BCC: Welcome Julie, it’s great to have you here.
JC: Thank you for inviting me!
BCC: Tell us a little bit about your latest book, Girl From Mars.
JC: Philomena Desdemona Brown (Fil for short) is an artist for the long-running comic book Girl from Mars. She’s a geek, a tomboy, and a misfit with blue hair. She spends the rare times when she’s not drawing with her only friends, three similarly misfittish men, watching Star Trek and X-Files reruns and arguing about who’s the best super hero ever.
One day, though, one of her friends falls in love, and suddenly isn’t around any more. Stung by the rejection, Fil and her remaining two friends take a vow (in Klingon) to forsake all romantic relationships and stick together.
But changes are afoot at Girl from Mars—including a handsome new writer who seems determined to make unwanted changes in the comic, and in Fil’s life.
It’s a fun, funny book about friendship, love and comics and I absolutely loved writing it.
BCC: It does sound fun – can’t wait to read it. I read on your website that your next Little Black Dress book is called Nina Jones and the Temple of Gloom, (great title), which is to be released spring next year. Can you reveal a little bit about it?
JC: Thank you, I love the title too!
I got the idea for the book when I was reading Northanger Abbey, and I thought, What would happen if I took a typical chick-lit heroine—obsessed with shoes and hair, in slightly glam job, in love with her boss—and plunked her into a decaying, possibly haunted mansion near a gothic cemetery?
So, that’s what it’s about. Basically. With bats.
BCC: Sounds great. I think I will be reading that one too! What is your writing day like?
JC: I’ve got a toddler, and my husband is often away on tour with various rock bands, so I have to fit my writing in around being a mum. Three days a week my son goes to child care, so I get five hours to write frantically like a madwoman, recklessly ignoring dishes, dusting and all other housework. During these five hours I drink cup after cup of tea, talk to myself, and surf the net far too much.
On the days that my son is at home, I write during his nap. I can only usually fit in two cups of tea in this time, which is a real shame.
In the middle of this, I try to fit in doing promotion, reading proofs or doing other editing, planning workshops, and being vice-chair of my local writing group and organiser of the Reading chapter of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
I very rarely get time to do the housework.
BCC: What do you do for fun outside of writing?
JC: I like to hang out with friends or go for long walks in the countryside, or, failing that, I like to walk around my town at dusk and look into people’s windows.
BCC: You are now in the process of writing yet another book, The Bad Twin (title tbc), which will hopefully be released november 2010. Can you give us a little sneak peek as to what it’s about?
JC: The Bad Twin will be my first novel with Headline Review. It’s about a woman who takes over her identical twin sister’s life when her sister disappears. Because the heroine’s family runs an ice cream business, I’ve been on a tour of an ice cream factory and I’ve also eaten a lot of it (poor me).
BCC: How hard is it being a full-time mum, wife and writer?
JC: It’s hard. Being a mum and being a writer are the two most difficult jobs I’ve ever done. They have a lot in common because you’re making stuff up as you go along, which is scary, but it’s also pretty exhilarating. I hope that most of the time I’m sensible enough to feel incredibly lucky.
BCC: What do you enjoy most about writing?
JC: Those moments when the scene pours out by itself, when everything falls together and you learn all kinds of things about your characters and it makes you laugh aloud in joy.
BCC: Who are your favourite authors?
JC: Marian Keyes, Jennifer Crusie, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Nigel Slater, Jane Austen and William Shakespeare.
BCC: What are you reading at the moment?
JC: Don’t Bargain with the Devil by Sabrina Jeffries (a fun Regency romance) and The Mega Book of Zombie Comics.
BCC: Thank you so much, it’s been a real pleasure.
JC: Thank you, and happy reading!
If you would like to find about more about Julie Cohen and her books then please visit her website.
Look out for my review of Girl From Mars coming soon!
Buy your copy of Girl From Mars