My Life as a Teenage Vampire” is a new adult novel by author Julianne Gross. The Book is a fun blend of supernatural horror and teenage angst that focuses on Jacob, a vampire, and his classmate, Jessica, who hunts supernatural beings. The book explores a world where the extraordinary is hiding just beneath the surface.

Recently, Julianne granted an exclusive interview where she discussed this book and more.

Novels, supernatural stories, and characters

Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you get interested in writing and how many books have you published to date?

Julianne Gross (JA): I first became interested in writing when reading “The Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan. It truly inspired me to write. After reading the Percy Jackson books, I began formulating my own stories. So far, this is my only novel.

MM: How did you think up the idea for your new novel—“My Life as a Teenage Vampire”—and are any of the characters or events based on real life?

JA: The original idea came to me randomly. I just thought up the idea of a girl who could travel through shadows.

After a few years, I finally started developing the story. I drew inspiration from Percy Jackson of course, but also from the TV show “Supernatural.” Also, as an avid reader, I tend to draw inspiration from everything I read. I like to play with the clichés and tropes I have become familiar with and turn them around. And to answer the question of whether the characters or events are based on real life, so yes, many characters are definitely based off of me.

Well, maybe not the villains. I do put a lot of my personality into my story, though.

MM: How long did it take to complete the book from start to finish?

JA: I initially came up with the idea in middle school, but in high school, I wrote the first draft in a month for NANOWRIMO. The editing took years to complete, though. The beginning of the book changed so much; it is completely unrecognizable from that first draft.

So, in total the actual time of writing and editing took about 4-5 years.

MM: How did you decide what types of fictional creatures to include?

JA: I wanted to include the “normal creatures,” like vampires, witches, werewolves, etc. But I also wanted to add creatures that were unique. From watching “Supernatural” and “Teen Wolf” I had been introduced to monsters I had never heard of such as vetala and kitsune. One creature I did makeup were phantoms. I am not entirely sure where this idea of a group of people who can travel through shadows came from. Still, I wanted to include them in the story.

MM: What is it about supernatural stories that most draws you to them?

JA: What I love about supernatural stories is how integrated they are into our world. Most of the supernatural stories I read take place during modern time. I like how there is this other world that is part of our own. It also brings up questions of what it means to be human. I include that theme in “My Life as a Teenage Vampire.” Just because you have fangs, doesn’t mean you can’t feel and think like a person. It’s a very interesting theme to explore.

MM: What was the process of finding a publisher like and do you also have an agent?

JA: I don’t think I have a common story. I am technically self-published, but I am working with Artblend Gallery to publish my book. They publish art books, but they are helping me with the process of getting my story out there. At the moment I do not have an agent. Still, I am polishing up my query letter to send out to agents.

Marketing, goals, and Artblend Gallery

MM: How did you go about getting this book marketed and read?

JA: I have my own YouTube channel called Juliannetheauthor, where I review books, movies, etc., so I have been promoting my book there and through other social media outlets, although YouTube is my biggest platform.

I have also sent my book for reviews.

MM: What are the biggest challenges of being a fiction writer?

JA: Motivation, definitely. There are days I don’t want to write or work on editing, but I know it’s something I have to do. It’s so easy to say; I’ll do it tomorrow. Motivating myself to keep writing is a challenge. I have to remind myself this is what I want to do and that usually helps.

MM: You are also working for Artblend Gallery, so does being around visual art all day help your creative writing muse?

JA: The art itself doesn’t help with my writing but being at Artblend has helped shape me as a writer.

It’s given me experiences I wouldn’t have otherwise.

MM: Generally speaking, what are your most ambitious goals for your future as a writer?

JA: One of my main goals is to travel to Bookcon as an exhibitor. Once finding out about Bookcon it was my wish to go as a writer and not as a fan. Also, while I’m working on the “My Life as a Teenage Vampire” series, I’m writing a standalone dystopian novel. It will probably be the longest book I’ve written. I have about 50,000 words, and I’m only halfway through. It will take a lot of research and time to complete that novel. I am so grateful for the opportunities that I have had.

Knowing Michael and Elaine Joseph at Artblend has launched me forward in my writing career. Daniela Reyes’ artwork on my cover is gorgeous, and I am so happy to know her. It is insane to have a novel coming out, and I’m so happy it is happening.

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