Julie Hall - Angel Series with Plenty of Action, Danger, Romantic Tension, and Intrigue

Julie Hall - Angel Series with Plenty of Action, Danger, Romantic Tension, and Intrigue

Julie Hall is a USA Today bestselling, multiple award-winning author. She writes YA paranormal / fantasy novels, loves doodles, and drinks Red Bull, but not necessarily in that order. Julie's daughter says that her super power is sleeping all day and writing all night... and well, she wouldn't be wrong. Julie currently lives in Colorado with her four favorite people - her husband, daughter, and two fur babies.  As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, Stealing Embers

Please give us a short introduction to what Stealing Embers is about.

Stealing Embers is about Emberly, a seventeen-year-old girl who sees shadow monsters that no one else does. One day she’s saved from an attack by a mysterious group of people who can see the same beasts she can. She’s told she’s part of a half-angel warrior race called Nephilim and whisked to a secret academy in the mountains where they want to train her to battle the monsters that have attacked her her whole life. But once she arrives, the academy is relentlessly attacked, and the only way to save her new friends is by learning to unlock her newfound powers.

What inspired you to write this series? Was there anything in particular that made you want to tackle this?

I was inspired by the theories and stories of Nephilim in general and the idea of what if these beings existed today. What would they be doing here? What would they look like? What powers or abilities could they have? So a lot of the world I created in Fallen Legacies started with being inspired by the different “what it” scenarios I could come up with. My daughter was also a big inspiration for this series. We adopted her when she was a baby and I wrote Emberly, the main character of the series who is orphaned at a young age, with my daughter in mind.

Tell us more about Emberly. What makes her tick?

Emberly has had a rough life. Bounced from foster family to foster family for years, she finally runs away to escape being committed to a psychiatric hospital. When the Nephilim find her she doesn’t know how to trust anyone, so she’s suspicious of everyone and everything. It doesn’t help that she doesn’t feel like she fits in with any of the other Nephilim at Seraph Academy, who have grown up their entire lives knowing exactly who and what they are. What we see throughout the series is Emberly’s journey not only to defeat the Fallen, but her emotional progression as she learns to let people in and find her true family.

Why did you pick a 17-year-old runaway as your main protagonist?

I wrote Emberly, my main character is my daughter heavily on my mind. My husband and I adopted her from Ethiopia when she was a baby and now she’s eleven. For years I’ve watched her grow up in an environment where there aren’t a lot of people who look like her. I’ve seen how she’s battled to feel accepted in our current community, and also to accept herself as she is and recognize how amazing and beautiful she is, even if she’s a bit different than those around her.

When I was writing this series I tried to put myself in the mindset of a person who had spent their lives not feeling like they fit in anywhere, and then what it felt like to finally find a place where they did feel like they belonged.

I’m sure I didn’t do it perfectly, but I tried to tap into those hopes and fears I’ve seen my daughter go through, and in doing so I realized that some of those issues are universal. I think many of us are just looking for a place to feel safe and accepted and so even though I wrote this story with my daughter in mind, I think Emberly’s insecurities and fears are something a lot of readers will be able to relate to.

Your scenes are very descriptive. How did you go about world-building for this book?

My worlds come to me in phases. I always start with the characters and then the world starts to build around them. Parts of my book worlds are also usually taken from my personal experiences. The places I’ve visited, and sometimes the places I dream of visiting. I always want to make sure I give the reader enough information for them to be able to envision the world, but not too much that their imagination doesn’t have an opportunity to come into play.

You also included some romance in the story. Why did you take this approach?

I like to write stories that I would want to read, and I happen to enjoy stories with a little bit of romance sprinkled throughout. I don’t want romance to be the central theme of a book, but I love the tension that a good romance brings to a story.

This is book 1 in the Fallen Legacies series. Can it be read as a standalone? How do the other books in the series tie in with this one?

Books 1 – 3 in the series (Stealing Embers, Forging Darkness, & Unleashing Fire) follow Emberly and Steel’s story and should be read in order. Book 4, Supernova, is a standalone spin-off that tells Nova and Thorne’s story. It can be read before the first three books, but I suggest reading all the books in order.

When starting on a new book, what is the first thing you do?

When starting a new book the first thing I do is try to get to know my main characters. My books always center around the characters and their stories, so I have to get to know them first. What they are like, what makes them tick, and what their struggles are. From there the story grows.

Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?

Sometimes I bribe myself to hit my word count with TV. I’ll watch a show and every time there’s a commercial I’ll pause the show until I hit a particular word count. I’m on this massive Bachelor kick these days. I have that show to thank for at least a quarter of my word count on my current work in progress.

What are you working on right now?

I’ve had a bit of a publishing break over the last nine months while I write. Right now I’m working on a couple of different projects that will start releasing in late 2023 and early 2024. All of them are in the young adult fantasy realm, both urban and high fantast. I’m not ready to announce anything officially right now, but I’m pretty excited about what’s coming up over the next year.

Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?

Readers can find out about my work on my website, [email protected]. They can also interact with me on social media in my Facebook Reader group, Julie’s Warriors, or on Instagram or Tiktok.

Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/juliehall

IG: @julie.hall.author

TikTok: @juliehallauthor