Wednesday, February 5, 2014

ARSONIST and SCROOGE? Julie Musil Interview

Congrats to Julie Musil, who just released her YA ebook, THE BOY WHO LOVED FIRE.

Comment below on this post to be entered in a random drawing for a FREE copy of this book! (if you already have a copy or don't wish one, please specify not to be entered) Deadline: February 16. Winner will be announced on my February 19, 2014, post. 

Genre:  Contemporary with a splash of ghosts. 

Manny O’Donnell revels in his status at the top of his high school food chain. He and his friends party in the mountains on a blustery night, sharing liquor and lame ghost stories around a campfire. The next morning, as a wild fire rages in those same mountains, Manny experiences doubt. He was the last of the drunken crew to leave the cave, and he’s uncertain if he extinguished the flames. Within hours, he becomes the number one arson suspect.

Santa Ana winds + matches = disaster. You’d think he would've learned that the first time he started a fire.

As he evades a determined arson investigator, Manny, a modern-day Scrooge, is visited by ghosts of the past, present, and future. He’s forced to witness the fate of his inadvertent victims, including Abigail, the scarred beauty who softens his heart. Manny must choose between turning around his callous, self-centered attitude, or protecting his own skin at the expense of anyone who gets in his way.

  1. What was the inspiration for this book? Real life. We almost lost our home to a California wildfire a few years ago. I wondered, who started the fire? If it was a child, would they ever know the damage they’d done? Once I had the “spark” for this story, I looked to real life when creating characters. My husband is half Mexican and 1/4 Cuban, so that’s what inspired the latin influences with Manny’s family. One of my sons was a burn victim. I drew on those experiences when it came to Abigail, the burn victim who captures Manny’s heart.
  2. What is your favorite thing about this book? Definitely the love story. Manny and Abigail are both scarred, but in different ways. Abby’s scars are on the outside, visible to everyone. Manny’s scars are buried deep, beneath a confident exterior. Abby should hate Manny; Manny should fear Abby. Together they create something special.
  3. Who is your favorite author? What are your favorite books? So many greats to choose from, but here are some of my absolute faves: “Just Listen” by Sarah Dessen, “19 Minutes” by Jodi Picoult, “Firefly Lane” by Kristin Hannah, and “The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks. I gravitate toward books about family, friends, and love, with a strong emotional pull.
  4. You decided to self publish your book. What made you come to that decision? How did you know you were ready? Passion. Not only my own passion for this story, but my agent’s passion. She believed strongly in this manuscript. Also, the passion of a certain editor who came “this close” to nabbing the book. That’s when I knew I’d take matters into my own hands and get this story out there. I hired a freelance editor and cover designer, and never looked back.
  5. Any advice you can offer other writers? Take your time. Write from your heart. Believe in your work. Edit like crazy. Choose your own path. Enjoy the ride.

Julie Musil writes Young Adult novels from her rural home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband and three sons. She’s an obsessive reader who loves stories that grab the heart and won’t let go. Her novel THE BOY WHO LOVED FIRE is available now. For more information, or to stop by and say Hi, please visit Julie on her blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Click to visit Julie's website HERE, her Goodreads book page HERE, her Goodreads author profile HERE, and her Pinterest page HERE.

Amazon ebook ~ Amazon paperback ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Apple ~ Kobo ~ Smashwords

Thank you, Julie! It's great to get to know you better, here on my blog.

Do you know Julie and follow her blog?
What are YOUR favorite authors and books these days?
Have you considered self-publishing a book, or have you already done it?


  1. Carol, thank you SO much for having me here today!

  2. Nice interview. Yes, I follow Julie's blog, and we like some of the same books, it seems. I enoyed learning more about her decision to self-publish. The book sounds really intriguing.

    1. Elizabeth, thanks for stopping by! I always enjoy chatting with you.

  3. I love that Julie is doing this. What a great cause!

    1. Theresa, I was so happy to donate the proceeds from my first two days' worth of sales. It's definitely not all about me :)

  4. Ha, I love your advice, Julie. I need to stick it on my wall as a daily reminder.
    Best wishes for your book.

  5. Julie is amazing, and I admire her dedication to writing so much. She's clearly a lady who lives passionately and pours that into her craft. Believing in your story and ability is about as good of advice as any you could ever get, so well-said, J. This writing "thing" is such a long process, and sometimes faith that you'll see it through--to whatever outcome--is all you've got.

  6. I love Julie and definitely follow her blog! I'm also currently reading The Boy Who Loved Fire :)

  7. Lynda—Thank you! I need to post it on my own wall, for days when I forget :)

    EJ—You are so sweet! Thanks so much for your kind words.

    Marcy—I could hug you right now. Thank you!

  8. Congrats to Julie on her book. Sorry the inspiration was almost losing her house, but it sounds like a fabulous book.

  9. Congrats to her on her book.

    Favorite author right now is Paul Hollywood, he writes baking books.

  10. Congratulations on your book. I'm sorry you had to live through a wild fire, but at least something positive came from it. It sounds like a great story!

  11. Congrats to Julie on the release of her book. There's nothing like being dedicated and being passionate about what we do that ensures success in our endeavours.

  12. What a great story concept. Good luck with everything.

  13. Natalie—thanks! Yes, almost losing our house was crazy scary. But hey, we might as well create art from experiences like that, huh?

    Happy Whisk—Thank you! Paul Hollywood…never heard of his books. But if they're baking books, maybe I should read them :/

    Sherry—Thank you! Yes, a silver lining for sure.

    J.L.—You've got that right. And you're proof of that :)

    N.R.—Thank you. I truly appreciate your good wishes.

    Cherie—Thanks! The cover design process was SO much fun!

  14. Fantastic interview and it was great learning about the inspiration and roots behind the novel.

  15. Love Julie's advice!!! Big congrats to her!

  16. Medeia—thank you. I always love to hear how authors come up with their story ideas.

    Pk—thanks so much <3

  17. Yay for Julie! I love your words of advice. Here's to taking the bull by the horns and overcoming all odds, eh?

    1. Crystal…exactly! I loved the idea of choosing my own destiny. Not that I'm a control freak or anything :)


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