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Friday 6 May 2016

ℚ♫ The Paladins: The Artisans [2] - Julie Reece

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Paladins (, Month9Books, 278 pages), a Young Adult Epic Fantasy Adventure, book two of The Artisans series.

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Julie Reece; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!
"Thank you so much for having me here today! I love talking about the ups and downs of writing and all things bookish!  I’m looking forward to our time together.  XOXO"
Excellent!  Let's start by sharing your official music playlist for The Paladins - enjoy!  In particular, I have a very, very soft spot for Jeremy by Pearl Jam.

How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"What’s reflected about me in THE PALADINS?  Hm. Well, I can relate to the challenge of overcoming personal hardship and battling demons that are real, but unseen.  I used that idea with my characters while writing.

See, I used to think having ADD and dyslexia and dyscalculia would keep me from my dream of writing.  Without knowing it, this book became an experiment.  Could I use my “different” brain to tell a story from the perspective of three different characters without confusing the reader?

Each character has past issues to overcome, desires, motivations and fears, both real and imagined.  It was my job to weave all of those threads together (and more) and tell an exciting, satisfying story.  Making sense of a world that makes no sense will mean different things to different people.  For me, it was trying to learn in school.  For my characters, it’s surviving a foreign realm.  What they face there, both independently and together, will test them to the point of madness.  You’ll have to read to find who succeeds or fails.  Or maybe, the point becomes having tried at all. : )"
I can certainly relate to what you are talking about, as I had very similar issues to the ones you are describing, but mine went completely undiagnosed until a couple of years ago.   I now know for sure that I was severely dyspraxic (which has incredibly similar symptoms to dyscalculia) and I am pretty confident I was also afflicted by ADD.   A different brain does not make you stupid or inept, no matter how much conventional schooling might make you want to feel that way; in fact you are often more of a lateral thinker and make connections and see issues from perspectives that others would not even think about.  Mental and learning disabilities are still vastly ignored, misdiagnosed, and misunderstood. [yep, this is a soap-box moment for me LOL]

Why should we read The Paladins and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?

"I tell new writers that no two authors will ever sound exactly alike.  People come from such vastly different places, the filters they use to write a story will create unique voices and perspective.  Though it’s true, tropes are used again and again, so the mechanisms you use to retell a familiar tale had better sound original.

When I wrote THE ARTISANS, I took a basic idea that I loved (Beauty and the Beast) and began a twisted retelling.  Again, true to my seriously ADD brain, when I allowed ideas to flow, the story took a hard left turn and went somewhere even I hadn’t foreseen.  That’s the fun of being a panster.

In PALADINS, Alice in wonderland fused with Labyrinth which became The Walking Dead? Sort of.  Ha!  Again, my brain goes where it will, and I let it.

You should read this series because it really is very different! : )"
There you have those connections that I was talking about earlier!  And I love all three items you mentioned ;-)

Can you tell us something quirky about The Paladins, its story and characters?

"In the book, Raven’s cat is a big black Maine Coon named Edgar Allen Poe.  In my home, there are three Maine Coons: Earnest Hemingway (Hemi), Harper Lee and Victor Hugo (Huggie).  They are brothers, and inspiration for the cat in my book."
Earnest Hemingway (Hemi) Harper Lee Victor Hugo (Huggie)
Who would you recommend The Paladins to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"The publisher’s recommended reading age for THE PALADINS is 12 and up/ 7th grade and up.  Personally, I’d recommend this series to readers who like Gothic fantasy with romance.

I would warn that by nature gothic stories—while not straight-up horror—can get pretty spooky.  My book is no exception.  In fact, I had an adult beta reader who chose to scan through a part that gave her the creeps.  So, be warned this is “horror light.”"
If you could / wished to turn The Paladins and the The Artisans series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Yes please!!  Sigh.  This is every writer’s dream.

Location: Beaufort, South Carolina.

Beaufort, South Carolina
Director:  I’d be thrilled with anyone willing, lol, but how about Christopher Nolan (Batman-Dark Knight Rises), Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth), or David Yates (Harry Potter).

Christopher Nolan Guillermo Del Toro David Yates
Cast: Raven - Adelaide Kane, Gideon - Alex Pettyfer, Cole - Bob Morley or Nicholas Hoult, Dane – Sol Goss, Maggie - Britt Robertson, The Magician - Douglas Booth, Rosemond - Sasha Pieterse, Desiree - Emilia Clarke.

Raven - Adelaide Kane Gideon - Alex Pettyfer Cole - Bob Morley Cole - Nicholas Hoult
Dane – Sol Goss Maggie - Britt Robertson The Magician - Douglas Booth Rosemond - Sasha Pieterse Desiree - Emilia Clarke
I don’t want much, do I?  Lol"
Well... that is the point of that question ;-)

What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?

"I read and write what inspires me, which is a mix of everything.  That means I jump around a lot.  I currently have 5, yes 5, manuscripts in different stages of completion.

I love reading across the board from Jane Austen and Charles Dickens to Stephen King to Maggie Stiefvater and Cassandra Clare, though I only write YA so far. "
What is in store next?
"THE PALADINS (May 2106) is sequel to THE ARTISANS (May 2015)  The books were contracted as a duology, and there are no formal plans for a third.  Informally, I have ideas ... It could happen. ???

My first contemporary romance ONE SUMMER WITH AUTUMN is due October 2016 with Swoon Romance and you can read about it on Goodreads here

I’m currently back and forth between writing a brand new fantasy and a dystopian, but I can’t talk about them yet ... :)"
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"Some random facts about me.  I love to draw and paint, and have a sick need to buy shoes.  I am the original cat lady.  I do volunteer work with both people and animals, and I get on my non-make-believe horse and ride every chance I get. :))"

I have seen so much about your little fellow Hemi (Ernest Hemingway)... his obsession with mugs... I hope he is feeling better after his operations.  Lots of cuddles and hugs to you, little one!
And your horse is simply gorgeous.  Thank you for sharing them with us.

Thanks again for having me here today.  You really made me think about some fun topics, and I had a great time answering your questions!  Hope you had fun, too!  XOXO"
We sure did!  Have a great tour!

The Paladins
Available NOW!

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