Interview: Author Julia Barrett + Giveaway

Filed in Giveaways , Interview , Julia Rachel Barrett , The Geeky Lover Posted on July 16, 2010 @ 2:00 pm 19 comments
We are so happy to have Julia Rachel Barrett here today She’s a multi published author and a person you all should be happy to meet. Her new erotic science fiction romance, Daughters of Persephone: Exile & Return, will be released next week and I got the chance to ask her everything I want. Muahah! And be sure to check out the end of the interview for a chance to win her new book.

Please give Julia a warm welcome!

The Geeky Lover: Hey Julia, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Julia: Thanks, Susi! I love talking with you, especially during the World Cup! Let’s see…a little about me…I’m married, a mom, a registered nurse, and a writer. As you know, I’m also an animal lover. I began writing poetry when I was quite young and I had a little success, but after hitting many walls, I gave up writing for a while. I returned to writing with a vengeance back in 2006.

The Geeky Lover: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?

Julia: Both, I guess, but it all depends upon the story. Most times I fly by the seat of my pants. Occasionally I sort of plan a story out, but believe me, any planning I do is haphazard and pretty minimal. A typical day for me begins early. I hike in the hills for 4-5 miles, come home and make some coffee, answer my emails and check out what my friends are doing. Usually I get a couple hours of writing in before early afternoon, if I can manage to sit still. The rest of my day is usually pretty busy, but I do try to get in at least three hours of writing every evening.

The Geeky Lover: What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover?

Julia: Oh gosh, both readers and real Book Lovers read, but I guess you can tell a Book Lover by the number of books covering every single surface in their home and how loathe they are to part with them – even the books they will never read again! I suffer from a serious passion for books, so do my parents, so do my sisters, my grandparents and my children. Of all my material possessions, I would have to say my books mean the most to me.

The Geeky Lover: What was the first science fiction novel you ever read?

Julia: The first science fiction book I ever read was…and I still have it…Stowaway To the Mushroom Planet, by Eleanor Cameron. It came out in 1956. I think I read it when I was five years old. I moved on to Madeleine L’Engle and C.S. Lewis, then J.R.R. Tolkien. I like a mix of science fiction and fantasy. For example, Larry Niven writes science fiction. George R.R. Martin writes fantasy. Both write fantastic books!
The Geeky Lover: And your first movie?
Julia: Hmm. Science fiction movie? Star Wars amazed me when I saw it. Really. It looks so dated now, but the first time I saw it, I was very impressed. I loved the movie The Last Star Fighter. Has anyone else seen that? My all time favorite science fiction movie is The Terminator because it’s so dark and creepy and the terminator will not stop until you are dead! Plus James Cameron captured the circular nature of time travel perfectly. I have to admit that Predator is my guilty sci fi secret – it’s pure campy fun!

The Geeky Lover: Comparing your experience in the science fiction genre: is the actual science part more important than the cultural differences between the races?

Julia: No. I like to write about relationships. The sci fi part must be believable, but I do prefer to focus on my characters and the cultural barriers they must overcome. You know that in Captured, Ekkatt’s people looked at the human race as we look at apes – they thought of us as much lower on the evolutionary scale and therefore they felt justified in harvesting us. It’s a bit like the way we use chimps for medical testing and experimentation. Let’s face it, in our world today, people do hunt and eat monkeys. It wasn’t until Ekkatt actually had an opportunity to spend a considerable amount of time with a human that he began to question his entire belief system. Mari was smart enough to realize that her life depended upon convincing this alien male that she was a sentient being, that she was self-aware and she did possess a soul just like he did.

The Geeky Lover: If you could choose any character out of science fictional world to hang out with, who would it be?

Julia: I suppose it would be Jessica, Paul Atreides mother in the book Dune, by Frank Herbert. Why? She bucked the system. She went against her order and produced a son when her superiors demanded that she produce a daughter for their breeding program. She survived the death of her lover and risked everything to protect her son. I love Jessica because she is a strong woman who does whatever the situation requires of her. Even when she’s afraid, she does it anyway. Jessica, like her son Paul, is a tragic, lonely figure. Lonely figures appeal to me.

The Geeky Lover: I know you are a science fiction lover. Favorites: Movie? Series? Book?

Julia: Well, my favorite sci fi movie is The Terminator – but The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a very close second. My favorite sci fi series is Firefly. I would say Battlestar Galactica, but I thought that series lost a little steam at the end. My favorite book? Dune, no question.

The Geeky Lover: What can we expect of DAUGHTERS OF PERSEPHONE? As I understood it these are actually 2 books in one?

Julia: Yes. Daughters of Persephone is actually a four-book series. The first two books, Exile and Return, will be released on July 14th by Resplendence Publishing. The second volume will contain books three and four, Reborn and The Red Demon. It will be released in August. I originally planned a trilogy, but my publisher liked the stories so much, she asked me to tie up one loose end with a fourth book – and quite frankly, I was glad to do it. This story takes place thousands of years after humans have left a dying earth far behind. It follows a race of genetically enhanced women originally bred on earth by a secret cadre of scientists in a last ditch effort to save mankind. After centuries of careful breeding, the women develop the ability to adjust their own DNA. One empress, Tem, realizes that earth is doomed. She and her followers leave earth behind, establishing new colonies in a far corner of the galaxy. The series follow her female descendants, although Tem plays an significant role in three of the four books.

The Geeky Lover: One of the most important things for a science fiction novel in my eyes is the consistence of the created universe. Tell us a bit about your world. What makes your world special?

Julia: I could not agree more. The most important rule of science fiction and fantasy is to be internally consistent. In other words, you can create whatever kind of freaky world you want, as long as you follow the rules you set up for your world. Daughters of Persephone takes place in space and on several different worlds. There are quite a number of colonized planets. Those planets closer to the central world, to the capital, are the most prosperous. Those colonies on the distant worlds are poor and technology is primitive. For three thousand years, humans have been ruled by a female empress. However, a coup has occurred and the empress, Aja’s mother, has been deposed by a male dominated military junta. She, her consort, her two sons and three daughters have been forced into exile on a tiny asteroid. Women all over the empire have lost legal standing. They’ve become no better than property. Fortunately for Aja and her sisters, not every man in the empire agrees with the junta. But, if the revolutionaries think Aja will be nothing more than a pretty figurehead, they have another think coming.

The Geeky Lover: Your heroine Aja Bokinan is the Thousand Year Empress. What does that mean?
Julia: According to legend, every thousand years an empress is born who is either the salvation of mankind or a monster. The genetic experiments that created this race of superwomen also created the possibility of madness. Aja knows she is the Thousand Year Empress and she is aware of how the power can change her, drive her insane. Two empresses before her went mad and were put to death by their own subjects. A Thousand Year Empress can travel through time, possibly even stop time. Thus the coup. Men fear the power of the Thousand Year Empress.

The Geeky Lover: Tell us a bit about her? What makes her tick?

Julia: Aja is a cautious woman. She is very careful in her use of power because she knows just how tempting it is to meddle in time, to make things happen with nothing more than a flick of your wrist. She wants justice for her subjects and she hopes to stop the junta’s ultimate plan, to create a race of genetic supermen.

The Geeky Lover: Your hero Kyr Aram is a smuggler and secret resistance fighter. Did you get your inspiration from Han Solo? Tell us a bit about Kyr.

Julia: LOL! Actually, no, but now that you mention it…No, Kyr is a such a sweet but macho guy. He comes from a cold, harsh, mountainous planet called Calen, known for it’s rare and valuable horses and warrior women. His people are strong-willed and independent and they resent the fact that their women may no longer leave their home compounds. Kyr is a Calen man. Calen men can be identified by their long braids,their skilled sword play, and their ability to pilot. Prior to the coup, most of the pilots throughout the empire were women. Kyr learns pretty quickly that Aja is not just a pretty face. She can kick his ass if she wants to.

The Geeky Lover: How do you come up with the names of your characters, especially in your science fiction novels?

Julia: Mostly the names just come to me. I have no clue where these people live in my subconscious. Don’t laugh, but the name Aja comes from a college softball player I admire. It’s pronounced like Asia. I think it’s a great name!

The Geeky Lover: Tell us a bit more about the political system of your world and how they effect the action of your main characters?

Julia: Well, if I tell you too much, you won’t have to read the books! Let me just say that time is no barrier to these women. The empresses can talk to each other, help each other, advise each other, even when separated by thousands of years. They can even return to ancient earth if they choose.

The Geeky Lover: Will there be more books in this series?

Julia: As of right now, I’ve stopped at four, but, and this is a big but, I did leave the door open for another book. You’ll see what I mean when you read Book Three, Reborn.

The Geeky Lover: What is next on your schedule?

Julia: A lot! I’m working on a sequel to Captured because yes, I did end the story abruptly. As you know, I dreamed the book from start to finish so the story ended where my dream ended. I guess Mari and Ekkatt and Ekkatt’s brother Tirrit deserve more. I’m beginning a paranormal involving an angel, a demon and a dead man, and I’m working on a post-apocalyptic novel written in the first person – which is brand new for me. I tend to write in third person.

The Geeky Lover: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?

Julia: Three reasons, eh?
 1. My books are fun to read!
 2. I love to write sex scenes! (They are pure pleasure for me.)
 3. Um…because I think my stories are sticky. They’ll stick in your mind after you finish and you’ll want more.

The Geeky Lover: Yep I totally agree with these reason.


Julia offers one digital copy of Daughters of Persephone to one lucky commenter.

Just ask Julia a question or leave a meaningful comment about the interview to be entered.

Giveaway is open to everyone who owns an Email addy and is at least 18 years old.

Please leave us a way to contact you (twitter name or email addy in blogger profile are fine).

Giveaway ends on Saturday July 24th and we will announce the winner on Sunday.

Good Luck!

About Susi

Susi is a geeky vegetarian from Gemany. She just finished university and now works as a civil engineer in steel construction. Besides her reading addiction she also knits like a maniac while listening to audiobooks. Susi also blogs at the Secret HEA Society.

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Join the Discussion
  • pattepoilue July 16, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Bonjour Julia!
    I heard so much good from Susi about your books I'm highly anticipating reading them!(I just need more time now *sigh*) Lol I won't forget Susi saying 'OMG and there's this one scene with a table…' LOL 😉

    I am constantly looking at that man's hair on the cover of your new book. I'm captivated lol

  • Julia Rachel Barrett July 16, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Thanks for posting this, Susi! And thanks for the fun comment patte! Wait…you're looking at the man's hair? Not his butt? LOL!

  • SusiSunshine July 16, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    I just had to scroll up again to check out his hair. Never noticed it beside the butt. LOL

  • pattepoilue July 16, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    OMG can you believe that I had not realized he was naked? O_O LMAO What is wrong with me? lol I guess the hair REALLY mesmerized me =P

    Such a nice ass…and look at this thigh O_O

    @Susi Bwahahahaha YOU are the pervy one

  • SusiSunshine July 16, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    What?? How could you not see that. LOL We need a smut infusion for Caroline ASAP. LMAO!

  • pattepoilue July 16, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Lol a smut infusion! Hon don't you dare send me PrOn again! LOL

  • Fran Lee July 16, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Oh, yes! The Last Starfighter was a fabulous scifi flick. I had already read Star Wars in book form before i ever saw the movie, and so I giggled and laughed all the way through it because the book was screamingly funny.

  • Beth July 17, 2010 at 12:50 am

    This is the first time I've seen info on this series.
    Absolutely love the description of the Daughters of Persephone series. Can't wait to read them.
    Loved sci-fi long before I discovered romance. Like Dune but love Anne McCaffrey's Pern series and all her books about Talents.
    And, yes, I've seen Last Starfighter. For a while as a teen, it actually was more my fave than Star Wars, til Return of the Jedi came out.

  • Amber Skyze July 17, 2010 at 4:52 am

    It's funny how out dated Star Wars looks now. Back when it came out it amazed me on the big screen.

    Your series sounds so intriguing I can't wait to get my hands on it!

    Congrats Julia, great interview.

  • Tracy Cooper-Posey July 17, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Congratulations on the the release and the interview, Julia.

    Don't put me in for the draw. I just dropped by to say hello!



  • Katalina Leon July 17, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Julia, Daughters of Persephone just sounds better and better the more I hear about it! Come on July 21st! lol
    XXOO Kat

  • Tessie Bradford July 17, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    This series sounds amazing, Julia!

  • Julia Rachel Barrett July 17, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Thanks, ladies. Yes, Fran, I loved The Last Starfighter! I'm so glad someone else saw it!

  • Sandra Cox July 18, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Great interview.
    Julia Rachel Barrett is an awesome author.

  • EVA SB July 18, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    I love your sci-fi choices. I a also a b#ig Firefly and Dune fan.
    What is your opinion on the various Dune film adaptations?

  • Julia Rachel Barrett July 19, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Eva – I'm not a fan of the movie. I was so disappointed, but then it would be very difficult to make a movie that did Dune justice – unless you made it in the same fashion as Lord of the Rings – which was amazing!

    Thanks, Sandra!

  • k_sunshine1977 July 22, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    i lurved the last starfighter! other faves of mine that came out around that time were neverending story, the dark crystal, willow, and buckaroo bonzai! *sigh* why don't they make movies like that anymore?

    and yes, i didn't notice his hair right away either….noticed the awesome backside, though….:)

    k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

  • Stella (Ex Libris) July 23, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Hi Julia, I'm very new to sci-fi, only read 2 books so far, what novels would you recommend to a sci.-fi newbie so as not to scare her away from the genre?

    Thank you! 🙂

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

  • Julia Rachel Barrett July 24, 2010 at 10:11 am

    K. Sunshine – Willow is one of my faves! What a great movie!

    Stella, so as not to be scared? Read my first sci fi, Captured, out with Siren. It's quick and easy reading. There are so many great science fiction/fantasy books out there! You might want to start the Dragons of Pern series. It's wonderful and not too weird.

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