Sunday, December 13, 2009


Remember that new author I'd discovered a few posts down? The one who writes stories like Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters? Think Pride and Predjudice, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights!

Well, drum roll please *~*~*~*~*~ I'm excited to introduce JULIE KLASSEN on my blog! You'll find a list of all her books on the right, with her latest release of The Silent Governess at the top.

Here's Julie in her own words:

My background is in advertising and marketing, but I am blessed with a dream job—working as an editor of Christian fiction. I have been writing since childhood, but Lady of Milkweed Manor was my first novel. It was a finalist for a Christy Award and won second place in the Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards. My second novel, The Apothecary's Daughter, was a finalist in the ACFW Book of the Year awards. I am currently writing one novel a year.

I graduated from the University of Illinios and enjoy travel, research, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps and coffee with friends.

My husband and I have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.

After thoroughly enjoying her first two books, The Lady of Milkweed Manor and the Apothecary's Daughter, I'm waiting with panted breath to read The Silent Governess! Here's what it's about: 

Olivia Keene is fleeing her own secret. She never intended to overhear his.

But now that she has, what is Lord Bradley to do with her? He cannot let her go, for were the truth to get out, he would lose everything--his reputation, his inheritance, his very home.

He gives Miss Keene little choice but to accept a post at Brightwell Court, where he can make certain she does not spread what she heard. Keeping an eye on the young woman as she cares for the children, he finds himself drawn to her, even as he struggles against the growing attraction. The clever Miss Keene is definitely hiding something.

Moving, mysterious, and romantic, The Silent Governess takes readers inside the intriguing life of a nineteenth-century governess in an English manor house where all is not as it appears.

Doesn't that sound exciting? I can't wait to get my hands on it!

Now, please join me for an interview with a supremely talented author. Remember: If you leave a comment with your email address listed, you'll be entered to win her latest release The Silent Governess.

Julie, welcome to my blog. I'm honored and absolutely thrilled to have you here. So, please tell us, how long have you been writing? How did you get your start?

I have been writing on and off since childhood, but didn’t get serious about it until my husband was laid off several years ago. (Necessity really is the mother of invention!) In the meantime, I worked as an editor for Bethany House Publishers. I have learned so much from other authors and from reviewing and editing manuscripts—all of which, I believe, have made me a better writer.

When I (secretly) wrote my first historical, Bethany House was my hoped-for publisher. Since I work with the people who would be reviewing my novel, I submitted it under a pseudonym so that if it was accepted, it would be done so objectively. Of course, this also allowed me to cower under the protection of anonymity in case it was rejected! Fortunately, they liked it, and published Lady of Milkweed Manor in 2007, followed by The Apothecary’s Daughter in ’08 and now, The Silent Governess.

What made you decide to write fiction?

I’m a big believer in writing what you love. I have always been a fiction reader and especially enjoy novels with strong romantic elements, so that’s what I write.

What made you choose this particular genre?

I write historical fiction, set in England. I like anchoring novels to historical realities, and revealing interesting aspects of the way people used to live. I find 19th century views on women, medicine, education, and so much more, very interesting. And readers seem to as well.

I’m not sure why I am fascinated with England. Perhaps because I read The Secret Garden and Jane Eyre at an early age and so enjoy the works of Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell and Charles Dickens.

How did things change once you became a published author? Did you lose friends? Make friends? How did it affect your family?

My life is certainly busier! Even though I have worked in publishing for years, I really had no idea how much work being a writer really was. Not only the research, writing, and revising itself, but also all the promotion components that go along with it. And don’t get me started about taxes! My husband and sons are supportive, but I still struggle to balance the competing demands of family, work, church, and writing. I haven’t lost friends, but nor do I get to see them as often as I once did. I have also made several wonderful new writer-friends, which has been such a help and a blessing.

Where do you spend your time writing? Do you have a favorite place? A favorite time of day?

I have written in coffee shops, hotels, and libraries. But mostly I write in the cluttered dining room—the only room with a door to help shut out the sounds of boy-noise and video games. Now that my sons are in school, and I am working only part-time, I can sometimes write during the day. But I usually end up writing at night, after the boys are in bed, unless I have a BBC period drama from Netflix.…

How did you come up with the story for The Silent Governess?

Even though I rarely listen to classical music, the original idea for this novel was inspired by Mahler’s Third Symphony, which I heard on a long, solo car trip. As I listened, whole scenes spun forth like a movie in my mind.

Also, having been intrigued by English governesses ever since my 6th grade teacher read Jane Eyre aloud to us (with real emotion and even mascara-tears), I thoroughly enjoyed researching real-life governesses. This research also shaped the story of The Silent Governess.

What are you working on now?
Since completing The Silent Governess, I’ve been playing catch-up at home and at work. I have also begun a fourth novel, similarly set in early 19th-century England. I haven’t settled on a title yet, but will post more information on my web site when I can.

Julie, thank you so much for stopping by and giving us a chance to get to know you!

Don't forget to leave a comment with your email address in order to win a signed copy of The Silent Governess. I'll announce the winner on Friday. 


  1. I loved Julie's books and hopes she keeps writing!!! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

  2. Sandi and Julie -- great interview!!

    Julie, The Silent Governess sounds WONDERFUL and like Sandi, I can't wait to read it! Maybe I'll be lucky enough to win it here ... :)

    A blessed Christmas to you both.



  3. LOVE to read this book! I have so enjoyed reading her other two. plus i'm such a Jane Austen Addict, I have a quote handy for pretty much any occasion.

    rebornbutterfly (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

  4. I love Jane Austen and have been eyeing Julie's books for quite some time! I'd love a chance to win.


  5. My daughter and I have both read Julie's first two books. Loved them! In fact, my daughter was downright anti-social while reading them. That's how you can tell a really good book in our house. We're looking forward to The Silent Governess and would love a chance to win.

    dina sleiman (at) gmail (dot) com

  6. The Apothecary's Daughter was a fantastic book and I am looking forward to the next one. Great interview. Thank you.

  7. I've yet to read a Julie Klassen book, but they do look great. Have her on my TBR list. Please enter me for The Apothecary's Daughter. Thank you.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  8. I misread the giveaway. It's The Silent Governess in the contest. Please enter me.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  9. Julie's book looks great and I would love to win a copy. Thanks for the interview and good review.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

  10. I am huge Jane Austen fan. I've always searched for someone to "add" to Miss Austen's collection. I would love your book, but I'm also planning to get the other two. Thanks for this wonderful post.


  11. This sounds like a terrific read! Please enter me!

    Thanks & Merry Christmas - Andrea

    andrealschultz[at]gmail[dot]com - please visit my blog. I am hosting the 12 Pearls of Christmas. Leave a comment to win a 3 strand pearl necklace. And please follow or subscribe to my new blog! Thanks! : )

  12. OOOOooo, I can't wait to get my hands on this new book of Julie's. I was so disappointed to not get to meet her at the ACFW conference. I don't buy a lot of books but The Apothecary's Daughter was on my buy list in Sept. I have this dream that I'll catch up on my TBR pile over the holiday break. Not a chance, but I'd sure like to make it bigger by getting The Silent Governess.

    Thanks Sandi and Julie!

  13. I haven't read a book of that genre in a loooong time. But it sounds great! Hope I win a copy. :D

  14. How fun to find old friends here(Hi Julie L.!) and to "meet" new readers, too. All the best to whoever wins!

  15. I've read both of Julie's previous books and loved them! Please enter me in the giveaway for her newest looks as wonderful as the others. I really enjoyed the interview.
    Thank you.

    Christmas Blessings,


  16. Wonderful interview! I loved hearing your story. This is not the time period I usually pick first, but I'm thinking I might have to "re-think" that. Your books sound great!
    Merry Christmas!