Julie L. Cannon is the author of the award-winning Homegrown series, published by Simon & Schuster and described as ‘Southern-fried soul food.’ Her novel I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Summerside Press, Sept. ‘10, made the CBA Bestseller List as well as Nielsen’s Top 50 Inspirational Titles. Abingdon Press will release Twang in August 2012, and Scarlett Says in October 2013. When she isn’t busy tending her tomato patch, Julie can be found listening to country music or teaching memoir-writing workshops. She lives in
Visit her website at www.julielcannon.com
and connect with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/julieLcannon
and on Twitter at JulieLCannon. Watkinsville, Georgia
Welcome, Julie. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
When I was a junior in college, I had my first ‘encounter’ with the supernatural. It happened when the bicycle I was on collided with a car. After a lengthy and miraculous recovery, a diagnosis of brain injury, I started asking a lot of questions. It was a brand new, earth-shaking experience that blew the door wide open to my soul. I’ve often heard people say it was their suffering that drew them closer to God. That in the depths of despair they discovered God was all they needed. That is true for me, and now I’m out to share this through my books. My intention is to illustrate how God can redeem the seemingly unredeemable. My characters find grace, even beauty in the ugliest memories and events.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Hmmmm. How can I answer this? Every day I get out of bed, feeling well and content is happy. But, if you want specific days, I’ll say it’s the day I married, each of the days I gave birth to my three children, that afternoon when I won a short story contest that led to the unexpected sale of my first novel, and every time since that I hear I’ve got a new book deal and can continue to do this thing I love.
How has being published changed your life?
It validates my passion, my obsession. Another good thing is that at first I was a very reluctant public speaker. Now I’m paid to give keynote speeches and teach writing workshops. Having to learn to hawk my books taught me to rely on God’s wisdom and strength to overcome fears.
What are you reading right now?
Just finished Mia Farrow’s memoir, What Falls Away, and I’m in the middle of Save Me From Myself a memoir by Brian ‘Head’ Welch, former lead guitarist of Korn. Farrow’s book tore my heart out, and Welch writes about the depths of his depravity, and then the amazing life he’s found in Christ.
What is your current work in progress?
I’m on the final scene of Scarlett Says, coming out October 2013 from Abingdon Press. It’s about how words - what we speak, hear and read - have a life of their own and affect us for good and bad.
What would be your dream vacation?
It’s a toss up between staying a month in either
or . Paris
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I know the South, and my settings for all seven published novels have been
Georgia and . I’ve lived in both states. Tennessee
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
My agent, Sandra Bishop. We met over the internet, have had many conversations by phone, but I live in
she lives in
and I’ve yet to sit down and drink a cup of coffee with her and talk eye-to-eye
about books and life. Oregon
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love listening to country music, painting with acrylics and watercolors, and going to junk/thrift stores.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
It’s the public speaking thing. The marketing of my books. I rely on PRAyer and PRActice to see me through each new novel’s release. I ask God for help, and I do my part; I write out my book talks, the workshops I teach, and then I stand in front of the mirror and practice.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Write constantly, read constantly, study books and websites on the craft of writing, listen to critiques and heed advice, submit often, and never, ever give up.
Twang shows how art (in this case song-writing) can be cathartic. It shows how to trust God with your ugly memories. It’s about finding grace, even beauty in the ugliest memories and events.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Those first days in
were happy. Happier than any I
could recall. It was no accident I had Mac’s cousin pull his sputtering Vega to
the curb on the corner of Nashville Music
Circle East and Division Street. The Best Western was in
walking distance of Music Row.
All my belongings were stuffed into two huggable paper sacks, and when I marched down that strip of red carpeting into a marble-floored lobby with a chandelier, I knew it was a palace compared to that drafty cabin in Blue Ridge with peeling wallpaper and warped floorboards. Room 316 had pretty gold and maroon carpet; gold curtains at a window with an air conditioning unit beneath it; two queen beds; two glossy wood tables—one in the corner with a lamp, an ice bucket and a coffee maker, and the other between the beds with a phone, a clock, and a remote for the television. There was even a little bitty refrigerator, a microwave, an ironing board and an iron.
What else could a person need?
More curious about having my own indoor bathroom than a television, I tiptoed in there first. Nothing had prepared me for what met my eyes. Clean white tiles on the floor, a marbled sink, a blow-dryer, a stack of sweet
Way to leave us hanging, Julie. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Website www.juliecannon.infoTwitter http://twitter.com/JulieLCannon
Thank you, Julie, for spending this time with us today.
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