Wednesday 6 March 2013

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2013 YA Debut Novel Interview: The Holders by Julianna Scott

We all like supporting YA and New Adult debut authors, but this year, rather than just read their books, I'll be highlighting them on my blog too, so you can hear about these wonderful authors.

Today, as part of the blog tour, I'm interviewing YA author Julianna Scott whose debut YA novel, The Holders, is being published by Strange Chemistry in the UK on 7th March 2013. Read on for more:

The Holders by Julianna Scott - 17-year-old Becca has spent her whole life protecting her brother - from their father leaving and from the people who say the voices in his head are unnatural. When two strangers appear with apparent answers to Ryland's "problem" and details about a school in Ireland where Ryland will not only fit in, but prosper, Becca is up in arms. She reluctantly agrees to join Ryland on his journey and what they find at St. Brigid's is a world beyond their imagination. Little by little they piece together information about their family's heritage and the legend of the Holder race that decrees Ryland is the one they've been waiting for. But they are all, especially Becca, in for a surprise that will change what they thought they knew about themselves and their kind. from Amazon UK.

Julianna ScottCan you tell us a little about yourself?

Well, let’s see... I’m 29 and live in Chicago with my husband and two little daughters. I have an intense love of carbs, a weakness for notebooks and journals, and an inordinately large bookmark collection.

Have you always wanted to be an author?

No. Honestly the thought never really even crossed my mind until a few years ago. Up until that point I was always a musician complete with music degree. Never really thought I’d be writing for a living, but now that I am I wouldn’t have it any other way.

How did you come up with the idea for The Holders?

It is the combination of several ideas I have had for a while, and one day I came across a Celtic jewellery website and everything just kind of came together.

If you could describe The Holders in three words, what would they be?

Family, Love, and Destiny

Why will readers like your main character, Becca?

I hope that she is someone that readers can relate to in some way. She is a caretaker who will do anything for the people she loves. However, years of caring for her brother as well as the fact that she was very advanced in school has made her something of a loner, which is something that I think a lot of us have been at one time or another. She also has a temper and a tendency to overreact at times, and for readers like me, that is a good thing. I never like to read about characters who are perfect, which is why all my characters are always flawed in several ways. After all, that is real life.

What research did you have to do for The Holders? Was there anything you found that surprised you?

Oh my goodness, a ton! I had to research everything about Ireland, Celtic legends, geography, weather, language, and just about anything else you can imagine. The most surprising part was working on the Gaelic I used through the book. Not only is the Irish language pronounced differently depending on where you are from (as most dialects are), but it has also changed several times in the past several hundred years. This means that not only do you need to know where your speaker is from, but also when they are from, and when you are dealing with people who live anywhere from 2 to 5 times longer than the average person, as well as a mythology that was founded centuries ago, ‘when’ becomes a problem.

Tell us about how you write; do you write in a particular place? Do you have any music playing? Do you have any must-haves with you while writing?

I wish. In a perfect world, I would wake up, go down to the basement where my little office is set up, write for a few hours, then have lunch while I work on promo and emails. Then I would spend the afternoon writing, finishing up just in time to have dinner ready for my husband when he gets home from work. Then we would take a romantic evening ride on our magic carpet... Yeah, maybe in a perfect world. However in the real world, I write whenever I can, wherever I can, which is often on the couch with cartoons playing and my 2 and 3 year olds bickering in the background.

What was most surprising to you during the writing process?

Not sure that anything surprised me exactly, but the support I have received from my friends and family never fails to amaze me.

How does it feel to know your book will soon be in the hands of readers?

Terrifying. Exciting, but... yeah, terrifying.

Thank you, Julianna, for such a great interview! I am so intrigued by this novel! As someone who has a romantic idea of Ireland, The Holders sounds right up my street! Gaelic! You can find Julianna on her website, The Holders website, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.


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