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Author Interview: Julia Fine

How did you become a writer?

When I was ten, I decided to write a poem every day. That phase didn’t last forever, but that was when I began to think of myself as a writer.

What inspires you to write?

A sense of wonder about the world, and sometimes a desire to mock it.

How do you develop your plot and characters?

I usually have a vague idea of what I want to write that I flesh out in my head until it’s more detailed. Then I outline the whole story, then each chapter, then each scene, adding in descriptions and snippets of dialogue as they occur to me.

Could you share some of your challenges as a writer?

One of the hardest things for me is staying with one project instead of getting distracted by all the other things I want to write. New ideas never come faster than when I’m about two thirds of the way done with a current project.

Tell me about your protagonist. What's your favorite trait and/or weakness?

My protagonist, Tristan, is a grad student in Medieval Studies. My favorite trait of his is that he sees the funny side of even very dark, upsetting things.

How does your antagonist create conflict?

He more or less radiates it.

What are your current/future projects?

I’m currently working on some magic realist short stories related to the climate crisis and how it’s affecting, or could affect, our everyday lives.

Do you have a routine you follow when writing?

I like to make themed playlists and listen to the songs that go with each part of the plot. Otherwise, my routine is mainly to outline extensively before I write, and go on a walk or do something else if I still feel stuck after outlining.

If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?

I would tell myself to get involved in activism, especially climate justice activism, because I think that’s the most urgent issue we’re facing right now. Writing-wise, I would tell myself to write what I wanted to read.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Outlining doesn’t mean you can’t be creative—in fact, I find it makes me more creative by helping me focus in on what I want to write.

What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you?

Email’s good!

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