My heterosexual Girl Crush love affair with j.a. kazimer began when I read the opening of her novel Curses: A F***ed-Up Fairytale as a contest entry. I thought she was a dude and kind of flirted with her in the judge’s comments.
Years later, her book was published and I learned the truth-not a dude. But then I met her and I went on crushing on her anyway.
All this to say, Julie has a new book out! Froggy Style, the second in her series of F***ed-Up Fairy Tales, can be found here, on jakazimer.com. Poke around the site some, it’s a hoot.
Jean-Michel La Grenouille has a lot going for him. He’s a prince. Handsome. Filthy rich. And definitely charming. But he also spent his first few years as a fly-catching, pond-dwelling frog. All that saved him was the kiss of The One, the girl who saw nobility through his slimy form and fell into True Love. Okay, fine. Technically she was a toddler who tried to eat him, but whatever. The curse broke, and as long as he finds and marries her by his 30th birthday, he’s a free man.
Trouble is, he’s going to be 30 in ten days, and he’s getting some seriously cold-blooded feet. He’s pretty sure Princess Sleeping Beauty is The One. But his best man has some villain issues, his in-laws-to-be belong in a really special castle, and a smoking-hot lady biker named Lollie Bliss has him rethinking all this happily-ever-after stuff.
Oh, and he may have accidentally put out a hit on his blushing bride. Oopsie.
And now, Julie answers some random questions for us all!
Devlin: Sick of talking about fairytales yet? No? Which fairytale character would you be if you had to choose? Which one would you most like to date?
Julie: That is the best question. What surprises me about talking fairy tales is, when I ask readers, who’s your favorite prince, the answer is, about 75% of the time, The Beast from Beauty and the Beast. If you think about it, that makes sense since he’s the only prince with a whiff of danger and the scent of wet dog. All the other ones have many too bizarre fetishes, like feet, or in Sleeping Beauty’s case, necrophilia. Hence my fairy tale princely dating choices are slim. But I will always be a villain girl at heart. Now that I think about it, maybe Mirror, Mirror on the Wall would be a good date. He’d at least tell me if my butt looked big in my little black dress.
Devlin: Your book promotion for Curses was hindered by reviewers and media outlets that couldn’t handle the F bomb, even when it was disguised with asterisks. (Hello, Westminster, WTF?) Any effing regrets?
Julie: Not about using the F word. I love the f-word. So very much.
Funnily enough, I’m getting less exposure from media/reviewers/bookstores this time due to the frogs…well…enjoying each other’s company on the cover. In fact, a number of bookstores have refused to carry it due to the cover. Next they’ll be putting paper bags over the frogs like gas stations used to do to Playboy. I’ve had lots of people buy Froggy Style simply for the cover art, and others say they would by it except the cover is too racy. Weird, right?
Who knew frog fornication was such a touchy topic?
Devlin: You were recently featured on John Scalzi’s Whatever blog in the Big Idea column. Scalzi had something like 8 million views last year. How does that experience compare with being on my blog TWICE?
Julie: Seriously no comparison. Chris Devlin’s blog is a little piece of heaven. Only us cool kids get to hangout. Suck it, Scalzi! (Oh, that’s going to come back to bite me.)
Devlin: We’ve come down on different sides in the Grimm vs. Once Upon a Time online invitational caged death matches. I’ve come to appreciate Grimm more and OuaT less, though I still love Gold/Rumple. Where are you at in the Big Battle?
Julie: For my own good, I had to give up on Once Upon a Time. Too many of their ideas are mine that watching it became a screaming at the TV match. Sure, I thought of the idea or character two years ago, but since publishing takes so long, it looks like they thought of it first. Pisses me off to no end.
Now I like Grimm. I hate the guy who plays the Grimm, he’s such a bad actor, but the wolf sidekick makes the show. I like the sort of noir feel to the show too.
Devlin: What’s the difference between an urban legend and a fairytale?
Julie: Wow, another great question. I’ve asked myself this often. Both are morality tales, warnings of what we shouldn’t do. Both are handed down from generation to generation verbally and in written form. The only differences are the fantasy element of fairy tales and the happily ever after. Losing your kidneys in Las Vegas is hardly a happily ever after tale.
Devlin: Now that you’re on the other side, the enchanted side, of being a writer (published), what pearls of wisdom would you send back to those of us who haven’t yet found the magic words? Does Bibbity Bobbity Boo work?
Julie: Okay, here’s a huge secret published writers keep to ourselves: It doesn’t get any freaking easier. No matter where you are in the journey, there’s always someone crushing your dreams or writers with better sales or an award that slipped by.
I figured once I published one book that glass ceiling would break and my career would take off. Not quite. Publishers are dropping authors, established authors, right and left. If you’re not an instant hit, your future is uncertain. What used to be grand sales numbers aren’t cutting it anymore. Authors are expected to work less on writing books and more on marketing.
So my best pearl of wisdom is, enjoy the ride, enjoy writing what you love, what you’re passionate about, enjoy every rejection, and celebrate every step forward, like sending that next query letter after you get two rejections in your email or getting a story published.
Oh, and whiskey. Lots and lots of whiskey.
Devlin: Some fans might not know that you’re not just a one-trick enchanted-woodland writer, i.e., you write stuff besides fractured fairy tales. What’s your favorite of your non-fae books?
Julie: I’m a total mystery/crime fiction nerd. All my books have those elements. But my favorite, an addiction fiction mystery titled, Dope Sick: A Love Story, was just published by Snubnose Press. It’s my favorite because it was my first ‘real’ book I wrote. I started it 10 years ago, accumulated over 500 rejections for it, revised it 25 times, and finally found the perfect press for it. Plus it has a follow-up novel titled SHANK that I love just as much. The characters are my absolute favorites of any of the books I’ve written.
Devlin: What question do you wish I’d asked?
Julie: What color panties am I wearing? That question never gets old.
Devlin: What question are you so relieved I didn’t ask?
Julie: Why the hell aren’t you wearing panties, you sick freak?
Thank you, Devlin. You always have the best questions!
Thanks, Julie, for once again classing up the joint. On a final note–cake!