{Interview/Giveaway} Julie Reece, Author of THE ARTISANS

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An interview with 
Julie Reece

Born in Ohio, I lived next to my grandfather’s horse farm until the fourth grade. Summers were about riding, fishing and make-believe, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all.I struggled with multiple learning disabilities, did not excel in school. I spent much of my time looking out windows and daydreaming. 

In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) I fought dyslexia for my right to read, like a prince fights a dragon in order to free the princess locked in a tower, and I won.Afterwards, I read like a fiend. I invented stories where I could be the princess… or a gifted heroine from another world who kicked bad guy butt to win the heart of a charismatic hero. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? 

Later, I moved to Florida where I continued to fantasize about superpowers and monsters, fabricating stories (my mother called it lying) and sharing them with my friends.Then I thought I’d write one down…Hooked, I’ve been writing ever since. I write historical, contemporary, urban fantasy, adventure, and young adult romances. I love strong heroines, sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. My writing is proof you can work hard to overcome any obstacle. Don’t give up. I say, if you write, write on!

Visit her websiteFacebook, and Twitter!

What made you want to update Beauty and the Beast in a modern-day setting?

I’m going to let you in on a secret that I haven’t told anyone! Okay, my daughters know, but that’s it. THE ARTISANS didn’t start out as a Beauty and the Beast retelling at all. Instead, I was thinking about the original fairy tale “Die Wichtelmänner” which is known today as "The Elves and the Shoemaker." It’s a story about a poor shoemaker who receives magical help from elves. I was wondering what would happen if (in my retelling) the shoemaker had lived in 2015, and had a daughter in high school. And what if that daughter woke up in the middle of the night and caught the elves performing magic to help her troubled, debt-riddled father.

So, I started writing that book, but by chapter three, the shoe-maker had become an alcoholic tailor, his daughter a gothic seamstress, and the elves morphed into a very powerful beast. As happens sometimes, the story morphed and wrote itself. I had to adjust with the changing vision. The book became a twisted version of both stories in a way, but in the end, more B and B than anything else.

Weird, huh?

What went into building a world that had a gothic, historical feel and the whimsy of a fairy tale (Seamstresses!) twisted up into the present day?

Growing up, I fell in love with Mother Goose, Andersen, and Grimm fairy tales. Later, I devoured the classics. Got ridiculously swoony over JANE EYRE, WUTHERING HEIGHTS, PRECIOUS BANE, anything from Dickens or Austen … It won’t fly nowadays, but I even loved the purple prose, obnoxious alpha males and melodramatic heroines from lesser known novels of that day. In THE ARTISANS, I wanted to combine the dark creepy feel of a good gothic with the timelessness (and complete chaos) of my beloved, irrational fairy tales.

It was an experiment that was a fun to write, and one I hope readers will enjoy.

Will you write more fairy tale-influenced novels in the future?

Oh, I hope so! I truly love them, and for me, the weirder the better. Hint: sequel. Lol.
What are your favorite obscure fairy tales?

Hm, let’s see … Iron John, Snow White and Rose Red, Godfather Death, The Light Maiden, The Six Swans, Puss ’n Boots, Bearskin, Faithful John …Ha! Yeah, I’d better stop. I warned you I loved these stories. ^_^
Which fairytale mode of transportation would you want to try out? (eg. Cinderella's pumpkin coach, seven league boots, ship, flying carpet, etc...)

Ooh, what a great question! Love this. Okay, let me think.

I’m going to cheat because it’s not technically a fairy tale, but hey, I’m a rebel.  I’d like to take a shot at riding Pegasus, because there’s not much cooler than a winged horse that flies. Am I right? After that, I’m going with Mowgli from The Jungle Book stories because the kid hitches rides on the backs of bears, panthers, and elephants. Come on, you’d feel pretty BA motoring into town strapped to a huge bear, and you know I’d handle animal travel LIKE A BOSS.

If your life was a Disney movie, which would it be...and which character would best represent you?

Geeze, you don’t go easy on a girl, do you? Lol. They are all so different and, you know, awesome.

I missed the emotionally abused, shut-in childhood of Cinderella, and I want a boy that will pursue me instead of running after him like Ariel did. Mulan is athletic and I totally failed P.E. so … Pocahontas is an outdoorsy-type girl. My idea of camping is the Hilton Gardens. I think that leaves me with Esmeralda, from The Hunchback of Notre Dame (without the uber creepy stalker guy though, please!) She’s not a princess, but she’s cool. She judges people for who they are on the inside, not what they look like. Esmeralda fights for family, her people and what’s right. Yeah, I’d like to be like that, too.


Dragon or kraken?

Dragon all the way, baby.

Hero or villain? 

Hero with a slight villainous streak? See, I’m such a rebel! Can’t even answer a simple question without … yeah.

Befriend the birds or the mice?

Birds. Mice freak me out a little.

Baba Yaga or a Djinn?

Djinn, no question. Who wants to stand around on one chicken leg? Not attractive.

Invisibility cloak or golden ball?

Ooooh, cloak. Yes! 

Thanks for having me today. I had a blast with these questions! XOXOX 
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Julie Reece
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books

They say death can be beautiful. But after the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Raven Weathersby gives up her dream of becoming a fashion designer, barely surviving life in the South Carolina lowlands.

To make ends meet, Raven works after school as a seamstress creating stunning works of fashion that often rival the great names of the day.

Instead of making things easier on the high school senior, her stepdad's drinking leads to a run in with the highly reclusive heir to the Maddox family fortune, Gideon Maddox.

But Raven's stepdad's drying out and in no condition to attend the meeting with Maddox. So Raven volunteers to take his place and offers to repay the debt in order to keep the only father she's ever known out of jail, or worse.

Gideon Maddox agrees, outlining an outrageous demand: Raven must live in his home for a year while she designs for Maddox Industries' clothing line, signing over her creative rights.

Her handsome young captor is arrogant and infuriating to the nth degree, and Raven can't imagine working for him, let alone sharing the same space for more than five minutes.

But nothing is ever as it seems. Is Gideon Maddox the monster the world believes him to be? And can he stand to let the young seamstress see him as he really is?

"The Artisans has all the elements I love - spooky intrigue, strong friendships, and a romantic tension to be savored." ~ Wendy Higgins, New York Times bestselling author of the SWEET EVIL trilogy.

"Read The Artisans in the middle of the night with a flashlight if you dare. The perfect blend of romance and horror with a strong female lead kept me reading through the night." ~ L.S. Murphy, author of REAPER and PIXELATED.


Enter to win...

One of Two Month9Books Prize Packs,
each set consisting of e-book copies of 
THE ARTISANS by Julie Reece
CROWN OF ICE by Vicki L. Weavil!

(Giveaway is INTERNATIONAL!)

This giveaway ends April 22nd at midnight, EST.

To enter, make sure you are registered on the FTF giveaway registry, and then fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

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