AL: I understand you write New Adult Contemporary Fiction. Tell us something about your books.
Julie: Buxton Peak is a series of novellas. Buxton Peak Book One: Who Is Ian Taylor? Is currently available for sale on Amazon. Buxton Peak Book Two: Center Stage will be available sometime in October if all edits go smoothly (in other words, don’t be surprised if it’s more like November!).
Buxton Peak Book Three: The End of the Beginning should be available in early winter of 2017.
I’ve also begun working on Buxton Peak: The Early Years, Buxton Peak: Nathanial’s Story, Buxton Peak: London Bridges, and Buxton Peak: Whatever Happened to Gary Owens? But books One through Three are the main trilogy.
AL: Cool. So you have a 7 part trilogy. Kind of reminds me of Douglas Adams. How about we help people get to know your books better with a little game of 20 questions!
- Julie, what was your inspiration for this story?
Buxton Peak is strongly influenced by the latest CD from the band One Direction, titled Made In the AM. However, the band called Buxton Peak does not sound like 1D, more like Daughtry.
- What about your main character, what is he like?
Ian Taylor is a rock star, but when he meets Megan in a small church in northern Lower Michigan, he figures out pretty quickly that she knows nothing about him. He sees this as an opportunity to be loved for who he is on the inside and not because he’s famous. The biggest clue he gives her is when he promises to write her a love song. He fails to mention that he’s going to perform it live on Good Morning America. His plan backfires when Megan finds out who he really is and doesn’t want to live her life in his spotlight, with all the baggage that comes with it. She just wants a normal life in rural Michigan with a normal husband and family. Ian has to decide. Is he willing to throw away everything he’s accomplished? Or lose his true love?
- Besides your main character, what other character is your favorite?
Kai Burton because he’s smoking hot, and the only other band member sober enough to hold down a conversation.
- If you had to choose what is your favorite character trait of your main character?
Ian is flirtatious and fun, even though he’s a take-charge leader of his band who’s used to getting his own way.
- What is your favorite trait of your bad boy?
Even my bad boy is still a smoking hot, cocky rock star.
- What is something funny about your main character?
Ian keeps his watch set to Eastern Time so he always knows what time it is in Megan’s world. He calls it ‘Megan Time’ as in, even though it’s three in the morning in Japan, he can’t fall asleep because he’s still on Megan Time.
- If one of your characters went on a shopping spree what would they buy?
At one point in Buxton Peak Book Two: Center Stage, Ian pulls into a music store, spends $20,000 on two very expensive guitars, signs one of them and hands it back to the owner of the music store. Ian says: “Would you please hang this back on your wall? It’s probably worth about twice what I paid for it. Merry Christmas.”
- If your character was in a bookstore, what section would they be in? What book would they be holding?
Ian never reads books; he’s completely devoted to his music. Megan is a college student, so she would be holding a textbook.
- Your character has music blasting, what are they listening to?
Ian and the guys would be listening to their own music, which is rock. Megan only listens to classical music, hence the reason she doesn’t know who Ian is when they first meet.
- If I invited your character to dinner, what should I make?
Ian has extravagant tastes and likes the finest of everything. While in Paris, he orders a Chateaubriand from room service paired with balsamic roasted vegetables and baguettes.
- Your main character is planning a trip, how are they going?
Ian tours the world as a rock star. He would need a very nice motor home or a chartered jet.
- Were you ever surprised by one of your characters or the direction of your plot at any point while writing?
I was surprised by how spoiled Ian was at the beginning of the series, and how humbled he is by the end. Megan started off very shy and reserved and had to get over that really fast when she was thrust on stage in a very fancy dress in Copenhagen.
- Can you share a few favorite lines or a scene from your book?
I’ve never done that before, his text read.
You’ve never kissed a girl? Megan texted back, still trying to dry her tears.
Not like that, Ian replied.
That was my first kiss.
Quite an amazing first kiss, he acknowledged.
Promise me it won’t be the last.
After a few seconds, another text came through.
I think I’m in love with you.
She felt flushed and panicked. She wasn’t sure she was ready to say those three magic words, but she sure felt it. She needed to lighten the mood again in an attempt to keep herself from falling over the edge. It was getting more and more difficult.
I still say you’re crazy. Have you finished my song yet?
Almost. I can’t wait for you to hear it.
One more thing to look forward to…
A chill ran down Megan’s arm in spite of the warm evening. A nagging feeling chipped away at the back of her mind, so totally at odds with what she was feeling. It was as if something was trying to tell her this was the last day she would spend with her new boyfriend.
- How long did it take you to write this book?
I started working on Buxton Peak in November of 2015, thinking it would be a stand-alone novel. It morphed into several overlapping stories and by spring of 2016 became a trilogy of novellas, the first of which is already available for sale on Amazon. The rest of the trilogy is in the editing stage and the spin-off novellas are in various stages of completion or concepts.
- If your book was made into a movie, who would you like to play the leads?
Ian Taylor looks like Niall Horan from One Direction. Kai Burton looks like Theo James, more commonly recognized as Tobias Eaton/Four from the Divergent movies. I haven’t ‘cast’ the other characters in my mind yet.
- How did you come up with your title?
I knew I wanted to guys to be from Derbyshire, so I started researching that area. I found the town of Buxton (where my sister-in-law grew up) was surrounded on three sides by the Peak National Forest. When I zoomed in on Google Maps, the word Buxton ran together with the name of the National Forest so that it read Buxton Peak National Forest. I could just picture four young guys naming their rock band after the place where they grew up, so the band, and book title, became Buxton Peak.
- How does your cover art pertain to your story?.
Buxton Peak Book One: Who Is Ian Taylor? has a young man playing a guitar with the spotlight angled in such a way that his face is hidden in shadow. This hints at the person he’s hiding inside and how his personal life is shrouded in secrecy. Buxton Peak Book Two: Center Stage involves a guitar player with spotlights angled directly at him, literally placing him in the center of the lights. Buxton Peak Book Three: The End of the Beginning involves the entire band, together on stage but in shadow. There is a subtle hint that there is one extra person near the drum set, giving the foreshadow of a change in character.
- Of all of the books they can choose from, what should readers choose this one?
New Adult fiction is a relatively new genre, and clean contemporary NA stories are very rare. My stories are fun and different, and unlike anything I’ve ever found. That makes publishing companies hesitant to embrace them. They like to stick with the tried and true and go with what works. I think the genre is catching on and we’re at the precipice of what will be.
- Is there an underlying theme in your book?
An underlying theme in Buxton Peak involves staying true to Christian values even when faced with temptations and outside influences. It’s important to me to portray Christians as fun and exciting, even quite sensual, while staying true to God’s commandments.
- What message do you hope readers get from your book?
You can’t be loved for who you are on the inside if you’re hiding who you are on the outside. You can’t separate your public life and private life when everywhere you go, you’re recognized. You can only live a lie for so long before you have to face the music (pardon my pun!).
AL: Thank you, Julie! I enjoyed playing 20 questions with you and I am sure all of the visitors had their interest piqued just as much as mine for your Buxton Peaks books!
Remember folks, you can pick up Buxton Peaks book one: Who is Ian Taylor on Amazon right now! With the other books soon to come!
If you enjoyed Julie's interview leave her a comment!