Juli D. Revezzo loves fantasy and Celtic mythology and writing stories with all kinds of fantastical elements. She is the author of the historical fantasy Frigga’s Lost Army, the romances, House of Dark Envy, Watchmaker’s Heart, and Lady of the Tarot, the Antique Magic paranormal series and Celtic Stewards Chronicles series and more. She is also a member of the Independent Author Network and the Magic Appreciation Tour.
What is your latest book?
Frigga’s Lost Army. It is an historical fantasy set about a World War II POW who survives his time in captivity with the help of the Norse goddess Frigga.
Is your recent book part of a series?
No, it’s a standalone this one.
How did you choose the genre you write in? Or did it choose you?
I’ve always written fantasy into…just about everything I write. History always seems to be blended in there somewhere, just depending on what era strikes my fancy at the time. I’ve written worlds set in the Victorian era as well as some (Lady of the Tarot) based in the 18th century, and some, like my Celtic Stewards Chronicles, covering darned near every era.
What else have you written?
I’ve written the Antique Magic paranormal fantasy (about a woman living in current day Florida, who finds her husband plagued by demons due to a family curse. She has to embrace her witchy powers to save him), also the Celtic Stewards Chronicles, which is a fantasy romance series about a family to whom the Celtic (Irish, specifically) gods come and request the use of their property for their sacred battle; I’ve also written a few historical romances, and odds and ends of novellas and some short stories that are published in a few anthologies.
What do you think some of the greatest misconceptions about indie authors are?
That you can throw up a book in a minute and make a million bucks. Yeah, it happens, but only to a very, very few. And the other misconception, still, is that we’re all… writing a book in a minute, and not taking care with our stuff. That may be true for some, but certainly, not for me.
What part of writing a novel do you enjoy the most? The least?
I enjoy writing the novel the most. I don’t enjoy writing the synopses! 🙂
Some authors, like me, always write scenes in order. But I know some people write scenes out of order. How about you?
It depends on the story but I do seem to jump around more than just write straight through.
Is it important for you to know the ending of a book before you write it? The title?
An ending, yes. Or at least, I like to have a vague idea. As for titles, I usually only need something workable to save it under, then worry about what to use as the marketable title after the fact. I usually have to bounce a list of ideas off friends. We usually end up with some keyword heavy thing I wouldn’t have thought of on day one of the manuscript. Because, you know, keywords don’t figure into some of the best titles:
Elric of Melniboné. (What the heck is that?) The Mabinogion? To the Lighthouse (what lighthouse?) , Mrs. Dalloway, Carmilla (who are they?). Or, take Pickman’s Model by Lovecraft. Who’s Pickman? What kind of model? Is he making toy cars? Or taking something as a model for his life? Is Pickman even a man? (If you haven’t read it, I’m not telling!) Ah…there’s no real keyword there, and (if you don’t know who Lovecraft is) you can’t tell the genre or what the story’s about just from the title, can you? That’s a clever title, in my opinion. 😉 Based on the long history of titles in literature, the current trend doesn’t stack up. Something as keyword heavy as The Detectives of the Elves in the Forest doesn’t work quite so well, in that light, does it? Especially if you realize, tomorrow, your “hot keywords” could very well be out of vogue. Anyway, long story short, based on my influences, that’s why I have to bounce title ideas off friends before I make the ultimate decision.
Have you ever imagined what your characters are doing after you’ve finished a book or series?
Sometimes. Ben (from Frigga’s Lost Army) is more or less settled right now. My novelette “Bicycle Requiem” tied itself to my Antique Magic series, in a way that, I didn’t anticipate when I started either one. I have tons of ideas for what comes next in Antique Magic, and some, yes, that have had me rearrange the end of what I thought would be the final book. I’m not sure I’ll write all of them, (don’t want to have a 25 book series, after all) but I do have them all written down.
After working for a very long time on a novel, many authors get to a point where they lose their objectivity and feel unable to judge their own work. Has this ever happened to you? If so, what have you done about it?
I usually have two or three manuscripts in flux at once, so when I finish one draft, I’ll put it away, and work on something else for a while. That usually clears my head of draft one, so I can go back to it objectively. Then of course, I have betas and editors go over them, as well, who help me pick out what’s wrong.
Are you easily distracted while writing? If so, what to you do to help yourself focus?
No, I’m…*squirrel* 🙂 Seriously though, if I get distracted, it’s usually a sign I need a break, so I’ll stop and maybe go poke around in the garden a little, if it’s a nice day. Or read something else for a while, or poke around on the internet, maybe write a blog post, watch a movie. Things like that. Sometimes just a little rest helps.
Over the years, many well-known authors have stated that they wished they’d written their characters or their plots differently. Have you ever had similar regrets?
Not really. I have things I’d like to tweak, but I don’t usually feel the need to tear everything down and start again. If a book ends up that messed up (and there have been times!) I’d rather move on and write something new.
How important is the choosing of character names to you? Have you ever decided on a name and then changed it because it wasn’t right for the character?
Constantly! I have one character right now who I wish I’d changed the name before I published the book. Too late now.
Authors, especially Indies, are constantly trying to understand why some authors sell very while their talented fellow authors have a hard time of it. It’s an ongoing conundrum. What do you make of it all?
I really can’t say. Sure talent has something to do with it, but sometimes, it seems like it all comes down to luck.
Please, tell us about your experiences with social media. What are your favorite and least-favorite parts of it?
Least favorite part about it…. Everything. Well, not everything, but a few things: DMs on both Twitter and Facebook have a tendency to get lost, so do Twitter comments. I also dislike those ridiculous “please verify yourself” DMs. No. Please stop it.
What do you like best about the books you read?
The storylines, if you’re a fantasy writer, the magic you include. For mysteries, a clever twist. For paranormal cozy mysteries….well, the magic. J
What do you like least?
Fantasy stories where the writer makes a mythological god a villain based on his/her looks and dress, without checking into what the mythology actually says about him/her (Cernunnos is not a devil in Celtic mythology, for instance, even though he has horns). Those kind of mistakes/ uses of “poetic license” drive me batty.
How much research was involved in writing your book? How did you go about it?
With Frigga’s Lost Army, I spent the most time reading accounts of how the POW’s lived life in the camps. Most of these accounts are online, so it was lot of web reading and link culling.
Do you allow others to read your work in progress, or do you keep it a secret until you’ve finished your first draft? Can you elaborate?
I tell you what, my betas and editors prefer to read the entire first draft. They always have, so while I have a critique friend I bounce ideas off, I never let them read it until I’ve finished that draft.
Have you received reactions/feedback to your work that has surprised you? In what way?
Interestingly, men seem to enjoy my Antique Magic series. Since the main point of view is a woman and so I thought they’d be my target audience (women who love things like the Hollows and Anita Blake series). That surprised the heck out of me.
Are you a fast typist? Does your typing speed (or lack of it) affect your writing?
Yes, I am, but I’ve never timed it. (I’ll be humble and say I have average typing speed) How does it affect my writing? I’ve given myself carpal tunnel—which, as you can guess—tends to stop the writing, sometimes.
Do you write anything besides novels? Care to share?
I have a blog (link below) and my journals.
Were you “born to write” or did you discover your passion for writing later in life?
I’ve been telling stories since I was a child, so yeah. Born to write. I didn’t write my first novel, though, until I was 18.
Do you dread writing a synopsis for your novel as much as most writers do? Do you think writing a synopsis is inherently evil? Why?
Yes. Why? I find it hard to boil down the whole book to just a few lines. Bane of my existence! If it wasn’t for friends who graciously allow me to bounce various versions off them, I don’t know where I’d be.
If you were to write a non-fiction book, what might it be about?
Herm….probably something about history…Most likely Medieval and Renaissance history. Or something about the Celts. J I adore them! (And as an aside, I actually wrote a little something about the modern paganism in my Antique Magic series, but it’s only available through my Patreon account)
Do you have any advice to a new author if they asked you whether to pursue the traditional route to publishing or to start out as an independent writer?
Get a team to help you decide what makes a good story, and help you flesh yours out and make it better. Even a beta reader or critique partner is helpful. Learn everything you can—yes, even cover design and (especially!) html and ebook coding. Learn to do everything you can yourself. That way if you lose, or can’t barter with, part of your team or your schedules can’t line up, for whatever reason, you’re not totally screwed. (Hey, life does get in the way! Hello, hurricane season!)
What have you done to market your novel and what did you find the most effective? The least effective?
The least effective? Giveaways. See below. And paid promo. I’ve tried a few different paid ones and never found them worth the money, or let’s put it this way, never made my fee back.
The most effective? Well, I’ve been trying different things lately, so what’s effective might be a combination of a lot of them. I can’t say, really.
I’m sure you’ve read many interviews with your fellow authors. In what ways do you find your methods of creating most similar and dissimilar?
I think we’re pretty much the same across the board, when it comes down to it.
Do you feel your latest book is your personal favorite or one of your previous novels?
Of course I love Frigga, but my favorites? Lady of the Tarot, both for itself and for being my first Audible audiobook.
Having our work out there to be judged by strangers is often daunting for writers. Do you have any tips on handling a negative review?
Just ignore them. Really that’s the best you can do. Anything else might get you in trouble.
Many authors do giveaways; have you found them a successful way to promote your book?
No. Unless it’s a group promo where one can get in front of a larger cross audience I don’t generally find them a useful way to promote.
We all know the old saying; you can’t judge a book by its cover. This is true. However, how much importance do you place on your book cover design?
Funnily, I pay more attention to designing my book covers. But as a reader/buyer? Very little. There are only a handful of books I’ve ever bought because of the cover.
(But I tell you what men with naked chest covers and covers where the woman’s head is cut off drive me insane.[That would be, I’d said, one of my pet peeves]. I will buy a romance novel, but not for that! For judging romance books, I turn right to the back cover)
Every day brings forth new changes and shifts in the world of publishing. Any predictions about the future?
I see covers moving into the gif realm. I’m not sure if Kindle will ever support them in ebooks; I guess we’ll see! More audiobooks might be in the future, too. I had fun making the two I have so far (my two historical romance novels, Lady of the Tarot and Watchmaker’s Heart) so I’d like to see them become more popular. Maybe. I’d love to see holographic novels, but that might just still be a science fiction dream.
Do you have complete control over your characters or do they ever control you?
Most of the time, we have a mutual understanding to work together.
How would you define your style of writing?
Quirky and unorthodox. 🙂 No. To be a little less succinct, my tagline is “The Enchanted Word” and what that means is I write books that are laced with a little bit of magic, a little mythology…even here and there in my purely historical romances you’ll find a nod to the fantasy realm, now and then.
Have you ever wished that you could bring a character to life? If so, which one and why?
Yes! Gabriel (from Frigga’s Lost Army), and Aaron (from Passion’s Sacred Dance/Celtic Stewards Chronicles—or Isaac from Druid Warrior’s Heart). Because *sigh* they’re my favorite heroes of my bunch. And Caitlin. Man, I’d love to have a best friend like her! J Oh. Wait. I do, actually.
A lot of authors are frustrated by readers who don’t understand how important reviews are? What would you say to a reader who doesn’t think his or her review matters?
They do! So please, if you enjoyed the book, put a review up saying so! (Amazon’s temperamental algorithms aside) It’s important to know our work is being loved—and “word of mouth” helps spread the word to others you think might enjoy the book. And hearing you loved our books can really brighten a writer’s day.
What genre have you never written in that you’d like to try?
I’d like to try writing a proper cozy mystery. J
Have you ever started out to write one book and ended up with something completely different?
Actually, funnily enough, I had a science fantasy series I was writing, back in 2000 and when friends got hold of it they said it was romance. That was a total knock me over with a feather” moment, let me tell ya!
Do you know anyone who has ever received any auto DM on Twitter (with a link) who was happy about it?
Depends on the link. If it’s a book link and it sounds interesting, I might look anyway. What I really hate? Those auto-verification tweets. Gah! Please, people, turn that stuff off. I also am perplexed by comments that don’t show up because the commenter marks his account private. I haven’t figured those out yet.
What’s your favorite comfort food? Least favorite food?
I love lasagna and …well, Italian food. Least favorite? Yucca.
Have you ever played a practical joke on a friend? Ever had one played on you?
My little brother used to throw plastic spiders at me, now and then. Does that count?
Care to brag about your family?
They’re the best. Always been very supportive of my work. J
If you could have one skill that you don’t currently have, what would it be?
I’d love to be able to paint. Like, really represent life with a brush and oils. When I try to draw or paint, it all comes out like …well? What’s it called? Outsider art. Very amateur. So my main “plastic” art medium (outside writing) is photography. But yeah, I’d love to be able to paint.
What was your favorite year of school? Why?
Junior year in high school. J Because that’s when I met my husband.
If you could add a room onto your current home, what would you put in it?
Books!! And maybe it’d be nice to have a greenhouse, an extra bathroom…
What’s your favorite film of all times? Favorite book?
Excalibur would be my favorite movie. Favorite book? Elric of Melniboné or The Warhound and The World’s Pain (both by the fantasy author Michael Moorcock). After that, I’d say the Welsh tome The Mabinogion.
Have you ever walked out of a movie? If so, what was it?
Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes. This was years ago, so I don’t remember why, right now. A shame because we’d loved Christopher Lambert in Highlander, but Legend of Tarzan was very dull to us, I do remember that.
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
I’ve been collecting way too many tarot decks lately, for a non-professional reader. It’s the art thing.:)
What are three things you think we can all do to make the world a better place?
Agree to disagree, and practice “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” That would help, for a start.
What simple pleasure makes you smile?
Believe it or not, I love it when my garden does well. And ravens make me smile. I always get excited when I hear or see one outside.
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