Welcome to the tour for Alice's Portrait by Juliette Harper! This is a sci-fantasy novel that is adult but clean and appropriate for young adult readers.
Alice's Portrait by Juliette Harper
A year after Kate, Jenny, and Mandy Lockwood inherit The Rocking L, the sisters try to concentrate on their collective and individual futures. In the previous book in The Lockwood Legacy series, Baxter’s Draw, the women made startling discoveries about their father’s secrets, but are mistaken in their belief that everything has now come to light. In Alice’s Portrait, the ghosts of Langston Lockwood’s past once again confront his daughters, forcing them to re-evaluate their understanding of their father and of what it means to be a Lockwood.
Juliette Harper is the pen name used by the writing team of Patricia Pauletti and Rana K. Williamson. Like the characters of their debut series, The Lockwood Legacy, Juliette is a merging of their creative energies. Pauletti, an Easterner of Italian descent, is an accomplished musician with an eye for art and design. Williamson, a Texan from a long line of hardheaded Scots, knows the world of the Lockwoods like the back of her hand.“We decided to write under a pen name because neither one of us by ourselves could have created Kate, Jenny, Mandy, and their world,” says Pauletti. “Juliette is a little bit of us both. We want to be her when we grow up.”“Patti teases me that I just don’t want to own up to writing a book with romance in it,” Williamson adds, “but that’s not true. I like the Lockwood women and the way they tackle everything life throws at them. And before we’re done, they’ll be ducking a lot. I imagine coming into the office every day and saying, ‘Okay Juliette, what’s going to happen now?’ She tells us, and we get it down on paper.”
1. What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
The Lockwood Legacy was always planned as a nine book arc, but the overall movement of that arc was flexible. Going in, I knew what I wanted the first book, Langston’s Daughters, to do, and then in Baxter’s Draw, there was a huge, spontaneous revelation about the family patriarch’s past. It all seemed natural to have it relate to a hidden talent to draw, an ability he used to reshape his painful personal history and to project a fantasy future. I put an unfinished portrait in his studio, and suddenly I knew the story of that portrait had to be told.
2. Who is your favorite character in the book?
In pretty much every respect, this is Jenny Lockwood’s book, so for this novel, she’s my favorite. Jenny came out of the second book, Baxter’s Draw, with all kinds of unresolved issues about her past and her relationship with her father. She’s the most confrontational of the three sisters, so it was natural for her to be the one to tackle the questions head on, no matter how the answers played out in the end. I think there are many moments in this book where Jenny displays the depth of her goodness under a sometimes prickly temperament.
3. Which came first, the title or the novel?
The title. Toward the end of Baxter’s Draw as more was revealed about the role of art in Langston Lockwood’s life, the phrase “Alice’s portrait” just kept repeating in my head until a story began to develop around it.
4. What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
The scene in the cave in Baxter’s draw when Jenny falls asleep and in her dreams confronts the ghost of her father. It was a long overdue conversation and one that I intended to illustrate how we all must, at some point, confront and banish the ghosts of our past.
5. Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
Not to over edit! I am terrible to hash the life out of my scenes. Generally I write a scene once, take a second pass at it before I call the chapter finished, and then rarely go back and change more than a word or two. There is an authenticity born of immediate writing that I believe should not be squelched.
6. What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I have a wonderful cover designer, who is herself an author, Jena Leigh. Her “Variant” books are fantastic. She’s the one who added all the red shadows and highlighting to my very rough concept. That hint of color along with the splotch of blood really makes the cover pop.
7. What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2015?
Dead Ice by Laurell K. Hamilton that will be out June 9. I’m a huge Anita Blake fan even if you do need graph paper to plot out some of those bedroom scenes!
8. What was your favorite book in 2014?
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. It’s not the kind of thing I would normally pick up on my own, but a friend begged me to read it and fill her in on the story a couple of days before her book club. I loved how the thread of this man’s life was told in a book, through books, and around books in his little island store. The writing is graceful in all the right places and at times hauntingly authentic.
9. What’s up next for you?
Well, some interesting things, actually. I sneaked in the publication of my first paranormal mystery earlier this month. It’s called Descendants of the Rose and is the debut appearance of the new Selby Jensen series. That’s to be followed next month by the publication of my first cozy mystery, You Can’t Get Blood Out of Shag Carpet, and then I’ve promised the fourth Lockwood Legacy book by September, although I have to confess it may appear earlier than that. Finally, there’s a zombie / post apocalyptic novel that’s been sitting on my desk for ages and it’s time that saw the light of day as well. I have a real love of genre hopping because I like to create strong, interesting characters -- most of them women -- and put them in a variety of settings and situations. After all, that’s the fun of being a writer!
10. Is there anything that you would like to add?
Just that I appreciate the time and space on your site to visit with you and your readers. I love to talk to people who are reading my books, so by all means, please visit me at JulietteHarper.com.
The author will be giving away $100 Amazon Gift Card (INT) to the winner of the below Rafflecopter. The giveaway ends May 20th.
This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.