Posted on 06/22/2015 at 12:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
It may have taken author Julianne MacLean six years to sell her first book, but she’s more than made up for that since.
She’s now a USA Today best-selling author, has sold more than 1.3 million books in North America and has won several awards.
Historical romance fans know her as the author of the Highlander trilogy and Pembroke Palace series, but she has also written contemporary mainstream fiction such as the Color of Heaven series (the first book of which landed her on USA Today’s best-selling list).
Julianne recently discussed a few aspects of publishing with The Fussy Librarian.
SADYE: What appeals to you most about writing a series?
JULIANNE: First of all, readers love them, and I love to make my readers happy! In terms of my own enjoyment as a writer, when you discover what you really love to write, it’s nice to be able to continue writing in that vein — whether it’s the story world, the time period, the style of writing, or a group of characters you can’t bring yourself to let go of.
SADYE: What is your favorite of the books you’ve written?
JULIANNE: An impossible question to narrow down to just one, but I do have a few favorites. I’m proud of my first two Highlander books (historical romances): “Captured by the Highlander” and “Claimed by the Highlander.”
I’m also proud of “The Color of Heaven,” because that book was based on a few personal events from my own life that had a profound effect on me as a person. Even when my agent didn’t believe she could sell it, I continued to finish it anyway and never gave up on it.
As of today, of all the books I’ve written, that one holds the record for bringing in the most impassioned and immensely personal letters from readers.
SADYE: How do you think social media has helped you as an author?
JULIANNE: I have often interacted with people on Facebook who stumble upon my page because of a giveaway, or some other item that attracted their attention. They might say something like, “I’ve never read your books before but based on everyone’s comments here, I’m going to try this one.”
For the readers who already know me, it’s a great way to get the word out to them when I have a new book out. They might not all be on my newsletter subscriber list, so I think it’s important to use every avenue available to us as authors to communicate to our current readers and potential new readers.
SADYE: Your blog gives a great deal of credit to your father’s photos and your professional book designer. What made you decide to put such importance on cover art?
JULIANNE: In terms of my Color of Heaven series, I wanted a unique look that would stand out, something recognizable that would catch the eye of the readers I’d already reached in the past with the first book in the series.
I think it’s more important than ever to hold onto those readers who enjoy our work and want to come back for more. They need to know they’re going to get a similar experience from each new book. Consistent cover art helps communicate that message.
In terms of using my father’s photographs, I simply love his work. There’s a tranquility about his art that suits the mood and tone of this series. It also gives me great joy to work with him creatively.
SADYE: You also seem very passionate about audiobooks. What in particular do you appreciate about them?
JULIANNE: I love to experience my books as they are interpreted by another artist (the narrator), who always brings so much to the table in terms of their performance. I am thoroughly entertained and often find myself on the edge of my seat, even though I wrote the book!
Second, I like that I can reach an entirely new and different readership. There are so many book lovers out there who only listen to audiobooks, so I want to reach them, too.
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Categories: Author Interview