A little something about Julia:
Julia Vellucci is a 17-year-old girl, born and raised in Mississauga, Ontario. She is Italian by origin. She has never been good at visual art but her mom and younger sister both of whom she admires are definitely her creative endeavors as she was inspired by them to find a way to express her creative side, through writing. She discovered her love for creative writing almost two years ago when she first began to bring fictional characters to life through the written craft thanks to a school book club she was part of and couldn't help but wanted to discover what made her characters unique and carry out their story until the very end. Julia's dream is to be able to inspire readers through her words as she believes words can project more than actions ever could.
Questions and Answers:
1.When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
At the age of 15 after discovering my love for creative writing due to a high school book and writing club that I joined for the book aspect. Little did I expect myself to find such a love and passion for creative writing as I began to write my own books.
2.How long does it take you to write a book?
Around two to three months for the first draft and then add about another two to three months for doing personal edits on it twice.
3.What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I'm 17, so I don't have a job to balance my writing out with but do have school which the workload can become intense depending on the classes I have. However, I still make time to do what I love, creatively write, in between, after I'm finished my school work and classes for the day, as well as put some time aside on the weekends.
4.What would you say is your unique writing quirk?
I dislike when I read books and the author will avoid using the word said or says when a character speaks and replace it with fancy words, most that are completely unnecessary or that I've never seen before. Due to this, in my own writing, I'll constantly use the word says or said before or following dialogue and add an emotion to it to give it detail, not make it sound as basic as it has feeling, emotion (ex: "...," Hope said dreadfully as tears slipped down her cheeks which she quickly wiped away in her attempt to deny any emotion).
5.Whether it be traditional, self, or story book apps. How did you find the publishing process?
Trying to get a publishing offer after reaching out to multiple publishing companies was a tedious process, full of much waiting that my impatient self couldn't always handle, rejection, self doubt and disappointment, but was completely worth it in the end. As soon as I was able to find a publishing company that was perfect for my books and valued my opinion throughout the entire process did I know I was meant to go through the obstacles I did, including a publishing deal falling through since it wasn't legit, as it made my dream of being a published author all the better.
6.How much of your writing process involves research in your subject matter or plot?
I write romances mostly except for one unpublished fantasy novella, so my research mainly includes quotes to spark some inspiration on romantic love or watching some kissing scenes from movies to describe a kiss that fits the scene perfectly. My romance novels aren't usually strictly romance as they will have subplots of fantasy, mystery or teen fiction, sometimes a combination of all three. Due to these subgenres, some research is also done involving pregnancy, realistic medical procedures that still tie with fantasy and clarifying certain aspects of illegal activity such as murder. My books may be fiction, but I like to still have the facts be correct so the storyline can be more relatable.
7.When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I wrote my first book when I was 15. It is a fantasy romance and part of a trilogy. This series is unpublished and was actually what I was originally trying to get published before my debut novel "The 30 Day Exchange", but was rejected six times, seven if you include the publishing deal that fell through due to the company not being legit. Although these rejections made me doubt myself and my capabilities, they made me stronger and realize that this being the first book I've written and all, needs some work and improvement that a rewrite could easily fix as the framework is there, and I decided to try getting the book I was most happy and proud of at the time, published, "The 30 Day Exchange", which did work out and was everything I ever envisioned yet so much more.
8.What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Writing is what I mainly do in my free time along with spending time with my family and friends of course. But if I feel like changing things up a little, I'll be watching my favorite TV show, "Supernatural" or reading a good mystery book.
9.What does your family think of your writing?
My family is very supportive regarding my writing and encourages me to continue expressing my creativity through doing what I love, even though I'm doing it on the side as I have school and will eventually have to do it on the side with a job. I'll read snippets of what I'm currently writing to my sister who may get sick of it at times but is super encouraging and sweet about it. My mom is always asking me what I'm writing and read a little bit of my debut novel and provided me with some sweet words regarding it that truly made me smile. Both my parents will also somehow find ways to mention that I have two books published and enjoy writing, to others whenever they can, providing me with the knowledge of how supportive they are and that I made them proud, an incredible feeling.
10.What was one of the most surprising things you learned about yourself in creating your books (characters, location, plot)?
When most people meet me, I can usually come off as shy but open up more when I get to know someone better and have gotten better at being the first one to start a conversation. I learned how confident I am and feel when I write as writing creatively, being in other people's shoes other than my own allows me to discover my true voice, some voices I do not even recognize as I have yet to really acknowledge them but they are there. Now for expressing that voice louder in real life, being in the minds and in settings that are not always familiar can be a confidence and adjustment booster in it's own way, another helpful thing that creative writing taught me.
11.What is it you particularly like about the genre you write?
I'm 17, honestly don't know that much about love, other than what I've seen in person and on TV, but I do know it provides you with a feeling of completion and understanding that you never want to let go of. I may never have been in a romantic relationship but in comparison to the relationships I have with my friends and family, I can only envision that. When writing romances, it's like expressing the hopeless romantic part of myself in the best way I know, through words, and then incorporating interesting subgenres to make the plot all the more intriguing. I always like to focus on friendship too throughout my books as it's just as important and a key aspect to a romantic relationship. We were all put on this earth together and are all technically living the same life, so we should connect and help lift each other up. Our lives may be different yet we're all living together and have the ability to shape each other for the better. Something that makes me smile just thinking about it as we're in control of both our happiness and others. Something we can use to our advantage and a huge theme my published books and books I don't have published have in common. Something I love to include in my romances as it makes them all the more special, relatable, and an idea that drew me to this genre to begin with as nothing beats the feeling of togetherness, being part of something bigger than just yourself.
12.Do you have any suggestions to help others become writers? If so, what are they?
I've had many writer friends ask me for advice on Instagram. They'd say that they had an idea for a book but it's been overdone or if some got as far as finishing their book, they'd give up or feel discouraged after receiving one or more rejections for publication. I say that many book ideas have been done, it's difficult to find something original, but it has yet to be written by you, so find a way to make it truly speak to you, to readers, find your own way to make it unique. As when it comes to traditionally publishing your book if you choose to go down that route, it can be tedious, time consuming and torturing to some extent, but once you find the right publishing company for your books, it will all be worth it in the end. Also, if you're like me and have a passion for creative writing, never lose that. Hold onto it and why you enjoy writing so much and any writing-related obstacle suddenly doesn't appear to be as terrible.
13.Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I hear from my readers quite a bit on Instagram through my DMs and on Wattpad in the comments section (I couldn't help but laugh with certain comments I received that were thoughts about characters that never crossed my mind) and when I got my books published, I received many words of encouragement and so much support from my fellow readers which I'm entirely grateful for.
Some asked me about the publishing process, a few of those people also got accepted by the same publishing company I'm with, Ukiyoto Publishing, after I went over the process with them, so I'm pretty happy for them as it has also been a dream for them to get their books published. One girl even said that I'm an inspiration to her and that I gave her the courage to complete writing a book and pursue that which is truly touching. I've been told that my books are good enough to be movies which is super sweet and flattering and love whenever I get complimented on how detailed and deep my writing is for someone who hasn't even lived for two decades, as well as how fast many people say I write which is a compliment that I blame my passion for creating as I find it so difficult to not write. I've been told by many readers that they hated me throughout my Exchange duology as I brought plenty of pain the main character's way and secondary character's ways which are almost in both books, but they said it was completely worth it in the end and I did try to incorporate some light hearted humor throughout which many readers enjoyed. It was a similar effect with "Girl By The Tracks", except there's not too much humor to balance the emotional ride out, so I've been told it was emotionally draining, but the ending, messages, symbols and themes portrayed made it worth the exhaust
14.Do you like to create books for your target audience?
My target audience is teenagers, usually between age 13-18 or somewhere closer to 18 if the book can bring out some sad emotions with certain circumstances. There are too many clichés or toxic love stories that I feel as if us teenagers think our life will follow, so my books with original and more realistic ideas provide teenagers with literature to relate to and learn from. I love creating books for my target audience as a teenager is the age of self-discovery, something I'm learning more about as I write which is ironic, but it's also my way of attempting to make a difference for our generation and the cluelessness stereotype that comes along with it.
15.What do you think makes a good story?
An original plot or an original take on an overused plot and relatable characters (flaws and all) that you can't help but root for or feel for some that you have a love and hate relationship with. Also, themes, figurative language and symbolism that emphasize the plot.
16.How do you handle writer's blocks and what do you tell other aspiring authors who may be fighting or fearful about hitting that wall?
I honestly don't believe in writer's block because your imagination is always up and running. As for the right words to express it, you can always fix the wording as you go along. The most important elements in good writing are the intriguing plot and characters you can't help but love, hate and relate to all at the same time. Some people believe that big, fancy words are what make good writing, but I disagree with that as you don't have to use big words to be a good writer, but add meaning and feeling to your words that make them look and feel big, something I believe I incorporate in my writing the best I can. If a writer is fearful of writer's block or facing it, I'd suggest to think about why they began to write in the first place, what creative writing does for them, where it brings them, and suddenly all will be back to how it was and it will be realized that writer's block is only in your head.
Note: Thank you Julia for taking the time to participate in this interview. You're a talented and a force to be reckoned with in the literary world. Much luck and success to you in your future. I see good things and it's been a pleasure watching you grow as an author.