Monday, December 23, 2013

Featured Author Interview: Julie Klassen

Julie Klassen is an American author of inspirational Regency romance novels. She is the winner of several Christy Awards and a Midwest Book Award.
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Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years (first in advertising, then as a fiction editor) and now writes full time. Three of her books, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Silent Governess have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Maid of Fairbourne Hall and The Girl in the Gatehouse also won a Midwest Book Award and The Silent Governess was a finalist in Romance Writers of America's RITA awards.

Julie graduated from the University of Illinois and enjoys travel, research, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps, and coffee with friends. Julie and her husband have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.

The following is a December 2013 interview with Julie.

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ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
AT THE END OF THE INTERVIEW


Be in to win a copy of
The Dancing Master
by Julie Klassen


One print copy and one Kindle copy to be won

Contest open to entrants worldwide.

Contest runs from 20 December -  3 January NZDT


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Tell us a little about yourself.

I write historical Christian fiction set in “Jane Austen-era England.” I have seven novels out so far. I worked in publishing for sixteen years and now write full time. Three of my books have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. My husband and I have two teenaged sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota.


How did you become a novelist, and did you always want to write?
 I have wanted to be a writer since the second grade (according to a faded report card my mom saved). I took many writing classes throughout high school and college, but didn't get serious about writing until after I had worked in advertising and then editing for many years. My years as an editor for Bethany House Publishers taught me a great deal, and helped me realize my dream of becoming a published author.


What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?

Christian fiction not only entertains, but it also enriches readers’ spiritual lives, and glorifies God.

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How do you hope your readers react to the stories you write? 

 I tend to write about imperfect people who make mistakes, and a loving, perfect God who offers them forgiveness and second chances—two things that have been important to me in my own life. I would love readers to leave my books with a fresh reminder of God’s amazing grace.


What responses to your novels have affected you the most and why? 
I have been humbled to hear from people who are touched by my books in other countries. And recently, I have heard from a few moms who appreciated that I included characters with special needs in a few of my books, because they found it encouraging to see people like their son or daughter portrayed in a respectful, hopeful light.


How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ? 

Being a novelist has drawn me closer to God—made me realize how much I want and need His wisdom and leading in my life and in my writing.  I don’t consider myself as having “arrived” in either my writing journey or my walk with Christ. I am still involved in Bible study and I still take writing classes—there is always more to learn! 

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Other than writing great novels, what other goals do you have for your life? 
To help my sons grow up to be successful adults. To grow closer to my husband and to God. And, to finally figure out a way to either 1. Keep my house clean, or 2. Have people over anyway. :-)


What do you like to do in your spare time? 

I like to watch BBC costume dramas, read, go for walks, have coffee with friends, play Scrabble with my older son, talk with my younger son, travel with my husband, and occasionally go dancing (English Country dancing or swing) when I can butter up my husband to go with me.


What can you tell us about your latest novels? 

The Tutor’s Daughter (December 2012) is about a young woman who travels with her tutor-father into Cornwall to the manor of a baronet and his four sons. But soon after they arrive and begin teaching the younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen. When the suspicious acts escalate into danger, she must figure out which brother to blame and which to trust.

In my new book, The Dancing Master (December 2013), a London dancing master moves to rural Devonshire only to learn the village matriarch has forbidden all dancing for reasons buried deep in her past. With help from the matriarch’s beautiful daughter, he strives to bring new life to the village, and to one woman’s tattered heart.

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What stories can your fans expect from you in the days ahead? 

I am working on my next historical stand-alone novel, also set in Regency England. It is called The Secret of Pembrooke Park and is due out December 2014.


What would you like to say to your fans in New Zealand, and others worldwide?

Thank you for reading my books, and for the encouraging emails you send. I love hearing from readers—especially those from other countries. Write to me at Julie@julieklassen.com or find me on Facebook.


Do you have any parting words?

Thank you for your interest in my books and in Christian Fiction in general. Today’s Christian fiction is better than ever, and I’m glad to be a part of it. Thank you!


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The Maid of Fairbourne Hall

To escape a scheme to marry her off to a dishonorable man, Margaret Macy flees London disguised as a housemaid. If she can remain unwed until her next birthday, she will receive an inheritance, and with it, sweet independence. But she never planned on actually working as a servant. And certainly not in the home of Nathaniel and Lewis Upchurch--both former suitors.

As she fumbles through the first real work of her life, Margaret struggles to keep her identity secret when suspicions arise and prying eyes visit Fairbourne Hall. Can she avoid a trap meant to force her from hiding?

Brimming with romance and danger, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall takes readers inside the fascinating belowstairs world of a 19th-century English manor, where appearances can be deceiving. 


Purchase The Maid of Fairbourne Hall
[Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle | 
The Book Depository]


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The Tutor's Daughter

Emma Smallwood, determined to help her widowed father when his boarding school fails, accompanies him to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But soon after they arrive and begin teaching the two younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen. Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte at night, only to find the music room empty? And who begins sneaking into her bedchamber, leaving behind strange mementoes?

The baronet's older sons, Phillip and Henry Weston, wrestle with problems--and secrets--of their own. They both remember the studious Miss Smallwood from their days at her father's academy. But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her... When suspicious acts escalate, can Emma figure out which brother to blame and which to trust with her heart?

Filled with page-turning suspense, The Tutor's Daughter takes readers to the windswept Cornwall coast--a place infamous for shipwrecks and superstitions--where danger lurks, faith is tested, and romance awaits.


Purchase The Tutor's Daughter
[Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle 
The Book Depository]


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The Dancing Master

Finding himself the man of the family, London dancing master Alec Valcourt moves his mother and sister to remote Devonshire, hoping to start over. But he is stunned to learn the village matriarch has prohibited all dancing, for reasons buried deep in her past. Alec finds an unlikely ally in the matriarch's daughter. Though he's initially wary of Julia Midwinter's reckless flirtation, he comes to realize her bold exterior disguises a vulnerable soul--and hidden sorrows of her own.

Julia is quickly attracted to the handsome dancing master--a man her mother would never approve of--but she cannot imagine why Mr. Valcourt would leave London, or why he evades questions about his past. With Alec's help, can Julia uncover old secrets and restore life to her somber village...and to her mother's tattered heart?

Filled with mystery and romance, The Dancing Master brings to life the intriguing profession of those who taught essential social graces for ladies and gentlemen hoping to make a "good match" in Regency England.


Purchase The Dancing Master
[Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle | 
The Book Depository]



Buy Julie's Books at The Book Depository

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

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Be in to win a copy of
The Dancing Master
by Julie Klassen


One print copy and one Kindle copy to be won

Contest open to entrants worldwide.

Contest runs from 20 December -  3 January NZDT


Please comment about the interview, or leave a message for Beth when making a blog post comment. Simply commenting about entering the draw or wanting to win the books does not qualify for valid entry into the draw. 

All entries must be made using the Rafflecopter contest to be eligible for drawing. Winning entries drawn will have their entry options validated before being accepted - if incomplete another entry will be drawn. 


Read Previous Featured Author Interviews


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