Popular local author Julie Kenner talks writing and family
Georgetown author Julie Kenner is like one of her most popular characters, Kate Connor. She’s smart, talented, inventive, and a wife and mother. Julie just lacks that demon-hunting secret past. But we can’t have everything.
Author of more than forty books and novellas (not to mention screenplays), Julie displays her many interests in her writing. Kate Connor is the heroine of the Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom series, the rights to which were purchased by producer Chris Columbus and his company 1492 Pictures. (Chris Columbus brought us the first two Harry Potter movies.) The first book in Julie’s series, Carpe Demon, is in development.
“I love writing the paranormal stuff,” Julie says. “I like getting into the fantasy of it. I don’t know why. I think I was weaned on it. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting in front of the TV watching I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched.”
But fantasy is not all she writes. Julie’s Stark Trilogy, which has been compared to Fifty Shades of Grey, has been on the New York Times and USA Today’s bestseller lists. Julie got the deal for the trilogy July 2012, and the third book, Complete Me, was released July 30th of this year. “It’s been a crazy year. Crazy, busy, all-consuming, but awesome.”
Julie isn’t an introverted hermit scribbling away in a cave. She’s also a wife and mother. “I was working as an attorney when I sold my first book,” Julie says. “I had a year, year and a half, writing without kids. People told me it was going to get crazy when I had a baby, but honestly, it wasn’t that bad.” Julie bought a huge desk from the Salvation Army. She set the computer at one end and the baby in her car seat at the other. “She was as happy as she could be. It was when she got to be two, three, when they start to become interesting little people, is when it makes it much harder to write.”
Around this time, Julie quit her job to write full-time and the family moved from Austin to Georgetown. But Julie wasn’t finished changing the dynamics of her life yet. “My daughter was an only child until she was almost five. She had her fifth birthday in China when we were adopting her little sister. So that was fun, and then we had another little girl to bump up the craziness factor!”
As the girls became school-aged, Julie homeschooled, but this school year the dynamics changed again, and Julie was ready to have her evenings back. “A regular workday and then family time,” she explains, “because until now it’s been a mishmash of life stuff mixed together.”
Julie used to write very fast, sometimes knocking out five books a year, although she confesses that those years were “a little insane.” After thirteen years, Julie says, her writing process has changed. “As I get older, I’m moving a little more slowly.” But no one can say she hasn’t seized the day with both hands.
As that young girl watching I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched, Julie admits, she was a little bitty feminist. “I always thought it was so stupid that Major Nelson and Darrin wouldn’t let [Jeannie and Samantha] use their powers. One, they wouldn’t let these women be who they are, but also, hello, you won’t even let her conjure dinner? It just seemed so unfair.”
Luckily for us, Julie puts her own powers to use and conjures up literary feasts to devour. “It’s been fun,” Julie says. “I couldn’t ask for a better job.”
For more information about Julie and her books, visit her web site at www.juliekenner.com.