Julie Garwood's website

Just like everybody, I have my own favorite writers. Some of them are gracious enough to answer my questions, and I want to share these with friends and visitors.

Julie Garwood is a best-selling author of contemporary and historical romance. She also writes for young adults. Some of her best-sellers are: "Heartbreak", "Mercy", "The Secret", "The Gift" and "Honor's Splendor".

1. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer??

I've always loved making up stories, even when I was young. I was a history major in college and was encouraged to write, but I didn't become serious about writing novels until the youngest of my three children started school.

2. Did you find it difficult to get your first book published?

I was very fortunate. I met an agent at a reception during a local writers' conference. She asked me to send her my work. I sent a young adult novel, and she sold it to Scholastic. When she asked if I was working on anything else, I told her about a story involving a medieval knight. She asked me to finish it and send it to her, explaining to me that it was a historical romance. She sold it to Pocket, and I've been writing novels ever since.

3. How was this book received?

In the publisher's sales catalog, it was positioned at the very bottom. The store sales, however, were good, and the publishers were willing to try another one.

4. How do you handle criticism?

Anytime your creation goes out in public, you have to develop a thick skin and be willing to take the bad with the good. Criticism can be painful, but it also can be constructive. I don't mind it if it's an honest analysis because it gives me something to work with.

5. As most of your books are set in the past, do you like history as a subject?

I loved studying history in school. When I began writing historical novels, I knew I'd found a perfect way to combine my passion for history with my love of telling stories.

6. Do you sometimes travel to or visit the places/countries you describe in your books?

Since I've been writing contemporary novels, I've done more traveling to areas I'll write about.

7. How long do you work on one book?

As soon as I finish one book, I'm usually working on the next. With the writing of the manuscript and the whole publication process, it takes about a year.

8. How important are your readers to you?

The readers keep me going. They've been so supportive and encouraging, and I love getting all their letters and e-mails. Sometimes, if I'm having a rough day, I'll read their notes and immediately feel energized. I can't thank them enough for that.

9. Do you have a romantic nature yourself?

I think all of us who write in this genre have to be romantics at heart. I'm a pushover for flowers and candlelit dinners and happy endings.

10. Can I ask you who is your own favorite writer?

I have trouble with this question because I have so many favorites. When I consider who had an impact on me, I think of John Steinbeck and The Grapes of Wrath. I remember as a young girl reading a passage in that book which described the wind and the dust during the drought. When I finished reading it, I hurriedly ran to get a drink of water. It was then that I first recognized that a writer could evoke feelings in his reader, and I wanted to try to do that. I don't pretend to compare myself to Steinbeck, but he certainly showed me that words are powerful.


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© 2005 Nickie Fleming/Jansan