Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Foot in the Door - Julie Luek

When a writer you know hits publication of national distribution with a household name like "Chicken Soup for the Soul," you can't help but make a big deal out of it.
Julie Luek may have just snagged her first major step into the big leagues and we're all very proud of her. A past contributor to the Rock, she has always had elegance about her writing. It comes as no surprise that she wowed the editors for this anthology.

CIR: What is your essay about?
JL: The theme of the Chicken Soup book was The Multitasking Mom’s Survival Guide. I wrote a story titled, First Feed The Heart, about a time I forgot (yes forgot) my son at school when he was only in Kindergarten. I was so busy trying to balance work, home, and being a parent, somehow he got lost in that shuffle. Fortunately, all ended well, but it was a good lesson in slowing down and taking care of myself, one I hoped to share with other moms.

Writing for Chicken Soup for the Soul was a bit different than other kind of writing I’ve done. When I write for a magazine, I am usually writing to inform or educate in an easy-to-read, hopefully entertaining format. Chicken Soup requires a more personal and pithy approach, wrapping up with some kind of heart-felt encouragement or happy ending.  It was fun to try and find out if I could capture the editor’s attention.

CIR: You've always been very encouraging to me and so many other writers. Do you find your support rewarding in ways that you couldn't have expected? The reason I ask is: you are an inspiration to me in that regard, even though I fail too often to lend such encouragement. Time is my enemy and then there's the self absorption thing...
JL: As with my friendship with you, I feel so privileged to know encouraging and supportive writers ahead of me on the journey who are willing to share with me their experiences with the writing and sometimes very frustrating publishing processes. I love the connections and hanging out with people who “get” me. I’m glad I can be encouraging, but would be less than honest if I didn’t admit that I gain far more writer friends like you than I give.

CIR: You're a runner and a bit of a Zen master to my understanding. Does this help with the patience necessary to write?
JL: This question makes me laugh. I’m a jogger, a very slow, oh-my-gosh-when-will-this-three-miles-be-over, jogger.  And you know more than almost anyone how I over-analyze everything, so I’m not even sure I can claim the Zen title either. 

Maybe because I have written so many magazine articles, I actually like the structure and formula of writing shorter pieces with a definite reader-awareness intention.  I also enjoy long amounts of time alone in complete silence and digging into my own thought and feeling awareness.  Where I struggle is with the larger, more ambiguous projects that other writers seem to thrive on.
CIR: What's your next project?

JL: Speaking of larger, ambiguous projects… I have a nonfiction book idea but getting it from idea to fruition is killing me. How do you authors do it? I have rewritten the introduction and first chapter at least three times.  I diligently avoid working on it by tinkering on my blogs or online platform building (yeah, OK, too much time on Facebook and Pinterest).
I also have a workshop gig, on the subject of platform building actually, to prepare for the upcoming Writing In The Rockies conference in Gunnison at Western State Colorado University.

CIR: Thanks, Julie! We'll be keeping an eye out for your name on the bestsellers lists!
JL: Thanks Dave and CIR for your continued support and friendship and letting me blab about what I’m doing.

Julie Luek
Julie Luek has her MA in Education and Counseling and is a freelance writer living in the mountains of Colorado and is published in regional, national and online publications and is the author of two blogs A Thought Grows and In Fine Company. She is also a biweekly contributor to the international writing site, She Writes and has appeared as a guest blogger on sites like WOW (Women on Writing), Chiseled in Rock, and others with writer-based content. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter and enjoys supporting the community of writers.

Interview conducted by Gusto Dave


Julie Luek said...

Thanks CIR for allowing me to lurk on the blog again. You all are amazing.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Yay, Julie! You rock! Chicken Soup for the Soul is a great place to get published. The series has a huge audience, so it's excellent exposure. Well done!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

My husband once left our son at Arby's. It was a high (low) of the parenting journey.

Julie Luek said...

Pat, as always, you are a wonderful cheer leader.

Elizabeth, I find that story so comforting! I'm not alone. ;)

M. L. Swift said...

Thanks Dave and CIR for hosting Julie today and supporting her, even with Dave's self-absorption thing going on. ;)

I'm in total agreement that Julie is indeed an inspiration to us all! I know she makes me want to be a better writer. I couldn't be prouder if she were my own sister. Good job, Jules.

Demetria Foster Gray said...

Hey Julie. Nice interview. I'm so proud of you conquering the Chicken Soup collection.

I'm extremely thrilled to actually know a writer of the Chicken Soup anthologies. Great job my friend.

Julie Luek said...

Mike, as always, your support is very much appreciated. Thank you.

Demetria, Thanks for stopping by my friend. :) Hugs.

Misha Gericke said...

Congrats on getting featured, Julie. :-)

I think your topic was a good one for the book.

David P. King said...

Awesome interview! It's always important to know when to slow down now and then. :) said...

It's great to know you a little better, Julie. I'm a slower "runner" than you. I'm a "when will this two miles on the treadmill be over" runner.

I love the title alone of your story. You always write with heart and inspiration, so I'm sure it's a worthy read.

Thanks for the interview, "Gusto" Dave and Julie.

Yolanda Renee said...

That balance of home and child rearing is a difficult one. My youngest, always so calm and thrilled to arrive at his daycare began to cry and cling - he was being abused and it took me a week to realize it wasn't a phase he was going through, as the owner of the daycare tried to convince me. She ran a Montessori School and thought bullying was how to get the kids to cooperate. The guilt was too much but changing my career goals to better accommodate my child, also started me on my writing journey! said...

Hi, Julie. I enjoyed learning a bit more about you, and I'm still giggling at Elizabeth's comment. (It could've been a lot worse than Arby's).

I can relate to the question, "How do authors do it?" Cranking out short pieces is much easier for me than tackling a huge project. If it helps any, you seem to me to be one of those authors I ask that question about. You can write anything.

Hope you're having a great weekend.

BECKY said...

Hmmm, I thought for sure I'd left a comment here...Maybe it was one of those times when I was having problems getting my comments to "stay"! Congrats on Chicken Soup. It's definitely a biggie!

Melissa said...

"...she has always had elegance about her writing. It comes as no surprise that she wowed the editors for this anthology."

Great interview. :)