I’m excited to introduce you to my new writing friend from Church of the Open Door, Julie Norman.
Where did you grow up? In Minnetrista, near Mound, MN on 80 acres of fields and forest. There were 5 children in the family; 2 boys and 3 girls, the girls were adopted. I was the only one from overseas.
What are some memories you have of growing up there? We played a lot outside, whether exploring the woods, running through hay fields, going to a nearby lake to swim or tube, or walking dirt roads to meet friends. It was an ideal childhood. I remember singing to the trees and leaping through fields with my dogs. At one time we had pet raccoons and even a fox. There were usually cows, horses, cats, dogs, hamsters, bunnies or whatever animals we had at the time.
It really does sound idyllic. What did you want to be
when you grew up? I wanted to be either a writer or psychologist or princess. I think I’ve become all of them, in a way.
What do you love about living in Minnesota? I love the lakes and the lush green of spring and summer. I enjoy the mix of small town communities and the urban culture. Having four distinct seasons and changeable weather can be fun, but not often dangerous.
What are you not particularly fond of living here? I’m not fond of the political liberal leaning of the state and the high taxes. I also wouldn’t mind if the temps didn’t go over 80 or under 30.
Tell us about your writing journey. I wrote my first story at age 12 about my runt of the litter cat, Black Jack. From there, I wrote a teenage story about a girl who just narrowly escaped dying in a car crash with her drunk boyfriend. I also edited and published a family paper called “The Grandma Gazette.” And those were before I graduated from high school.
In college, I was wrestling with what major to pursue. I decided to just look through the course catalog and highlight the classes that appealed to me best, and those were the English, Literature and Writing classes. I switched to an English major. Since then, I’ve written feature articles for my county’s paper, received an honorable mention in a Writer’s Digest contest and other various prizes from other entries.
The last few years I’ve decided it was time to be serious, and published my first book, Knitting by Faith, in March of this year.
Congratulations! What have you learned during that journey? I’ve learned that writing is a lot harder than one would think it is. Achieving a life long dream is both thrilling and terrifying at the same time. As C. S. Lewis said, “I was with book, as a woman is with child.” (Till We Have Faces) I found that the kindle publishing process was a lot like cutting the apron strings and I finally had to let go of the book, even if it wasn’t perfect. I blogged about those feelings here: http://epublishingbynight.blogspot.com/2013/03/knitting-by-faith.html
Tell us about your current work. Knitting Sisters (the working title) is an inspirational book of one woman’s journeys to India to share her love of knitting and crafting. Along the way, she discovers that knitting makes more than washcloths and socks – it creates friendships and opportunities for the unity of women. The journey was not just about knitting with yarn; the journey was about knitting community and lives together.
It sounds fabulous. What are your future plans and goals around writing? My goal is to write 2-3 books a year and publish them as ebooks. And not just any books – books that inspire people in their faith.
Now that you have one under your belt, the next one will be easy, right? :) What’s something you’d like to experience in Minnesota that you haven’t yet? I’d like to stay in one of those yurts on the Gunflint Trail. There’s something appealing about those minimalistic structures. Eventually, I’d like to have one in my backyard for my writing office.
A yurt in your backyard? I’ll have to look into that! What’s something most people don’t know about you? Maybe this is no surprise to anyone, but I’m not good at finishing things. I am a “starter” and love to start things, organize, plan and get things running. After things are going well, I get bored and lose interest because the challenge is gone. There are not many jobs that allow you to work this way, so I’m thankful that I can be at home now and work on my writing. Of which I will finish.
I’m sure you will! Thanks for stopping by, Julie.