen?
Probably innocent and sheltered, which she is in some of the ways that I’m not. But she’s got this whole other view on the grown up world that comes with being a high-level athlete and devoting your life to one thing. I don’t have that at all.
– What were you and Stevie talking about in the lobby of the gym?
The gymnastics camp we both worked at over the summer. Why? What did you think we were talking about? Did I make it look like it was more that because I was totally trying to?
– When was the first moment you realized you cared deeply for Karen?
Probably when she asked me if I believed in the afterlife. That hit me right in the gut. I knew exactly what she was going through I knew I couldn’t let her deal with it alone.
– How would you describe yourself? How would you describe Karen?
According to my friends, I’m too picky when it comes to girls and I guess that’s true to some extent. I just don’t like to waste my time acting fake or going through the basic girlfriend/boyfriend moves. If I didn’t go to such a competitive private school, I’d probably call myself an academic nerd, but at my school, I’m pretty normal. I like making everything a competition—sports, school work, back yard dares—I probably get that from my dad. He’s pretty hard core when it comes to winning. Music is the only thing I’m not really competitive about. There’s no black and white with music. No winner or loser. That’s one reason that it’s hard to put myself out there musically. I can’t say I’m doing it because I want to win. I have to admit that I love it. That’s hard.
And Karen…she’s…well she’s different than other girls I know. She stutters through asking me a stupid question about using the bathroom that we share, but when she walks into a room there’s no moment where she looks around and sizes everyone up. She’s comfortable in her own skin. She’s confident. And that’s kind of hot, you know?
– What is your ideal date?
Anything where neither of us has to try too hard or be something other than ourselves.
– If you could have only three wishes, what would they be?
1. My family to be back together.
2. I’d take back some of the hateful things I’ve said to my dad over the past few years, even though he deserved to hear some of that stuff, I could have said it differently.
3. A Jimi Hendrix’s guitar
– What qualities do you look for in a girl?
I think I’m still trying to figure this one out. I’ve been able to cross items off the list but haven’t really added anything to it yet.
– You’re on a deserted island and you can only bring three things, what would they be?
I prefer to live so I’m not about to pick something useless and sentimental. Practical me would choose a rain collector, either a gun or a hunting knife (there’s at least some wild boar, right?), and probably a bottle of sunscreen.
I hope that you check out Julie Cross’ books because her books are awesome & she really is a ROCKSTAR.