Bluewood interviews Julie Romero, author of A Soldier's Embrace
Bluewood Publishing: Hi there, welcome to Bluewood. Tell us a little about yourself. What part of the world do you live in? Tell us about your background?
Julie: Hi. I grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles California and now currently reside in San Diego with my husband and our lab, Molly. We also have an extremely talkative kitty, which at times is so vocal that when I’m writing, I have to lock her out of my office.
I’ve had two careers, and had several different jobs, but writing has always been my passion whether it was short stories, novels, nonfiction, greeting cards… I changed my major several times in college, but finally settled on History and English, not necessarily in that order.
Bluewood: Who are your favorite authors?
Julie: It kind of depends on my mood. I love Phillippa Gregory and Diana Gabaldon for historical fiction. JA Jance’s Seattle detective series as well as Sue Grafton for mystery. For those rainy afternoons reads, I really enjoy Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plumb novels. Other favorite authors of mine are Barbara Taylor Bradford and Margaret Mitchell.
Bluewood: What is your genre and what attracts you to that genre, and what made you want to write it?
Julie: I write historical fiction with an emphasis on romance. I hesitate to
say I’m a historical romance author because romance isn’t always my
central theme. My passion is the Victorian/Edwardian era. My
grandmother used to tell me stories about her earliest memories,
riding a horse to school, her mother complaining about men spitting on
the sidewalk and having ones dress dragged through it, her first car
ride, etc. The one story of hers that really caught my imagination
was her memory of seeing newspaper boys on the corner shouting about
the Titanic sinking.
History fascinates me. It’s real life drama set up against a back drop of timeless music. I love to be swept back to the past, to lose myself in the daily life of people’s hopes, dreams, or even fears. I think the research before the writing is my favorite part.
My hope is for readers to feel like they too are experiencing life right along with my characters.
Bluewood: The question you are probably always asked – how long have you been writing?
Julie: A long, long time. If I wasn’t writing, I was coming up with stories in my head. My first short story I wrote was about a girl getting a horse for her birthday. I think I was seven or eight-the first year I didn’t get a horse for my birthday.
Bluewood: Does the way you personally look at life reflect in your writing style?
Julie: Wow-I hope I’m not being graded on these answers. I’m a fairly positive person, or at least I try to be. I was brought up to look for the humorous side of situations. I do try to incorporate that philosophy in my writing, so I guess I would have to say yes.
Bluewood: What concept or situation about your book makes it so unique?
Julie: Hmmm, another good question. I try to incorporate as much history into the situation as I can. Which to be honest is very time consuming, but I love it.
Bluewood: Tell us about A Soldier's Embrace. What was your inspiration for this book?
Julie: A Soldier’s Embrace is a classic romance tale set among the
backdrop of the expanding and often violent American West.
I got the idea while researching Little Big Horn. The battle was so senseless, so ego driven on Custer’s part. One man caught my attention, a Captain Miles Keogh. Not a lot has been written on him, some information conflicting about his character depending on the person, but it was said he was tall, strapping and so handsome, when Sioux braves found his body on the battle field, Indian squaws begged for him not to be mutilated. It was more than likely the warriors noticed his papel metal and honored him as a great warrior. Incidentally, the captains favored mount was the only thing to survive the battle. I started researching life on the plains for pioneers and Indians alike, how both their worlds were changing and the idea started from there. That time in young America was amazing, so promising, and yet so brutal and lawless. The Victorian line between the wealthy and the working man was more of a wall that shall not be crossed. So, the idea of a romance was easy to come up with.
Bluewood: What is your favorite scene from the book and why?
Julie: Hmmm, I think that’s a little like choosing a favorite child. I have several. I enjoying enriching my story line with esthetic detail of the era, so the ride back to Fort Laramie, being chased by hostile Sioux warriors was fun, but I think the scene where Eric and Elizabeth are dancing at her engagement party might be my choice. I had an editor tell me once to make your characters hate you- and I definitely put that idea to good use in that scene. I tried to convey a perfect storm of heart ache, Eric and Elizabeth each miserable, broken hearted with the sudden realization of unrequited love.
Bluewood: Have you written other books?
Julie: Yes, I have the sequel to A Soldier’s Embrace that I’m currently finishing, and a historic romance mystery trilogy set in Ireland. I’ve even begun a teen super hero novel.
Bluewood: If you could tell us one thing about the Historical Romance genre that makes your mind spin with ideas, what would that be?
Julie: I have always been fascinated by the Titanic tragedy. You’d think the subject has been beaten over the Bow, but just the romance, the decadence, the boiling political backdrop as well as the sheer arrogance of man believing he has bested the power of Mother Nature.
Thanks so much for chatting with us, Julie!