Interview with Australian Author – Julie Bozza
“Australian Authors” – Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
Julie – Appearances are often deceiving. I have a rather ordinary and unprepossessing exterior, but like most of us – and indeed like the TARDIS – I’m larger / queerer / far more interesting on the inside. Perhaps my true colours come out best in my books…?
“Australian Authors” – What made you want to become a writer?
Julie – I could have always told you that my dream was to be a writer, right from when I was a kid – though I would have promptly followed that up with all the reasons why it wasn’t possible. I only started daring to hope the dream might come true in some small way in my late teens, and I didn’t start my first professional novel until I was 29. So the aspiration has always been there, and I’m not sure I can say why. Perhaps it’s because I’ve always been a reader? My Mum says I took to reading like a duck to water. So, maybe the original motivation was due to a respect for this business of weaving words into stories that could both inform and entertain – and wondering if I could do that, too.
“Australian Authors” – What gives you inspiration for your book(s)?
Julie – Life, the universe, and everything…? Just about anything might prompt the feeling that here – HERE! – is something I want to explore in words and share with others. Mostly I like writing about how extraordinary ‘ordinary’ people are, and about how powerful a force love can be.
“Australian Authors” – Now, the big question, are you working on another book?
Julie – Always, more or less! I always have a list of potential future projects, and a current work-in-progress. Whether I am actually writing / researching / pondering one of those works on a particular day is another question entirely.
“Australian Authors” – What genres do you prefer to write in?
Julie – I tend to focus on LGBTQ characters. Mostly contemporary settings for the longer works, with some historical in the shorter works – though that is currently shifting to more of a focus on historical. About half of my longer works can be defined as romances, though the rest usually include a love story of some kind. A few of my novels are thrillers. I find that, even though I don’t consider myself a crime or mystery writer as such, there is usually a mystery or a puzzle for my characters to solve.
“Australian Authors” – What do you think about the ebook revolution?
Julie – I love it, partly because it opens up publishing to a wider range of authors and ‘niche’ content, e.g. LGBTQ. Plus e-readers make travelling and commuting so much easier and more fun. Hopefully they have a good impact on the environment, too. However, I still love physical books, and still buy them for content I’m particularly fond of. Also, reference works are more useful in print, when I need to consult back-and-forth within a book, rather than just reading from start-to-finish. So I think the technologies can and should co-exist for a long while yet.
“Australian Authors” – Do you start a book with a definite plot, or do you just write?
Julie – I need at least a vague idea of the plot. Well, to be specific, I need to know where the characters start and where they finish, with some vague idea of how they get from one to the other. While the start and finish tend to remain as I conceive them, though, the characters often take a somewhat different journey in between.
“Australian Authors” – Pen or type writer or computer?
Julie Bozza – Computer, mostly. But if I’m out and about, I always have a pen and notebook to scribble with – and I think some of my best editing / finessing happens while typing up hand-scrawled notes.
“Australian Authors” – Do your characters seem to hijack the story, or are you always in control?
Julie – If my characters have ideas of their own, then I always listen to them. This, to me, is a sign that the story is working, and I am tapping into my deeper writerly instincts rather than remaining on the intellectual surface. If the characters come alive for the author, I think they are far more likely to come alive for the reader, too.
“Australian Authors” – Are your characters based on real people or completely imagined?
Julie – I guess they draw on a whole range of other imagined characters, actors, and public figures. Other imagined characters, because a lot of writerly inspiration comes from other stories told across a range of media. Actors, because I tend to “cast” the characters in my imagination, and that gives them not only a three-dimensional physicality but also draws on snippets of the actors themselves and the various roles they’ve played over the years. Public figures, yes – but not private people so much. I tend not to re-imagine the people I know personally as characters. I definitely understand how / why other authors do that, but it’s never been something I’ve been interested in myself. Having said that, snippets of their ideas or dialogue or body language may find their way into the mix. All of this, along with a healthy dose of my own imagination! The characters are the key to telling the story, I believe, so I put a lot of work into imagining them to suit.
“Australian Authors” – Have you thought about joining with another author to write a book?
Julie – Thought about it, yes, and in some ways I think it would do me good. I have written some fan fiction that way, and it was a joy. But I am an independent sod, and I tend to want to write my own stuff…
“Australian Authors” – Who are your favourite authors?
Julie – Jane Austen, KJ Charles, Andrew Elfenbein, EM Forster, Elin Gregory, Bryn Hammond, Kaje Harper, John Keats, William Shakespeare, JRR Tolkien, Ivan Turgenev, Salley Vickers, Leonard Woolf, Virginia Woolf.
“Australian Authors” – What’s your advice to Authors? On writing? Publishing? Marketing?
Julie – Listen to others, but trust in yourself. Be authentic. Commit to life-long learning. Push your work to the next level. You can do it! Most importantly: Have fun!