We had the good fortune of connecting with Julane Fisher and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Julane, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Whenever an aspiring author asks me for advice, the first thing I say is, “Writing is the easy part, but marketing will be your greatest challenge.” The publishing world has changed dramatically since from the time publishers spent thousands of dollars on marketing campaigns to create instant New York Times Bestsellers. The reality today is authors must know how to market their own books. Social media platforms are a great start, but often not enough. What set me apart and the most important factor behind my success as an author has been speaking at local schools. I spent hours developing an exciting, interactive presentation that aligned with the school’s curriculum. The response has been overwhelming. I’ve had the privilege to speak to 11,500 students in the metro-Atlanta area about literacy and becoming great writers. In 2019, I incorporated a strong anti-bullying message, challenging kids to put an end to school bullying. Students have the opportunity to purchase a signed copy of my books which I personalize for each student. The kids often spread the word for me on their Instagram by telling their friends to buy my books! I constantly push myself to become a better writer and speaker and it has paid off. I’ve been asked to speak at numerous events, including the Decatur Book Festival. “Sour Lemon and Sweet Tea” was awarded Readers’ Favorite® 5-star Review and placed second in the 2019 Selah Awards. “Sour Lemon Strikes Out” is a finalist in the 2020 Selah Awards, which will be announced in late 2020.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Every time I speak to students during an author visit, I share my story of how I wasn’t a good reader as a kid and never dreamed I’d become an author. I want them to know that if they work hard, they can overcome any challenge if they don’t give up! Although I’d never taken a formal class on writing or read a writing craft book, I wrote what was on my mind and in my heart, creating a timeless story of twins living on a farm in rural Georgia. “Sour Lemon and Sweet Tea” has been compared to classics like “Because of Winn Dixie” and “Little House on the Prairie”. These comparisons make me so proud of all I’ve accomplished. I write quality books kids will love reading and parents will know are clean and wholesome. The Sour Lemon Series teaches valuable lessons such as friendship and forgiveness and stresses family and community. I’m most proud when kids tell me how much they’ve enjoyed the Sour Lemon Series. Last year, I received a letter from a sixth-grade girl who told me she hated reading until she read “Sour Lemon and Sweet Tea”. My book made her want to read more! The letter hangs in my office as a reminder to never give up and keep doing what I’m doing! There have been many challenges along the way, but I’ve learned that to become a better writer, you must be willing to accept criticism. Rejection is hard but it has made me a better author and speaker. The powerful message of never give up is my personal mantra to step out on a limb and take risks.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’ve lived in Atlanta most of my life and seen the way our city has evolved. Although most visitors would want to see the tourist sights downtown, catch a Braves games, and tour the Coca-Cola Museum, I prefer the small towns that make our city great. I grew up in Roswell so much of what I love is because it brings back memories of childhood. Roswell Square with its eclectic restaurants for lunch, followed by the historic tour of homes: Barrington Hall, Bulloch Hall, and the Smith Plantation. From Kennesaw Mountain to Roswell, famous Civil War sites abound. A stop at the famous Roswell Mill and Town Square is a must. Evening plans include driving a short distance north to Lake Lanier Islands for a sunset dinner and stroll on the sandy beach. The following day, I’d take my guests downtown for good ole’ southern cooking at Mary Mac’s Tea Room, an Atlanta tradition for seventy-five years. After fried green tomatoes and homemade cinnamon rolls, we’d catch a show at the historic Fox Theatre on Peachtree Street followed by dinner at The Sun Dial, a spinning hotel restaurant and bar with 360-degree views of Atlanta.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I joined the Atlanta Writers Group before I was even published. I learned a ton from those that have gone before me and the lessons proved invaluable once a publisher picked up my series. I’m also a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) of North Georgia. This group has become my writer family. They have gone above and beyond to encourage me to continue writing and speaking, lift me up when I’m down, and share ideas for becoming a better author and speaker. I owe much of my success to ACFW of North GA. Through ACFW, I joined an online critique group. Sharing your art or writing with others is really important and this group of amazing authors has been an instrumental part of my success as an author.
Youtube: Julane Fisher Author
Brandy Hankinson Photography