Tuesday, February 15, 2011

10Q Tuesday with Julie Particka!

Tell us about your current release.
Pretty Souls is a young adult urban fantasy that follows teen werewolf, Elle, and her half-vampire foster sister as they hunt for the demon-spawn that is stealing the souls of people in their town and turning them into living zombies. And if that wasn’t bad enough, they have to deal with bullies, tutors, first love, betrayal and heartbreak along the way.

Do you believe in ghosts?
Yes. There are a lot of things in this world that we don’t have explanations for and ghosts are, in my opinion, among the more plausible of supernatural creatures. I recall reading once that the human body loses a tiny amount of weight upon death. Some people think it’s the weight of the soul as it leaves the body. And if there’s a soul, it stands to reason some of them might stick around.

What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?
I have some extremely supportive family members—especially my husband. He reads everything I write and isn’t afraid to both let me know when I’ve nailed something and when I’ve fallen short. My kids put up with a mentally absentee mom a lot and still love me, so I take that as a show of support. My son is still a little put out that I haven’t come up with a story for the premise he devised with me LOL.

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
Yes, definitely yes! My crit partners/beta readers (I have some that fall in both categories) are the best. They kick me in the pants and keep me sane. I definitely wouldn’t be published without them. Any aspiring author should find a solid set of people who are willing (and have the ability) to help them hone their craft.

Tell us about your family.
I’m the youngest of six kids…by seven years. The other five were born one right after another. (My parents are Polish and Catholic; that should explain everything.) That means I basically grew up with five extra parents. Sometimes it was great. Sometimes…not so much LOL. But we are a big, loving group, and now that most of us have children of our own, I’m not relegated to the kids’ table nearly as often.

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?
I don’t have a set formula per se, but there are certain things that work well for me. I like to have physical images for my characters, so I tend to “cast” them. Sometimes that means famous people, but other times they’re people I’ve never heard of. (I have a friend who is stellar at finding people who fit the exact look I’m going for—she’s amazing.) I also tend to use plot points rather than a hard-core outline. I look at it like a road trip. The plot points are the places I want to make sure I hit on the journey, but how I get there is left open.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I went through so many phases as a kid. The medical field was a huge contender for a while (doctor, nurse, veterinarian), then I wanted to be a writer, then I wanted to be a teacher. In middle school, I decided on aerospace engineering. It’s actually what I initially majored in at college until I realized I really didn’t like physics. I switched to a chemistry major and fulfilled the teaching dream for a few years. Now I’m living the author dream and loving every minute of it.

What group did you hang out with in high school?
My high school was kind of a strange place. While there were “groups”, there weren’t really cliques and the groups tended to have a lot of overlap (ie—there were football players who were also in drama and choir). I was in the flag corps and tended to hang (mostly) with other marching band people. However, I also had drama friends and choir friends and wrestling friends and…

Do you play any sports?
LMAO…no. Anyone who knows me is well aware that sports and I don’t mix. Non-competitive stuff I’m more than willing to try, but even individual sports were not my thing. I did dance for several years though, and my son wants me to sign up for martial arts with him.

Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know?
Definitely a night person. Anyone who tries to talk to me before I wake up is likely to get something unintelligible or very rude. Plus, around eleven at night, I tend to get a second wind. That’s the beginning of my prime writing time when my muse is most forthcoming. I’ve been known to write for hours then.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

I almost missed your interview, Julie. When I was a teen, I did the drum corp thing and carried a flag. It was fun. I also can relate to getting renewed energy late at night. A writers mind never sleeps.

All the best with Pretty Souls!