Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Soul Oath is the sequel of Destiny Gift. It follows the story of Nadine, Victor, Micah, and Ceris, and some other characters … and I can’t say much more without revealing big things from the end of Destiny Gift ;)
Do you have a favorite character?
My favorite character isn’t one from a book. It’s Zuko from the cartoon The Last AirBender. He’s just amazing. Everything about him and his journey! I love it how he begins as a villain and ends up one of the Avatar’s best friends!
Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
Hm, maybe Micah from Destiny Gift and Soul Oath? He was always a major character, but he wasn’t what he became. He was supposed to be someone to be a thorn on Victor’s path, someone with whom Victor bickered with, but Micah ended up being so much more. Sorry, if I say more, I’ll end up spoiling some plot points ;)
Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
I did with Destiny Gift (The Everlast Trilogy #1). I got lots of requests and great feedback, but back then (2010-11), New Adult was still frowned upon and agents told me I should change my characters’ ages. They wanted me to make it YA or adult, no middle ground. I confess I tried changing it to YA, but it didn’t work. An editor told me my voice was too mature for YA and too young for adult (duh?).
If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
The only thing I did was to choose the photo used on the cover – the rest was all up to my cover artist, Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations. She did her magic and I loved it!
My process is different for each book because they are all in different stages. I mean, Destiny Gift surged from a simple question, Breaking the Reins came from a music video and some research into the polo world. And Soul Oath had a loose outline, taking from where Destiny Gift left off. One thing is for sure though: there’s always music. It’s my fuel!
Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
It depends on the story. Some come to me with very specific scenes. Even so, the muse takes me from one scene to the other. I’m a mix of pantser and plotter, but trying to more and more like a plotter, since it works better when writing series.
Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
With Destiny Gift, I actually hired 3 editors to critique my manuscript – and that was after 3 CPs had a look over it and before I decided to self-publish. With Soul Oath, I was a much more confident writer and I know most of my strengths and weaknesses, plus I have an awesome editor and I trust her 100%.
What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
That everything in publishing, writing and reading really IS subjective. One person will LOVE your book. The other will HATE it. It’s just the way it is …
Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Honestly, besides book blitz and blog tour, I don’t do any marketing. I don’t like it, I don’t feel comfortable with it, and I honestly believe the next book is the best marketing an author can get.
What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
If this is your first book, don’t self-publish it. At least not before undergoing several critiques and editing.
Also, research and ask around. Writers are friendly (mostly) and always ready to answer your questions ;)
Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
Dancing. I was a ballerina for many, many years. I hurt my foot and can’t dance anymore – not professionally at least. So I dance at home when I can ;)
What’s next for you?
I’m finishing Playing Pretend now (by the time this interview is posted, the ms will be with my editor), then I’ll write the sequel of Soul Oath, The Everlasting Circle.
Thank you for having me! :)
While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.
-2 ecopies of Destiny Gift
-Paperback of both books in the series
-25$ Nook or Kindle gift card
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