Friday, April 29, 2011

"Cold Call" Friday with Julie Lessman!

Welcome Julie, to your “Cold Call” interview!!  For those of you who don’t know what the “Cold Call” feature is, at the beginning of the month I have a poll, the winning author YOU then get to interview!! Julie Lessman won this month’s vote and I am thrilled to present her here with YOUR questions. Without any further ado, heeeerrrre’s Julie!

What is your secret (if you dare tell us) to write such long page turner books?  Books that hold the reader’s attention and draw them back to the book?
Well, as many of your readers know, I am a card-carrying CDQ (caffeinated drama queen) who likes LOTS of drama, both in my books AND my life, much to my husband’s angst! I am mesmerized by drama, be it a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl or a tumultuous movie like Gone With the Wind, so in order to sit down and pen a 500-page book, there has to be enough drama to keep even a CDQ like me engaged, much less a reader.
I absolutely LOVE to yank at the heartstrings in every way possible, from a tender and emotional scene between a father and daughter, to a knock-down, drag-out love scene between two people who both love and hate each other at the moment. Anger seems to be a favorite of mine, and I wonder if that’s because I came from a pretty volatile family where tempers ran high. Who knows? All I know is as an emotional human being, I am infusing my roller-coaster emotions, reactions and feelings into my characters.
To do this, every scene I write is like a movie in my mindI hear the dialogue and I see the facial expressionsevery muscle and body movement, every tilt of the head, every tic in the jaw and swallow of the throat. I feel absolutely everything I am writing as if I am going through it myself, even utilizing a mirror to capture how I am reacting. I literally laugh, cry and get anxious as I am writing each scene, which translates onto the page, I hope, giving the reader the same roller-coaster experience I am experiencing at the moment.
Since you are all about passion, what is the most romantic location you have visited?
I would have to say Kauai, Hawaii because to me the very air smells like flowers and the beaches are beautiful and secluded, surrounded by lush scenery.
When you go out in public to do some shopping, post office, etc, do you often get recognized by readers? Has anyone ever been “starstruck” when they recognize you?
Uh, no. J
What inspired you to write? And what continues to inspire you?
Well, initially, it was Margaret Mitchell and that white-hot attraction she gave Rhett Butler for Scarlett O’Hara! From the moment I read Gone With the Wind at the tender age of twelve, I was hooked on romance. So much so, that I immediately set out to write (along with thousands of other love-struck young girls, I’m sure), what I hoped would be “the great American novel.” Obviously my dreams of grandeur didn’t go anywhere (grin), but I did write 150 single-spaced pages of a story that is actually the basis for my debut novel, A Passion Most Pure.
To me, then and now, there is nothing more intriguing than a man who wants a woman on his terms but can’t have her on any terms but hers. In the case of A Passion Most Pure, we have a bad-boy hero angry at God who is drawn to a heroine who will settle for nothing less than a relationship with God in the middle. From there, it was just a matter of borrowing from my own past (playing 2nd fiddle to an older sister who was prettier and more voluptuous than me), and the ideas took flight.
The final inspiration for A Passion Most Pure, however, came one day while I was sitting in a beauty shop. I was reading a July 2001 Newsweek cover article about how Christian books, movies and music were on the threshold of exploding when something in my spirit said, “Now is the time to finish your book.” So I started my novel the next month. Hard to believe that almost forty years passed before God breathed new life into that early attempt and inspired me to finish my childhood novel of passion—only this time the “passion” would be for Him!
 (Just in case this one was missed) When/where will you be signing in GA this summer (if you know for sure yet!)
Unfortunately, I am not 100% sure that I will be signing in Atlanta this summer, but I hope to be and If I do, it would be at the Life Way Store at the Mall of Georgia near Atlanta.
And for all your many, many stalker fans…where can they find you online? J
I LOVE to hear from readers, so they can contact me through my Web site at, either by sending an e-mail via my site or by signing up for my newsletter at My newsletter is chock-full of fun info on my books and there’s always a contest featuring signed book giveaways. Also, I have a cool feature on my website called “Journal Jots” (, which is a very laid-back, once-weekly journal to my reader friends that would give your readers an idea as to my relaxed style of writing. Then finally, I can be found daily at The Seekers blog (, a group blog devoted to encouraging and helping aspiring writers on the road to publication.

Hey everyone, it's Casey again! I need your attention for a sec. Julie is being drawn and quartered in a thousand different directions right now. Deadline, her aunt is not well (please be praying) and other everyday tasks. She'll be in as she can, but I've told her not to worry about returning everyone's comments. I'm sure you all understand as well! Spread some love and have a FANASTIC Friday. :-))

Friday's note:
The winner of Roseanna M. White's Jewel of Persia is...


The email has been sent, thanks everyone for stopping by!


  1. Hi Casey & Julie,

    Not to worry, Julie - we just love sharing a bit of time with you! Hope your aunt is doing better.

    Can't wait for your next book. LOVE all that drama (funny for a person who avoids drama in real life at all costs!)

    Great interview on a great day! Just watched Kate & Will's wedding this morning. Very beautiful and so romantic!

    Have a great Friday everyone!

    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

  2. Hello to Casey, Susan, and my dear, dear Julie this morning! Just coming away from the wedding of the century (no, I didn't get up at 1 am). Now back to editing my own wedding between the pages in which my hero and heroine remain chaste and the ending is oh, so sweet! "A bold and blessed intoxication," as one great theologian put it. That's what I love about Julie and her books - her passion for purity and showing that God's way is always best. She has a wonderful ministry in person and through her books and blog presence! But you all know that!!Off to Journal Jots right now. Praying this is a blessed weekend for you all.

  3. Julie, I loved reading how God fulfilled your girlhood dream of writing that book but so many years later. His timing is perfect! It's also fun to see how your books are a reflection of who you are. Your flair and charm certainly come through the pages. Praying for Julie's aunt. Great interview, Julie and Casey!

  4. Thanks Casey for featuring Julie, I love her books!
    I read about how her aunt on Journal Jot today and my prayers will be with her.

  5. Hey CASE -- Aunt Julie is out of the hospital and back home now and I am sitting outside on my deck in 73-degree weather, plugging away on the last 100 pages of Steven's story. Thank you SO much for your patience and prayers because with AJ resettled once again and after a powerful devotion time this morning, God has infused me with new strength to muddle through plot problems on A Trust Restored.

    SUE ... thanks, my friend, for your encouragement and support. I didn't watch the wedding, but then I don't watch much TV these days, but I trust it was very romantic, and we ALL know how much I like romance ... :)


  6. LAURA!!! Your encouragement this week saw me through a pretty rugged time, so THANK YOU for your prayers, encouragement and precious friendship!! I LOVE that quote: "A bold and blessed intoxication," indeed, when God joins two of His own together.

    Thanks SO much, RENEE ANN, for your kind words!! And, yeah, what you read on the pages of anything I write pretty much reflects the real me, whether on a computer screen, in a book or in person, although I am told I am even a little more "dramatic" and wired in person, if you can believe that. Poor Casey is going to learn that the hard way when we finally get to meet at ACFW this year because she WILL be there if my prayers have anything to say about it!!

    FAYE ... thank you for your prayers AND for reading my books and Journal Jots -- that blesses me! Your prayers are coveted during this time when I am hammering out the final chapters of the O'Connor saga, which I hope will be a fitting end to a truly passionate family.



  7. {{{JULIE}}}

    Glad AJ is doing better! And glad things are working!

    It is gorgeous here in MO today isn't it? Sat outside with the babysitter when I picked DS3 up earlier and are taking the kids outside to play later.

    <3 ya lady!

  8. What a nice surprise! I had forgotten all about the Cold Call being this week. Boy, has April flown by, or what!?! I must admit, I'm a little surprised at your answer to my question, "Has anyone ever been starstruck when they met you?" I would have thought for sure you were recognized everywhere you went. I know I would be starstruck!! ;o)

    And BIG CONGRATULATIONS to you! I read on your Journal Jot that you and Keith are going to be grandparents! What an exciting and precious time!

    So glad to hear that AJ is doing better now. I can imagine what a rough week it has been. As always, I will continue to keep you in my prayers on all accounts. I miss you and think of you often!! (((HUGS)))

    Sweet Blessings,

  9. SUSAN ANNE, glad you could stop by today! I know, isn’t it crazy that we avoid drama and angst like the plague in real life, but have to add a great deal of it to our fiction?!?!? Ironic!

    LAURA, oh dear I almost quit reading for fear of a spoiler. But I guess since we don’t know your characters yet, we can’t be spoiled, can we? ;-) Best wishes with that scene!!

    RENEE ANN, her flair charm do come through don’t they? One of the many things I love about her. ;-)

    FAYE, a JJ for sure! Just got to it and she has much to be thankful for, as she always reminds us.

    JULIE, WHAT AN ANSWER TO PRAYER! You have been on my mind a bunch lately and SO THANKFUL to God for answering those prayers. Now we just need that contract…Oh and a GRANDBABY??? Woo-hooo!! I can see the flood of pictures now….

    CAROLM, wanna send the gorgeous down here??? Snow on the ground this morning. Yep. Snow.

    MICHELLE, I know it’s gone by fast!! May is nearly here already! I was a bit surprised at her answer to your question too. Ah well, you and I would make up for it. ;-)

  10. Hi Julie!!

    If you ever get to Buffalo for a book signing...I know one book blogger/aspiring writer who would be star struck! :)

    Great interview ladies.


  11. CAROL!!! Oh, girl, "gorgeous" doesn't even cover it!! The trees in our woods are that blindingly beautiful light green of new spring with sunlight shafting through while a family of baby squirrels chattered and peeked out of holes in this VERY OLD tree we have off our deck. We even have a family of hawks that swoop and screech, so it's really fun. My daughter and I sat out there today in our comfy cushion chairs and ottomans, she studying for her law exams and me writing, so all in all a good day.

    Just got back from visiting AJ, and she is such a hoot. She looked at Keith and said, "Who are you?" which is odd because she ALWAYS knows who we are because we see her all the time. He played with her by saying, "Am I Jimmy?" "No," she says. "Am I Gene?" "No." "Am I Keith?" "No," she says again, and I say, "Julie, it's Keith." She gives me a cute, little smirk and says, "I know, I was just trying to confuse you."

    Anyway, thanks for coming by CM, and it's gonna be 75 degrees tomorrow, but cloudy. Sorry, Casey! :)


  12. MICHELLE, you sweetheart you, so it was YOUR question about anyone ever being "star struck" when they met me??? It does happen every now and then when somebody acts like it's a big deal that I'm an author, but, girl, I am NOT a big author, trust me, especially in small niche market like Inspirational Roamnce.

    BUT ... one of the nurses at Aunt Julie's skilled nursing facility stopped me the other day to say that her mom is a huge fan of me, so that was nice. I'm still waiting for the day that I catch someone reading my book in an airport or someplace like that like I did to Deb Raney once. Me and a friend ran into her at the airport and we were all chatting. Midway through our conversation, I excused myself and said, "Sorry, guys, but I'm dying to get back to my book," and then I pulled her book out of my purse. It was fun. :)

    CASEY!!! Snow? Really??? That gives me cold chills, no pun intended. :)

    JOY -- You know what? I would be as star struck as you guys because it's SO much fun to finally meet my blogger friends. A few years ago when I did a book signing in Atlanta where a number of my favorite bloggers live, I threw a luncheon for them at my friend's house, and we had so much fun!! wish I could do that with you guys too!



  13. I was SO excited to see that Julie was the cold call author this week!! I had so much fun reading this post.
    Julie, I'm really happy to hear that the prayers for your family were answered. I am STOKED to read your newest novel. I truly think you need to write faster. I read a book about every three if you could write one ever week that would be great. ;) (I am, of course, just kidding)
    Hugs and thanks for all your hard work :)

  14. LOL, HANNAH, I wish I could write faster, too, trust me!! But the good news is that in my next contract, I have negotiated to have my books released every nine months rather than annually AND my books will be about 100 pages shorter and less complicated, so hopefully I WILL be able to write faster. But every week??? YIKES ... I have trouble getting my Journal Jot written lately much less a book. After all, I'm NO Mary Connealy!! :)

    Thanks for coming by.


  15. I am late to the party (allergies acting up) so just learned from Jots about your tough week!! However, I had already prayed for you anyway!!!! Glad things are better!
    You're such an inspiration, Julie, and do hope you make that Atlanta book signing!! Take care!!

  16. Hey, JACKIE -- boy, I would like nothing better than to be able to make that Atlanta book signing, trust me!! Especially if I get to meet you at long last!! I think you live in that area, right? Sorry about the allergies, but goodness, isn't spring worth it???


  17. As always, I enjoyed the interview with Julie. Thanks for featuring her and her fantastic books.

  18. Hi,Julie. I'm late reading your post, but had a lot going on this week. I just wanted to drop by and let everyone know if possible, A Heart Revealed is the best! 'Course I say that about all of your books, but I had the privilege to endorse this one too! You will not be able to put it down, honestl! Oh my, what excellent writing! Enough said. Just love you, Julie.

  19. Hey, PAM, thanks for coming by and for your kind words. I always perk up when I see the word "fantastic" used in reference to my books because I know I'm dealing with one of my favorite kind of people -- a DIEHARD romantic!! :) Thanks again, my friend.

    MAGS!!! Girl, you made my day swinging by to say "hi"!! Thank you SO much, not only for endorsing A Heart Revealed, but for your precious friendship. And let me take the opportunity to say that I endorsed Maggie's next book Deeply Devoted and it is her best yet, which is saying something -- LOVED IT!!!


  20. Thanks all for stopping by for Julie's cold call!! It was great to see all your comments and many thanks to Julie for being here! Always love to have you here. :)


Thank you so much for stopping by, I love to hear from those who traffic my blog! Have a wonderful day. :)

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According to new FTC rules I must let you, the reader know, that all views shared on this blog are strictly my own. Books to review are either provided for me by the author, publisher or ones I have purchased and I am under no obligation whatsoever to present anything, but my true opinion on any product. I receive no monetary compensation for anything written on this blog. Any giveaways on this blog are provided by the author/ publisher and I am not responsible for any views they express in their work or on this site. Giveaways are void were prohibited and chances of winnng are based on the number of applicants. A random winner is draw when a book is given away.

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