Julie Seedorf is the author of the Fuchsia, Minnesota series featuring a feisty senior woman who serves as the local undercover detective looking out for pickpockets. She demonstrates that senior citizens can still be fun and capable.
What got you interested in writing in the first place?
My first creative writing class when I was a junior in High School. I loved using my imagination. I always loved reading, but I found I also enjoyed writing, especially fiction and poetry. Then I joined speech class and it became my favorite class. We had to write our own speeches.
What books did you love to read as a child and what books and authors do you love reading today?
I loved Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, and other series similar to that. When I got older I like romance and mysteries. Today I like to read Catherine Coulter, Allen Eskens, and Cozy Mysteries by many different authors. My favorite book is usually the one I am reading. I also like spiritual self-help books.
What inspired you to write a series about a senior woman?
It just happened. Writing about older women wasn’t planned. I was weaving a tale and writing for fun when Granny (Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt) was born, and then Jezabelle Jingle emerged for my Brilliant Series. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I am older and I have a quirky sense of humor. At times I find most of us older women falling into a category of being sedentary and not thinking we can stretch and be goofy in our personalities. We have conformed because of responsibility and so did Granny and Jezabelle. Now is their time to shine.
Your series is ridiculously silly, but there is meaning behind it. What do you most want to convey to your readers with your books?
We have so much gloom and doom in our world today. Our houses have to conform to city codes. Right now even in my small community they have adopted ordinances of what we can and cannot have in our yards. Life used to be unique and wasn’t quite so restricting. I want people to laugh and to imagine what life might be like if we embraced our differences and celebrated the unique, such as in people, rather than shying away from them because they are different. Also old age has a defeating commentary put on it and so we need to laugh about some of those things. I received a criticism aboutmy first book, Granny Forks A Fugitive, because I make light of memory loss. The reviewer said there was nothing funny about memory loss and if I had ever had anyone with Alzheimer’s in my life I would not create a character that is funny with her memory loss. My mother, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law and my brother-in-law all suffered from this disease and if we didn’t look for the amusing, instead of laughing, we would have been crying constantly. I knew my mother would have never chosen to forget me, so when I was with her I became whoever she wanted me to be and we had some fun.
Granny’s neighbor Mavis lives in a fantasy world of her own, in which she is always pretending to bestarring in her own reality show. If you were to star in your own reality show, what would it be about?
I would be an artist and learn every different kind of art there is, bumbling in my mistakes, and I would also have a cooking show, “How To Burn Almost Everything.” That just gave me an idea.
Your Granny is a strong female character. What women in your life particularly inspired you?
My mother inspired me. We didn’t always get along because she was so headstrong and ornery at times, but as I get older and understand her life, I realize she overcame so many things and was a strong woman. She never believed she was old. She never believed there was nothing she couldn’t do, and in all actuality, I can’t think of anything she tried that she didn’t succeed doing until she reached her nineties and her mind failed her while her body was still strong. I want that kind of grit. I also have a friend who has lived and suffered with Ovarian Cancer for the last 24 years. She has constantly been in treatment to keep the disease at bay and keep living. Her faith and her “never give up” attitude has taught me a lot. I think of her telling me when I have had issues, “put one foot in front of the other, one step at a time even if you only can do one step.”
I understand that you have a story about how Granny compares to your own grandmother. Would you care to show it with us?
When I saw the first cover for Granny Hooks A Crook, I loved the image of Granny. For some reason, it was just how I pictured her. It wasn’t until a few months later as I was driving to a speaking engagement with my Granny Hooks A Crook t-shirt on that I started thinking of my own grandmother who died when I was six years old. I still remembered her and her letting me always comb her long hair. Then I realized the Granny on my t-shirt and in my books looked just like my real grandmother. I got home and found a picture of her and it was Granny, down to the nose, the eyeglasses, the hat and even the dress and the slim figure. It was a fluke I was published and a fluke that I now had a career as an author but now I knew it was my Grandmother helping me and guiding me and sending me a sign. I am in the process of developing a Granny Edith after her.
You have a number of crazy animals in your books. Each book seems to add another animal to the menagerie. What animals do you have or have had in your life?
Right now we have Natasha who is a rescue and part Siamese cat. She is our door and drawer opener. There is nothing she can’t get into. I have locks and Velcro on my door and drawers. We also have Boris, another cat, a huge cat. He is 17 pounds and is a big baby. He is the cat with expression in his eyes. They are fun to watch because they flash different feelings. They get along and they have fun together. I would have more, but I have a husband who thinks two are enough. We used to have Sambo, who was part springer spaniel and part bassett hound and I so miss him. He was huge too but so much fun. He buried my tall birdbath in the yard one day and covered it up. I came home to a birdbath in the ground that we had to uncover. He also decided to read one day and took all my books out of my bookshelf. We never knew what he would be up to.
What advice do you have for other people interested in writing for publication?
Do your research on publishers and genre. Are you looking for a publisher that you have to pay to publish your book, or are you looking for a publisher that will pay you royalties. Make sure your book is edited by a professional, although that doesn’t always happen with the books that are not published through my publisher, Cozy Cat Press. For the ones I publish myself, I don’t always have the money to hire an editor. It is a fact of life. In that case, I have author friends who understand writing be beta readers. And don’t give up if it is your dream. Believe in yourself.
Click here to read my review of Granny Hooks a Crook
Click here to read my review of Granny Skewers a Scoundrel
Click here to read my review of Granny Snows a Sneak
Click here to read my review of Granny Forks a Fugitive