Third Person Press: Where did you grow up? Do you think your childhood influenced you to be a writer?
Julie A. Serroul: As a young girl, one of the most exciting days of my week was bicycling the 3 km to the end of the road to meet the Bookmobile. Climbing up into that van which was literally spilling books from its shelves onto the floor felt so exciting and looking around in it was like a treasure hunt. Even though I was quite “outdoorsy”, the tree-house that I built was yet another place to hide away and read. My appetite for books never waned, and when you love them that much, wanting to put your own thoughts and ideas on paper has an irresistible pull. Also, when you are a natural introvert, which I was as a child, “speaking” on a page was far less intimidating. After all, in a story you control both sides of the conversation…although some characters are quite willful and disobedient.
TPP: Who were your three favorite writers when you were young? Who are three favorites now?
JAS: As a kid I loved Carolyn Keene, C.S. Lewis and Lucy Maud Montgomery. Now I love many writers, but my lasting loves are Dean Koontz and Bob Salvatore. I have a love/hate relationship with George R.R. Martin who really needs to be less blood-thirsty about killing my favorite characters.
TPP: What are you most likely to be doing when you're not writing?
JAS: Reading, Zumba, Turbo-kick, Drinking red wine, Watching Movies, Four-Wheeling, I have a lot of hobbies, unfortunately, which means lots of distractions from writing. I also have a day-job that allows me to do everything else I love.
TPP: Do you have any writing habits or rituals?
JAS: Pour a nice hot cup of coffee or peppermint tea, depending on the time of day and my mood, and then either stare out the window at the scenery and think for a while, or at some of my lovely fantasy/sci-fi art pieces. I do a substantial amount of “head-writing” before I set pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. And I am sometimes in the mood to curl up in my comfy chair with a pen and paper instead of at my computer keyboard which sometimes reminds me too much of my day job and can stifle my creativity. The process of “head-writing” reminds me of when I was a kid and used to “day-dream”. This practice was hugely frowned on by my teachers, but now serves me well!
TPP: What's your favorite beverage while writing? While not writing?
JAS: See answers above!
TPP: If you were a superhero, what would your name and power/ability be? Or would you be a supervillain instead?
JAS: I’d likely be an Anti-hero named “Crank-porter” and my superpower would be to transport all cranky, irritable, disagreeable people onto the same island where their punishment would be to have to deal with each other!
TPP: What are you working on now? What's your next writing project?
JAS: I am currently revising a story about a couple of Anti-heroes, coincidentally. After that I’m going to re-visit some other stories that I have abandoned to see if I was too hasty. I often fall in love with new work and out of love with the pieces that are at the editing phase - when the fun is over and the work begins…it is a very bad habit!
TPP: Is there a question you've always wanted to answer as a writer? Pose it and then write your answer. :)
Q: Have you ever used eavesdropping on the public conversations of strangers to inspire a story?
JAS: Yes, but I prefer not to hear the whole conversation, only a snippet of something intriguing. Firstly, I don’t want to intrude on people’s privacy, and secondly, what I imagine them to be talking about is usually a lot more interesting and fun than the mundane ordinary thing it turns out to be if you listen to the end!
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