Words with Julie Achterhoff, Author of "Quantum Earth" and "Deadly Lucidity"

Can you tell us a little bit about "Quantum Earth" and "Deadly Lucidity?"
Quantum Earth is my first novel about a group of metaphysical scientists using very alternative means to find out why the Mayan calendar says the end of the Earth is coming in 2012. People have been very interested in this book's take on the subject because it's so unconventional. They even interview the dead through a medium to try to find clues!

Deadly Lucidity is a whole different story. It has a woman named Marie dreaming her life away, literally! She is caught in her own nightmares, but can't seem to find her way out. An evil psychopath is after her, too. Luckily, she has the courageous Murphy with his six shooters to back her up. If only they didn't keep getting separated! Together they must find the place where she can find the exit door. But how can she leave Murphy behind?

What's your background with writing?

I've loved writing and reading since I was a little girl. I kept many a teacher awake at night with my scary tales. Then I had five kids to raise, and only wrote bits and pieces here and there. Finally, I went to college in my late 30s, and took every writing-related class I could find. The first thing I wrote was a final for a women's lit class. It was a play titled "Angel in the House" about three different women writers from three different centuries, and what they faced in that profession. I loved actually finishing such a huge project. Then I wrote a novella titled "Native Vengeance," which was published by Demon Minds Magazine online. I was stoked and ready to writ my first novel, "Quantum Earth." It took a while, but I finally found a publisher, All Things That Matter Press in Maine.

Who are your inspirations/influences?

I know a lot of people adore Stephen King, and I'm no exception. I loved his books as a kid scared out of my wits, not able to sleep with the lights out, and I love him still. His writing, to me, is the epitome of perfection. I could only hope to hold any source of light up to him!

Of course, my kids have always been inspiring and supportive, too. I couldn't have done it without them. Now I have a flame in my life who inspires me, too.

What was it like working with "All Things That Matter Press"?

It's been a wonderful experience. Although they are a small press, they treat their authors like pros. We even have a yahoo group, so we can all stay in touch with one another, sharing ideas for marketing and such. We're a pretty close group of about twenty. Recently we have been brainstorming on ways to create a brand for ourselves. Some of the ideas have been hilariously tongue-in-cheek. One of the authors' book is titled, "Flashing My Shorts." I'll say no more about some of the crazy ideas that have come up for the author of that book!

Deb and Phil Harris are our dynamic duo publishing team. Phil has a great head on his shoulders, and keeps us on track about what works and what doesn't. Deb is the great editor of our books. She's the queen of editing in my opinion. She catches my mistakes like she's wearing a mitt at a baseball field!

Who was responsible for the cover/book design?

Deb sends me some ideas, and I pick the one I want.

What are you doing in terms of marketing/publicity?

More like what haven't I done! I've done loads of interviews like this one with you, I hired APEX to create video trailers for my books and write reviews for them, which they planted all over tarnation, I have a blog on wordpress, which I write on a regular basis and host others, too. Right now I'm hiring a publicist who is going to put me on the radio all over the U.S. I sent free copies of my books to reviewers to post on amazon, goodreads, etc. That's all my memory can recall at the moment, but there's a lot more.

What is the name of your blog and what can readers expect to find there?

It's called Julie Achterhoff's Blog. I host at least one author per week in an interview. The questions are always different, though. I give them a list of about thirty questions, and ask them to answer the ten they like most, or answer their own questions. I also have a regular contributor, Luciano Santini, who is a motivational speaker and author. He writes a blog each week about something interesting and positive.

What projects do you have planned for the future?

I'm actually very excited about the book I'm just finishing up titled "Earthwalker." It's about a vampire from another planet of vampires (where they originate from in my world-lol) who crashes to Earth and falls in love with an Earth woman named Willa. He begins to get a craving for human blood after staying on Earth too long and may kill Willa. Then there are the other vampires on Earth who have "turned rogue," and go for humans in a big way. They want Willa, too. There are vampires from his home planet that Paul has to run from. He is a Grand Master on his planet, and they want his power for control. There are also other aliens in the Federation (had to use that word...) who become a part of the story. Basically, I've taken a vampire love story and given it enough twists and turns to make it exceptionally intriguing to me. Because, face it, we're really writing for our own fun and gratification, right?

Is there anything else about you we should know?

I'm a sucker for a great love scene! And there are a few in each of my books that will knock your socks off, especially in "Earthwalker." I'm a bit concerned that I may have gone over the top with that one. Oh, well, I'll find out when Deb looks it over. Hope it doesn't make her blush!

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