Tuesday, May 20, 2014

One on One Interview with Debut Author Julia Blues of Parallel Pasts

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 This debut novel offers a no-holds-barred account of two young lovers fighting their pasts for the chance of love and family.

Love is the one thing missing from Fatima’s life, beginning when her parents left her at the age of four. Usually she enjoys calling the shots in her love life, but when she runs into a mysterious man on a night out, everything changes. Cory Hines would give anything to undo his childhood. Growing up with an abusive father and distant mother left him wary of family and relationships. And as he tries to straighten out his life, the nightmares return and send him down a drunken spiral. His siblings force him into therapy, but it’s not until he meets Fatima that he begins to learn what commitment is all about. Though their pasts continue to haunt their relationships, it is their common problems that draw Cory and Fatima closer. In the process of getting their lives on track, they find out more about themselves and their pasts than they bargained for and realize they must rid their demons for good in order to survive. But just when Cory and Fatima get comfortable with each other and the idea of a relationship, news of an unexpected pregnancy sends them both running back to the familiar. Full of raw emotion and a vulnerability that pulls you in, Parallel Pasts offers an inside look at what it takes to escape a history of domestic abuse, as Cory must suppress the urge to fight anything that gets in his way, and the women who love him through the process.

1. What inspired the novel Parallel Pasts?

Parallel Pasts was born out of boredom. I was in a place where I was bored with life, had no idea what I wanted to do with myself or what career-path I wanted to travel down. Sitting at the desk of my then temporary receptionist position, a voice whispered in my ear. I dropped everything to find out who this person was and why she had chosen me to share her secrets with. That voice helped me find myself.
So in essence, my journey through life inspired Parallel Pasts. Evolving. Discovering. Questioning. Fear. And lots of frustration all inspired this book.

2.What is the overall message you wanted the reader to take away from the novel?

I want every reader to take away the fact that no matter how bad your past may be, it’s up to you to determine when you will stop repeating that story. Taking chances on life and love is scary. But nothing ventured, nothing gained.

3. As a new author, what is the hardest part about creating a novel that even people from different backgrounds could relate to?

You know, I haven't found the relatable part of creating to be hard at all as a new author. I go into it telling a story I want to read. I'm very spiritual, so I often say it is spirits in which I hear from. I tell the story they tell me. That way, when the story goes into print, I know it'll reach the people it is meant to, whether they look like me or not. Most of my younger years was spent on other parts of the globe. I tend to think I bring those experiences into each character and story.

4. Why was it important for you to share this story with the world?

Because the story reached out to me. I feel that things, people and experiences come to us for a reason.​ So when this story came to me, I knew it wasn't just for me. It was a message that needed to reach those struggling with pieces of their past.

5. What inspired you to become a writer?

Life. Though I had a voracious appetite for reading as a youth, writing was never something I imagined or aspired to do. But when I heard the voice that withdrew me from boredom, I knew I had stepped into a realm I'd spend the rest of my days in.

6. What would be your best advice to aspiring writers?

To reference a quote on my writing board:  “I don’t know how to be who I am without writing.” From that, I’ll say to aspiring writers, write from your soul. Steer away from what others are doing to obtain success. They’re telling the stories they are meant to tell. You have a story you are meant to tell and when you speak from your soul, you’ll touch the right reader and find your journey to be that much more fulfilling.

7.  What was the hardest part about telling the story?

Hmm, I’d say it was being vulnerable. Though I may not have had the same or even similar experiences as Fatima and Cory, I have felt their emotions and their pain in my own experiences. In telling their story, in ways, I had to tell my own. No one wants to open their scars for the world to see, so that was the hardest for me.

8.  Which authors have inspired you?

I will have to say, I’ve been more inspired by a book versus the author, and that’s not to discount the author in any way. So with that, Cheaters and Liar’s Game by Eric Jerome Dickey, Just Say No! by Omar Tyree, The Memory Thief by Emily Colin, Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monninger, The Poet by Michael Connelly, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, and 72 Hour Holdby the late BeBe Moore Campbell.

9. Authors are readers and readers are authors. Which books are on your shelf to read?

The books I’ve been inspired by are permanent books on my shelf. To name a few new ones to be read are:  If I Stay by Gayle Forman, Substitute Me by Lori L. Tharps, Last Snow by Eric Van Lustbader.

10. Just for fun: 

Paperback or tablet – Paperback
Coffee or tea – Tea with hazelnut creamer
Self publishing or traditional – Traditional
Night owl or early bird – A combination of both

11. What's the best and worst advice someone has ever given you?

Best:  To always keep my name in good standing.
Worst:  Being advised to go against my intuition.

12. What's the biggest lesson you've learned as a new author?

However long it took to write the book, it takes just as much time for people to discover you.

13.  What's next for you in 2014?

My second novel, The Last Exhale, releases on June 24th. I’m also in the process of pitching a pilot for TV, as well as writing the script for Parallel Pasts to be a feature film. Somewhere in between all of that, I’m applying for a writing program at Disney and fleshing out novel #3.     

14. How can readers contact you?
Twitter:  @Julia_Blues
Instagram:  juliablues

About the Author 

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Julia Blues

I am a storyteller on a mission. I love telling stories about what happens in life when people aren't honest with themselves, and how to put the pieces back together once truth is revealed. It is my goal as a writer to help people live better lives univerSOULly every story. Whether it's how you communicate with your spouse, parents, children, siblings, and most importantly, yourself. When we take better care of ourselves, we can begin to take better care of the relationships which matter most in our lives. 

Learn more at www.JuliaBlues.com

Review 5 out of 5 stars

There are only a few things a debut author has to worry about when they release there first book, quality, price,  plot, and message. Blues delivers on every note and more. Readers will fall in love immediately from the first page. Blues has created characters that are not only humanly flawed and authentic, she channels the raw emotions of overcoming obstacles in real life. An easy read that pulls on readers heart strings. There are no spoilers here to note!! You have to read this book!! Book clubs will devour eat and girlfriends will not want to give this book back. Get your own copy and add it to your shelf. Fans of urban fiction , romance, and women's fiction will find the lively pulse of a fresh voice permeating the pages of Parallel Pasts. Blues provides a crispness in her creative approach to living our lives and crossing paths with others. Poetic in tone and rhythmically passionate are all I say about this lovely piece of art. Blues, is a welcoming fresh voice to the literary community. Do yourself a favor and buy this book!!