Interview with Julia Ember: #ReadProud Challenge

by - 5:31 PM

Today we got an interview we did with author Julia Ember. We love Julia A LOT. Like seriously. She is super sweet and nice and such a damn good writer. June is Pride Month and Julia created this amazing reading challenge for everyone to do: #ReadProud Challenge. She's going to tell you more about it in the interview!

Title: Unicorn Tracks
Author: Julia Ember
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Release date: April 21st, 2016
Pages: 155

After a savage attack drives her from her home, sixteen-year-old Mnemba finds a place in her cousin Tumelo’s successful safari business, where she quickly excels as a guide. Surrounding herself with nature and the mystical animals inhabiting the savannah not only allows Mnemba’s tracking skills to shine, it helps her to hide from the terrible memories that haunt her.

Mnemba is employed to guide Mr. Harving and his daughter, Kara, through the wilderness as they study unicorns. The young women are drawn to each other, despite that fact that Kara is betrothed. During their research, they discover a conspiracy by a group of poachers to capture the Unicorns and exploit their supernatural strength to build a railway. Together, they must find a way to protect the creatures Kara adores while resisting the love they know they can never indulge.

1. Hi, Julia! So you created #ReadProud Book Challenge for Pride Month. What can you tell us about it, what is the main thing you need to do - for everyone who doesn't know about it?  

#ReadProud is a four week reading challenge! Basically, each week I list two categories for LGBTQIA books, i.e. Lesbian Contemporary and Trans YA. Participants have to pick books from those categories, then post their reviews on GoodReads and a retailer website. 

All the challenge details are here. Participants can enter to win book money! So reading can win you more books! 

2. You wrote UNICORN TRACKS, a novel about these two girls from different backgrounds who somehow ended up being in the middle of a conspiracy bigger than them. Now that the book has been out for a while, how do you feel? *gets excited* Have you seen anything that you said "Yes, yes, this is why I wrote this book"? 

Ahhh! Unicorn Tracks is nearly two months old! That in itself seems really odd and surreal after all the months spent waiting for release. It’s strange to know that people I don’t know are reading the book! A friend mentioned to me recently that her library had the book … and all that still just seems crazy to me. 

Overall, people have been really excited and supportive about the book. A few people have been really excited that Kara is both plus-sized and super sexy. 

3. If you could go on a road trip, which couple/s would you pick to go with and why? And where?

 I’d really love to go on a road trip through South America. I’ve only been to Peru, so it’s easily my “least explored” continent. Also, I can speak Spanish passably enough that I think traveling without a guide would be plausible. 

I’d want to go with couples who seem to have both an easy sense of humour and practical skills. Because I have no practical skills and my partner’s are pretty limited too. If we got stuck and needed a tire change, I’d like to think our travelling companions could do it. There’s also nothing worse than travel companions who can’t adapt and be flexible. 

I’d probably go with Alina and Mal from Shadow and Bone because I think they know how to survive and laugh about it. I’d also take Tristan and Keisha from Jerkbait, because every road trip needs people who can actually sing in the car. 

4. Which characters do you think Mnemba and Kara would have a double date with?

Well, given how horsey both girls are, I think they would need to go with another couple who appreciated being outside and are as active as they are. I’m going to go with Aelin and Rowan! 

5. Which books are you most excited about to come out in the summer + fall 2016? Any already released ones you haven't read but are excited to read them soon?  

Well, I’m a huge Bardugo and SJ Maas fan … so anything written by them, ever. 

In addition: 
  • Traitor Angels – I haven’t had a chance to read this yet, but I’m really looking forward to it. Paradise Lost is my classical literary obsession. 
  • Gabriel and the Swallows – I’ve been wanting to read this since I saw its gorgeous cover, but haven’t made time for it yet sadly
  • Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst – I still haven’t gotten my hands on this one! And I need need need the gay horsey princesses. 
  • False Hearts by Laura Lam – I’m actually going to the book launch for this next week and I am SO EXCITED. I love Laura Lam’s books. 
  • Timekeeper by Tara Sim – The premise of this sounds so fantastical and creative. Plus it has gay protagonists. Here for it! 
6. Aaaaand... last but not least. Are you working in something new?  

I am! I’m working on a high fantasy trilogy contracted with Harmony Ink Press. The first book is called The Tiger’s Watch, and is scheduled for release in August 2017. I’m writing the second book, The Shadow Wolf, now! Books 2 and 3 will both be released in 2018. 

I’m really excited about this series. It’s dark, vast and bittersweet, with a mind- controlling GQ protagonist who is trained as a kind of magical super-spy. Plus I think the love-interest is especially swoon worthy :P 

I have something else potentially in the works too, but I’m not allowed to comment about it yet!

Originally from Chicago, Julia Ember now resides in Sunny Scotland where she learned to enjoy both haggis and black pudding. She spends her days working as a professional Book Nerd for a large book wholesaler, and her nights writing YA Romantic Fantasy novels. She also spends an inordinate amount of time managing her growing city-based menagerie of pets with Harry Potter themed names. A world traveller since childhood, Julia has now visited over 60 countries. Her travels inspire the fictional worlds she writes about and she populates those worlds with magic and monsters.

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