Sunday, April 29, 2012

Author Interview Julie Cessar

1) Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

 My background is in fine art and I’ve worked as a graphic designer and freelance painter. I’m a mother of three and for the past ten years I have worked part-time as a legal assistant. In between family stuff, work, painting, photography, scrapbooking, and writing, I recently started running and just completed my first half-marathon in October 2011. I love fancy coffee drinks, ice cream, wine, chocolate, really good pizza and dancing at the local pub. I’m pretty much an all-around goofball, am always wearing my rose-colored glasses, and I really do believe in fairy tales.

 2) Could you tell us a bit about Ruby Blue?

 Ruby Blue is a YA fantasy/romance book about your average ice-cream eating, garden-loving teenager, who is constantly being annoyed by her little brother, is best friends with possibly the only Goth kid in town and she has a big secret… she can see fairies. After possibly the hottest guy she’s ever known finally asks her out, she can barely manage a two-word sentence when bizarre incidents begin to strike their lakeside town. As an ancient myth unfolds, Ruby and her friends must tackle some extraordinary circumstances with her very ordinary abilities in this modern day fairy tale.

 3) What was the inspiration for writing Ruby Blue?

The idea has been with me for so long, that I actually don’t remember exactly how it came to me. I started to really love gardening (like my mom) about 10 years ago and I have always been drawn to the magic of fairies. After my son was born in 2004, I would work in the garden to get some “me time,” and that’s when I began to get the ideas for this story. I always thought it would be a children’s book, but as time went on, I realized that the story I wanted to tell was a bit more mature… and out came Ruby Blue.

 4) Were there any personal experiences that went in to writing Ruby Blue?

YES! Of course, embellishment was involved…Haha… But I definitely used a lot of my own experiences and thoughts that I had as a teenager when I wrote this book. In fact, the scene at the miniature golf place is partly based on a personal experience…

5) Was Ruby's character based on anyone or was she a purely made up character? What is she like?

 Ruby is definitely based in part on me and my quirks. I love gardening, being bare foot and ice cream. I also love my Chuck Taylors, although, I don’t have quite the collection that Ruby does. Several major differences: I don’t have the aversion to dresses she has; I LOVE coffee (she hates it); and I’m the youngest in a huge family of siblings, whereas she is the oldest and has only one brother. But, our personalities are very similar…she’s much cuter than me though.

6) What was your inspiration in the cover art for Ruby Blue?

 It’s funny you ask this… I actually went through about 30 different versions for the cover. Because my background is in design, I’m very particular. I started out with an entirely different concept… a tree-lined path in the woods, etc… Then, after photographing some driftwood on a beach up north, I decided to use one of those pictures and I scrapped the entire first round of covers. I super-imposed the tree bark over the image and did some effects on the photo to give a mystical appearance. I definitely wanted the earthy elements of flowers and trees to be a key concept of the cover, because that is a key element in the book.

7 ) Do you plan to have Ruby Blue as a stand alone novel or part of a series?

 I always intended Ruby Blue to be the first in a series of either four or five books…depending on how long it takes for me to get the story out. I actually have the second book of the series (“Deja Blue”) written and in the final editing stages. I am currently writing book three (“Sky Blue”) but I’ll have to wait and see if I can wrap up the story arc in book four or continue it on with a possible book five.

8) Who is your favorite character in the book? And why?

 Oh gosh! This is a tough one! I actually love all five of the main characters… During this process, they each have earned a special place with me. They all have unique personality traits that I’ve based on people I know and love in my own life… To pick just one is just too hard!

 9) If Ruby Blue was made into a movie, Who would be your dream cast?

Yikes! Talk about the ultimate dream! I actually haven’t given it too much thought, because I’m way too scared to think that far in advance… Hmmm… I was recently made aware of an actor named Matt Dallas, and he is almost exactly what I picture Brennan to look like (in photos where he has shorter/crazier hair). A reader told me that they could picture Bridgit Mendler as Ruby, and I agree that she is a great fit. I think Sterling Knight is the perfect Leo… but I’m at a loss for Jeremy and Nick. I can seem them crystal-clear in my head though!

 10) Do you write to music? If so, what is your favorite?

YES! I love listening to music when I write. In fact, I often repeat the same two or three songs over and over, if I’m writing a particular chapter/scene. It depends on the scene I’m writing as to what music I listen to. With “Ruby Blue,” I listened to a lot of Joshua Radin. Train, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” played quite a bit too.

 11) What do you plan on doing in the future?

 Well, the immediate future holds me finishing the Ruby Blue series. I’ve had the ideas in my head for so long and I just need to get them out. I have an idea for another series involving angels swirling around in my head, but I won’t start writing it until I get Ruby all out on paper. I also plan to keep painting and taking photographs, so hopefully I’ll be promoting that too.

 12) What are you reading right now?

 I have a huge stack of books on my nightstand in the line-up. I’m currently reading a paranormal romance by Rose Pressey, and next in line is the latest Sookie Stackhouse book by Charlaine Harris, the new Betsy book by MaryJanice Davidson, and the latest House Of Night book by P.C Cast and Kristen Cast. The Hunger Games Series is in that stack too (I know…shame on me for not reading them yet!) And, a friend just gave me all of the Vampire Academy books to read…I just finished “Asylum Lake,” by R.A .Evans…that was a great horror/suspense read.

 13) Who are a few of your favorite authors? Oh mannn…There are too many to name! Brent Crawford, Stephanie Meyer, MaryJanice Davidson, PC Cast, JK Rowling, Charlaine Harris, Rose Pressey…Honestly, I love so many. I rarely read a book that I don’t like. If I don’t like a book, I stop reading it and don’t bother to finish.

 14) Anything you would like to add?

 First, I’d like to thank you for reviewing my book, and for the interview opportunity. I hope everyone takes a chance on “Ruby Blue” and can find the magic in it. It truly was a labor of love that was cultivated over a really long time… I look forward to reader feedback and am flattered to be featured on this site! If you love my story, I’d be honored if you shared it with fellow readers.

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