Meet the Winners – Julie Frost
Welcome friends and readers, lend me your…er..eyes! Say hello to freshly minted Writers of the Future winner, Julie Frost.
Stuart: Congratulations Julie! Tell the good folks a little about yourself. What got you into writing?
Julie: I used to write a lot in high school, but got out of the habit in college. I didn’t pick it up again until I discovered Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfiction. I cut my writerly teeth on that, learning how to plot, keep characters consistent, and actually finish. The first piece of “original” fiction I actually wrote was a Firefly story I assiduously scraped the serial numbers off of by combining characters, changing sexes, and adding aliens (it’s up for free on my blog). The first story I ever sold was one starring those folks.
Stuart: Cool! I was somewhat the same. I just left behind those childish dream until one day they build up and exploded.
Julie: (Raises a wolf mug)
Stuart: I understand you write an eclectic mix of scifi, fantasy, and horror. What have you been working on lately?
Julie: Lately it’s been all werewolves, all the time. There’s so much you can do with them—I’ve even surprised myself.
Stuart: I can see that. Sort of inherently conflicted characters. And where do you do you write your werewolves. Describe your “writer’s cave.”
Julie: People have caves? I should get a cave. In a bar.
Stuart: No, silly. You put the bar in your cave. That way, when the moon is full—oh never mind. Do you have any unusual talents or hobbies?
Julie: Currently, it’s all writing all the time, with the occasional foray into picking up a new Oaxacan carving or anteater figurine. In the past, I’ve enjoyed Dog Agility (my dog was the first dog in Utah to earn a title from NADAC and the first Brittany in the country to do so, back in the day), collecting and mounting insects, and building plastic car models. Zoo and nature photography and travel are fun. I also collect werewolf movies. The worse, the better.
Stuart: Wow! That’s amazing. You know, Dave Farland is from Utah. And Orson Scott Card and Brad Torgerson if either of them are there this year. How long have you been entering WotF?
Julie: I entered for the first time in 2007. I’ve garnered 14 form rejections, 11 Honorable Mentions, 2 SemiFinalists, and 2 Finalists. This story was my second Finalist.
Stuart: Are you a Pantser or a Plotter?
Julie: I used to swear by (and at) pantsing. Then I decided to do a short story NaNo project (in January, because I just can’t even in November), but knew that if I wanted to write 50,000 words worth of short stories without crashing and burning ignobly, I needed a plan. So I grabbed the SevenPoint Plot Outline, plotted out seven stories using it, and wrote five of them across 53,000 words that month. I have sworn by plotting ever since.
Stuart: Way to go! Knowledge is power. If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Julie: The ability to read books by other people and write my own at the exact same time.
Stuart: Kind of like chewing gum and whistling at the same time, or whistling and drinking a coke-float. Yeah. Now we’re talking. When you were a kid, what was your favorite toy?
Julie: I had a stuffed donkey I slept with and still actually own. I do remember always having my nose stuck in a book.
Stuart: Good preparation! If you adopted a unique wardrobe tag what might it be?
Julie: All wolf shirts, all the time. Oh, wait, that’s… pretty much what I wear now!
Stuart: So you wearwolves. I see. I think I see a pattern here… So tell us about your winning story.
Julie: It’s about a werewolf who is (probably) clinically depressed (having just lost his entire pack to hunters) going on a hunter-killing spree to make his city safe for his kind again. It opens in the morgue. The ending is super bittersweet, though not as awful (for the character) as the original ending was. I actually rewrote it from nearly the ground up with Dave Farland’s sensibilities in mind. His comment about my first Finalist (which was also a werewolf story) was “Is it a story about werewolves, or a story about belonging?” That one, I hadn’t seen that way. This one definitely was. I used a lot of sensory imagery, and I had fun with the world-building aspects and the character immersion. I guess it
worked, since Dave famously “hates” werewolf fiction (he says so in my novel blurb), and yet he’s
put two of mine up as Finalists.
Stuart: Well done. I often remind folks who enter the contest over and over that, like any market, there are tastes and sensibilities to be considered. How about your tastes? What’s your favorite genre?
Julie: Urban fantasy is my current genre du jour. I find stories set in a semblance of our world just a little more satisfying. I like imagining what might lurk in the corners and shadows if we only had the wit to see it.
Stuart: Like…werewolves! Well thanks Julie. I can’t wait to see you on stage in April!
Follow Julie at agilebrit.livejournal.com and @juliecfrost.