I worked in publishing for sixteen years (first in advertising, then as a fiction editor) and now write full time. Three of my books, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Silent Governess have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Maid of Fairbourne Hall and The Girl in the Gatehouse also won a Midwest Book Award and The Silent Governess was a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s RITA awards.
I graduated from the University of Illinois and enjoy travel, research, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps, and coffee with friends. My husband and I have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.
Savanna: Welcome to The Engrafted Word, Julie. Congratulations on your newest release, The Secret of Pembrooke Park. I loved it! 🙂 When you set out to write the story, did you already have an ending in mind or did its secrets surprise you along the way too?
Julie: I knew going into it, that this was going to be one of my most complicated books. I had a fairly short time to write it, so I spent time brainstorming at a retreat of my local chapter of ACFW, and dedicated more time up-front to the plot and synopsis to streamline the writing as much as possible. Even so, things definitely changed—and surprised me–along the way. I love when that happens!
Savanna: The book trailer for The Secret of Pembrooke Park is SO intriguing. Do you have a favorite video trailer from one of your books?
Julie: Thanks! I love the trailer, too. It’s definitely my favorite so far!
Savanna: You’ve won multiple writing awards. What has been one of the greatest lessons and fondest memories from participating in these contests?
Julie: The first time I won a Christy Award, I was congratulated most warmly and genuinely by the other two finalists in the category (Deanne Gist and Tamera Alexander). Not only was I touched, but I also learned then and there that that was the kind of gracious author I wanted to become. Ready to cheer on fellow-writer brothers and sisters—after all, we are all on the same team.
Savanna: You have a lot of great reviews on your website. Can you share with us one of your favorites? 🙂 It’s okay, don’t be shy!
Julie: I love this review from Booklist: “Jane Austen meets Victoria Holt in Christy Award–winning Klassen’s latest deliciously spooky and sweetly romantic historical, and the author’s deft incorporation of the faith-based component of her story means this well-crafted romance will have wide appeal beyond inspirational romance fans.”
Savanna: I loved seeing pictures on your website from your travels to England. Such inspiration for your novels! What was one of your favorite places to visit and why?
Julie: Thanks. Yes, I jokingly say that is the real reason I’m writing–so I can justify my long-held desire to travel to England! I especially love visiting the Cotswolds—a lovely, peaceful area filled with meadows of grazing sheep, picture-postcard villages, and thatched roof cottages. Ah…
Savanna: Thank you so much for being with us today, Julie! I’m looking forward to your next books! 😉 Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
Julie: I am looking forward to 2015, as (Lord willing) it will be my first year with two releases: Lady Maybe in July and The Painter’s Daughter in December. Whew, I’d better get busy….
Thanks for asking, and thanks for having me here!
Julie has graciously offered to give away a copy of The Secret of Pembrooke Park. Enter below and it could be YOU! 😉
Thanks for entering! Contest is open only in the U.S. and ends Feburary 3, 2015. The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody! 😉