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Julianne Donaldson has written Edenbrooke and Blackmoore, both regency romance novels that are highly entertaining as well as being clean reads. She has written a contemporary romance book set in Scotland that will be available February 2017 and I have to say that I'm very excited to read it!
Julianne came to the author event to share her story of how she became an author and to also encourage those in the audience to follow their dreams and not give up. It was inspiring to listen to her talk about how 10 years ago she was a stay-at-home mom who had an ebay business, sometimes wrote articles for magazines, and taught piano lessons to help support their growing family while her husband was in law school, and how by figuring out what her talent was she was able to become a published author and touch the lives of so many readers.
To an audience of over 250 people, Julianne shared about how one day she was daydreaming while washing dishes and thought of a funny song about a cow, which turned into a scene between Marianne and Philip in her first book Edenbrooke. From that point on she kept seeing her characters in her head and imagining dialog and scenes that would eventually become her first book. She worked on her book at night with no thought that it would actually be published one day. She had an "a-ha" moment one day that writing was her talent and she should continue to use her talent.
Julianne told us about who and what inspired her while writing. She shared which people she imagined while writing her books, (when she shared a picture of Christian Bale as Philip and Ryan Lochte as Henry there were quite a few appreciative exclamations!) and about her research trips to England while writing Edenbrooke and Blackmoore. Some of the places she visited ended up inspiring settings and scenes in her books. The bridge in the photo above inspired her to write the scene of Marianne twirling and falling into the river in Edenbrooke. She also showed a picture of her collecting rocks on a beach that she based a scene in Blackmoore on.
Julianne ended her discussion by telling the audience how it wasn't easy to have her book published, but continuing to follow her dreams was worth it. She wrote Edenbrooke and knew that it had a few parts that needed to be fixed, but didn't know how to go about making the needed changes. She attended a conference at the Provo Library where authors spoke about their writing process. She was encouraged to keep working on her book to get it to the point where she was happy with it. She said that she sent copies of the finished book to editors for a year and was refused because her books didn't have sex scenes - they contacted her to let her know that if she added sex scenes to her book she would get published. Julianne didn't let that discourage her or make her change her work. She had written her book to share with an audience that was looking for an emotionally charged romance that didn't have to resort to gratuitous physical scenes. She wanted Young Adult readers to be able to pick up her books and be immersed in the regency time period and find a new interest. She eventually contacted a publisher and they were excited to publish her book just how it was
Julianne then encouraged the audience to find what they were talented in and to pursue that in whatever way possible and to not give up. She shared that on that day 10 years ago while washing dishes she didn't see the pathway that would lead to her success as an author, but she kept working and trying and using the talent that had been given to her. She said how she had been blessed in her life to be able to share these stories with her readers.
It was a great talk and I'm glad that I went last night. I loved hearing the whole process she went through on her journey to becoming an author. I hope that her story can inspire others to keep following their dreams.