Julie Bihn interview

AUTHOR INTERVIEW


A little introduction:

I'm Julie Bihn, an "extreme discovery writer" and author of the emotional time-travel novel Titanic Voyage and the humorous short story "Turtle Day, or Kate Malone and the Magic Calzone." The latter is debuting in the anthology The Accidental Time Travelers Collective Volume I along with 11 other stories from creative, talented, charming time travel authors.


When did your love of books begin?

As long as I can remember, I've enjoyed escaping to other worlds, and I've been writing stories almost as long as I've been able to write. I was into a lot of childhood classics, but mostly the kind that take place on Earth, where the only real speculative element might be a talking animal. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was the book that taught me that full-length books don't have to stick to the real world but can go to other places, too.


When did you start to have the wish to become an author?

Like I said, I've been writing ever since I can remember. I actually have the start of a unicorn story I drew and illustrated when I was probably 9 or 10 (it has a lot more blood than I expected). As I grew up, I had vague dreams of becoming an author and worked on quite a few novels starting in my teens. I loved writing so much, I got a B.A. in Creative Writing. My father, a practical man who tended to prefer practical degrees, thought that was a perfectly reasonable choice for me specifically, given my passion. 


How have you found the process for becoming an author?

Being a writer has always come naturally to me, but learning to become an author who can write fiction was trickier. I do better with online interaction, and my university courses were all in person and focused solely on short stories. So I personally learned more about writing novels from a year on CritiqueCircle.com than I did in college. I first submitted a NaNoWriMo story to Critique Circle many years ago, thinking that it was basically close to being ready. I quickly learned that I had so much to learn! Overall, it's been a difficult but incredibly rewarding process to hone my craft through the years, and I'm very proud of what I've put out.


What would you say to those wanting to become an author?

Write the best work you can, and then get feedback from fair, honest, and ideally kind people. Writing is wonderful; I think anyone who has any interest in it at all should give it a try, even if it's just writing for themselves. But if you want to be an author, self-published or traditionally published, you need feedback from others so that you can make your work the best it can be. 
That said, I also say to be true to your vision. Just because one person says you should change something doesn't mean they're right. But in most cases, if several critiquers or beta readers say something is wrong, it probably is and you should at least consider their feedback instead of digging in your heels. My personal experience is that when people think something is wrong, they are usually right, but their suggestion on how to fix the problem may be off.


Tell us about your book/books:

The Accidental Time Travelers Collective Volume I came about after I started the #TimeTravelAuthors hashtag on Twitter, posting daily prompts for authors to talk about their works. Joshua David Bellin came up with and spearheaded the idea to put together an anthology. He generously invited myself and others to participate, and here we are!
My contribution to the anthology, "Turtle Day, or Kate Malone and the Magic Calzone," is a madcap story about a pizzeria employee who accidentally creates a calzone that lets her travel to her past. It's the funniest thing I've ever written. It's also sweet, and I hear it might make you hungry, too.
My other work, Titanic Voyage, is an exciting, emotional novel about a theme park worker who discovers that the Titanic ride lets him go back in time to visit a heroic female victim with whom he falls in love. As he spends time with her, the past starts to change. He wants nothing more than to save her, but if he changes her past, he might erase his own.


What do you love about the writing/reading community?

I've been blown away by the #WritingCommunity on Twitter. Honestly, before I jumped back into Twitter in late summer 2022, I hadn't been active there for years, and I'd only heard horror stories about how mean everyone is. Yet I've been able to "meet" and interact with so many friendly people, and I've had great opportunities literally land in my lap. I love when people post prompts and questions, and I've really enjoyed learning about and reading other indie authors' works especially. Some authors really channel their passions into their work, which is my favorite thing to see.


If you could say anything to your readers what would it be?

I'm so grateful for you. Thank you so much for reading. (And whether you're my reader or not, please remember that you're valuable, you're important, and you matter in ways you may not even know about.)


Where can people connect with you?

My website is at https://juliebihn.com/. Otherwise, I'm most active on Twitter, @JulieBihn. I sporadically post on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JulieBihn/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/thingstellstories/ 


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