Award-winning author of “The Daughters of Boston” and “Winds of Change” series, Julie Lessman was American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards. She has also garnered 17 RWA awards and made Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction. Her book A Light in the Window is an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers' Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Best Award winner.
GIVEAWAY! Leave a comment to be entered for your choice of any of my books, and if you mention posting this interview link on FB and/or tweeting it, you’ll get one extra point for each. The winner will be announced on Novel Rocket's Facebook page, so be sure to come Like it.
Julie, you write wonderful romance and historical romance novels. How did you learn to write the romantic scenes like you do?
The answer to that lies in four life-altering words: Gone With the Wind. When I read that novel at the age of twelve, I was swept away into the world of romance for the very first time. It captured me like no other book had done, and I immediately set out to write (along with thousands of other love-struck young girls, I’m sure), what I hoped would be “the great American novel.”
Obviously my dreams of grandeur didn’t go anywhere, but I did write 150 single-spaced pages of a story that became the basis (some forty years later!) for my debut novel, A Passion Most Pure. Today, I like to think that not only are Margaret Mitchell’s fingerprints are all over me in my religious devotion to passion, but God’s as well—merging my passion for romance with my passion for Him.
What made you decide to write a non-fiction?
It was out of necessity, because I was slated to co-teach a workshop at ACFW last year with my agent and editor on the merging of traditional publishing and indie publishing to create the hybrid author.
A few years back, Ruth Axtell and I taught a workshop at ACFW called A Kiss is Not Just a Kiss, which actually drew the largest crowd that year for a workshop, so I knew it was a popular subject. Then after I did a Seeker blog on it and a reader suggested I put it in a book, I thought—mmm, why not? So I did. The experience, I have to say, has been a lot of fun. Especially designing the cover with my hubby using my daughter’s marriage-proposal picture on the front.
Why this particular subject?
Well, I’ve been nicknamed the “Queen of Romance,” a phrase coined by Laura Frantz, I guess because my romance scenes are a wee bit more passionate than most. And I suppose it’s true simply because romance is very important to me. Blame it on being stunted in my teens, a gangly young girl craving love because I grew up in a family where it was pretty scarce. Whatever the reason, after God and family, romance is one of my greatest loves, especially being able to convey in my books—to an amoral society that has shifted to shades of gray—that romance with God at the center is the only kind that really satisfies.
What can writers expect to gain from it?
I’ll be the first to admit, it’s not a long book, but it’s everything I’ve learned about writing romantic tension over the last six years. What I did was study how I ramp up romantic tension in my own books and impart that in a humorous style using scenes from my own novels in a before-and-after format. There are a couple of bonuses in this book over and above my writing tips that are worth the price of the book … especially when it’s on free download like it will be next week!
How can our readers get it?
I'm running a five-day FREE DOWNLOAD sale on the e-book before and during Valentine’s Day. I hope your readers will mark their calendars so they don’t miss it. Here’s the link for both the paperback and e-book on Amazon (which is the only place Romance-ology 101 is available) but it’s only the e-book that will be free. Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Inspirational and Sweet Markets.
How can our readers contact you?
I love to hear from readers. They can contact me through my website, either by sending an e-mail via my site or by signing up for my newsletter. Or through Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest.
Also, I have a cool blog feature on my website called “Journal Jots” which is a very laid-back Friday journal to my reader friends that will give your readers an idea as to my relaxed style of writing. I can be found daily at The Seekers blog.
Finally, here are some other freebies/giveaways for your readers going on right now.
FEBRUARY 14-28, 2014:
Join me for an interview/giveaway of your choice of my books including my newest release, Dare to Love Again, at the Remain in His Love blog. Hope to see you there! FREE DOWNLOAD OF A Passion Most Pure! American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Book of the Year with over 341 five-star reviews on Amazon. Here are the links:
A Kiss Is Not Just a Kiss . . . Nor is a Sigh Just a Sigh.
In ROMANCE-ology 101, Award-winning “Passion Most Pure” expert Julie Lessman tackles the subject of romantic tension in today’s inspirational/sweet markets with humor and heart. Offering tips for ramping up the WOW factor with romance that is both sweet and swoon-worthy, Lessman offers tried-and-true methods with before-and-after examples to illustrate the following points:
Getting inside the Hero’s Head with Internal Monologue
Maximizing Use of Beats in Dialogue
Effectively Using Dialogue to Escalate Tension
Utilizing Dual Point of View
Escalating Romantic Tension with Anger
Using All Five Senses for Heightened Effect
Cashing In on the Kid and Pet Factor
Enhancing Mood with Emotionally Charged Words/Verbs
Capitalizing on the Element of Surprise
Exposing Desire in an Unwilling Character
Immediate Hero/Heroine Confrontation
Making the Most of Touch and Response
Implementing the Concept of Forbidden Fruit
Words with a Hint of Taboo
Appropriate “Bleep” Words for Inspirational Romance
KISS-ology 101: The Many Faces of a Kiss
“Julie Lessman writing a book on romantic tension is a perfect fit. This is a writing book that needs to be on the shelf of every author because nobody does romantic tension better.” — Mary Connealy, bestselling author of The Kincaid Bride and Trouble in Texas series.