Author Spotlight: Julie Wetzel

Name:   Julie Wetzel  

Author of:   The Dragons of Eternity Series: On the Accidental Wings of Dragons; For the Memory of Dragons; For the Heart of Dragons; A Castle for Dragons, the First Archive; For the Kingdom of Dragons (coming Sept. 2018)

Kindling Flames Series: Gathering Tinder; Flying Sparks; Smoke Rising; Stolen Fire; Burning Nights; Blazing Moon; Granting Wishes (Crimson Tree Publishing)

White Lies (Changing Tides Publishing)

 

 

Can you tell me about the first piece you remember writing?   I did not grow up as a writer, so remembering the first thing I wrote is pretty easy. I started writing in 2011 when my sister called me from the ship she was serving on. She’d entered a war zone and wasn’t allowed to get online, but she could get emails. She asked to write her something fun. At the time I was really into the anime Skip Beat!, so I wrote a very long and rambling fanfiction for that. I did post it online, and if you know where to look, you can still find it. It wasn’t my best work and I’ve considered going back and fixing it, but it’s fanfiction. It’s not supposed to be well written, just entertaining.

After that I got more comfortable with the whole concept of making up stories and started off into something my sister would actually read. She requested a vampire story and so Kindling Flames was born. The rest of story, as they say, is history.

When did you first realize you wanted to pursue writing as a profession?  I never really thought about being a professional writer. I started writing to entertain my sister. I did three to five thousand words a day and sent them to her so she would have something new to read when she got off duty. At first it was just something fun, then I got emails from her shipmates telling me she had sent them a part of the story and they wanted the rest. So I started emailing them chapters daily. After a few months of this, I started to get requests for the book in print so people could share it with other. On a whim, I started sending the manuscript off to publisher to see if I could find someone to publish it. As I did that, I went on to write more stories for my new friends. After several errors and many rejection letters, I finally found Crimson Tree Publishing. They loved my story and thought it would be just what they wanted. It wasn’t until after I published On the Accidental Wings of Dragons(my sixth title) and my publisher suggested that I quit my day job and work on writing full time that I even though about making writing my profession. Everything up to that point was just fun. I’m still waiting for everyone to wake up and realize I’m faking this whole writing career thing.

 Is there anyone who went out of their way to help or advise you during your journey to become a published author?  There were a lot of people that helped me along the way. The ladies from CTP were always there when I had questions, Ethan Gregory always had good words and advice for me, but I think the person that helped me the most was Sherry Ficklin. She taught me the ropes and let me tag along with her at my first few conventions. She gave me advice and listened to me whine when things got too much for me. And for the longest time, my goal was to be as successful in the book world as she was. A fact I’m sure she would find extremely funny.

Do you exclusively romance or have you written in other genres?  No. I am not exclusively romance. I like to write what I like to read and that’s a bit of everything. My main two series are Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. I have done a short sci-fi that I want to expand on and I have a few pieces in the works that span from twisted fairytales to space adventures.

What is your schedule like when you’re writing a book? Is it difficult to achieve a work, life, write balance?  I usually try to keep my books moving forward at a steady pace, but recently I’ve been having problems balancing things. There’s been some turmoil at work that took me from three half-days a week to full time. The extra money is nice, but I’ve not been able to get into a groove that lets me do the things I need to do.  I’ve been scatterbrained and that doesn’t make writing easy. I’m starting to find that balance again and have worked writing back into my life. Now I just need work to hire a few good people and a mechanic so I can get back to my three days away and put the stories in my head down on paper.

How long does it generally take you to write a first draft? How long do you spend on revisions?  First drafts can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on how motivated I am to work on them and what else is going on in my life. Once I get a draft done, I read through it three times before sending it to my beta readers. Once they go through it and send it back to me. I read through it again before sending it on to submissions. This can take anywhere from a few days to weeks depending on how long the piece is.

 Can you describe the preparation/research you do for each book?  That depends on the book. If the book deals with a subject I’m familiar with, I don’t do any research. If there is an aspect of the book I’m unfamiliar with, I tend to spend weeks looking up as much as I can.

Do you have any quirky writing habits (the things you’d never want anyone to know)?  Why would I tell you thing I don’t want people to know? But to answer the question, yes, I do have quirky writing habits. Most of my best writing is done on paper with special pencils. I keep my pencils in a tooth brush case to keep the tips from getting broken. I also do my best writing between midnight and three am.

 Have you ever done a literary pilgrimage—or any interesting research—for your novels? If not, do you have a research destination bucket list?  I can’t say I’ve done pilgrimages or specific research for my books. I have spent a lot of time on YouTube looking up travel videos and I have pulled a lot of experiences from my actual life. I love to travel and have seen thirty-nine states and five countries. I have foreign friends that give me insight into their culture. That has helped me pull some interesting thing into my novels.

Inspiration comes in many forms. Can you recall the exact moment of inspiration for each of your projects? Nope. Inspiration strikes me at odd times. My first novel was a request, but I don’t recall how I came up with that character or plot line. Some of my other books have been dreams, both day dreams and nightmares. Some were spin offs of ideas I saw on TV or requests for a certain type of book. Some were bad pizza and beer. It’s hard to say where my ideas come from.

Do you have a specific genre you prefer to read? What are your favorites?  The genre I prefer depends on my mood. I do tend to do fantasy, either paranormal or urban, because I like the idea that there’s more out there. But, I also do a lot of romance, because I’m a sucker for a happy ending. The only genre I don’t enjoy is horror. I have a vivid imagination and it keeps me up at night. I still can’t sleep with my closet door open.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find or know the real inspiration for?  There are a few characters in all of my novels that are directly taken from people in my real life, but only they would know who they are. There are also a few places and events that I have seen or done. So yes, Easter eggs galore… But only I, or people who truly know me, can tell you where they are.

Are your characters inspired—in part or whole—by people in your real life?  The main characters in my books are always fictional. Pieces of my own creations… However, some of the side characters are made up of people I know that have requested to be included, or I felt the need to kill. You guess as to which ones those are.

Name one book you think is entirely underappreciated. One of my books? I have a short story in the Fated Destinations Anthology that I don’t think gets enough love, but the rest of my books do tend to be well loved.

Name one book that was a guilty pleasure.  Straight up: Granting Wishes. Yes, it was adapted to the Kindling Flames world be a giveaway for BEA, but I started that one daydreaming while fixing a light on a shelf. Out of all of the books I’ve written, it’s my favorite to this day. I can read that over and over and never get tired.

Be honest: Do you Google yourself?  I have. Most of the time I’m looking for fanfiction. That’s my goal in life, to be popular enough for someone to do fanfiction on my books. So far I’ve been very disappointed.

As a writer, which animal would you choose as your mascot/avatar/patronus?  A dragon.

Is there one thing you think you, as a writer, should be better at, but secretly struggle with?  I don’t want this to make me sound unapproachable. I love hearing from fans and meeting new people, but I dislike dealing with people in large groups. I’ve always been the person on the outside looking in, but I’ve had to learn to be the person people are looking in on. Sometimes it makes me super uncomfortable to be in a place with more than a few people. It’s something I’m working on.

What is one word of advice you’d give to an aspiring writer? You’re going to need some thick skin. Publishing is a hard job and a lot of people are going to throw crap at you and your work. You are putting a piece of yourself out for the world to see and you can’t be sensitive about it. You’re going to need to understand that not every bad review is a personal attack and not everyone is going to like what you do. It’s going to be tough, and it’s not going to get better, no matter how many books you sell. People are mean. There’s only one person you have to please: Yourself. Understand that and go on with your head held high. There are people out there that will love you.

 What is one word of advice you’d give to a newly published author?  Stop and consider how your actions appear in the public eye before you act. If you come off as a self-centered diva, people will treat you that way. There’s a reason there’s a hashtag for Authors behaving badly. Mind your manners, treat people with kindness and respect, and you will go far. Treat people like stepping stones or trash and you will shoot your career in the face.

 In what ways do you “pay it forward” to help other aspiring writers?  The only things I have to pay forwards are the things I have learned in this business. I can’t do reviews because Amazon hates me, I’m a horrible beta reader, and I tend not to read a lot of books while I’m working on something. But, I have learned a lot and am always open to answering questions when I can. My husband calls me a well of useless knowledge, but I’m happy to share it when I can.

Want more information about Julie and her books?

White Lies

When her identical twin comes down with a stomach bug, Molly finds herself suckered into a huge favor. Impersonating her twin for a romantic dinner…with her sister’s amazingly hot boyfriend. After a minor accident has Molly spending the night in his arms, she swears off standing in for her sister again. But thing’s don’t always turn out as planned…

A chance meeting at lunch changes everything. Now, Molly’s faced with a hard decision. Should she keep her sister’s secret and continue pretending to be her twin, or follow her heart and tell the man she’s falling for the truth? Both choices will lead to the end of a relationship. But how do you choose between a sister you love and the man of your dreams?

Get it on Amazon 

The Dragons of Eternity:

On The Accidental Wings of Dragons  (The Dragons of Eternity, Book 1)

When Michael Duncan is sent to investigate the disappearance of several dragon subjects, he finds himself in a bind. Locked in a dungeon, his only hope lies wrapped in a bundle of cloth tossed at his feet. One kiss and his life is changed forever. Hunted by his own people for crimes he didn’t commit, Michael has to learn a whole new life at the hands of a beautiful woman. Can she help him clear his name, or will just being in her presence get him sentenced to death?

Carissa Markel doesn’t know who this man chained to the wall is, but he’s her only chance for escape. She has power, but, born without a voice, she lacks the means to wield it. One choice, made in desperation, sends them running for his life. Does she have the strength to help him clear his name? And what will her brother, the King of Dragons, do if he finds out what she’s done? That’s immaterial, the real question is… can she keep her hands off him long enough to find out?

Buy it from Amazon

For the Memory of Dragons (The Dragons of Eternity, Book 2)

What do you do when a dragon crash-lands in your backyard?

That’s the question Terra’s faced with when one of these creatures plows down into her cornfield. Should she help out the hunk of a man the dragon turns into, or turn him over to the trigger-happy ‘authorities’ that have come looking for him? The deciding factor—he has no memory. Giving him up just doesn’t seem right… at least until she knows the truth of who he is.

Alex has forgotten a thing or two—his name being one of them—but he knows there is something important that he needs to remember, if he could just get his battered brain to work properly. A little rest might help, but there’s no time for that when the bullets start flying.

Now he has to follow the few clues he has to discover who he is, and why people are trying to kill him. But that’s the easy part. The hard part will be keeping his hands off the lovely lady helping him.

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For the Heart of Dragons (The Dragons of Eternity, Book 3)

Disconnection is a very serious issue for dragons that can leave them stuck in one form or another, but it’s a condition that usually comes on slowly and rarely catches anyone by surprise. No one knows this better the Kara Rose, Eternity’s leading specialist in the treatment of this condition. So when the head of Eternity demands her presence for an emergency, she can’t imagine what he could want. She is, after all, only a therapist.

As a top mage with Eternity, Noah Dove has worked with dragons for most of his life, so he is used to their odd quirks and physical needs. When a dark beauty shows up to disrupt the king’s celebrations, he agrees to go with her to keep the peace. When Noah is unable to protect the woman from the group killing dragons, he’s left with her last request—to save her dragon. It would normally be an impossible task, but with a bit of magic and some help from the dragon, Noah forms the one thing that can transfer a dragon from one person to another—a Heart Stone.

Now the dragon is loose and out of control… and the only person who can help is Kara. With Noah’s consciousness locked away beyond her reach, she must somehow find a way to soothe the dragon and connect two halves that were never a whole. The task is daunting and will push her knowledge—and personal boundaries—to their limit and beyond.

 Get it from Amazon

A Castle For Dragons (The Dragons of Eternity, The First Archive)

With a dragon ravaging the countryside, the Prince of Dragons sends out his best man, Patrick Mylan. His orders—secure an abandoned castle and stop the foul beast from stealing more maidens. This shouldn’t be an issue for an Elite of Eternity.

But there is more going on than there seems. When other dragons are sighted in the area, the town sends their maidens to their new lord for protection. Patrick’s life just became a lot more complicated. With the dragon he’s hunting acting odd and a castle filled with women distracting him, how is he supposed to do the job he was sent for? And what are the ladies going to do when they find out he’s the other dragon in the area?

Get it from Amazon

 

 

 

For the Kingdom of Dragons (The Dragons of Eternity, Book Four)–coming September 4, 2018

Kyle Markel, the King of Dragons, is presumed dead when his plane disappears over the cold waters of the Northern Sound. To make matters worse, his sister, Carissa Markel, has been given undeniable proof that Kyle’s longtime friend, Daniel Callaghan, has been sabotaging the largest investigation Eternity has ever had. He may have also been involved with Kyle’s disappearance.

But all is not what it seems.

That’s something Angela Lewis discovers when she’s awoken in the middle of the night by a strange and violent ceremony. Her quick thinking frees the handsome man tied to the table, but the knife in his chest makes his survival questionable. Unsure who to trust, she finds herself running to the only place the stranger is willing to go—The Dragon’s Wing.

Can Angela find someone to save him? And without their king, what will become of the kingdom of dragons?

Pre-order now on Amazon

Kindling Flames (The Ancient Fire Series)

Gathering Tinder (The Ancient Fire, Book 1)

After landing a job as assistant to a handsome CEO, Victoria Westernly feels like her life is finally on the right track. But when she discovers her new boss is the city’s most powerful vampire, she’ll have to decide whether her attraction to him is worth the risk…

The Kindling Flames Series is a paranormal romance saga with over 2,300 five-star reviews on Goodreads. Dive into a series filled with sexy vampires, werewolves, shifters, Fae folk, and more. Science fiction and urban fantasy romance lovers unite because this series has seven exciting books that readers have compared to other popular vampire romance novels such as: A Shade of Vampire Series by Bella Forest, the Immortals After Dark Series by Kresley Cole, The Sookie Stackhouse Novels(True Blood) by Charlaine Harris, The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, and The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J.R. Ward.

Get it on Amazon

 

 

Flying Sparks (The Ancient Fire, Book 2)

When Vicky becomes the target of a serial arsonist plaguing the city, Darien calls on the supernatural community to help. Pulling the creatures of the night together to cooperate on any project is troublesome at the best of times. The fact that the one responsible for the city’s woes is a being of fire and magic leads the reluctant groups to a truce that makes…

The Kindling Flames Series is a paranormal romance saga with over 2,300 five-star reviews on Goodreads. Dive into a series filled with sexy vampires, werewolves, shifters, Fae folk, and more. Science fiction and urban fantasy romance lovers unite because this series has seven exciting books that readers have compared to other popular vampire romance novels such as: A Shade of Vampire Series by Bella Forest, the Immortals After Dark Series by Kresley Cole, The Sookie Stackhouse Novels(True Blood) by Charlaine Harris, The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, and The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J.R. Ward.

Get it on Amazon

 

 

Smoke Rising (The Ancient Fire, Book 3)

Is there such a thing as a normal life when you live with an ancient vampire and a temperamental hellhound?

Victoria Westernly was just starting to think so. With Samhain just around the corner and the promise of a Halloween Ball, her life was looking good. Even the addition of a new master vampire couldn’t bring her down.

When Victoria and Darien become the victims of a series of unfortunate accidents, they know something’s up. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. But, the question is… who is burning what?

Get it on Amazon

 

 

 

Stolen Fire (The Ancient Fire, Book 4)

Night. A time of quiet, of peace, of rest, and now, a time of terror. 

With an uncontrolled vampire plaguing the city, the Vampire Council of Brenton once again calls on Darien Ritter for help.

Overwhelmed with the issues of a new menagerie and plans for his wedding, Darien still manages to step up and answer the call. The only problem is, he suddenly finds himself a little too… human. 

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Burning Nights (The Ancient Fire, Book 5)

After a wedding filled with werewolves, fay, and vampires, Vicky is looking forward to a nice, quiet honeymoon away from the chaos of Darien’s daily life. But nothing is ever simple with an Ancient Vampire around. When the Vampire Council of Hawaii finds out Darien and his new bride are coming, they are determined to see that Darien is honored properly. But vampire etiquette isn’t for the faint of heart. The nights could burn when lines are drawn… and Darien finds himself in a turf war he never intended to start.

Get it on Amazon

 

 

 

 

Blazing Moon (The Ancient Fire, Book 6)

Trouble has once again found its way to Brenton…

When a pack of rogue werewolves makes a grab for the local pack’s land, Rupert, the local alpha, does his best to keep the peace. Unfortunately, his people have been having some issues of their own that complicate matters.

When Phelan, Rupert’s second, becomes the latest wolf to lose control over a simple dispute, Rupert is left with no other choice than to seek outside help.

Krissy, a human empath who stumbled on the scene, was able to help Phelan, but dealing with an entire pack of enraged werewolves is too much for one person to handle. With Master Darien on his honeymoon, Rupert turns to his next best choice—Elliot.

Now Phelan, Elliot, and Krissy have to discover what’s driving the weres into emotionally savage rages before all hell breaks loose and destroys the wolves of Brenton.

Get it on Amazon

 

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