The short version:
Ophelia Julien grew up in Chicago, BS from U of IL-Chicago, day job in health care.
More Interesting Stuff:
Grew up in a haunted house in Chicago, fascinated by the paranormal and cryptozoology, love music and write to it, love martial arts and currently play with swords when I have the time, love to read fiction and will talk to anyone about any of this at any given moment.
I’ve been writing YA supernatural fiction since I was a kid. As an adult, I’m a member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)and I also try to write regularly for my blog, Ubiquitous Ghosts, at Blog Spot.
TDBW: When did you start writing?
Ophelia: I started writing in about the third grade. I always liked reading and writing seemed a natural thing to do.
TDBW: What was the first story you remember writing?
Ophelia: I really started with poems, but the first story was probably in fifth grade. I have no idea what it was about now, but I remember stealing moments in the classroom when I was supposed to be doing other school work. Oh, wait. It was about an elf that lived in the refrigerator.
TDBW: What genre is your most preferred?
Ophelia: For writing, Young Adult. For reading, mysteries and thrillers.
TDBW: What challenges you the most in your writing?
Ophelia: I have a tough time not getting so wrapped up in self-doubt that I start losing my writing momentum. I need to remind myself constantly that I started all this because I have a good time telling stories. The fact that I’m trying to sell my stuff shouldn’t ruin that for me, but it happens. (Especially when I read negative reviews. I need to quit doing that!)
TDBW: What is your favorite thing about being an author?
Ophelia: Oh, having stories and characters and dialogue and amazing scenes running through my head! I love my private movies, and I like when I share them and others like them, too!
Ophelia: Marketing. Period.
Ophelia: I have three novels available at Amazon: Saving Jake, Haunted, and Dead Voices. There is also Ghosts of Lake Michigan, but that can only be ordered through the publisher, Quixote Press. And then I have an e-short story, Hunting Spirits. That’s at Amazon, too.
Ophelia: Well, Haunted and Dead Voices are books 1 and 2 in the Bridgeton Park Cemetery Series, so I’m working on book 3, as yet untitled. I also have a an adult mystery series in my head that I may just get to one of these days.
Ophelia: My all-time, no-holds-barred favorite book is Stalky & Co by Rudyard Kipling. My older sister let me read her copy back when I was 13 or 14 and I’ve been in love with it ever since. I have a few different series I always return to: The Lucas Davenport (the Prey series) and Virgil Flowers books by John Sandford, and also Lee Child’s Reacher series. I like David Morrell. And of course, Harry Potter.
Ophelia: Wow, that could get to be a long list! As mentioned above, John Sandford and Lee Child. I also like Doug Preston and Lincoln Child both together and apart. YA is tougher. I loved JK Rowling and Suzanne Collins for their two respective series, but Collins aside, it’s getting harder and harder to find YA books that aren’t about a dystopian future or about vampires. I’m looking for a good YA or kids’ writer who focuses on the paranormal. Richard Peck and Robert Westphal were my go-to guys way back when, but neither of them is doing this anymore. Sometimes I read Avi.
Ophelia: Back in Catholic grade school, my sister turned me on to a writer named Elizabeth Enright (the Melendy Family series). She was dead-on when it came to writing about kids and since I hunted down and own all her books, I read them over and over to learn what she was doing when she told her stories. She was amazing. I like Stephen King for that, also. His word accuracy blows me away.
Ophelia: Music is a big part of my writing! I have a soundtrack for every novel that I ever wrote and hope to list the songs at some point on my web site so readers will know what was going on around me while I wrote each of those books. I am not necessarily loyal to a band or bands while I’m working. I’m more into songs. Every story I write has what I call an “anchor” song, and it musically translates my characters, or the story line, or some other element in my work so that every time I hear that song, I am transported into the world of my story. It’s the quickest way I know to get going on a book every time I sit down to write. I also love soundtracks and am partial to the works of Hans Zimmer, John Barry, Howard Shore, and a few other individual movie soundtracks. And I also like a pair of brothers who recorded under the name ES Posthumous. Their work is like soundtracks without a movie.
Ophelia: Besides reading, you mean? When I can, I knit or crochet something. I like martial arts but haven’t been able to be active in that for a while due to various physical issues. I hope to make it back to that some day! Oh, and not that we can afford to go jetting around, but I do like to travel. And when I do, I go on local ghost story tours!
TDBW: Tell us some more about yourself including your website and where we can find you on social media sites:
Ophelia: Website listed below. I have a blog called Ubiquitous Ghosts on Blogspot. I try to do that weekly but frequently fail. Like that four-month hiatus I just took, lol. But I do try. I have two other part-time “day jobs,” one in medical transcription and one as a certified medical assistant. I love ghost reality shows and watch them as often as I can. I have a huge weakness for Ghost Hunters, The Haunted Collector, and Long Island Medium. Oh, and I answer people who write to me through my web site, so if anyone feels the need to contact me, they can reach me there. Lastly, if you ever catch me at a book signing and you buy one of my books, I will gift you with a basic 7-10 minute palm reading, if you like. Thank you!!
My website: www.opheliajulien.com
…Jake’s expression was thoughtful. “Corts, you’ve been hearing voices. Conversations. Who do you think is having them? We’re the only ones here. The only living ones,” he corrected with a grin.
“I don’t know. Not ghosts.”
“Just because. Ghosts? You’re crazier than I am.”
“I don’t think so.” There was a change in Jake’s voice, a seriousness that brought goose bumps up on my arms.
“What do you mean?” I demanded.
“I don’t think you just hear ghosts, Corts. I think you’re like me. I think you’re haunted.”
-from Saving Jake, Ophelia Julien