Greetings readers, bloggers, geeks, and authors and welcome to The ToiBox of Words. I’m your host Toi Thomas, author of Eternal Curse, and today I have a treat to share.A while back, I had the pleasure to interview a wonderful author named, Juliann Troi. A good time was truly had by all, and here’s how it went down.
Toi Thomas: Hi there Juliann! It’s so awesome to have you here at the ToiBox Blog. I’m excited to learn more about you and your work.
Juliann Troi: Hi Toi, I’m thrilled to be in the ToiBox!
Toi Thomas: So tell me, who is Juliann Troi?
Juliann Troi: Born and raised in Oklahoma, I’m a former teacher with a passion for learning and history. In the seventeen years I’ve been writing, I’ve penned everything from prayer guides and blog posts to newsletters, Bible studies and several internationally published novels.
While the crafting business I started in 2005 allows me to express creativity in a variety of mediums, it is writing that truly gives wings to my dreams. My favorite thing in the whole world is taking a pile of beads, paper, yarn or even words and turning it into something beautiful.
Toi Thomas: I loved that last statement. I like people who overflow with creativity. I can tell this is going to be a great interview.
Toi Thomas: Well before we dive into your special message today, let’s get to know you, the person inside the author.
Toi Thomas: Who is so you and why?
Juliann Troi: I’ve actually been compared to James Mitchner as a writer but since it was in relation to the length of one of my early books (having 726 pages), I’m not sure it was a compliment. In truth, my role model is Jane Austen. I love that she was told by the society of her day that she couldn’t be what she dreamed of being, but she did it anyway and did it well. She was a mold breaker and in the process changed her world. That’s what I want to be and do as well.
Toi Thomas: Ya know, I do get an Austen-esque feeling about you, but I have a feeling this is only the beginning of a something much stronger like: artistry, grace, and mastery.
Toi Thomas: So, what makes you geek out?
Juliann Troi: I’m a fanatic crafter. I LOVE making stuff. Unfortunately, I’m A.D.D. as well so I usually have at least a dozen projects going at once. Right now, I’m working on three books, four dolls, Christmas cards, jewelry, a quilt, a couple of afghans, and three cross stitch projects.
Toi Thomas: I thought I took on a lot, but you are something else…I mean that in the best possible way. I’m truly impressed. Writing, blogging, and creating video content seems minor in comparison to what you’re doing, but I do what works for me and you do what works for you.
Toi Thomas: Well now, what was your favorite book or story, pre-teen years?
Juliann Troi: My favorite books were Ann McCaffrey’s The Dragonriders of Pern series. Today, as a professional author, I greatly admire McCaffrey’s talent for crafting a realistic setting and relatable characters, but as a kid I only knew she made Pern feel real and believable and set my imagination on fire.
Toi Thomas: You have a way with words, but as a writer, how could I expect less. You are so right about authors creating realistic worlds and people. I think that’s why I love fiction so much. I like the idea that something that’s not real can feel just the opposite. It can feel natural, real, and tangible.
Toi Thomas: In terms of interviews, whose brain are you just itching to scratch?
Juliann Troi: I would like to interview Mark Twain. Having been born little more than a generation after the Revolutionary War and growing up in the South, Twain experienced the best and worst of young America. He saw her grow and fulfill some of her vast potential, then saw her mauled and broken by Civil War and, eventually, saw the tattered remains mended and stitched into a new, stronger nation that surged ahead during the Industrial Revolution. I would love to hear his thoughts and insights on all that he witnessed over the course of his life.
Toi Thomas: I must admit I have a love-hate relationship with Twain’s work. I think if I hadn’t been forced to read his work in high school I would have a greater appreciation for him, but in spite of that, it’s clear that he possessed a great talent and powerful insight into his times. I do actually quite enjoy the story of Huckleberry Fin now, but it has had to grow on me.
Toi Thomas: Now that we know a little more about you, the person, let’s learn about you, the author, and dive into your special message.
Juliann Troi: Okie doke.
Toi Thomas: So whacha got for me today?
Juliann Troi: I’ve got my latest release: Green Pearl, book 2 of The Dragonfly Saga.
Unaware that they’ve been betrayed, Ty and Kathryn enjoy a blissful honeymoon in Shaoguan. All at once, their peace is shattered by bitter jealousy and attempts on Kathryn’s life. The couple is forced to flee in a desperate attempt to stay a step ahead of General Cheng and the would-be assassins. After being discovered and fearing that Ty has been captured, or worse, Kathryn goes on without him. Alone and hunted, she must somehow find a way to get off the mainland alive and in time to stop her father from starting a war.
Toi Thomas: Wow, this synopsis screams drama and suspense and I like it.
Toi Thomas: So who’s starring is this 2 dimensional script read of The Dragonfly Saga?
Juliann Troi: Kathryn Hopewell is the pampered, Harvard educated daughter of a powerful American trade lord raised in China. She is strong and smart but hindered by a society that forbids her to inherit her family’s trading company. After being taken prisoner by the ruthless warlord, Cheng Jiong, Kathryn is broken and transformed as she faces and overcomes adversity.
Ty Wang, who saves Kathryn from Cheng Jiong at great cost, was being groomed to rule China when revolution toppled the empire. An American educated doctor, he risks everything to prevent his beloved homeland from being destroyed by warlords and foreign invaders.
Toi Thomas: I get the sense that this is a love story surrounded by a much bigger message; perhaps there are lessons to be learned concerning international trade and the makings of wars.
Toi Thomas: Tell me, what’s so special about this story that’s going to reel in the readers?
Juliann Troi: Attracted to the exotic mystery of Imperial China? Relish forbidden love in the midst of revolution? Adore political intrigue and heroes/heroines overcoming impossible odds to survive only to be betrayed by someone close and trusted? Then you’ll love The Dragonfly Saga!
Toi Thomas: What a plug! If someone can answer yes to any, let alone, all of these questions, I do believe they are in for a treat.
Toi Thomas: Now back to you; past, present, future, is there a rhyme or reason to your writing?
Juliann Troi: I always have stories in progress, usually working on several at once. When one story isn’t flowing, I move on to another that is. I guess I have a very fertile imagination because I don’t have to try very hard to generate a storyline and rarely suffer from writer’s block. Stories play like movies in my head and plot threads just seem to grow and develop as I research and work them. If I need to capture mood or need an emotional nudge I’ll turn on a certain period/topic-related movie or listen to the soundtrack.
Toi Thomas: OH MY GOSH!…Are you inside my head? I’m seriously not playing around when I say this is exactly how my writing process works. I don’t even want to ask about outing and character development. I’ll save that conversation for another day.
Toi Thomas: Now I’m intrigued; what author(s) has most influenced your writing? Why or how?
Juliann Troi: I can’t say that any one author has influenced me more than another. I feel like I get something from every book I read, whether it be something I would like to emulate or something I wish to avoid. I’m always growing and changing as an author, always evolving.
Toi Thomas: I like this answer and also share this sentiment. I can name specific ways I’ve been influenced by others in my writing, but I don’t know that just one writer has left an impression on me other that the one who got be interested in writing, but that is something for another day as well.
Toi Thomas: Now this is where the questions get a little kooky; are you ready?
Juliann Troi: Yep.
Toi Thomas: If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Juliann Troi: That’s a hard one. I love movies and to watch only one from now on would be like having only one window in the room and seeing the same view day after day. If I could only choose one, I think I would choose Galaxy Quest to keep me smiling.
Toi Thomas: Nice! That’s definitely a good choice to keep the laughs coming.
Toi Thomas: When the soundtrack of your life is playing in your head, what songs express your glee and what songs bring out your rage?
Juliann Troi: I enjoy many different kinds of music from swing, to rock, to pop, to movie/game soundtracks. Just about anything by Earth, Wind & Fire, Elton John or Hans Zimmer works. I’m NOT a fan of Elvis Presley’s ‘Blue Christmas’. Like fingernails on a chalkboard, it makes me cringe.
Toi Thomas: I must say that I’m partial to Brenda Lee’s ‘Blue Christmas’ myself. I like that your musical interests are so varied. I like meeting music fans, whatever their preferred musical genre(s) may be.
Toi Thomas: Let’s play zombie urban survivor. What 3 things do you need to survive a black-out in Central Park the day zombies attack?
Juliann Troi: At the top of my ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ wish list would be a flashlight, plenty of fresh water and someone who knows how to kill zombies.
Toi Thomas: I hear that. I think I could do pretty well with survival skills, but killing Zombies may require a learning curve I might not be able to reach depending on whether they are the slow moving brain eater type or the super-fast eat any flesh that gets in their way type.
Toi Thomas: Now, can you think; what’s the most fun experience you’ve ever had, to date?
Juliann Troi: Just about any time I get to spend with my young adult children is a fun experience for me. They always make me laugh.
Toi Thomas: Classic answer. I don’t think enough people truly value the precious times they are able to spend with loved ones.
Toi Thomas: Now this is where the questions get a little philosophical and start to wind down. You ready?
Juliann Troi: Okie doke.
Toi Thomas: Not that you can see into the future, but in your opinion, what does the future hold?
Juliann Troi: Frankly, I have no idea what the future holds. Today has more than enough to keep me busy and if I look too far ahead I start fretting and worrying, which is a waste of what could be productive time and is detrimental to my health. My plan is to continue writing books and enjoying success as an author. Maybe in five years I’ll have “internationally acclaimed, best-selling author” as part of my moniker. Go big or go home, right?
Toi Thomas: You said it. I like your thinking. Keep it moving or get out of the way. 🙂
Toi Thomas: Before I conclude, is there a question you would like to ask me?
Juliann Troi: Q: What is your favorite part about being an author? Your least favorite part?
Toi Thomas: A: I think I’m a lot like most authors when I say finishing that first draft is magically wonderful. Coming up with an idea is good, but being able to complete that and develop it into a story is great. It’s no secret, at least is shouldn’t be, but I do not like editing. It’s so hard to go back over my work force myself to add and remove things…oh and then there’s the grammar. Not my cup of tea, but part of the process.
Toi Thomas: Thank you so much Julian for spending time with me today.
Juliann Troi: Thanks for having me. It’s been fun!
Okay readers, bloggers, geeks, and authors, that’s all for today. Be sure to follow this blog to see who will be visiting next time. For more fromJuliann Troi, check out these great links:
Website:Author Juliann Troi.com
Purchase links for The Dragonfly Saga: Tate Publishing
This has been a
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords