Interview with Julianna Scott + Giveaway (US)!

Today, I’m happy to be part of Julianna Scott’s blog tour for her debut young adult novel, The Holders. The book hits the shelves on March 5th in the US and March 7th in the UK.

Julianna Scott - author photoFirst off, congrats on the publication of The Holders. It’s tough out there for a debut novelist!

Thanks so much! Yeah, it’s definitely rough out there, but my fabulous agent, Carly Watters, smoothed the process considerably. 🙂

Could you tell me where your idea for The Holders came from? Were you lead there by a character or by the idea of the mythology?
Both actually. And a jewelry website. I’d had all this random idea for a story floating around in my head for awhile and I came across a Celtic jewelry website one day, and everything just sort of fell into place.

Are the “holders” based on existing lore or mythology?
I took some creative license of course, a good majority of it is actually based on several different Celtic legends and characters of Celtic lore.

Ireland is one of the main “characters” in your book; the atmosphere, the culture, even the language are key elements of The Holders. What was it about Ireland made you want to feature it so heavily? Do you think the book would have “worked” set elsewhere?
It is possible that it could have worked elsewhere, but that would have largely depended on the lore and mythology of the area. A lot of the lore in The Holders comes directly from Celtic Mythology, so that was a large reason Ireland worked so well. That, plus I have always found something beautifully mysterious about the atmosphere and the language that is almost as haunting as it si welcoming, and I knew I wanted that feel incorporated in my story.

Is The Holders part of a trilogy, or do you think you’ll be exploring this world across a number of books?

It is planned for four books, but we’ll see what happens. 🙂
The Holders
What authors or novels have influenced your writing most? And, if you could pick just one, what writer (living or dead!) would you want to have as your beta?
Oh wow, that’s a hard one. As far as influenced so, I would have to say Richelle Mead. She has such an amazing talent for creating awesome characters. As for a beta, that one is really tough as I am so intimidated by other writers. I have what you might call an inferiority complex when it comes to writing. That isn’t to say I’m not confident in my work, because I am. It’s just that when I think of myself as ‘being a writer’ it is always subconsciously followed by ‘but I’ll never be a writer writer, like (fill in name of successful writer here). I would LOVE to have the chance to meet Jane Austen, and the Bronte sisters, and—to bring it to the modern day—Robin McKinley, as I love and admire their work, but I don’t think I could ever actually let any of them read or critique my stuff.

And, finally, as a debut novelist yourself, what advice would you give to aspiring authors out there?
Write. Seriously, just write. Don’t worry about telling the rest of the world that you are a writer, or getting followers on Twitter, or having everyone you know to ‘Like’ your author Facebook page, or chatting on writing forums, or starting a blog, or any of the other things that so many ‘writers’ spend their time doing. That stuff may make you feel like a writer, but the only thing that makes you a writer is writing. There will be more than enough time for the rest later, trust me. Spend your time writing, not ‘being a writer’.

Thank you for the great answers, Julianna!

All about the author

Julianna was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and spent the majority of her educational career convinced she would be a musician. However, after receiving her music degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, she realized that she’d been born in the wrong era for her dreams of singing jazz to adoring fans clad in zoot-suits and flapper dresses to come true, and began to wonder if her true calling might be elsewhere.

While Julianna had always excelled in writing throughout school, she’d never considered it career possibility until about three years ago, when she’d gotten her first story idea and decided to go for it. She grabbed her laptop, started typing away, and has never looked back.

WebsiteTwitterHolders Facebook Page


Julianna is giving away some amaaaaazing prizes to celebrate the launch of The Holders. If you are in the US or Canada, click away!

Read-a-thon Mini-Challenge: Show It Off!

Hey there, fellow read-a-thon-ers!

Thinking about sneaking a nap in? No way! Grab a cup of tea or coffee (or a Red Bull) because you’re in for the long-haul now. While you’re at it, get out your camera’s for Hour 20 “Show It Off” Mini-challenge.

Here’s what I want you to do: I want you to show off a book (or books) from your library that you are extremely proud of. The unique, signed or simply dear-to-your-heart editions that you’d grab if there were a fire.

Need some examples? Well, how about that signed, personalised edition by your favourite author? Or how about that shelf of painstakingly-collected of every Jane Austen-related book in existence? Perhaps you’ve an extremely dog-eared copy of a book that’s been passed down through your family? Anything goes – just make it something special to you.

Me? I want to show you two very special sets of J.R.R. Tolkien books. The Hobbit belonged to my grandfather and is a 1966 stunning hardcover edition. Then there’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, from 1965, that belongs to my mother (she kindly lets me read them) and that she’s had since she was a girl. These books have followed us across oceans and into several different homes – they’re special and they’re beautiful. They are the representation of Tolkien that I grew up with, and I can’t imagine his writing any other way.

lotr-3 My Antique copy of LOTR
The complete trilogy (left) and The Fellowship of the Ring (right) without its dust-jacket.
The Hobbit with its slipcase.
As you can see, they are well-loved but still in fantastic condition considering they are almost 50 years old! If you can’t tell from the photos, both editions have engravings on them: Dwarvish on The Hobbit, and the Black Speech of Mordor on The Lord of the Rings.
Now, show off yours!
  • Take a picture of a book/books from your library you really want to show off: signed editions, rare editions, obsessively-organized Sherlock Holmes collections – just whatever is special to you!
  • Post your photo on your blog, twitter, facebook, flickr, etc. then add your link below.
  • If your email address is not on your blog/twitter/etc., please post it in the comments with the number of your entry. (i.e. “I’m Sarah, entry #5, my email is…”)
  • One winner will be chosen to receive a $15/£10 gift certificate to Amazon.
  • This challenge will close at 5 am CDT / 12 noon CET.
ETA: CHALLENGE NOW CLOSED! If you missed the deadline but have taken a picture, please share it in the comments! Winner: Kim @ Page after Page!