In Their Words: Julia Holden (Part 2)


What are you reading these days? Or, what types of things do you like to read when you have time?
I just read Patricia Wood’s Lottery, and I’m in the middle of Allegra Goodman’s Kaaterskill Falls. Very, very different books, but both quite wonderful.

Got tunes? What’s flowing from your headphones or speakers while you write?
Nothing. Silence. Total quiet. Sssshhhhhhhhhhh.

How do you start a project? Do you begin with a random idea or an urge to cover a topic, or does research inform your choices? Once you’ve got an idea, do you outline, or just write what comes?
That depends; so far, every project has been different. One Dance came about by kicking ideas around with my editor. Once we had the idea, I wrote a short synopsis – maybe five pages – and I pretty much wrote the book straight from that, without any formal outline. I did have to do some research, though, including reading a very informative but surprisingly dull book on the history of the Folies Bergère. And thank goodness for the Internet, which gives writers instant access to pretty much all the facts we might need.

By contrast, I just finished a screenplay; it took me only a couple of months to write, but before that, I had been cooking the idea for a full two years. And for what I think is going to be my next book project, I’m doing some serious outlining. I can’t tell you why each one is different; it just turns out that way.

Describe your ideal book signing. Is it in a large chain bookstore, or a smaller independent one? Is there a café? Do they have food and drinks that tie in with your book? What is the audience like?
As a pseudonymous author, my ideal book signing would be one that I could actually attend. The ideal audience would be large, enthusiastic, and in possession of substantial amounts of disposable income with which they intended to buy books. Specifically, mine.

Seriously, I would love to do book signings. Maybe someday. Maybe soon. (See answer to next question.)

Tell us a bit about your current project. What’s it about? When is it coming out? Is it drastically different from your last work, or continuing a similar theme? What do you want prospective readers to know?
Right now, I’m going in a very different direction for what I hope will be my next book. I can’t say much, except that it’s about ballet. And I’d like to publish it under my own name. I’ll probably be talking to my editor and publisher about it in the next few weeks … so wish me luck.

And what would I say to my readers? That’s easy: Thank you. Sincerely.

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Julia Holden’s most recent novel is One Dance in Paris. She can be found on the web at
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CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 In Their Words: Julia Holden (Part 2) by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.