A fun interview with Tracy Brown on her 12 Minutes (or less) With The Author Podcast!
I had the pleasure of chatting with the lovely Tracy Brown on her podcast where we chatted about Moonstone & Mugwort, what draws me towards magical realism, and what's in store with future writing plans.
12 Minutes (or less) With The Author Podcast Interview Transcript
Welcome to 12 Minutes (or less!) with the Author. I’m your host, T.L. Brown, but you can call me Tracy. Let’s get started.
T.L. Brown: Hi Everyone! I’m thrilled to welcome author Julie Embleton to today’s show. Julie is a paranormal fantasy author from Dublin, Ireland. She writes about tenacious, kick-ass females who can rescue themselves — thanks very much, gutsy heroes with tender hearts, and heinous villains who thrive on chaos. Her stories weave suspense, romance, and magick, and offer mostly happy endings, but she does enjoy leaving her readers hanging with the occasional cliffhanger.
When not writing, Julie can be found with her second great love; tarot. As a professional tarot advisor, Julie empowers fellow creatives with enhanced decision-making and a deeper sense of self to restore and strengthen creative flow.
Julie’s latest book, Moonstone & Mugwort, book 1 in the Oath & Legacy series, just released on Oct. 31st. As a massive fan of Julie’s, I was over the moon to learn she launched a new series, and you are going to hear about it today!
You can learn more about Julie at JulieEmbleton.com.
Welcome, Julie! I am so glad you joined us today.
Julie Embleton: Hi Tracy, it’s lovely to be here, and thank you so much for inviting me.
T.L. Brown: Let’s get right into it because I want readers to hear about your latest book. Tell us about your new novel, Moonstone & Mugwort, and what can readers expect.
Julie Embleton: It’s a dark fantasy with a paranormal twist. It’s set in Ireland, and it features an enigmatic, very mysterious Italian vampire who despises witches and an Irish witch named Ava O’Keefe. Ava is the protector of a special amulet that allows her to channel eclipse energy, and with a major eclipse coming, this enigmatic vampire reaches out to try and get Ava’s assistance with some…Well, I suppose a little bit of nefarious deeds he needs done. It’s about prejudice and duty — all these themes come into the storyline. It’s a slow-burn romance; it’s enemies-to-lovers. Because it’s set in Ireland, it’s actually based in the town where I live, so there are a lot of references to landmarks that actually exist within the town — which was fun to write.
T.L. Brown: That would be exciting for local readers or even those who have visited. I’m gonna ask a surprise question: How do you think that adds to your storyline?
Julie Embleton: There’s a little bunch of islands off the coast of Skerries. Skerries is a real town. In the book, it’s called Calnaloch, and there are three islands off the coast of Skerries that are visible from the shoreline. One of them has a Martello Tower on it. Farther out, down the East Coast, there’s another island called Lambay Island. You can see it from the beach in Skerries, even though it’s off in the distance. I always loved thinking, Who lives on the island? What do they do out there? What goes on at a private island? To be able to weave that into a story was really fun.
Around the town of Skerries itself, there are a number of cafes and restaurants that I go to. I pulled inspiration from those places into the story, describing the harbor — the setting where some of the action takes place. There’s also a Martello Tower on the mainland within Skerries itself that features in the book. I won’t give too much away because it might give spoilers, but it was fun to set it there, even though it’s a fictional town. To base it on a place I know and that I’ve lived in for a long time was good fun. I enjoyed it. It’s nice to have a book set in my motherland and here in Ireland. So, that’s very exciting!
T.L. Brown: I love it! For those of us who don’t know the area, it will just make it a richer story. We’ll see those places in our minds and know that they really do exist. I think that’s exciting.
I want to ask you about magical realism. I’m a huge fan of dark fantasy, fantasy, and magical realism — that’s a genre, amongst others, that you write in. Can you tell our listeners why you enjoy exploring that genre?
Julie Embleton: I think because it allows us to bend the rules as writers. If you’re writing some sort of pure fiction, maybe a thriller or that kind of thing, there are the laws of physics, etc. You have to stay within those parameters. One of the first stories I wrote — which will never be published because it was a pile of pants — was a thriller. I wasn’t far into it, but it came to the stage where I realized I needed to do so much fact-checking. For example, there was a scene where one of the characters picked up a dog, and I had to stop and think: Well, now, how much would that dog weigh? How much does an average human female of that age weigh? Can she lift that weight? That kind of thing. It wrecked my creative flow within the story.
When I started writing paranormal, it seemed so much easier to have people with [extraordinary] abilities in a supernatural setting so that the question of speed, strength, stamina, or healing didn’t really come into it. I also love the idea of a reader finishing one of my books and maybe walking down the street and seeing somebody walking towards them and thinking: That person could be a shifter; that person could be a vampire. Our lives can be quite monotonous — the same old, same old. I think it injects a lovely bit of excitement to think that maybe somebody’s closed my book, and they’re seeing behind the veil, as we’d say, and questioning that big old house up on that hill. Who lives there? What do they do up there? That’s what I love about magical realism and bringing the supernatural into books because I think it creates an exciting layer. You can get some juicy plotlines going.
T.L. Brown: I could not agree more, and I think that’s an additional gift that readers can take away. They get the great story, they get the awesome characters, but then they get to take that out into their own lives. It’s a little bit of elevating your own experience on this Earth, so that’s fantastic.
I know your past writing projects, like the Turning Moon series — one of my favorites. Obviously, this book that you just published on October 31st, Moonstone & Mugwort, is the first in a series, so I know there will be more coming. Can you tell us a little bit about that and anything else coming up?
Julie Embleton: Yes, there’ll definitely be a sequel to Moonstone & Mugwort. My plan for the Oath & Legacy series is to try “duets” — a pair of books within each sort of storyline. For example, Moonstone & Mugwort will have a companion book, and it’ll be Enzo and Ava’s story. But then I’ll write another two books that are still within the Oath & Legacy series — they’ll take part in the same world — but there’ll be new characters introduced, and they’ll be the main focus of the next pair of books. Then with the next pair of books — again, same setting, same world building but new characters.
The idea behind this is that I think it would be nice for readers to be able to hop into the series at about any stage. They could start with books three and four or seven and eight. That’s presumptuous of me to say I’m going to write that many books within the series, but you get my idea! Readers would be able to move around within the series without necessarily having to start at book one and read all the way through to book five — like it is with my Turning Moon series. If somebody hopped in maybe book four, which is Torn, they don’t have the history with the characters and the backstory.
This is something new I want to try — a series of duets. That’s my plan sitting here right now, but when I finish the next book, you never know what will happen! You know yourself, Tracy. Sometimes when you’re writing, you have all the best-laid plans, and then the characters hijack them and take over. They’re just laughing at you from the corner of your room, saying, “You thought you were going to do that, but actually, you’re going to do this.”
That’s currently my plan, but we’ll see how it goes. I think it will be something interesting for readers, and as a reader myself, it’s not often I come across a series of duets that allows me to hop from one side of the series to the next. It’s going to be interesting to try it and see how it goes.
T.L. Brown: I think that’s a brilliant idea, and I can’t wait to see how it goes — however it unfolds as you move forward.
Julie, that’s about all the time we have for today. I’m thrilled you joined us. I am such a fan — you know that.
Readers and listeners, if you have not yet picked up any of Julie’s books, whether it’s the five-book Turning Moon series or her standalone books that she has out there as well… And now the new series, Oath and Legacy with Moonstone & Mugwort — please check it out.
You can find Julie’s books everywhere — Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Google Play, Kobo, Smashwords, Eden Books, and too many more to list. Go to her website. There you will find a universal book link (UBL) on JulieEmbleton.com that will take you to the retailer of your choice.
Also, she is on social media on TikTok and on Instagram as @JulieEmbletonAuthor.
Again, Moonstone & Mugwort just released. Check it out. Thank you all for joining in, and I’ll see YOU the next time.
This has been 12 Minutes (or less!) with the Author. Thanks for listening to today’s episode. Hope you can join me for the next one. Until then, this is Tracy, AKA author T.L. Brown, signing off.
Tracy Brown can be found at TracyBrown.com where you'll find information about her dark fantasy titles, and podcast!