Today’s guest author hails from the Midwest and brings a fresh perspective to her stories. Please help me welcome Julia O. Greene to the interview hot seat! Take a peek at her bio and then we’ll find out more about her.
Julia O. Greene is a pen name for Susan Stradiotto who is typically a fantasy and speculative fiction author. As the material she writes doesn’t serve the romance audience, she decided to pay tribute to her grandmother in her contemporary fiction. Susan lives in Eden Prairie, Minnesota with her husband, three children, and a crazy Bernese Mountain Dog named Delaunay. Stories of all kinds are her passion, and she has always been a voracious reader, lover of worlds, and hoarder of books. Her infatuation with well-developed characters sometimes rivals relationships with real people.
Betty: When did you become a writer?
Julia: I’ve been a writer all my life but became serious about writing as a career in 2017.
Betty: How long did you work on your writing skills before you became published?
Julia: This is a hard question to answer because I’ve been passionate about reading and writing ever since I can recall. But if pressed to say when I started honing the skill, I’d go with 2017.
Betty: What authors or stories do you feel influenced your writing style?
Julia: There are several from different genres.
- From women’s fiction, Lianne Moriarty.
- From paranormal romance, J.R. Ward.
- From fantasy: Jacqueline Carey and N.K. Jemesin.
Betty: What prompted you to start writing?
Julia: In the eleventh grade, my English teacher challenged us to go all out on a creative writing assignment, and I believe that’s what started my love of storytelling.
Betty: What type of writing did you start with?
Julia: Fantasy with tons of worldbuilding. My real inspiration here was a trip I took to Italy and Greece.
Betty: What do you most enjoy writing? Why?
Julia: Fantasy and Romance, or really anything with a happy ending. While I adore conflict in fiction, I want the resolution to be good for my main characters. This life is so short, I really feel people need to seek out their happiness.
Betty: How did you learn to write? A mentor, classes, conferences, craft books, or something else?
Julia: I’d have to say, “The Brute-Force Method.” I wrote, looked for feedback, researched the feedback I received, purchased craft books, and wrote some more. I learn every time I receive an edit back or feedback from a critique. Ongoing honing and learning are something that really jazzes me up about the process of writing.
Betty: What do you wish you knew before you started writing/publishing?
Julia: The timeline for getting a book to market and what it means to adequately market a book. I’ve learned a ton since I published my first book in 2018, and it’s getting more and more fluid. I actually took a year off from publishing just to build a backlog of content so that I can continue writing while publishing and not lose that momentum.
Betty: What other authors inspired you (either directly or through their writing) to try your hand at writing?
Julia: The favorites I mentioned above plus Stephanie Meyer. I wrote a fan fiction about Alice and Jasper after reading the Twilight series. That, however, will never see the light of day.
Betty: What inspired you to write the book you’re sharing with us today?
Julia: When I wrote An Orchid Falls, it was inspired by a friend who actually went through a divorce. My aim was to give her the happy ending she deserved, even if it was in a fictional form.
Divorced. Single Mother.
Words that Calli never imagined she’d use to describe herself, but today, she would sign those fateful papers and bring the words to life—her life. Her career is going well enough. With the financial arrangements in the decree, she’d be able to maintain a solid middle-class status. Her plans for the future are set…keep on keeping on. Maybe one day, her mother could accept her divorce. Maybe one day she’d be comfortable alone. Maybe one day, her life would turn out how it was supposed to be with Bennett. But for today, she’d go to happy hour and celebrate her freedom with her friends.
The variable Calli’s calculations don’t include: restaurateur, Dominic Moretti.
The two pleasures in life that Dom thrives upon. Moretti’s, his first love, his upscale flagship restaurant in Minneapolis, has grown to one of the most in-demand venues in the Twin Cities. When he isn’t traveling for business, he enjoys overseeing the floor as his alter-ego: restaurant manager, Nic Moore. In his other foodie ventures, he operates as the better-known Dom of The Dinner Shark on Food Network. All work and very little play keep his accounts bulging at the seams, and he thoroughly enjoys a city-boy bachelor’s lifestyle.
The secret ingredient he has yet to factor into his perfect recipe: Callista Lindley.
Not stepping out of his arms, she turned her head and looked up at him with her big, deep browns—eyes he could lose himself in for hours if it weren’t for the pull of her lips. He leaned in and kissed her softly. “Merry Christmas.”
“Buon Natale,” answered Calli.
Dom raised a brow. “Joyeux Nöel.”
Calli chewed the inside of her lip and looked around, searching with her eyes. A light went on. “Felicem natalem Christi.”
Dom dropped back his head and laughed. Coming back face-to-face, he asked, “Latin?”
“What can I say, four years in high school and two in college. Oh, I have one more. Feliz Natal.”
“Ah, yes. Portuguese. I only know two more, so you almost had me. God jul?” He phrased as a question to see if she could guess.
She pressed her lips together and shook her head.
“Norwegian. Come on, living in Minnesota, you never learned that one?”
“And . . . Glædelig Jul, Danish.”
“I guess you win.”
“But you have the romance languages, hands down. Speaking of . . . ” He brushed her hair away from her neck, inhaled her floral-vanilla scent, and kissed under her ear.
Sounds like a delightful story! I may be a bit biased since my cat’s name is Calli, short for Calliope though. Thanks for sharing with us, Julia!
Thanks for reading!
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