Author Spotlight – Julian Adorney
Joining us for today’s Author Spotlight is Julian Adorney!
Julian Adorney is a writer and an adventurer, and for him those have always gone together. He’s played soccer with strangers at 5am. He’s climbed 14ers and thought he was going to die from cold. He’s fallen in love, an adventure unlike any other. He’s done a lot of stuff where he didn’t know what he was doing, and sometimes it even worked out.
Life’s an exploration, and Julian wants to explore as much as he can. And that’s what you’ll find in The Dragon’s Curse. Life off the beaten path is scary, but it’s also wonderful.
Thanks for joining us today, Julian. Let’s start small: tell us about a great book you’ve read recently!
A Court of Mist and Fury (book 2 in A Court of Thorns and Roses). I absolutely loved Velaris and the whole idea of the ‘Court of Dreams’—essentially it’s a group of close friends who have survived absolute hell and come out the other side bleeding but still dreaming of a better world. And, I say this as a straight man: Rhys is totally dreamy.
Okay, time to escalate things: reality warps and you suddenly find yourself leading a D&D-style party through a monster-infested dungeon. What character class are you, and what’s your weapon of choice?
A wizard, because I’ve always loved magic; and if I’m going to get mauled by deranged mutant zombie vampires, I’ll at least go down doing what I love. Weapon of choice would be my brain. I always loved how wizards basically use study, memory, and quick thinking to wield spells 🙂
When you’re not trawling through dungeons, do you prefer to type or to hand-write? Why?
I love typing because—I kid you not—my hand-writing is so bad that I can’t even read it. I have a good tactile memory, so I can look at the squiggles and remember what I was thinking when I wrote them, but that only works for short notes. I couldn’t do it for a whole book.
And how do you like to work – in silence, with music, or serenaded by the damned souls of a thousand dead shrimps?
Well I’m happy the damned souls of the dead shrimps are still joyful enough to sing—their refusal to let themselves get too down is inspiring! But I normally listen to music. I love Bridge to Terabithia and Narnia songs right now, but it varies. I wrote most of The Dragon’s Curse listening to either Christian music or Eminem.
Are you an architect or a gardener? A plotter or a pantser? D’you write in your underwear, or in a deep-sea diver’s suit? Tell us something unusual about your writing method!
I used to be a very left-brain writer, and as a teenager writing stories was like pulling teeth. Now I let my Muse take the reins and take the story wherever it wants to go, and as a result I love sitting down to write. Honestly telling stories is the most fun I can have while wearing pants 🙂
What are your most significant non-book fantasy influences?
Disney movies, especially the classics like Hercules and Aladdin and Pirates of the Caribbean. I love how the characters face immense challenges and grow as people, but the stories still feel pretty light.
The Narnia movies too. Anything with adventure and magic and romance, and I’m sold.
What was the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it?
I don’t know if this counts, but I bought old seasons of The Simpsons (seasons 6-9) and I’ve been loving them. They’re so zany and the stories have surprising twists and turns—but there’s still a core human element you can see when Homer and Lisa bond over daddy-daughter day at work, or Homer and Marge rekindle their flame.
The world shifts, and you find yourself with an extra day on your hands during which you’re not allowed to write or otherwise do any work. How do you choose to spend the day?
Going hang-gliding or, if it’s a long day, a quick flight to the Caribbean to visit the 141-acre water park Atlantis.
If you could choose one punctuation mark to be made illegal, which would it be and why?
Probably the ‘em’ dash for my own good.
In no more than three sentences, tell us a little something about your current work in progress!
That’s tough, because when I write, I don’t know where the story’s going—so when things happen, they’re as much a surprise to me as they will be to the reader. Trying to describe a story I’m working on is like trying to describe a mountain I’ve never been to and just started climbing. I will say I really love the story and characters I’m creating, though J
If you could co-write or co-create a series (like The Expanse, or the Malazan Book of the Fallen), who would you choose to work with and why?
It’s not fantasy, but I would love to co-write a new series with Conan O’Brien because his shows (The Simpsons when he was writing for them, Andy Barker P.I.) are just so zany and unusual. My fantasy work isn’t typically funny, but I love comedy.
What’s the most (and/or least) helpful piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?
I forget bad advice as a rule, but the most helpful piece of advice I ever got was from one of Holly Lisle’s classes on writing fiction, and it basically boiled down to, “In first draft, trust your Muse.”
If you could visit any country at any point in history, where/when would you go, and why?
Ooh, I would love to visit Athens in the glory days of Plato and Socrates and Aristotle! It would be so cool seeing Socrates’ great debates, chatting with Aristotle, and seeing the birthplace of Western philosophy.
Every writer encounters stumbling blocks, be it a difficult chapter, challenging subject matter or just starting a new project. How do you motivate yourself on days when you don’t want to write?
On days where words aren’t coming out, I’ll cut myself some slack and go for a walk to try to figure out what’s going on, instead of just forcing words out. Honestly sitting down to write is like sitting down to a big fat chocolate cheesecake. 99% of the time, I don’t need to motivate myself to grab that spoon.
And on days where I really don’t want to write, it’s a sign that I need to take some time and dialogue with my Muse to troubleshoot the issue.
Tell us about a book that’s excellent, but underappreciated or obscure.
Kelly Moran’s book The Dysfunctional Test is one of the most powerful romance novels I’ve ever read. Her heroine’s struggles to embrace life and breathe it in, and get out of the tight little box that she had been forced into, had me crying at multiple points.
Finally, would you be so kind as to dazzle us with what we like to call a ‘shark elevator pitch’? (It’s exactly the same as an elevator pitch, but with sharks.) (Well, one shark. Which, by the way, is currently picking between its rows of teeth to try and dislodge the remains of the last author who stepped onto its elevator.)
Ahem. So: why should readers check out your work? A shark elevator pitch of your own book(s) in no more than three sentences – go!
I have a black belt in Ninjitsu, so bring it Mr. Shark, let’s grapple! I’m ready!
Sorry, I got a little excited 🙂
Princess Esmerelda, hunted by an obsessed king, struggles to survive and find love in a world where the Gods themselves want her dead. When she stumbles onto a secret buried in the depths of her floating city, the God of Fate curses her: within seventy days, she will die and her beloved kingdom will fall.
If Esmerelda is to survive, she’ll have to unravel the secret of why she was cursed and learn to beat a spiteful God at its own game.
Brilliant! Thanks again for joining us today, Julian!
Julian Adorney is the author of THE DRAGON’S CURSE, available now.