Greetings! Over the last couple of weeks, I had the opportunity to speak with Julia Baeten, the author of The Fire Inside My Soul, and The Salem Boy. In fact, we had the pleasure of promoting the former, and found that it handled profound subject matter remarkably well. When a chance arose to speak with the author herself, it was one that couldn’t be passed up. Please enjoy as you discover more about Julia Baeten.
Tellest: Hello Julia! I want to take a moment at the start of this to thank you for taking out some time to talk to me. I always find that the people I interview with are some of the hardest working folks, and I know you’re no different. We’ll try and be quick about things, but I am very interested in getting to know you a bit more, and to give a new set of fans the chance to learn more about you and your books!
Julia Baeten: Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to speak about my books.
T: I always start off my interviews by trying to gather up what sort of storyteller I’m talking to, and a big part of that is finding out which stories and storytellers inspired them. Was there an author that you gravitated toward when you were younger, or did you have any talkspinners in your family or community?
JB: I was always interested in the paranormal since an early age. I used to play tarot as a hobby for my mother’s friends. My first exposure to books was the many stories written by Agatha Christie and after that I was hooked on Sidney Sheldon books. Later I read Dr. Brian Weiss, Many Lives Many Masters and Seth by Jane Roberts. These last books basically opened my mind to many possibilities.
T: On your website, you mention that you heard the call to begin writing your story after watching NCIS. Was there a specific episode that you remember which gave you the calling?
JB: I do not recall the episode number. I do remember seeing Sean Murray typing away in his apartment. After the show I sat in front of my computer and started my first chapter. It sounds weird but that scene awakened my spirit. I believe I was an author in a past life.
T: Your story covers some deeply personal and spiritual concepts. Was it challenging to bring a story to life that could be so profound?
JB: It was very challenging, especially the parts where the spirits communicated with the psychiatrist. Many times, I asked for spiritual help and later I was told by mediums that I had spiritual guidance throughout the writings. I totally believe it!
T: Do you anticipate that you’ll be reaching out for that same energy in your next books, or do you think, given the subject matter, that The Fire Inside My Soul was unique in that manner?
JB: Yes, I understand now how the energy works and will be reaching out. I would like to say that my books are unique. My mind is always evolving so I don’t know where my imagination will take me. I am hoping that with my growing experience I will be able to deliver interesting books in the future.
T: When you’re writing your stories, are you already aware of which direction things are going? Or are you sort of discovering things along the same lines as your readers?
JB: I always have an overall idea for the story I am going to write. I first write a draft with a beginning, middle and end. After I finish the draft, I review the entire manuscript and read it again. The worst part of the writing is to make sure that the multiple dramas have an end that made sense and the final editing.
T: Writing about reincarnation can be a tall order, but you managed to put your own spin on it to make it personal and to keep up the energy throughout. How did you come about deciding how you were going to present that in your book?
JB: As I progressed in my spirituality studies and my mediumship got stronger, I felt in my heart that I wanted to write about the possibility of reincarnation. It was challenging to manage the different lives the protagonists experienced without getting lost in the details.
T: Did you end up having to create a story bible of sorts for your characters to keep the threads tidy?
JB: Yes, that is exactly what I did. Since each book described two different tales, I had to make sure that the stories connected throughout the chapters. I must add that its very time consuming to get such a large quantity of data.
T: Your story is written in a way that keeps readers coming back for one more chapter, time and again. Was that by design, or did you happen into that?
JB: Thank you, I consider what you just said as a great compliment. It makes me so excited to know that my books are entertaining, and people can’t stop reading.
T: What do you think is the secret to writing a story that has a consistent feeling of intrigue, of having readers want to flip that one more page?
JB: Passion is the secret. When I write my books, I see the characters in my mind, and I love them all. I often imagine that they are performing in front of me as if I am watching a movie. I even put romantic music as a background so I can better feel and write about their love.
T: As writers, we often deal with pain for some of our characters. As someone who is emotionally connected to them, how does that affect you? Does it feel as though you’re putting them through the wringer, or do you feel like you’re there alongside them, trying to almost metaphysically hold their hand?
JB: I see pain as a way for the soul to evolve so it does not affect me. I try to be fair with my characters as I would like someone to be fair with me. I put myself in my characters’ place so I can better feel and or understand their feelings and write about their emotions.
T: Though we’ve started off by talking about The Fire Inside My Soul, that’s not the only story that you’ve been working on. You also released a book called The Salem Boy. How are the books similar, and how do they differ? And perhaps more importantly, what do have next on your storytelling agenda?
JB: The Fire Inside My Soul is a thriller, romance, a deep emotional rollercoaster. The story has all the elements of trauma, incest, betrayal, and crime.
The Salem Boy is a thriller story about the life in Salem, Massachusetts before the trials. The Salem Boy also has many emotional elements like, racism, parental love, adoption, spirituality.
Both stories have obsessors and a shrink to decipher the hidden drama. Obsessors are spirits that attach to people and try to harm them because of what they have done to them in another life.
Ruth, the psychiatrist appears in both of my books and play a spiritual detective to unravel what goes on in her patients’ past lives.
I started my next book without a plan. I have an idea and going along with it. All I can say is that it is a love story that happens in Quebec, Canada. The story will cover loneliness, time travelers, family secrets, abandonment, love, passion, etc.
T: Does your next story also have a thread that ties it to the other two books in some way?
JB: The only thread is Ruth. I thought about dropping her until one man told me that his favorite character in The Fire Inside My Soul was Ruth. I asked him why, and he said that Ruth was fascinating. Then he added that he is a psychiatrist. I was thrilled, it was such a compliment to have a psychiatrist validate my character.
T: I recently read that it’s those superfans that see something in our stories that are the real drivers of our success, so maybe he’s onto something. And the fact that Ruth exists as a throughline for all your stories allows you to look at your books in a lens that not many people can.
JB: Ruth is the only connection between the stories, and I am happy that people liked her. It was challenging to create this very intriguing character.
T: Writing books isn’t your only passion. You also develop high quality ornaments and have amassed quite a following with that. Were you able to develop any marketing or sales techniques that you picked up from your very successful Etsy shop that you could apply to your books?
JB: My Etsy shop is about selling beautiful ornaments, tree skirts and other items. I am partners with someone else. That is the easy part, book sales are very hard. There are so many books in the market that it is a struggle to bring attention to one book and I am still trying to figure it out what is the best approach to increase sales.
T: What has been your biggest challenge in writing so far? Was it coming up with the story, writing it, marketing it, or some other beast altogether?
JB: It has been a challenging experience so far. I wrote the stories with no previous experience, created the book covers, hired an independent editor, posted my books on Amazon, hired advertisers and video creators. I also created myself the Fire Inside My Soul website that I think is very beautiful. The work was exhausting and at times I was ready to give up. I had to learn everything from scratch. I am proud of myself; I think I have done the impossible.
T: You should be proud! Not many people even set out to write a book, let alone more, and fewer still accomplish all that you have. That said, it is a lot of work to put on one person. Are you making plans to spread out the tasks as you march forward?
JB: Oh YES, I will love to find people that I can trust to do certain jobs like my website. It was fun to do it myself, I admit.
T: Julia, where could people find more about you and your books if they were interested?
JB: I do have a Facebook page @fireinsidemysoul https://www.facebook.com/thefireinsidemysoul/ -Instagram thefireinsidenovel– website – https://www.thefireinsidemysoulbook.com
T: Julia, thank you for taking the time to speak with me about your writing process, and your journey. I know that it’s a big ask for someone who already has their calendar filled up. I wish you luck continuing to bring word about your books to bigger audiences, and I hope that the writing of your next books goes smoothly!
JB: Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me. I can’t wait to publish my next book. Though it is time consuming and stressing to write a book, it is also exhilarating to see my books published.
Once again, I’d like to thank Julia Baeten for taking the time to sit and talk with me about her books, her life, and her writing process. It’s always a challenge for a busy writer trying to find time, and I’ve found that while storytellers love to talk about characters that they’ve pulled from the aether, it’s sometimes a bit more of a challenge for them to talk about themselves. Thanks indeed to Baeten for pulling back the veil a bit to let us know more about her. If you’re interested in the author’s book, the one we promoted is available and deeply moving. Check out The Fire Inside My Soul on Amazon today!