1. What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook?
I like to go by my pen name—G.C. Julien. I had a blog, but if I gave you the link, you’d be disappointed because I don’t maintain it. I can be found on twitter (@gcjulien), or on facebook (www.facebook.com/gcjulien). The best place to find me, however, would be on my website (www.gcjulien.com).
- Tell us a little about your life outside of the world of writing.
Well, I currently work for the federal government as a Senior Communications Advisor in the world of SAP.
When I’m not at work, and when I’m not in my home office writing, editing, or marketing (attempting to), I can usually be found at the gym, visiting family, watching Netflix, playing PS4 (with the new VR system, which is fantastic by the way), walking my dog, or doing groceries. I have a pretty quiet life at home with my wife and 8 pets; yes, 8. Let me explain before you think we’re nuts…
We have a dog and three cats. Recently, my wife rescued a little field mouse and after reading an article stating that releasing it would only lead to its death, she decided to keep it. As luck would have it, he got out of his little house that looks like an alien station. After living in our closet for a week, my wife became heartbroken as she missed her little mouse. So, we went to the pet store and came out with 3 rats.
Oh, and we caught the mouse a few days after that, so now we have four rodent pets.
- How long have you been writing? What genres have you written? They don’t have to be published.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I used to love writing in my essay book in elementary school (not sure if that counts). In high school, I would zone out in class and write scripts that I thought would make awesome video games.
Book-wise, however, I wrote my first book in the horror genre around the age of eighteen, or nineteen. It was a story about high school kids playing with the Ouija board, only to get find themselves surrounded by dark forces that refused to leave. It was a terrible book that was rejected time and time again by multiple literary agents, but after seeing a similar story be created into a film, I figured, hey, if they can make a movie about it, I can release a book about it. I haven’t yet announced it publicly, until now, but I’m revising my original book and releasing it end of 2017 / early 2018.
After that, I went on to write a young adult romance novel (Bow To me), and then its sequel (As I Fall), which touches more on domestic violence and substance abuse.
After that, I started The Feral Sentence, which is a young adult dystopian thriller, and I’m having a blast with that one.
I’m working on something else, too, but that’s a secret. Let’s just say it’s also dystopian.
- What has been the greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc…
I think the greatest influence to my writings has been my personal life / experiences. I wasn’t much of a reader growing up, and I still have a hard time finishing books, so I can’t say that I have an author who’s inspired me overall, aside from J.K. Rowling, but that’s only because I loved Harry Potter.
Every book I’ve written, aside from Bow To Me, which was an impulsive decision I made after reading Lauren Weisberger’s Everyone Worth Knowing) has been inspired by a combination of conversations with friends and family, articles, or TV shows / movies.
My most recent work (the secret one), was actually brought to me by my wife. The story’s her idea entirely, and I’m working with her to bring it to life.
I’m working hard at reading as much as possible now that I have a kindle reader, because it does fuel inspiration and it does improve overall writing. Maybe in a few years, after reading many books, I’ll have a better answer to this question.
- Are you currently writing anything now? If so tell us about it? If not make something up…
I’m working on the new dystopian book I mentioned earlier while also working on the Feral Sentence series. To top it off, I’m also in the middle of revising my paranormal thriller about the spirit board.
- How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with the initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?
I tend to jump right in and see where the story takes me. I used to focus on one book at a time, but I’m working on 3 projects simultaneously at the moment.
- What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?
I suppose my strength would be the weird / crazy ideas that pop into my head, because they can be used to create original works. My weakness would probably be that I tend to rush when I write. I like things to be fast-paced and full of action, rather than descriptive and slow. The goal is to find that perfect balance, because description is so important.
- After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?
I wouldn’t be the best person to talk to for tips on this one, because I’m still learning the whole marketing game. Mind you, if I had to give one piece of advice to anyone, including myself, it would be to keep researching marketing strategies. You can’t learn unless you research what works, and what doesn’t. I’ve tried and failed many times, but I’m going to keep trying different approaches until I get it right.
- What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?
Be open minded and receptive of criticism, because you will receive it. I’ve received criticism for certain aspects of my work, and at first, it hurts. You put yourself out there, and you expect everyone to love your work as much as you do. The thing is, you can’t please everyone. There are books that I’ve tried reading and I couldn’t stand them, when other people rated them 5 stars. We’re all different, and we all prefer different styles.
So when someone criticizes your work, don’t be insulted. Be objective and determine how you can use their comments to improve your work. Then, do it.
My wife used to read my drafts and say, “There isn’t enough detail, I just can’t picture it.”
At first, I’d get upset and remind her of all the description I did put in.
After calming myself down, I started writing with more detail, and I came to realize that what I was writing before really wasn’t all that great.
Always aim to better yourself, not prove yourself.