Author Interview with Julie Rowan-Zoch
Get to know Julie…
Julie is a reformed graphic designer, turned picture book maker. Originally from New York, she spent a big chunk of her life in Germany, and transplanted to Colorado in 1998. Three board books she illustrated for Bailiwick Press will be available in October 2014. For more info, visit Facebook and her blog and Facebook.
What famous attraction has been the greatest disappointment?
I prefer to avoid them; too often little of the true culture of a place is revealed, but I did indulge and visited The Mermaid statue in Copenhagen. Buy the postcard!
Which of the Seven Dwarfs would you be? Why?
The Mermaid. Hahaha! Then Happy, I suppose, because there is no dwarf named Silly.
What TV show have you surprisingly never seen?
Dunno. I have no TV reception. A good thing, I suppose.
If you could change one thing about airlines to make your flight more enjoyable, what would it be?
Service. I would like airline staff/management to impress their desire to offer an enjoyable experience.
How would a dictionary define your writing process?
What irritates you the most in a social situation?
Getting stuck with a non-stop talker, a never-listener. And that moment when I realize it’s me.
What word describes the outfit you’re wearing right now?
If you opened the freezer right now, what would you love to find?
Dinner prepared with love by a friend.
How do you know when a book is finished?
When my critique partners’ comments become more random, I believe I’m close. When I can no longer meddle with a manuscript, I’m ready to submit. But is there a ‘finished’? As with my art, I imagine I could always go back and change something.
When did you know for certain that you wanted to pursue a career in writing? Have you ever questioned that decision?
I talked about illustrating for children’s lit for years, but I also want to illustrate my own stories. I finally started writing between three or four years ago. About a year in, knee deep in craft books and online challenges, I knew I probably would not have considered the pursuit a rational one if I had known as much as I did at that point, but I was hooked! I hope be in a better position to answer the second part of the question in a few years.
What traits, if any, do you think that creative people have compared to people who are not creative?
I believe everyone to be creative, but many have had their confidence suppressed, or did not receive the necessary support. I know many creative people who just never saw their work as creative, because the description does not fall under ‘The Arts’. One can be creative with a tennis serve, bicycle repair and haggling skills. Why stop there?
What are the biggest challenges you have had in the realm of your art?
Maintaining integrity in the business side of work, but that has much improved recently.
How did you pick your writing genre?
Love of picture books – for the last three years I’ve read about 100 a week, but I’ve slowed down. I’m now reading more graphic novels and middle grade fiction. I like to keep an open mind!
What life experiences have inspired your work?
All of them. But I believe adjusting to life in different places, especially foreign, for extended periods has had the most influence.
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