1. Tell me about your book Hill Magick and where you got your inspiration for it?
Rachel Walker, trying to find a way out of her abusive marriage, finds freedom and danger in the hills of Massachusetts. She lives in the mysterious city of Yarwich, where paranormal manifestations are commonplace, but she can't bring herself to accept the supernatural nature of these happenings. True Gannett, self-taught folk healer and wise man, has to decide whether to flee or stand his ground against Joshua Lambrecht, a powerful wizard who has emerged from isolation in pursuit of his evil objective. Part of my inspiration for this book was the movie Terminator 2, in which two androids battle against each other. The obsolete and frankly outmatched android is the one which ends up winning, which I think is cool.
2. Why did you want to write this book?
I have always had an interest in folklore and the supernatural. The reasons why people would seek to harness magical and occult power are fascinating to me. For example, for a person who feels they are powerless in life, such things would be an antidote to their feelings of insignificance. I also like to show metaphysical principles in action, and the stuff that can happen when people misuse psychic power.
3. If you were asked to review a fellow author/friends book would you be honest?
The author whose review I would be writing could be reviewing my book in the future, so I would be honest and yet kind. If there was something I felt was wrong with the book I would couch it in general terms like, "I felt this character wasn't all he/she could have been," or "I had trouble understanding such and such (as opposed to "it was clear as mud!").
4. If all the world's a stage, where does the audience sit?
Everywhere. Life is a theater in the round with forced audience participation, much like the pep rallies in the high school gym when I was in my teens.
5. What is your perfect pizza?
Sausage, onion, and mozzarella, with extra all of that. I could live on it.
6. If you could have personally witnessed anything, what would you have want to have seen?
The early Earth, when the first amphibian crawled out of the ocean onto the land. I would love to watch that, knowing that everything and everyone in the modern world stems from that one event in Earth's past.
7. What is your favourite word?
Currently it's "ensorcel." I love the way it sounds, it's an unusual word and I must find a way to work it into one of my novels.
8. Glass half full or half empty?
Depends on my caffeine intake for the day. Is my coffee cup half full, or half empty?
9. Which of the four seasons do you like the most?
Oh, autumn. It's the time of harvest, ingathering, and getting ready for winter. You start to see nature as it really is, not concealed by the flashy trappings of summer leaves, underbrush, or pretty flowers. Nothing is so beautiful as a gray autumn sky with geese flying overhead, and yellow leaves against black tree trunks.
10. If you joined the circus what would you perform?
Strange to say, this question has actually crossed my mind, so I have an answer. I would have a dog and pony act, because I love dogs and horses, because the odds of suffering bodily harm are minimal compared to something like trapeze artist or elephant handler, and because I could perform the act into my old age if I had to. Job security!
11. If you had the chance for a do over in life, what would you do differently?
I wouldn't have spent so much money on college. I would have bought a small farm with an apple orchard and stayed home and wrote, and spent my whole life that way.
12. Why did you choose to be a writer?
The urge to communicate to others. I want to choose exactly the right words to make you feel what I feel, see and hear what I see, think what I'm thinking. And if I couch it in terms of this character or that, I can express different parts of myself in different ways. I enjoy writing about ordinary people caught up in extraordinary situations. I work hard to show what my characters go through, what they suffer, how they change and what they learn–or not–from their experiences.
13. What is a skill you’d like to learn and why?
I would love to learn how to draw from life. My drawing talent isn't just zero, it zooms past zero into the negative numbers. When I see somebody draw a person's portrait or a tree or an animal and it looks like what it's supposed to look like, it's a miracle to me. I don't know how people do this thing. I feel like primitive man wondering at a solar eclipse or something.
14. What is something you’ve always wanted to try but have been too scared to?
Shooting whitewater rapids. I am terrified of drowning or being bashed on rocks, but I also think it would be an exciting, unforgettable experience--provided I lived through it, of course, which there's no guarantee of, and that's why I haven't done it.
Aspiring columnist Rachel Jeffries, seeking escape from her abusive marriage, travels into the hill country of Massachusetts where she is saved from certain death by folk healer True Gannett. Armed only with his great-grandfather's knowledge, True must protect himself and Rachel and stop the swath of destruction started by the powerful magician Joshua Lambrecht and his obnoxious familiar.
Julia French was born and raised in Wisconsin, and currently resides there. She loves cheese popcorn, crafts, animals, and nature, and is teaching herself to play the piano, an unfulfilled ambition left over from her childhood. She has had several short stories published online. Her first novel Hill Magick is available from Amazon, and she is currently working on her fourth book. Her personal philosophy of horror is that knowledge is power, and that it is better to turn and face what is coming to get you than allow it to leap upon your back without warning.