Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rock This! Thursday with Julie Halpern

Earlier this month I had the great pleasure of reading Don't Stop Now by Julie Halpern. It was the first book of Julie's I have read, and you can read my review of this awesome amazing quirky fun novel HERE. I knew I had to have Julie here on the blog for Rock This! Thursday. Get prepared to laugh guys, because she is freaking hilarious!

You're walking down the street - what song is following you?
The first thing that came to mind was “Saturday Night Fever,” which is way too obvious. And then I thought “Everybody’s Talkin’” from “Midnight Cowboy.” Both odd choices because they are dudes from the 70s. And I am not a male prostitute. Next came “Walk” by Pantera, but that’s only when I’m really mad. I may have to go with, “Here Comes Your Man” by the Pixies. Not that I’m a man (again, geez!), but it has a nice walking quality to it.

When did you first start writing stories?
In high school I wrote romantic stories for my friends involving either people we knew in school who didn’t actually know who we were or famous people who also didn’t know who we were. I don’t think. I used a typewriter, even though we had a computer. It seemed sexier that way.

Typewriters are quite sexy. Did you make a playlist for Don't Stop Now? If so, can you share a few tracks with us?
I made a playlist while I was writing it, just in case anyone ever asked for it. Here it is:

Beck – I Get Lonesome
Halo Benders – God Don’t Make No Junk
Tobin Sprout – Gas Daddy Gas
Hayden – Bad as They Seem
Guided by Voices – Don’t Stop Now
Modest Mouse – Baby Blue Sedan
Sonic Youth – Shoot
Cat Stevens – Wild World
The Smiths – Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want
Dar Williams – When I was a Boy
The Monkees – The Door Into Summer
Yo La Tengo – Big Day Coming

But don’t ask me why I chose any of these songs. I have a terrible memory.

I'm always curious of "the first idea" a writer gets. What was yours with Don't Stop Now?
The whole plotline about a sort-of friend who fakes her own kidnapping and then tells only one person actually happened to me (I was the friend she told). I lied to the police and FBI and everything. Nothing else in the book is true (except maybe some best boy friend crushing), but it always seemed so weird to me I had to put it in a book.

From reading your blog I know you love to travel. If you could go anywhere this very instant, where would it be?
Australia. It’s always Australia. Although financial, time and distance reasons mean I probably won’t go there again for a very, very long time. I lived there ten years ago and would love to go back now that I have a family to share it with.

I love that you included so many real road side attractions in the book (and that your site has actual pictures up.) Are there anymore places you wish you would have included?
I secretly have a dream to be a travel writer or travel TV show host. I hope it comes across in Don’t Stop Now that I plan a mean road trip. I never visit anywhere without finding somewhere funky to stop. I don’t feel bad that I had to leave anything out. I’ll just save those places for another book, another time.

You're given two golden concert tickets to see any band from any era. The only catch is that you have to take one of your characters with you. Who are you taking and who are you two going to go see?
The problem with that question (not that it is a bad question, but the problem I am having answering it) is that I would also have to be a different age than I am now to really appreciate it. I am too jaded to obsess over music nowadays. And I have pretty much seen all of my favorite bands live. So, if it were boring old me now, I think I would have to say the Elvis ’68 Comeback Special. I get to time travel, right? And I think I’d take Tracy. She’s the best friend in Get Well Soon and has a hugely hilarious part in the sequel. She’s quite possibly my favorite character I’ve ever written. Definitely the funniest.

What is genre you don't see yourself ever writing?
I think I’d suck at mystery, so Don’t Stop Now is the closest I’ll get to that. I’ll probably not get to historical fiction because I’m afraid of screwing up the facts and having some authority on the subject attack me, but I have always had an obsession with old circuses. So I won’t say never!

Can you tell us what other projects you're working on?
I’m revising the sequel to Get Well Soon right now. I hadn’t considered writing a sequel, but when it came time to write my fourth novel I thought of the idea, “How do you go back to normal when you just got out of a mental hospital?” It’s certainly something I’ve had to contend with. I’m looking forward to its release (fall 2012) to see what people think!

Since you've been published, have you experienced any 'rock star writing' moments?
Um, not really? Is that pathetic? I’ve had some amazing interactions with teens, especially about Get Well Soon and how it helped them think about things, change things. A few of them have even been life-saving situations, which blows my mind. But nothing too rock star. I wouldn’t mind having one, though, so if anyone wants to faint in my presence, go ahead.

I think having teens tell you that your book helped them qualifies for a very big rock star moment! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog, Julie!

If you would like to learn more about Julie and her awesome books, check out the links below:

Website | Goodreads | Buy Don't Stop Now | Buy Get Well Soon


Sab H. said...

Aghh! Great interview! *Off to listen to the whole playlist* :)

Anonymous said...

I love the variety in her playlist. Great interview :)

prophecygirl said...

I've never read one of Julie's books, how bad is that?! I'm going to have to now that I'll have a vision of her walking down the road with Saturday Night Fever following her. LOL.

April (BooksandWine) said...

Julie Halpern seems to have such a cool personality and wonderful taste in music. I think I need to order Don't Stop Now!

Awesome interview :-)

Ann Summerville said...

Great interview.

Erica said...

I will need to go check out that playlist now! I so would love to go to Australia! I hope to do my student teaching there when I get to that point just so I can go :D

Anonymous said...

Awesome interview..i'll definately check out the playlist.
Accredited High School Diploma Online said...

Julie - I will faint when I see you, I will give you that rock star moment!!!

Great questions, Amber!!