An Interview with Novelist Julie Young and her Fifteen Minutes of Fame

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I’ve talked with Julie Young a few times over the last few months and found her to be an interesting individual. Besides writing a book about the life of a young pop star, I’ve heard Julie can also belt out a few notes herself. Read on to find out just how eclectic and inspirational she can be.

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INTERVIEW

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Hi Julie. Thanks for coming by the new and improved studio I have. Sorry I couldn’t let your entourage in. Now, sit back and tell us about your latest release, what gave your the spark for it, and what’s the best thing about it?

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Thank you, John. The set looks wonderful. Well, FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME is the story of Megan Taylor, a 15-year-old girl from Indiana plucked from obscurity and turned into a rock and roll superstar with a new name (MonAmi), a new image and a new life in which she has no control. On what was supposed to be the final night of her Farewell Tour, MonAmi becomes fed up and runs away from the life that made her into a global icon. She returns to her hometown of Kentwood, Indiana to reflect on her life and career and to try and make peace with her alter ego once and for all.

I was inspired by a number of things: the old cartoon Jem and the Holograms, the tragic stories of teen rock stars whose careers all seem tragically similar, as well as aspects of my own life as well.

In my opinion, the best part about the book is that it has the fun of a madcap rock and roll adventure, but there are grittier undercurrents as well. I often say it’s a cross between Hannah Montana and Roman Holiday, but in the real world of rock and roll, problems aren’t solved neatly in a few minutes thanks to a talented team of writers. It’s much more brutal than that. MonAmi knows she has a short shelf life and she has to do everything she can to stay on top before someone decides her “fifteen minutes of fame” are over. FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME is a behind-the-scenes look at manufactured superstardom and the trappings that come with it from the girl who sold her soul to rock and roll.

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What’s your favorite and worst thing about writing a novel?

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The best thing is that it’s a lot like writing music. As a former musician (well, I’m still a musician…I haven’t’ really given it up) you put your heart and your soul into something that is all your own and it’s a wonderful feeling when someone says that they love it. I get that feeling regardless of whether I am writing fiction or non-fiction because I always strive to put some of my own creativity into my work. With a novel, there is just more of an opportunity and it is amazing to create characters and plot lines that pepper your own little universe.

As for the worst thing…it is much harder to break into fiction than non-fiction and it is a very subjective field. Obviously there was a lot of rejection before I broke in with a small publisher, but I have learned not to take any of that personally. After all, we do the same thing when we buy a book or an album, right? It’s not personal…it’s just personal taste. Ha ha. In the end, the book came out and I am proud of the story I have created. People seem to like it and that means the world to me. I prefer to stay optimistic rather than focus on the negativity that comes along with writing.

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From seeing your assorted Facebook posts on my time line, I have you pegged as a woman who courts controversy, doesn’t have a social filter, and loves life to the fullest. How right am I and what did I totally miss the boat on?

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Wow, hmmm….well this is the first time I have been asked if I “court controversy” so now I wonder how many others think that as well. Honestly, I don’t consider myself to be someone who is controversial or invites a lot of controversy into her life. People have a lot of opinions and they like to express them on social media. I don’t. Oh, I will tell you about TV shows I am watching. I will comment about commercials and I will report tennis scores, etc…but I really try to keep my opinions on big subjects to myself. I often tell people “I talk a lot…but if you pay attention…I really haven’t anything.” Every once in a while I can’t help myself and I will spout off on some subject or another, but I have found that most of the time, it merely invites an argument.

Don’t get me wrong, disagreement is great but healthy discussions about differences of opinion are best when they are face to face and when you can see the person you are talking to, hear the inflection of their voice and really get a feel for their stance on a subject in a respectful way. Social media “conversations” can easily be misconstrued and I prefer to try and keep things fun online.

Side note: The most controversial things you will EVER see me write are on the Vincentism site and those are the off the cuff comments made by my mildly autistic son. Sometimes they warrant explanation, but usually they are just hilarious things he says that have double meanings and most of the time, he doesn’t know why they are funny. He’s a good sport about it and he loves to be “recognized” at my signings for being a modern day Socrates.

However, yes you are right…I live life to the fullest. I actually do not have a bucket list because I don’t know what I would put on it. I have had more amazing experiences in my few decades on this planet than some people have in their entire lifetimes! I saw Elvis’ last concert. I’ve met my favorite rock stars, tennis players. I made out with a very famous 80s hair band guy. I’ve been on Oprah and I get to do what I love. Life is not a dress rehearsal, you have to make the most of it!!

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Excellent Mantra.  Now, tell us about your work-in-progress and how much does the main female character resemble you?

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At the moment, my main WIP is a non-fiction book for the Complete Idiot’s Guide series as well as a collection of essays about my AS son (along with a few of his choice “thoughts”)…however, I do have about 25k written of something called “Confessions of a Baby Bump” and it is the story of the children of famous people and what it is like to live in a world where you are famous before you are born. The main female character probably has my attitude, but she’s based on someone else entirely…as for who that is, well, for now that’s my little secret.

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Okay, You get a chance for sideline passes and a locker room visit for a Pittsburgh Steelers game day event, or backstage passes and dinner with Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart. Which one would you take and how conflicted would you be about your choice?

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At first I thought this decision would be really tough…but when I really thought it out, no contest…Ann and Nancy. Here’s why: Seeing the Steelers on the sidelines would be awesome, but if there is a game going on, it’s not the best time to chat, you know? They have a job to do and they are not going to want to gab with me while plays are happening. Unless I had to interview someone, I doubt I would be comfortable in the locker room at all… and if they lost…it would be even worse. I also feel that I could converse with Ann and Nancy on music a little better than I could with the Steelers…I don’t know a lot of statistics and I have a feeling that I would look like a hopeless idiot. On the other hand…a couple of years ago I did get to hang out with Lamar Woodley for a bit and he was super fun…but it wasn’t game day, or in a locker room LOL. (I’ve met Ann and Nancy too…but that’s a story for another day.)

Editor’s Note. She has — Here’s proof ~~~Image

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Last Question. What makes your novels different from the efforts of other authors?

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Ha! I’m probably no different than anyone else, to be perfectly honest, but if I had to say something, it’s the fact that I write the way I talk. Professors and other teachers have told me that not everyone can do that, so perhaps that makes me unique? I am a firm believer that there are no new stories under the sun. Shakespeare pretty much covered it all and we are all telling these basic premises in new ways. The best thing any author can do is to be true to what they know as I have been with FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME. I wanted to write the rock and roll book I hadn’t read yet. All any writer can do is to write the story that motivates them and they will find the audience for whom their tale resonates.

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Thanks for taking the time for my interview, Julie. I wish you all the success you can handle and look forward to checking out Fifteen Minutes To Fame and seeing your next book released.

Read on to discover the deets about her newest novel, check out her links, and be sure to friend her on Facebook.

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FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME    Image

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SYNOPSIS —  She sold her soul to rock and roll.
It was the story that rocked the music world. After five years, four Grammy Award-winning albums, numerous number one singles, and outselling every other act in the music industry, entertainment icon MonAmi was a walking case of burnout. When her plans for rest and relaxation were derailed on the final night of what was supposed to be her Farewell Tour, the enigmatic singer took matters into her own hands, running away from her career, her manager, and the mysterious identity that made her into a superstar.

Now a rocker gone rogue, MonAmi returns to her hometown of Kentwood, Indiana where, as 15-year-old Megan Taylor, she was plucked from obscurity and molded into rock and roll royalty with a new name, a lucrative recording contract, and a carefully crafted Hanna Montana-like image. However, what started as a teenage dream quickly turned into a living nightmare as her label gradually controlled every aspect of her life.

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BUY LINK —  http://www.amazon.com/Fifteen-Minutes-Fame-Julie-Young-ebook/dp/B00JJ5ETY0/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404151037&sr=1-1&keywords=fifteen+minutes+of+fame

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RANDOM REVIEW

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A fun and cautionary read June 18, 2014

By Sherri Emmons  Format:Paperback
What happens when everything you ever dreamed of comes true … and you’re only fifteen? For Megan Taylor, the dream come true becomes a waking nightmare. Every aspect of her carefully crafted life is in somebody else’s hands. Her record label owns her, body and soul. Until the day she has finally had enough.Young’s writing is brisk and invigorating. Megan (aka MonAmi) is a likeable, vulnerable, believable teenager caught in a world she cannot control. Watching her take back control of her life is scary at times, but ultimately wonderful.This is a fun and quick read. I highly recommend it!
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LINKS
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6 thoughts on “An Interview with Novelist Julie Young and her Fifteen Minutes of Fame

  1. I enjoyed this interview and will definitely check out Fifteen Minutes of Fame… I like a writer who writes “real” rather than using language that is only found in textbooks or dictionaries… Good Job John, and Nice to meet you Julie… Rock On!!!

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