Today I’m super excited to kick off the promotional tour for The Possibility of Somewhere by Julia Day. This upcoming contemporary young adult novel features different type of characters which shows diversity in fiction.
I had so much fun reading Ash and Eden’s story which makes me excited for readers to experience the same thing when the book hit shelves this coming September. But before that here’s Julia answering few questions for me. I hope you all enjoy the interview.
Interview with Julia Day
Your previous published novels are under a different name. Why use a pseudo name for The Possibility of Somewhere?
My other books are YA paranormal, and they’re definitely at the sweet end of the spectrum. Since this is my first YA contemporary, I liked the idea of having a different pen name as I write contemporary stories that might not be as sweet.
Is there a special/particular reason for picking Julia Day as a new pen name?
Yes, it’s all about my family. Julia is a mash-up of my daughters’ names. Day is derived from my husband’s name. I couldn’t be an author without their support, and this pen name gave me a way to honor them.
Has your approach to writing changed since your first novel published?
I think that writing is similar in many ways to being an athlete. You practice and train. When you fail, you figure out what you did wrong and go at it again. You rely on coaches (editors). And the harder you work, the better you get. Each time you try something new, your approach has to change.
Is The Possibility of Somewhere easier or harder to write than your other novels?
My first series was a time-travel, so half of the story was set in the 18th century. It took a huge amount of historical research, but I still found writing time-travel easier than contemporary. I think that’s because the past (mostly) stays the same. Once I’ve collected the research, I don’t have to worry about it changing on me.
In a contemporary world, nothing ever stays the same. Technology will not sit still. Education, music, trends, language—they’re constantly evolving. Teens are evolving too and—in many ways—creating the change. As an author, I have to work overtime to get that right.
What techniques do you employ to write productively?
I hate to admit it, but my writing process is pretty chaotic. I’m disciplined in my day job as a software engineer. And if my family needs anything, I’m there. But writing is something that I do best when I feel relaxed and can let the words flow at their own pace.
Racial discrimination is a common theme in fictions, and The Possibility of Somewhere has this theme too. What do you think a novel can accomplish in adding theme like this? Is there a particular thing you hope readers will learn from reading The Possibility of Somewhere?
Any “ism”—whether it’s racism, classism, or sexism—bubbles up from fear and ignorance. When people don’t understand a person who is different from them, they sometimes allow fear to muffle their curiosity. Books give readers a way to experience differences. We don’t have to agree with a character’s choices, but at least we’ve had the opportunity to understand why they made them.
Instead of learning from this book, I’d like for readers to feel. What is it like to be judged for something that’s out of our control? How does it feel to have your love rejected simply because you live in the wrong location? If readers can feel that from this book, it will be enough.
Aside from racism, The Possibility of Somewhere have a strong focus on family. How much does this reflect your own life?
My family is the center of my world. Both of my daughters are in their twenties now and live within a half-hour’s drive. One is in college. The other is working in her first job. They are both such amazing young women, and they still choose to spend time with their parents. I’m so grateful for that.
What’s next for you after The Possibility of Somewhere? Is there any project you are working on or planning to write next?
I’m writing a second YA contemporary romance for St Martin’s. This one takes place during the summer, in a teen theater camp. The main character joins the backstage crew and becomes the reluctant assistant to the guy who runs the show. This book doesn’t have a title yet and should be available in Fall 2017.