Friday, April 2, 2010

Julie Romero in the Garden

Saturday Garden Parties have begun and I’m so happy to have Julie Romero with me for the inaugural interview.

The weather is sunny and bright. The bumble bees are buzzing about around the clover flowers and in the far corner a stray red tulip is about to bloom.

In honor of Julie’s visit, my son Jeffrey and I went to the nursery and bought two rose bushes for the garden, pictures to follow.

Hello Julie. Welcome to my garden.

Hi Ann, thank you so much for inviting me.

It’s a little sparse around here now, but spring is in the air and I am looking forward to tilling the soil with some of the best authors in the business.

What a better way to welcome spring. I am the seedling to your one day immense garden. Nice. I wish my garden was a virtual one, then I wouldn’t have to pop a Sudifed every time I water.

I know the feeling. Runny noses in exchange for flowering beauty. I think the tradeoff’s worth it.

Your Historical Romance, A Soldier’s Embrace is now available from Bluewood Publishing. How did you celebrate the release of your first novel?
I think I was in shock, really. I have this feeling of disbelief every time I pass a publishing hurdle. When I received the news A Soldier’s Embrace had been picked up by Bluewood, it took a while for the news to sink in. I had my husband read the email out loud to me. It was released right after the new year, so my husband and some friends of mine celebrated the upcoming release on New Years Eve. Usually every New Years, I made a quiet resolution-may this be the year I get a book published. It was really nice to finally have that year.

Sounds like a great way to ring in a New Year. Congratulations on the book by the way. Can you give us a little peak into your novel?
Sure. A Soldier’s Embrace is an Historical Romance set in 1878, a time when the American Prairie was a very dangerous place to be. It is a story of Elizabeth Davenport and Lieutenant Eric Ryan, two people struggling to cast off their families morals and expectations for their own burning desires in Victorian America.

I often wonder where people get their ideas for characters. Would you share your inspiration for Elizabeth an Eric with us?
Lieutenant Eric Ryan is loosley based on a real life Captain who fought under General Custer and died at Little Big Horn. His personality though, I borrowed from my husband, Kyle. A gentleman, loyal, kind hearted and no matter what, strives to do the right thing, no matter the outcome. I find those characteristics so sexy in a man.

Elizabeth-well at first I had a hard time writing her. I didn’t want her to be a proverbial Victorian lady. I wanted her to have a mind of her own, and yet, show a vulnerable side. Her fear of bugs? Yeah, that’s me. I hate bugs and learned just how much during a camping trip to Yosemite two years ago. Once I stopped freaking out about things flying close to my face, I got out a note book, sat down by a lake (wearing tons of bug spray, I might add) and just started writing her.

You are very lucky to have such a wonderful husband. Does he have brothers? Not for me mind you, just wanted to ask for my singer reader. *wink*

What/who do you credit for inspiring you as an author?

My father and my brother, Mike were both writers. I can remember my brother telling me to dream about anything and then write what I saw in my head on paper. My whole family has always been very supportive of my writing. I’m really lucky in that way. My mother, sister and I would trade books back and forth and then head back to the library for more. When I found a book I lost myself in, I always thought how great it would be to write a novel that people loved to read.

Can you give us a hint what you are working on now?
I’m working on two novels at the moment, which is odd for me. Usually I stay focused through one book before I move on to start another. I’m working on a sequel to A Soldier’s Embrace as well as a paranormal novel about a family of witches in Colonial America.

Now for some fun questions,

What must we know about you?

I’m a history geek. I enjoyed researching the American West so much, I have enough information for part two and three of Soldier, possibly more!

Your guiltiest guilty pleasure?

Eating chocolate. I have a bag of Dove Easter Eggs by me now as I type this.

Favorite read?

Gone With The Wind. I was about eleven when I first read it and man, it sucked me right into the old south, so much so I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters. I think it was the first book that sparked my need to write. I also love Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plumb books.

Garden tip?

I talk to my plants. Sometimes I name them. We just sit, chat and they grow or die-depending on the subject. Oh of course, you look and sound like a bonafide loon, but it’s very good therapy. During my research for my paranormal novel, I came upon an interesting item that witches believe in telling the plant why you are taking a piece of it and frequently ask for its permission. I don’t know what they do if the plant says no. Witches believe in being polite to the energies. I’ve also learned that if you plant pansies, foxglove and snapdragons you’ll attract fairies. Careful though, they like to sneak into your house and take things and move them around. I’m still looking for my glasses!

Side dish or drink for the party?

Strawberry Margarita’s

I’ll have to remember about the fairies. It would be nice to have a few in the garden, but maybe the wooden kind from the garden store. Don’t want any in my house unless they have magic cleaning powers!

Now, before you go I have one more question.

When your time comes (a long, long time from now), what mark do you hope to leave behind?

Boy, that’s a deep question. I think I have to say that I hope my books will still be around and readers will still be enjoying them long after I’m gone. That would be a dream!

Julie, I think that’s a wonderful legacy. We all just want to be remembered and what better way than through the stories we leave behind.

Thank you for coming today, Julie. Next time, we’ll have to make some Strawberry Margaritas, and if the tomatoes are ready, some homemade salsa. Good luck with new book.

A Soldier’s Embrace is currently available at


  1. Thank you Ann, great interview! Loved the garden and the new roses. :)


  2. What a fun interview -- I just got Julie's book and can't wait to start reading it!