Welcome to WOLF NOTES, where interview questions stray from the rest of the pack. It’s nice to know the usual stuff like where an author gets their inspiration and why they write, but sometimes we need a little fun in our lives.
Juliana Spink Mills was born in England but grew up in Brazil. Now she lives in Connecticut and writes science fiction and fantasy. She is the author of Heart Blade and Night Blade, the first two books in the young adult Blade Hunt Chronicles urban fantasy series. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies and online publications. Besides writing, Juliana works as a Portuguese/English translator, and as a teen library assistant. She watches way too many TV shows, and loves to get lost in a good book. Her dream is to move to Narnia when she grows up. Or possibly Middle Earth, if she’s allowed a very small dragon of her own.
Wolf: Good luck getting a dragon. I think there’s a waiting list. If you had to pick a weapon, what would it be and why?
Juliana: Although the characters in my Urban Fantasy series tend to use swords, and I actually did a year of longsword lessons in the name of research when I was writing the first novel, I’ve always wanted to learn archery. Put that down to a childhood obsession with Robin Hood!
Wolf: Archery has always been one of my favorite sports. You’ve just been turned into a plant. Describe yourself.
Juliana: I’m a nice fat dandelion sitting in the sunshine in a tangled overgrown lawn. My flowers bring a splash of color to people’s lives. My leaves feed the wild rabbits. My seeds give wishes and please small children. I might be a ‘common weed’, but I’m a glorious one.
Wolf: Dandelions are great. They also make great fritters. Do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?
Juliana: I love both, but I’m allergic to cats so sadly can’t have one at home. We do have a six-month-old rescue pup named Misty, though. (Yes, like from Pokémon.) She’s awesome, when she isn’t chewing everything in sight.
Wolf: Yup, that’s a pup. I’m partial to dogs myself. While walking in the woods you come across…
Juliana: The inspiration for my next novel! I always have an eye open for ideas, as you never know what will emerge from a simple walk. And speaking of woods, I have a sci fi thriller I’ve been working on which actually draws inspiration from the Amazon jungle…
Wolf: Sounds interesting. Let me know when it comes out. If you could have a super power, what would it be?
Juliana: My actual superpower is walking into things, which is kind of a lame skillset and results in lots of bruising. If I could choose a power, it would be super speed. I could get so much done, and still have time for reading and binge-watching TV shows.
Wolf: Or bump into things faster. There is a door at the end of a dark, damp corridor. You hear rumbling. What do you do?
Juliana: Open it, of course. There is clearly a dragon behind it and all dragons should absolutely be set free. Fly, you amazing fire-breathing beastie, fly!
Wolf: Love it. Which of your characters is your favorite?
Juliana: My half-demon Camille! Probably because her personality is closest to my own. Well, apart from the fact that I’m not actually an immortal succubus, of course.
Wolf: Good to know. What is your favorite body of water and why? (river, ocean, waterfall, puddle, bottle…)
Juliana: The Iguaçu Falls that straddle Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina are amazing! I could have stood there and watched them for days. This is one of those ‘marvels of the world’ that truly lives up to its hype.
Wolf: I’ll have to put it on my list of things to see. What story are you working on now?
Juliana: I’m working on Star Blade, the third and final book in my Urban Fantasy trilogy. It’s a weird feeling, writing a series ending. There are so many loose ends I have to remember to tie up, so it’s almost overwhelming, but at the same time it feels good to finally work towards the happily ever after my characters deserve.
Wolf: It was great chatting with Juliana today. You can connect with her through these links:
Eighteen-year-old Tatiana is running from her past and her star-touched powers eight years after a meteor devastates earth’s population. Her power to heal may be overshadowed by more destructive abilities. Fleeing the persecution of those like her, Tatiana seeks refuge in a small town she once visited. But this civil haven, in a world where society has broken down, is beginning to crumble. Will Tatiana flee or stay and fight for the new life she has built? Only by harnessing the very forces that haunt her can Tatiana save her friends…and herself.