I’m delighted to inaugurate my new series of posts about my clients and their books with an interview with Julia Karr, recent lady of leisure, and author of Truth (Puffin, January 2012) and XVI (Puffin, January 2011). From her bio: Julia Karr lives in Bloomington, Indiana with her four cats and three dogs. She grew up in Seymour, fifty miles southeast of her current home. Her love of books led her to be the youngest child to complete the library’s summer reading club – garnering her a photo on the front page of the Seymour Daily Tribune. When her two daughters were little, she wrote them bedtime stories; now that they are grown, she writes novels. But you want to know more than just that, don’t you? Julia, thanks for being my first guinea pig!
What are you working on now?
Currently I’m tweaking a Young Adult Contemporary Mystery and finishing up a Young Adult Sci-Fi about dimension travel.
What was your favorite book as a child/teen?
I was constantly reading as a child/teen, so it’s hard to nail down one particular favorite book. However, I can say that Nancy Drew mysteries and all of the Black Stallion books would certainly be on my top-ten list!
What are you reading now?
I am reading a play, An Inspector Calls by J. B. Priestly, and re-reading Emma by Jane Austen.
Do you work with a critique group/partner?
I have an in-person critique partner that I’ve been with since I first thought seriously about writing. I also have an on-line critique group that just so happens to be made up of ktliterary clients!
Are you a pantser or a plotter?
I’m a panster by nature, but plotting does have its good points, especially after the first draft!
What’s your memory of how we started working together?How did our first submission go, etc.?
Ah! Some of my favorite memories! I queried you right about the time you were wrapping up at Janklow & Nesbitt. We exchanged a few emails, spoke on the phone, and I did some revisions for you. When it came down to the wire (one other agent was interested in representing me, also), I had a literal sign from the Universe that I should go with you. I was in my car, angsting over you and the other agent. I asked the Universe for a sign. At that exact moment, a huge SUV drove by. It had a vanity plate that said “Kate S” (you were Kate Schafer at the time!) I don’t think the sign could’ve been any clearer!
As far as our first submission, that’s a story, too! You had sent XVI to about eight or ten editors and Jen at Penguin was interested. I spoke with her, did some revisions for her, and then she went out on leave. XVI went to acquisitions with a different editor, and it was turned down. However, I loved her revision ideas, so you and I decided I’d revise the whole manuscript based on those. Around the time I was done revising, you were on a business trip in New York City and had lunch with Jen (about six months had passed.) The two of you got to talking about XVI and she asked to see the revised manuscript! The rest (including the auction with another publishing house) is history!
What other hobbies do you have?
I like to knit and I like to garden. I’m hoping to get better at both!
What’s a random weird fact about you?
I won a community theater “Best Actress” award for my portrayal of Eleanor, the possessed young woman in The Haunting (a play based on Shirley Jackson’s, The Haunting of Hill House.)
And, of course: favorite pair of shoes?
Orange, buckle-accented, sling-back, peep-toe pumps! (picture, includes knitting project in the background)
Plus, bonus lightning round!
Dog or cat? – Cat
Coffee or tea? – Tea
Coke or Pepsi? – neither
Wheat or White? – Wheat
MG or YA? – YA
Morning or night? – Morning
Star Wars or Star Trek? – Star Trek
Hogwarts or Narnia? – Hogwarts
And finally, six word memoir. Go!
Was good, is great, spectacular next!