I grew up in Richmond, Virginia, but I’m not a dainty Southern Belle. My family was poor and my childhood was harsh. I used to suffer from bad dreams. I used to dream about demons. I believe those nightmares were worse than the poverty.
The demons used to wait until I was in sleep-paralysis to scare the crap out of me. If I was lucky, they hid in the shadows. I wasn’t always lucky. As I grew older, they weren’t always hideous. To this day, I believe that sometimes true evil is seductive, even beautiful.
There are things you don’t outgrow. You learn to cope. I did that by writing about demons.
But growing up I had allies. I discovered that love transcends nightmares. I’m a dog lover and on several fortunate occasions my dogs entered my dream worlds and saved me.
As an author, I write about seductive demons and mischievous pooches. If you want a chuckle then read about my canine diva.
But, you may want to take a darker path with me. You may want to meet my demons. If that’s the case, then I want you to be scared with me — is that so wrong? I don’t just want to scare you, though. I want you to care about the characters. Because if you care about them, then you will be afraid for them. You may also feel their fears.
Who knows, you could have nightmares about beautiful demons, too.
* * *Author Interview * * *
Hi Julian, welcome to the Fantasy Sci-Fi Network interviews. I hope you’re enjoying our hospitality.
I am intrigued to see your picture and name together. Do you have a pen name and why?
- My pen name is actually my homage to my grandmothers. Julia is the first name of one grandmother, and Coleman is the maiden name of the other. They were amazing and tolerant woman at a time when women didn’t have many life options. They stayed home, reared lots of children, and took lots of crap from their husbands. Luckily for me…times have changed. I owe them much. Their love will never be forgotten.
That is a wonderful family connection.
What was the defining event that made you start writing?
- I really don’t know which came first, the writing or the nightmares. I think it was the nightmares and the absolute need to express myself. I was painfully introverted and writing just helped me cope with the bad stuff.
Oh dear. I’m so pleased that the writing helps with that.
What other writing have you done?
- I do not have a pedigree. I was a voracious reader, especially of horror or the paranormal, and I wouldn’t write poetry and couldn’t write a decent love story unless there was some sex, blood or gore involved. Someone had to turn into a something other than human. The love affair had to have that element of danger which makes it sweeter. My editor often teases me and suggests that I should write porn. Um…no.
What made you choose this genre?
- The genre chose me.
Yes, I guess your bio does explain it well.
What’s the story behind your book title?
- Well, the prophet is as such because he can see the future. It is a genic malfunction, one of many. The mother is much more than she appears. Her routine (if not boring) life is sweetly idyllic to her until her son is stolen. Real stolen children don’t have the benefit of having a monster standing guard.
What’s the basic plot of The prophet’s Mother?
- The basic plot has a couple of red herrings especially when the police start investigating. I think some of the best lines in the book are between the two detectives. Their bromance was fun to write.
I have a few throw away characters. Their purpose is to move the book along. One of them, David, turned out to be a riveting character. He sees the horror firsthand and although part of him disbelieves, he is hell-bent on doing the right thing. He’s a good ol’ boy with a big heart.
Which is your favourite character and why?
- Aside from the missing boy, I think my favorite character is Harry. There was some trouble in his past that left him a ward of the state. He’s hard, logical and thorough. The last missing child case he had been called on left him scarred. He’d found the child, too late. He self-medicated with Jack Daniels and he’s not anxious to hitch onto another missing child case. His choice is to take the case or face an insubordination charge.
Have you used any real events or places as inspiration for your writing?
- I don’t know what’s going to happen to me when I close my eyes. I’ve died in my nightmares. I’ve been attacked and even consumed. If I didn’t write, I think I would go crazy.
Do you have another job outside of writing?
- I’m an analyst…logical/data driven and with a MBA. The creative juices have to come out some way.
An exact opposite.
What song would you choose as the theme song of your book?
- Strawberry Letter 23. It’s a nonsensical love story. The Prophet’s Mother is ultimately a love story too.
What music do you listen to when writing?
- Giorgio Moroder’s Cat People, especially David Bowe’s theme song, it sets a spooky overtone. Once a reviewer described my writing as lyrical. Well, that’s not an accident.
What are you working on now?
- I’m working on, Malevolent Impulses: The Prophet’s Mother – Book 2. I’m behind schedule because of a new and complex internet marketing strategy. What’s the point of having good books when no one knows they exist?
What’s your writing routine?
- I don’t have a routine. I just pray to find the time. I have a demanding job, a strong family network and I volunteer to help children. If I can scape a few hours together during the week then I’m extremely lucky.
How did you go about developing your cover artwork?
I found my graphic artist in a writer’s forum. She is amazing. I’m a firm believer in networking.
It’s eye-catching and sets the tone well.
How do you handle marketing on social media?
- Unfortunately, social media handles me. I’ve only recently begun hiring people to assist me. This has also proven to be problematic. I’ve had too many bad results. Recently I’ve hired a fully vetted team. Wish me luck.
If you could only take three books with you through an interstellar portal, what would they be?
- Just three? There were three books I read in one day: The Color Purple by Alice Walker, Rage of Angels by Sidney Sheldon and Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice. They never get old.
List some great books you have recently read:
- I participate in a book club called The Library Thing. When I take my granddaughter to her swimming or dance classes, I get the rare chance to read. How some of these indie authors never made it to the big times fully explains why the old publishing process was broken. Most of these books are simply terrific.
Good on you for supporting indie authors.
Who are your five favourite authors?
- This is the easiest question by far: I love Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Stephen King, Anne Rice and Peter Straub.
What is your favourite quote?
- Friedrich Nietzsche’s quote proved to be words to live by: “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”
What do you write about in your blog?
- I write random thoughts. Some of them are mundane and some are just plain creepy.
I’m a little scared to look, but I think I should.
Which book character are you most like and why?
- My first impulse is to say none, but nearly all of them are modelled from some aspect of my personality. The book character I’m most like is Rachel Thrust, Angelina’s older sister in the Cesar Trilogy. She’s more of a nurturing guardian/protector force who makes tough choices and becomes overwrought with guilt when things go wrong.
Who inspires you?
- The monster that’s trying to take over my mind. Thank God I don’t see dead people!
Who would you like to be stuck on a deserted planet with?
- My beloved dog, Mario. He’s been gone for ten years and I still miss him. (Just don’t tell my husband.)
Who would you choose to read your audiobook?
- I would chose Angela Bassett.
What’s your dream job and do you think you’ll do it one day?
- Even though I’m not a financially successful writer yet, I am living my dream life. God has been great to me. I truly feel unworthy.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
- I love to binge watch television. Right now my husband and I are catching up with Game of Thrones. Before that it was Scandal and before that it was How to Get Away with Murder. Popcorn anyone?
Where do you like to travel to?
- The world is very dangerous, but this year we hope to travel to London. I remember when Angelina (my main character in the Cesar Trilogy) visited Paris. She wanted to say goodbye to France and the Eiffel Tower by visiting the Ecole Militaire because of the view and because it was away from all the tourists. I remember when I finally visited Paris, I saw the sign to the Ecole Militaire. I almost cried. I was at the place where my character had lived. That sliver of time felt as if fantasy and reality blended. Strange, yep but it felt good.
What’s your favourite pet?
- I have a Dingo Diva. She’s smart, funny and I suspect she really hates me. I wish I was kidding. I had to write a book about her.
* * * Quick quiz * * *
Favourite food: Chocolate Cake
Silliest saying: WTF, really?
Best holiday spot: Home
Favourite song at the moment: Game of Thrones Theme Song
Star Wars or Lord of the Rings: Lord of the Rings
Best superpower: Able to detect BS
Number one thing to do on your bucket list: Play the piano.
Thanks for coming on the FSFNet blog, Julian. It has been good (if a little scary) to learn more about you and your writing. Your superpower would be a good one.
* * * Julian Coleman’s Links * * *
Book trailer: I don’t have one for this book yet. Here are the others: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QunBcuD3cg
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