Goodreads Author Interview with Aurelia
The Goodreads Young Adult Book Club welcomes Aurelia, author of The Journeys of John and Julia in Chapter One: Genesis.
Tell us about your book and what was your inspiration for writing it?
“The Journeys of John and Julia in Chapter One: Genesis” is the first book in a series about magic, friendship and adventure. The heroes are a seemingly mismatched pair of teens — John and Julia, obviously — who have to use their different perceptions of the world to make the best of all the challenging situations adolescence poses. On top of it, they have been chosen by a powerful consortium called The Twenty-Two to save the world from the machinations of the beyond-evil corporate-superpower overlord Niem Vidalgo Oten, who plans to enslave every human being on the planet. To be up to this enormous task they will receive superhero training, which of course poses its own challenges upon our two heroes. Thankfully “Genesis” is only the first in an arc of seven books, so John and Julia will have a little bit more time to figure it all out.
I guess because I have a Deanna Troi cup on my desk — I use it as a penholder — I have to admit that I am one of many who has been inspired by Star Trek. I am as big a Star Trek fan as one can be without actually becoming a trekkie ever since a friend showed me a documentary about how many of the gadgets used in the series inspired everything from our computers to medicine, never mind that I can talk to SIRI on my iPhone and she will totally do my bidding without me ever having to touch a keyboard. And I was always intrigued by time travel, alternate realities, AI, final frontiers and the “Continuum” — basically everything that can be found in “The Next Generation.”
On the other hand, all my life I have imagined myself as being guided by a team of powerful beings on my exploration of time and space. If you call them guardian angels or spirit guides or invisible friends or whatever doesn’t really matter. Whenever I had to deal with a tough situation I imagined what that superpower team would tell me to do, while at the same time giving me the courage and strength to “make it so.” So I have a lot of experience with these kinds of things and decided to write a book about it. May magic never run out in our lives!
How long did it take to write your book?
The story was roaming around in my mind for a long time, but when I finally sat down and actually started writing I finished it in about six months.
What is your favorite part of writing and the most difficult part?
Seeing something on paper that until then existed only in my mind is quite trippy and intensely satisfying at the same time.
The most difficult part for me is having the discipline to sit down and do it. There is really nothing romantic about the process of writing itself. So whenever I treat it as if it were a nine-to-five office job I’m fine, but if I don’t start first thing in the morning there is a 99% chance I won’t write at all that day.
What was your favorite scene or character to write?
I really don’t have a favorite scene, but with a gun to my head I think I’d say the scene when Julia has her ‘aha’ moment about her parents. My favorite character is Victor Wagner — I think he is totally cool and charming and safe and funny and chivalrous and good looking and….. if you have more words to describe the ideal guy feel free to add them — I’m sure Victor’s got them 🙂
Do you ever get writer’s block and if so how do you overcome it?
No, I don’t. I have a magical essential oil synergy called “creativity by devarikha” and I burn it in my Muji diffuser as soon as I get ready to write, put on my headphones and am in the world of my characters. I write by hand with a Venetian glass pen and totally believe in the power of flowing ink. Now if you want to call me crazy that’ll work for me too as I long as I don’t get writer’s block……
If you gave one of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?
Well I’d like to think that my characters all speak for themselves and I only take dictation. You can also ask them any question on my Tumblr thismindisnotforsale.org and hear what they have to say.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love to chill with a good read, hang out with my friends and family, go to movies, keep my hands nimble with my Nintendo 3DS, my PS3 and my Wii U. Now you know why I have to be really disciplined to sit down and write when there is so much stuff to do.
What are you currently reading?
“The Magic Faraway Tree” by Enid Blyton, “Stephen Hawking — An Unfettered Mind” by Kitty Ferguson, “Cloud Atlas” by David Mitchell, and I just started the new Grisham.
Any authors or books that inspired you and your writing?
Not on a conscious level. As you can see even from the books I am reading right now, my tastes are so varied and I am sure every book I ever read has influenced me in one way or the other, but I never had this feeling of wow I wish I could write like that.
Favorite book and book crush?
I have to say my favorite book is my own. I mean through the various stages of editing I had to read it I can’t even count how often and cross my heart, I get hooked every single time. I know with a statement like this I’m at the risk of sounding entirely narcissistic but think about it: you wouldn’t give a gift to someone that you don’t entirely LOVE! Or offer food at a dinner party that you don’t think is delicious. Along these lines I wouldn’t dare publish a book that I am not absolutely crazy about. Now this is not to say that I think my book is the best book of all time or like THE one thing I’d decide to give my friend for her birthday. Or that I wouldn’t enjoy different foods my friends made for that dinner party.
With this said I have so many favorite books there wouldn’t be room to talk about all of them here, and my Goodreads shelf is but a sampling of the books I love. To name a couple: “The Hunger Games” and “The Mists of Avalon.” I get totally absorbed in them because the stories are so compelling and the characters and their worlds feel so real.
As for book crush, I think John from my book is 100% crushworthy. Recently a friend started to read aloud something from his iPad, which means I didn’t see a book cover or anything, and it was a scene with John and I was like WOW this guy is so cool (even though Julia doesn’t agree with me at first!)… and what’s so funny is that it was as if I had heard it for the first time. That’s how real John and Julia are to me!
Any future writing plans you can share?
I am currently in the midst of writing book 2 of the Journeys – “Between Worlds.”
If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
I’m not very career oriented, but am a firm believer in what my parents taught me: that anything I do with enthusiasm from my heart will bring satisfaction as well as success. And right now thankfully my enthusiasm is with writing, otherwise I would probably be a mad scientist inventing 3D gadgets rather than writing about them.
Why did you choose to write from omniscient POV?
My dad told me from early on that it is always worthwhile to put myself in the other person’s shoes to get to understand them better. Now we all know that this is very difficult to achieve in real life, as we rarely can look beyond our own ideas and/or judgments. As a writer I have the excellent opportunity to do just that: get into the minds of my characters and really identify with their roles. This is a strangely rewarding process that helps me to understand that there is no such thing as an entirely horrible person. That everyone has something to give and to share.
Another Q&A with Aurelia
Q. Hi, Aurelia. How long have you been writing novels? And are there more in the works?
A. I’ve been a storyteller all my life, but “The Journeys of John and Julia: Genesis” is my first story by pen rather than voice. I’m close to completing the second book of the series, and I’ve got at least five more installments planned.
Q. Where do you call home?
My two anchors are Los Angeles and a small town in southern Bavaria.
Q. What inspires you?
As a storyteller, I find inspiration everywhere. Living and observing the human experience serves my storytelling. I love to observe, and I love to talk about what I see.
Q. Do you read a lot?
I’ve been an avid reader ever since I was a kid. I love imagining other worlds, and books do that for me. I have so many favorites that it would be impossible to list them all here. But you can see a bunch of them on my Goodreads, Library Thing, and Shelfari shelves.
Q. How do you feel about technology?
I love it so much that my books center around it… I mean think of it: I dial a number on my iPhone and this info is packaged and sent through space to the next orbiting satellite of my provider and routed as if by magic to my friend across the world! She pushes accept on her phone and we talk as if we stand next to each other even though every word is bouncing up and down through space as if it was an environment where time does not exist – to use a phrase from the conference room… So how can anyone NOT love technology much??? Or another example: I have a friend who is a music producer. He pushes a few buttons on his computer and out comes the most amazing piece of music… gotta love that.
Q. What inspires you in nature?
The perfect design in even the seemingly most insignificant creature… I could look at things big and small for hours without getting bored. Think fractals!
Q. We heard you play a Nintendo 3DS. Can you tell us why?
Why I love to play my Nintendo would be easiest answered by: go get the 3DS experience and love it too… From racing in Mario Kart 7 to saving the world with the help of Zelda: Ocarina of Time… Where should I begin to explain. And of course I also love my Nintendo because it’s easier to carry in my purse than my PS3.
Q. Are there other games you like to play?
Canasta with my mom. iPad games, esp Sparkle HD. I’m secretly addicted to Bejeweled butterflies. And the most exciting game of ALL: life.
Q. What are your favorite movies, characters, favorite superheroes now and when you were a kid?
There are tooooo many but if I needed to relocate to outer space and could only bring one movie I probably pick…. Here you have it: I’d miss my space shuttle trying to decide… As long as it’s intense, thought provoking, well written and acted well I’m there. Same goes for characters. You don’t switch out superheroes: I still like the ones I liked as a kid. Sailor Moon first and foremost. Professor X. Mystique. Psylocke. Wolverine. Batman. Miss Marvel. Jean Grey. And if I could be a superhero I would be Songbird.
Q. How do you feel about Britney and Madonna?
Love them very much. Britney for showing every troubled teenager how it’s done.
Madonna for never tiring to change.
Did I mention I love their music?
Q. Do you dance?
Dance all day long to the beat of my heart.
Q. Can you tell us about someone in your family?
Like Julia, I was lucky to have a really awesome grandmother. One of the most precious things I learned from her is that anything can be healed with essential oils and healing touch.
Q. What else would you like to tell us about yourself?
One more thing… I am a person who does not at all in any event care about what others think of me, as what they think is a reflection of their state of mind and can thereby have nothing at all to do with me. Which is why I’m also not afraid to make a fool of myself!