It is a delight to welcome Julie Klassen to my blog today. I met Julie at the 2013 JASNA AGM in Minneapolis when we were fortunate to be seated next to each other at the author signing. I have a personally signed novel to prove it! And this image here, of Julie looking fabulous in her ballroom attire.
Enjoy Julie’s answers to my crazy interview questions, and be sure to check out her terrific inspirational novels.
JULIE KLASSEN loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. She worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full-time. Three of her novels have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. She has also been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards and the Minnesota Book Awards. Julie and her husband have two teenaged sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota.
In the The Secret of Pembrooke Park, Abigail Foster moves with her family into a mysterious manor abandoned and locked for eighteen years, until an anonymous benefactor opens it to her family. With help from a handsome clergyman, she searches Pembrooke Park, hoping to unearth its secrets and hidden treasure—only to find danger instead.
“A remarkable tale with many unpredictable twists and turns.”
~ CBA Retailers+Resources
“A treat for [readers] who want their historical romances served up with a generous dash of mystery.” ~Booklist
“[Klassen’s] work appeals to all who seek a riveting Regency romance.”
~ RT Book Reviews
What were you like as a youngster? Tell us about where you grew up. Share a favorite childhood memory. Which high school group did you fit in to?
I was originally from Chicago, but moved out into the country when I was in the third grade. I grew up on 9 rural acres, and could see only one house across a field. Because of this, I spent a lot of time playing alone, which I think helped me develop a good imagination. I was not popular in high school, but had a few close friends in the “smart” crowd.
I’ll share a memory that helped inspire my latest book. About a half mile behind our house was a woods. Among the trees was an abandoned house with three walls still standing. I was fascinated to look upon its crumbling walls, the sagging piano and the tattered blue dress on its hanger. I tried to imagine what had happened to the people who once lived there, and why they left so suddenly without their belongings. I found it very satisfying to weave this real-life mystery into The Secret of Pembrooke Park.
Where do you live now? What do you like and dislike about your part of the world?
I live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. It’s beautiful in the summer and fall, but I’m not fond of the long, often bitterly-cold winters. Makes me thankful to work from home!
If you could live anywhere in the world besides where you now reside, where would it be?
Rural England. Perhaps in the Cotswolds or in Kent.
Do you have a “day job” other than writing? If not currently, what “day jobs” have you had in the past?
I write full time these days (or as full time as one can be with a husband and two teenagers who are busy with activities and want to eat supper EVERY night, but I used to work as a fiction editor, which was a great training ground.
What hobbies or pastimes do you partake in to relax?
I love to watch costume dramas with girlfriends.
Who was your first celebrity crush? Did you have posters of him all over your bedroom walls?
I had a secret room behind my closet growing up. In it, I had posters of Shaun Cassidy and Parker Stevenson, of Hardy Boys fame.
If a genie granted you the talent to write in any other genre, which would you choose?
Perhaps Mystery. I am enjoying weaving in more mystery into my novels, but still have a lot to learn.
What is the weirdest food you have ever eaten?
Wild boar. I don’t recommend it.
Give us five words that best describe who you are.
Wife. Mom. Believer. Author. Anglophile.
Do you have a passion for any particular causes or charities?
My favorite charity is Feed My Starving Children. We donate money annually and have often volunteered our time to help pack meals. It’s a great organization.