Jacqueline Frost....aka Julie Chase....aka Julie Anne Lindsey....is an AMAZING author and I have the pleasure of sharing her with you. If you go to her website http://juliechasebooks.com/ she is described as :" a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun. Julie lives in Ohio with her husband and three spunky children. Today, she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world."
If you have read ANY of her books, you would agree that she has changed the world with her writing, even if it was just while you read the book and it was only your world that was impacted. If you haven't had the pleasure of reading one of her books, maybe you will after your get to know her a little bit. I recently had the pleasure of talking to her (via computer sadly) after I read her latest book Twelve Slays of Christmas under her latest pen name Jacqueline Frost.
How long does it take to write a book ? I’m a very dedicated outliner, so I spend about 10 days creating a detailed outline that includes all the twists and turns I need to make a great mystery. Then it’s time to write! Using the outline as my guide and reference, I write a chapter a day and have a finished novel 28 days later. My total timeframe with time-off for family fun, weekends and life is about 6-8 weeks, concept to completion.
Why do you write under 2 different names ? I actually write under a few different names, and each is for a different reason. For example, I write my own cozy mystery ideas for Crooked Lane Books as Julie Chase, but when Crooked Lane had a fun idea for a cozy series set on a tree farm in New England, they needed a writer. They also needed a complete manuscript in about six weeks and knew I was a quick writer, so they gave my agent a call, and voila! Jacqueline Frost was born. I’ve also written as myself, Julie Anne Lindsey, and I have 6 romantic suspense titles under contract with Harlequin Intrigue which will release in 2018 & 2019. Using my real name for those will keep my cozy readers from picking up a Harlequin novel and being disappointed when the content isn’t what they’d grown accustom to expecting from me.
Additionally, I have a new cozy series starting with Sourcebooks next summer that will be released under yet another name. Sometimes publishers request new pen names to distinguish their series from another. Sometimes it’s a marketing call. I’m just thankful to have the offers, so I keep on typing. Ohhhh and that new series information is still under wraps for now, so you’ve heard about it here first!
How do you balance them ? So far, that’s been pretty easy. I’m very open about being Julie Chase, Jacqueline Frost and Julie Anne Lindsey. And in truth, I might not be either of those names one day soon. If Crooked Lane doesn’t ask me to write anymore Kitty Couture books, for example, then Julie Chase will be no more. And the Christmas Tree Farm mysteries was Crooked Lane’s idea, so another author may be Jacqueline in the future. The only thing that never changes in this industry is the fact that it keeps changing.
Do you have a writing work schedule ? Absolutely! I write every weekday from 9am (when I get home from driving my son to a special STEM high school, 40 minutes away) until 2pm when I have to leave to pick him up. I also take my laptop to Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, cross country, gymnastics and tuba lessons, then I sit in the parking lot and write. On a tight deadline, I also write from 10pm – midnight, set my alarm to tell me to stop writing and go to bed, then I get up at 5am and write until 6:30 when I have to wake the kids for school. Every little bit of time helps.
What do you like to do when not writing ? Read. I’m a voracious reader. And I also watch a ton of TV shows that refill my brain with wonderful “what ifs.” I slip away with friends for lunch or coffee when I can, and I love to clean and organize anything I can get my hands on. But it seems that no matter what I’m doing physically, my mind is always working on a new story plot or way to make my current manuscript more fun.
How do you balance life as a writer and life as a wife/mother ? I don’t. I can’t. I spend an inordinate amount of time telling people I am only ONE person. I cannot duplicate or split myself. I can only do my best, and that’s got to be enough because it’s all I’ve got. I like to think I’m teaching my kids the value of hard work and tenacity and showing them that sometimes we have to make tough decisions about how we spend our time. Like money, there is only so much we have to work with. I put my family first whenever I can, but there have also been times the lesson has been: Mommy matters too. And they’ve simply had to wait.
Do you read ? YES !
If so, what kind of books do you read ? I read a wide variety thanks to a book club I started about a year ago. Each woman chooses the book for one month, so we get a variety of genres and a chance to know one another better through our selections. We’ve read a little bit of everything this year, but **My** personal favorites have always been young adult, cozy mystery and romance. If a book can make me laugh, it’s an instant favorite.
Favorite author ? Janet Evanovich. Hands down. No question.
What book are you reading now ? Right now, I’m reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern for book club. I’m listening to Pretend You Don’t See Her by Mary Higgins Clark on my commute back and forth to my teen’s high school, and I’m also reading In the Arms of the Enemy (a Harlequin Intrigue) by Carol Ericson.
What inspires you ? People. I am desperately interested in human relationships, our unique reactions to identical circumstances and the general dynamics of groups. I especially have a heart for women, and writing allows me to reach ladies I couldn’t have otherwise and (hopefully) through my books, I can give them a small reprieve from the busyness of their lives. I always try to make my readers. I know that somedays those smiles can be hard to come by.
Does your family read your books ? My parents and my mother-in-law read every page. My husband and kids have never picked one up.
When and why did you begin writing ? I began writing in 2010 when I needed a break from my life. I was a sleep deprived mother of a newborn who did not sleep, a potty-training toddler who had zero interest in the potty, and a homeschooling kindergartener who preferred to stick his pencils up his nose rather than to learn to write with them. I needed a break, and writing seemed like a fun way for someone like me to get a little time to herself. I had no idea then what it would one day become.
What inspired you to write your first book ? I read a novel during that same time frame (from my last answer) that gave me a much needed break from the demands of my life. It took me away to another world, and when I came back, I felt like I could handle things better. I started looking forward to my next chance to read. When I finished that novel, I knew I wanted to do that for someone else. So, I asked Google, “How do I write a book?” And I’ve been at it ever since.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider your mentor ? Janet Evanovich. She’s the reason I write.
Out of the author names that you write under, do you have a favorite ? Yes.
If so, why ? I like writing the Julie Chase books best because after finishing three titles in the Kitty Couture Mysteries, Lacy and her gang have become very real and important to me. I miss them now that the publisher has decided not to publish more. I miss “visiting” New Orleans and dropping in on Lacy’s mother, dreaming up the misadventures of the Lama Mamas and Jazzy Chicks, and the sweetly developing romance between Lacy and Jack.
Your new series is a Christmas series, how fun was that to write ? I LOVED it. I’m a Christmas fanatic, so I got to live out my ultimate dream of being part of an entire town who loves Christmas.
Is Christmas your vacation holiday ? Yes !
What is your favorite holiday tradition ? Every year since our kids were small, we’ve invited all the grandparents over the night after Thanksgiving for hot chocolate and cookies. Then, the kids and grandparents decorate our tree. I put it up and add the lights the day before Thanksgiving, but we wait until Friday night to decorate. I sit back, put on the music and watch my kids making priceless memories with their grandparents. The photos I’ve taken over the years are so special, and now that we’ve lost one of the dear grandpas, it makes me all the more thankful that we have those memories to cherish.
Your other series, A Kitty Couture series, is all about cats and dogs and the love their owners have for them. You must be an animal lover.....are you a cat person ? dog person ? Other ? Do you have pets now ? If so, what ?
I see the Kitty Couture Mysteries as more about the people than the pets, but that’s probably just how my mind works. Lacy caters to a pet-loving customer base, true, but her job is just a side-note to the main story arcs, which revolve around Lacy and her deep love for family, friends and New Orleans.
As for my pets, I currently have a goldfish named Fishy who is very excited to see me every morning when I delivery the fishy flakes from heaven. My son is allergic to cats, so I have another 5 years or so before I can get a kitty back in my life, and while we puppy sit for relatives when they go on vacation, our family is on the run more than we’re home, so this season of life seems like an unfair time to have a dog.
What question do you wish someone would ask about your books that nobody has ? I honestly can’t think of a thing! You get a brownie for this question, because I am rarely caught without words!
Is there anything you would like to share with your readers ? I always want to tell my readers Thank you. You might not realize it, but you make my dream possible. Every time you buy one of my books, review it, recommend it to someone else or borrow it from a library, you are telling this industry that I am worthy of another contract. Without you, dear reader, my life would be vastly different. Your grace and generosity keeps me writing, chasing my dream, showing my kids they really can do anything they put their heart and soul into, and believing in impossible things to come. THANK YOU !!
Wow !!! Isn't she great ? Such a down to earth person and didn't you just love her Christmas tradition ? Even during an interview it is like she is telling a story....made you the reader feel emotions.... That is what a GREAT author does, they make the reader feel and gives us something to think about even after we finish reading the book.
As I said in the beginning we spoke after I read Twelve Slays of Christmas written as Jacqueline Frost. I had the pleasure of reading that while sitting on the beach in Florida and even though it was 90 degrees, I still felt Christmas all around me. I look forward to more books in The Christmas Tree Farm Mystery Series and I hope that she will be the one writing them. Tomorrow I will be posting my review on Twelve Slays of Christmas so come back and meet Holly White, her cat Cindy Lou Who and the rest of Mistletoe.....
Check her and her books out at : http://juliechasebooks.com/
Interview by Missi S.