Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and winner of 14 RWA awards, Julie Lessman was voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, as well as #1 Historical Fiction Author, #3 Author, #4 Novel, #3 Series, and Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction. Julie resides in Missouri with her husband, daughter, son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter and is the author of “The Daughters of Boston” series—A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, A Passion Denied and the “Winds of Change” series—A Hope Undaunted, A Heart Revealed, A Love Surrendered. You can contact Julie through her website and read excerpts from each of her books at www.julielessman.com.
Julie, your pictures is beautiful! I'm looking forward to a fun week, my friend! Julie has offered to give away a copy of any of her books! To be entered leave a comment or answer the question, If you could be any character in any literary book who would you be and why? Don't forget to leave your email addy and let me know if you are a follower for extra entries, tweet and FB this interview for an extra entry each.
Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.
HA—great question! It’s December 1st, and would you believe I’m sitting downstairs on my lower deck (lip gloss and hazelnut coffee by my side, of course) with my feet up in 64-degree weather that is forecast to get close to the 70s today?? Sweet!!
Do your characters ever give you surprises when you are writing? Can you give us an example if they do and if they don’t do you know why?
Oh, yeah, and I just LOVE it when that happens! Definitely Cluny McGee from book 3 of The Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Denied. Cluny was supposed to be no more than a bit character who appeared on one page, two at the most, but I absolutely fell in love with the kid. So much so, that I expanded his role to not only being a main subordinate character in APD, but I gave him his own book in the next series when he butts heads with a grownup Katie O’Connor in A Hope Undaunted. And you know what? Ever since I described him as this sunken-chest, little street rat who struts into the O’Connor’s house at Easter like he owns it, he’s been my favorite of all my heroes, with Mitch a very close second!
I LOVED this story. Do you have a favorite scene in this book and what would it be?
Thanks, Deb—I really appreciate that. And, gosh, there are so many favorite scenes of mine in A Love Surrendered that it’s hard to narrow it down. But I guess the scene that rips me up more than any other is where the heroine Annie, who has been angry at God since her preacher father died of cancer six months earlier, is crying in her room one night, missing her father terribly. Her aunt hears her and attempts to comfort her by giving her a letter she’d been saving for Annie’s birthday as instructed by her father who wrote it before he died. I literally sob when I read that scene because it so reminds me of the powerful love of our own heavenly Father for each of us. The scene is too long to post here, but if anyone would like to read it, I actually posted it on my Excerpts tab of my website under the header “Spiritual Scene” for A Love Surrendered. Oh, and be sure to check out my favorite “Romantic Scene” for A Love Surrendered too, right above it.
If you could be any character in any literary book who would you be and why?
Oh man, you had to ask that and embarrass me!! Hands-down Scarlett O’Hara because I can still see myself as a gangly 12-year-old posing in the mirror in my best arched-brow impression of Vivian Leigh, acting out a scene. J
Don’t be too embarrassed! She’d be my choice, too! I own a 1940 motion picture copy of the book and I love it!
What is something that very few people know about you? I can’t wait to hear the answer to this one, Julie. ;o)
Well, not only do few people know this about me, but most would not believe it either. Yes, it’s true—I am a bona-fide hermit who seldom leaves my laptop/comfy chair to go out unless my husband drags me out. I like to joke that I am a recluse who has the misfortune of having an outgoing personality because I literally lose myself in my writing and my work, which my husband Keith and daughter Amy refer to as my “zombie state.” If I had my way, I’d stay at home, grafted to the seat of my chair and WRITE, WRITE, WRITE!! Hate shopping of any kind, no longer do scads of lunches with friends like I used to and NEVER talk on the phone if I can help it. But with lots of family to keep up with, two prayer partners and a new granddaughter, my “loner” personality doesn’t stand a chance. Which I guess is a good thing, although there are unproductive days where I am not so sure. J
What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)
Deb, I gotta tell you — these are some of the most fun and creative questions I’ve been asked, and I have done over 200 interviews and answered almost 2,000 questions, so GOOD JOB!!
Without question, the gift my artist husband gave me for Mother’s Day one year. He’d just built us a beautiful media room in our basement, a work of art really, because the man is incredibly creative and handy, and it had these multi-colored pillows on our leather sectional couch. Would you believe he took a picture of one of those pillows and designed three different versions in the same colors, then superimposed them on canvas frames as a wall grouping? “It’s beautiful, babe,” I said, amazed once again at his mind-boggling creativity. “Look closer,” he said, and I squinted a bit, suddenly seeing our entire life before my eyes. Yes, you guessed it—this incredible man actually super-imposed pictures of each of us—me, my son, daughter and himself—over the multicolored canvases to create living artwork that captured US. WOW!! Let me tell you—I teared up on the spot and threw myself into his arms, giving him the biggest, most grateful kiss I could! What can I say—MasterCard has nothing on him—he’s “priceless.”
If you could live in any time period except the present when and where would that be and why?
Oh, wow, after completing almost two books in my Heart of San Francisco series, I would have to say from 1900 on because first of all, I love the Gibson-Girl look and secondly, that was the era when our world that we live in today was poised on the threshold of exploding with technology, fashion, inventions, women’s rights, you name it!! Fun, fun era to write about, and I absolutely love it!!
If you could meet any person alive or dead who would that be and why? (excluding the Lord)
Oh, I would definitely spend the day with the O’Connors because they have become family to me and are, quite frankly, the family I always longed to have growing up—full of faith, passion and love for everyone within their ranks, no matter the conflicts or hurts endured. We would sit outside around the picnic table talking while Marcy sewed, having a ball laughing at Charity and Katie or praying with Faith, Lizzie and Emma while the wonderful smells and sounds of summer surrounded us with horseshoes clanging, children laughing and barbecue grilling. Now that sounds like fun. Can I come? J
If you were writing a book about your life what would the title be?
LOL … you are SO creative!! The Wild and Wooly Adventures of a CDQ (Caffeinated Drama Queen). LoL! And so are you!
What one thing on your writing journey influenced your work the most?
Goodness, there are so many things that I can’t just name one. Without question, Margaret Mitchell’s amazing novel Gone with the Wind got it all started for me at the age of twelve when it inspired me to write what would become my debut novel A Passion Most Pure some forty years later. And then, of course, King Solomon with his “Song of Solomon” in the Bible, which opened my eyes as to just how passionate God’s love is for each of us. As far as craft, Donald Maas and his Writing the Breakout Novel influenced me greatly, but none more so than my amazing agent Natasha Kern, who not only secured a publishing contract for me against great odds, but continues to impart the benefit of her vast wisdom and experience with every book I write.
As far as encouragement when I was a kid, that would be my little sister, Kate. As the last two of thirteen children, we shared a room, and at the age of nine, Kate would lie on her bed with chin in hand and eyes wide as I read my “novel” to her night after night. Her interest, love and encouragement meant everything because I was not a favorite of my mother’s, who died when I was sixteen. God used Kate to channel His love and encouragement to me, and continues to do so today. Wow! That is amazing! What a story to think your sister’s interest encouraged you to continue at such a young age. And 13 kids! Wow!!
If you could have written any piece of literature in history, be it books, speech, poetry, what piece would you want to say Written By Authors Name here
Sigh. Gone With the Wind. J I’m with you. My all time fav. book.
Orphaned in Iowa, Annie Kennedy moves to Boston to stay with her spinster aunt. She longs for romance to fill the void left by her parents' death. But when she falls hard for Steven O'Connor, the man who broke an engagement to her sister, Annie is worried. Will he break her heart too when he discovers who she really is?
Marceline Murphy is a gentle beauty with a well-founded aversion to rogues. But when two of Boston's most notorious pursue her, she encounters a tug-of-war of the heart she isn’t expecting. Sam O’Rourke is the childhood hero she’s pined for, the brother of her best friend and a member of the large, boisterous family to which she longs to be a part. So when his best friend Patrick O’Connor joins in pursuit of her affections, the choice seems all too clear. Sam is from a family of faith and Patrick is not, two rogues whose wild ways clash head-on with Marcy’s—both in her faith and in her heart.
While overseeing the Christmas play fundraiser for the St. Mary’s parish soup kitchen—A Light in the Window—Marcy not only wrestles with her attraction to both men, but with her concern for their spiritual welfare. The play is based on the Irish custom of placing a candle in the window on Christmas Eve to welcome the Holy Family, and for Marcy, its message becomes deeply personal. Her grandmother Mima cautions her to guard her heart for the type of man who will respond to the "light in the window," meaning the message of Christ in her heart. But when disaster strikes during the play, Marcy is destined to discover the truth of the play’s message first-hand when it becomes clear that although two men have professed their undying love, only one has truly responded to “the light in the window.”
DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING by following my blog with Powered by FEEDBURNER on the right, and don't miss any giveaways (the button with the flame). If you already follow my blog go ahead and follow by FEEDBURNER so you can be entered twice. If you're not getting an email telling you I have a new giveaway you're not following through Feedburner. Just mention that you follow through Feedburner when you leave a comment with each giveaway and you'll be entered twice.Be sure to leave your email address. Please check your junk mail on and the day after the drawing. I've had to redraw because of no responses. Subject box will have: winner of (book title). I'll email the winner and they'll have seven days to respond. If I don't hear back I'll draw another name. USA shipping only. Thanks so much and please stop back again! Drawing will be held Monday,December 10th, 8:00 A.M. EST. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.