Saturday, 29 June 2013

Interview with Julie Hutchings, author of RUNNING HOME

Julie Hutchings, author of
Blog Readers, I have a MIGHTY treat for you today! Julie Hutchings, of Undead Duo notoriety, and author of the soon-to-be-released RUNNING HOME, very kindly (and sassily) agreed to let me interview her. I know you're already skipping ahead to the part where she says awesome stuff, so without further ado...


Death hovers around Ellie Morgan like the friend nobody wants. She doesn’t belong in snowswept Ossipee, New Hampshire; she doesn’t belong in the frigging gift shop she works at, she doesn’t belong with people that death will always take from her, and she definitely does not belong at this black tie party with Kat. But that is where she is, and where he is. Nicholas French, the man who mystifies her with a feeling of home she’s been missing, and impossible knowledge of her troubled soul.

Nicholas followed an abomination that is one of his own, but soon finds fate has driven him to New Hampshire as more than a bystander. He reveals himself to Ellie as being of the Shinigami, a heroic vampire order that “save” their victims from more tragic ends. He knows why Ellie is human repellent, and why physical agony grips them when apart. The Shinigami are cornered into isolated human lives, plucked out when they have no one left to be created for their higher purpose. Ellie is destined to be a legendary Shinigami, and Nicholas her creator.

Nicholas and Ellie’s fates intertwine closer when his latest victim in waiting turns out to be the only person who tethers her to this world, Kat. Fate will not be ignored, and in the only real choice Ellie has made in her life, she must determine a horrifying path; let the vampire who would make her a hero wither to shreds or sacrifice the life of her closest companion.

K: I've read RUNNING HOME, so I can heartily attest to Nicholas' hotness. What inspired the character, and which actor would you choose to play him? (Shirtless photo for extra points.)

J: I have always loved Robert Downey Jr., even when he was a douchebag in Natural Born Killers. But when he became Iron Man….I mean, heavenly God. My favorite superhero of all time, coupled with this man who has character, a checkered past, an ego the size of his pecs, and a background in martial arts that has me drooling? He wins. He was Nicholas all along.

K: Wait one frickin' minute - NO SHIRTLESS PHOTO? Oh, but there's this gif...*settles down*

K: You've mentioned in another interview that your friend Kristen Strassel, the other half of the infamous Undead Duo, was the basis for the character of Kat (although presumably she was named after me. RIGHT?) Does anyone else you know in real life make a cameo? 

J: You may believe that all you like, we all know I idolize you. And yes! When I started mumbling under my breath to a couple of my employees at a certain illustrious lingerie store that I worked at when I started the book, my surrogate sister Emily begged me to write about her. So she got to be Roman’s wife. She does not love the idea of Roman being Leo DiCaprio, but who wrote this book, me or her? When my assistant manager, Jenn, heard Emily was in the book, she said “well, I want to be in it, too. But I want to be a bitch.” And we meet her, not for the last time, as Jenniveve. She is a nightmare bitch.

K: Without getting into spoiler territory, I would say that you haven't taken Running Home to the level of all-out, gut-churning shockery that you have with some of your shorter pieces. Were there any scenes which you cut because you thought, that's a step too far for this story? Any chance you'll share a little snippet right here..?

J: I do wish I could make this more fun for you, but I love gut churning shock, and if any of it made its way into Running Home, I left it. Here’s your real shocker: I cut absolutely zero content. I cut a lot of flowery wording and edited down adverbs, but cut nothing. I rarely do, honestly. But, no, there is never a step too far as far as I’m concerned.

K: A lot of folks get scared when they hear about a new vampire novel, like this has been done to death, rose from the grave, then got staked again for good measure. But you bring a brand new twist to the vampire lore - can you tell me a little bit about that, and how you came up with the idea?

J: Kristen and I talked all the time about how we could talk about our books without calling them vampire books and what have you, trying to avoid mentioning it somehow in queries, the whole bit. We both knew we needed to truly stand out as something entirely unique in order to not be dismissed. We were at Backspace Writer’s Conference together when it occurred to me that I needed to really lean heavily on the Japanese mythology and make it even more prevalent, richer than I had it. My background in martial arts has me pretty steeped in loving Asian culture & a sick fear of death led me quickly to Japanese death god mythology, which I made work for me and my vampires, giving it my own flavor.

K: Whether you intend to do it in a future book or not, which character are you ITCHING to murder in a grotesque fashion? 

J: Jenniveve! It would/could/will or will not be such a good feeling. She’s so easy to hate.

K: Gimme an exclusive teaser for the sequel to Running Home. GO ON. You know you want to! Gimmegimmegimmegimmegimme...

J: You deserve it! I’ll do one better/more annoying. I will give you an excerpt from it. Yes, RUNNING AWAY is in progress, and it will be more of things you don’t expect. But here’s a taste:

“This place is so alive,” I hissed, yearning and contempt kicking the seeping warmth from my body. Feelings beat each other in my heart.    
Nicholas sighed. He leaned his forehead on my shoulder. I felt his words as much as heard them, breathed into my jacket, the world around me a blur of color, peaceful music and noise.   
“I can feel the pain throbbing from your heart, and Jesus, Eliza, I want to heal it for you, would do anything to heal it for you. The death in you….kills me inside.” 
My back stiffened, the colors swam through the water in my eyes, anger wrestled with my love for him, and I could not care which won. I leaned the side of my head against his, trying not to feel. The heat oozed into me, warming me. My heart pushed it away.  
“Nicholas, I love you.”  My voice was hollow. I meant it, I knew it the way I know what the state capitals are, but I felt nothing.
“Your love for me chokes you, and I don’t know how to fix it.”




RUNNING HOME is due to be published August 1st 2013 by Books of The Dead Press - so why not go and add it on Goodreads?  

Got any comments or questions for Julie? 


  1. I forgot to ask one important question: if you're really a black-belt, can you karate chop through a breezeblock? I think that's generally the standard proof of black-beltedness.

  2. So wonderful and that excerpt from Running Away....OH! I so need to read it all!
    So happy and proud of you Julie!

    1. I can't wait to read more of RUNNING AWAY either! :)

  3. Ooh, I <3 Robert Downey Jr.

    One little note: I was trying to figure out what Books of the Dead Publishing was and I concluded that you meant Books of the Dead Press. :)

    1. Thanks Bridget - I've corrected it on the post <3


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