Julie Arduini Interview
1. What is your author journey?
I was the little girl always scribbling on blank papers before I knew how to write. I loved reading, even got in trouble in school for reading ahead. However, my grammar skills weren’t excellent and I had teachers who told me writing for a career probably wasn’t the best path for me.
I took the safe path through college and after, working with the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, RSVP, matching senior citizens to volunteer positions. I worked with publicity, and slowly started bringing fiction back into my life. After I had kids, I loved creating publicity for my local Mothers Of Preschoolers, MOPS, chapter. The stirring to write more overwhelmed me.
Finally, in 2007, I decided to surrender my fears of rejection and not being good enough and promised God I would write when He told me, what He told me. I honed my skills through the Christian Writers Guild and FaithWriters, then as a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, ACFW. In 2010, I participated in the National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo, where I wrote 50k in a month. That became ENTRUSTED.
Initially, the series was about the Adirondacks and through a publisher. I pitched it as a three book series, and needed an idea for a third book. I always knew what ENTRUSTED was about, and ENTANGLED kind of fell in my lap as I finished ENTRUSTED as a rough draft. ENGAGED took prayer, and I realized that Trish Maxwell had a story to tell.
3. What was your favorite part of ENGAGED?
I loved writing scenes that included Trish and members of the senior center. Shirley is especially fun because she has no filter. She is very protective of the senior center and Jenna and she doesn’t give Trish any grace.
4. This is the last book in this series. Was one book easier than another?
I think ENGAGED was the easiest, but I also believe it’s because I have more experience than when I wrote ENTRUSTED. I knew the characters better. ENTANGLED was the hardest. I think I emotionally paralyzed myself worrying about the second book, and I couldn’t relate to Carla like I did Jenna and Trish. Yet, readers tell me they loved it. I’m grateful, because it was tough.
5. Why did you choose the Adirondacks for a setting?
Although I live in Ohio now, I spent over 30 years in Upstate New York. There are books I’ve read that include New York City, but not a lot about Upstate. I want my books to include Upstate settings, and the Adirondacks is my favorite place. Speculator Falls is based on the real Speculator in Hamilton County. It’s so rural there are no stop lights in the entire county. The mountains are a character as much as Jenna, Ben, Carla, or Trish.
6. What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
I love to read, and miss that I don’t get to read as much as I used to. I’m passionate about encouraging women of all ages, so I do a lot of mentoring. Our family also enjoys board games and binge watching.
7. What would surprise readers about you?
Although I write contemporary romance, when I go to the movies, I often choose action movies. I also am a NASCAR fan.
8. Explain your tagline.
I wanted to create something that not only summarizes something I do, but who I am, all while crafting something we all can relate to. Encouraging you to surrender the good, the bad, and---maybe one day---the chocolate is just yet. There are good things we’ve had to surrender. I had to let go of my home state and everything I knew to move to Ohio, and it was absolutely what God was asking us to do. We also have bad habits or sin that needs to be at His feet. Yet, there are things I’m honest enough to say to God that I’m not ready. Chocolate is that relatable thing that if He asked, I know I wouldn’t be completely ready to give it up entirely.
9. What’s next for you?
This summer I hope to co write a tween book with our daughter about surrendering lies kids believe. We’re tentatively calling it “Surrendering Stinkin’ Thinkin” as far as the series goes. It will involve a group of girls from a church and the women who volunteer in ministry with them.
This fall I start a new contemporary romance series about surrendering opinions. The first book, tentatively titled ANCHORED, chronicles sextuplets who are thrust in the national spotlight through their unique birth, and kept in the limelight by tragic circumstances. As young adults, they are trying to find their own identities amidst a community that feels responsible for raising them. They’re also each trying to find love as special as what their parents had. A prologue for the series is included in ENGAGED, I hope readers check it out. I’m excited!
10. Tell us a little about your family.
I’ve been married to Tom for nearly 21 years. We’re both from Upstate NY but have lived in Ohio for almost 13 years. Our son is a sophomore at Kent State and our daughter is in eighth grade. When I married Tom, we had a family prayer to welcome me into his life with his children, and make sure they knew they were a part of us. Those kids are adults now, and Mandy is married with a newborn son, and Matt is also married and their son is due later this summer. We are blessed!
ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future
Book 3, Surrendering Time Series
One Sentence Hook:
Trish Maxwell returns to Speculator Falls with crushed dreams, egg on her face, and the chance to make a new start with the very people and places she used to make fun of.
Trish Maxwell’s back in Speculator Falls with egg on her face and a lot of apologies to make. She left the mountain town for her dream job in New York City, only to come back unemployed. With no prospects, she works at her mom’s department store and makes amends as she finds a new passion creating window displays for Adirondack businesses. She works hard and tries to convince the people of Speculator Falls she’s changed for the better.
As Trish pitches in with community events, she meets paramedic Wayne Peterson, the one man who doesn’t seem to judge her. She even makes friends with Jenna Regan, who helps Trish when people demand to know what’s next in Trish’s life. Living in New York City has been her goal, but the more she’s around Wayne and the Adirondack area, the more she’s drawn to revising her plans. Just when Trish thinks the plan for her life’s coming together, a second chance comes her way that could give her every career goal she’s ever wanted, but threaten to tear her and Wayne apart. Can Trish surrender fears about her future and discover God’s plan for her?
Print: Coming Early July, I’ll update as soon as I have the link.
Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, as well as ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past. The last book in the series, ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future, is coming in June. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read, and also is a blogger for Inspy Romance. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities.
Monthly Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dCFG
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