JULIE CAROBINI's BIO: I grew up as Julie Navarro, in a family of truly right-brained individuals. Among us you’ll find writers, artists, and musicians, all of us willing to talk about the arts at a moment’s notice.
After growing up in
Los Angeles, I landed in where I made great friends, met Jesus (I’d met him as a child but wasn’t all that friendly toward him. Guess you could say we were re-introduced), and fell in love with the dashing Dan Carobini. (Who, although born and bred in landlocked Ventura County , now owns several pairs of board shorts.) Pennsylvania
Despite serious illness—which I may write about some day—and three children delivered by C-section (am I saying more than you want to know yet?), I managed to hone my lifelong love for writing and sell a few articles. I also edited books for several distinguished authors. Later, I joined the National League of American Pen Women, and received two awards from the organization: one for non-fiction, the other for fiction.
Over the years, I’ve published several hundred articles and stories in magazines and books, including Aspire, Decision, Expecting, Focus on the Family, Key Magazine and God’s Abundance: 365 Days to a Simpler Life. As I wrote, I found a common theme cropping up: my family, the sea, and God’s timely work in the lives of those around me.
Maybe it was time to incorporate those interests into novels, I thought.
And so I did. Not once, but twice. Both times, God shut both doors and windows. So I continued to write and dream and raise my kids with Dan. Eventually I decided to write romantic seaside novels, and that’s where I found my voice.
When I’m not writing, marketing, or editing for others, I’m driving my kids around town, imagining that my mid-sized SUV is actually a sleek sailing yacht.
1. How did you start out your writing career?
I began my writing career when my oldest child was a newborn--almost twenty years ago! One of my first articles was a mommy-angst story titled, Baby, Cordless Phone, and Me, for Expecting (an offshoot of Parent's Magazine).
2. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
Yes, I really did. As a side job, my father interviewed stars like Fred Astaire and Fred MacMurray, among other stories. I never met my grandfather, but he was a playwright and columnist, so writing is in my blood. I wrote articles for hundreds of publications before selling my first novel.
3. How did you come up with the idea of Fade to Blue?
Ever since the inception of the Otter Bay Novels with Sweet Waters, I’ve wanted to set a book with the famed
as its backdrop. So much intrigue and mystery about that real castle on the hill and its eccentric, yet astute owner. Of course, novels are more than their location. So after writing the 2nd of these stand-alone novels, A Shore Thing, even I longed to know what happened next for the big-hearted, single mom from that story. Fade to Blue satisfies that curiosity … Hearst Castle
4. Did you have any say so in the cover?
Yes! B and H sent me about a half-dozen to choose from and the final cover was my absolute favorite. Love it. So far, I've chosen all my titles, but this was the first time I was given the opportunity to choose a cover.
5. What inspires you to write? Where do you get your ideas? What inspires you when you do your actual writing? Please explain.
I'm inspired by God's creation of the sea and everything in it. My characters have loved dolphins, sea lions, otters-even giant, glowing sea anemones. but they take that admiration a step further by drawing closer to the God who made such beauty when their lives face turbulence. I'm a sucker for happy endings because I know (from experience!) that there's often a rough ride before reaching that pinnacle. I love to examine it all, the bad and the good, and picture what everything looks like under God's microscope.
6. I know you probably hate this question but I’m going to ask it anyway (I know that we can’t pick a favorite child but if you had to) out of all the books you have written which is your favorite? If you don’t have a favorite, which was the most, fun to write?
Truffles by the Sea was the most fun to write because a)I'd already written Chocolate Beach, therefore, I knew I could actually finish a book, b) the heroine, Gaby, is based on a friend who I adore, and c) I think it's just a funny, funny book.
7. Which book of yours was the most difficult to write?
Fade to Blue was difficult in that I found myself at a crossroads with the faith element. But God met me there and provided the inspiration needed to complete that puzzle. I'm so pleased with the outcome of single-mother Suz's story!
8. Is being an author everything you thought it would be?
Honestly? No. After writing all day I am absolutely exhausted; it's as if my brain has run a marathon. After the writing, re-writing, and editing process, however, a writer is far from being done. Marketing is paramount, and there are many voices telling you what you need to do, should do, and are doing wrong. It's tough, sometimes, but part of the business that I really did not understand when I started.
If not, what has been surprising to you?
The surprising part is that writing a book is like having a baby, because just when you think you won't ever do it again, you do. And joyfully. (See next question for a big reason why writing is a joy.)
9. Can you tell me of two “Wow” moments you have had since you have been an author? What made it a “Wow” moment for you?
I've received emails, letters, and cards in the mail from people around the country who were touched by some aspect of my books. I've cried more than once over that. People who take the time to write are treasures!
10. Could you please share some of your Testimony with us?
It's difficult to shrink-wrap all that God has done for me into a neat package. Anyone who has been touched by Christ knows this! But I will tell you that when I was in my early 20s, my first husband left me for someone else. I was lonely and sad, and not feeling well physically. An opportunity for me to move to a coastal community arose, and I took it. My faith took off at that time for several reasons, including the love of a couple of women at work who reminded me about the power of God. Soon after rededicating my life to Christ, I learned I had a benign but active brain tumor. God used the ensuing months of recovery from brain surgery to weave his love deeply into my heart.
QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK!
1. What do you do to escape and get away from it all?
I'm fortunate to leave close to the beach, so that's where I go, even if just for a few minutes. I love to either ride my bike along the coastal path or run on the sand with my dog, Charlie.
2. Your friend has a time machine and they are letting you use it to see two events in the history of the world! What two events would you like to witness and why?
That's easy: Jesus' birth and resurrection. Gives me goosebumps just thinking about it!
3. If you could visit any place in the world where would you go and what would you do?
I would love to visit Italy with my husband because he still has family in the Florence area. I'm sure we'd travel the whole country while there--at least I hope we would!
4. If you could be apart of any two events in the history of the world which two would you pick.
Well, I would have liked to see the Beatles arrive on US soil for the first time (I'm not even a huge Beatles fan, but how fun would that have been?).
And I would have liked to be one of the first US women to vote.
5. If money or time isn’t a problem – what place do you enjoy most to go out to eat breakfast?
The Santa Barbara Biltmore. Beautiful coastal setting just half hour north!
What is the thing you most like to order?
I'm kind of boring because I always order the same thing for breakfast: 2 poached eggs, english muffin, and two slices of bacon. And coffee, of course.
If you going to have that special dining experience what restaurant would it be at?
My husband took me to an amazing French Country restaurant in Santa Barbara for our 20th anniversary. Loved the decor, the roaring fire in the fireplace, and the food was to die-for. It's called Stella Mare's.
What would you order?
It would be hard to decide but probably what I chose that night: pan roasted halibut with sundried tomato tampanade on a lobster crouquette with ratatouille and a saffron lobster broth. Mmm...
6. What THREE movies could you watch over and over again?
, Sleepless in Seattle,Dan in Real Life, and Pride and Prejudice (Keira Knightley version).
ANY FINAL COMMENTS FOR MY READERS, JULIE!!
Just that I hope people reading this are encouraged to follow their heart’s desires with the Good Shepherd as their guide. God took all the lows and highs in my life and created something new with them. Although I’d always wanted to write, I had no inkling that I’d be writing beach-themed novels one day. I just kept praying and writing and seeking until an idea popped into my head. I followed that idea, and now find myself talking about my fifth novel filled with "waves of grace." Be encouraged!
THANKS so much Julie for stopping by and letting us get to know you and your books better. It's been fun and such an encouragement! Thanks for the opportunity for my readers to win a copy of your new book FADE TO BLUE! I'm excited about The Book Club Network's Birthday bash where you will be participating in and giving away some books. All the best to you in your writing adventures!
The Book Club Network
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