An Interview with Julia Keanini

If you’ve been following along, then you know I’ve been interviewing as many artists and parents and artists/parents as I can get my hands on.
There are equally as many challenges as moments of joy in making a living as an artist and I believe the same can be said of parenting. I’ve been curious to know how other artists and parents manage. So naturally, I found a bunch of them and asked a ton of questions! Since I’m a giver, I thought I’d share them with you.
I post the interviews each Friday. Did you miss a few? Catch up!

R. M. Webb – former ballerina turned teacher turned choreographer turned author and host of this blog. She wrote these books. And this post about raising kids. And this short story.

Greg Tremblay – voice actor and homesteader.

ML Larson – the awesome uncle who uses British spellings despite living his whole life in the States.

Christine Tate – the Navy wife and homeschool mom who’s published her own bible study series.

Jane Danger – an author with the crazy cool name!

Did you read ’em? Ya? What’d ya think? Good stuff, right?

Alright then, let’s welcome Jula Keanini to R. M. Webb Fiction!

R. M. Webb: Tell me about yourself.

My name is Julia Keanini. I’m the mother of an energetic six-year-old boy. I’ve always dreamed of being a writer and have come to the point in my life of wanting to not only accomplish my dreams, but vanquish my fears 🙂

R. M. Webb: Why do you create?

It started as following a dream, but I honestly believe that most, if not all people need some type of creative outlet. I’ve always been a daydreamer. I’ve made up stories and read stories for as long as I can remember. Writing down the stories in my head has been a way of keeping my sanity.

R. M. Webb: Quick! Chocolate or chips?

Oh gosh. Chocolate, but chips hold a special place in my heart 🙂

R. M. Webb: Is your art your business? Do you make money (or try to!) for the things you create? Do you have a day job?

My husband is maybe the most supportive man on the planet. I’m a stay-at-home mom/writer thanks to my husband’s financial, emotional, and every other type of support out there.

I’m also able to stay at home because of the very capable support of Mr. Wonderful. Do you ever feel guilty for staying at home and living the dream? I know I want to prove myself ‘worthy’ of his support by finding some measure of financial success as a writer.

 

R. M. Webb: What caused you to want to market your art?

I’ve always dreamed of being published. I honestly thought the only way to do it was the traditional path. I started researching agents, querying, publishing, and I queried my first book for a good year before realizing it wasn’t the right book to debut with. My next finished book is the one I decided to indie pub. I actually went the traditional route, at first, and had that book requested by numerous agents, when I felt strongly I was supposed to indie pub. I know there are people who have turned down big publishing contracts and that must take some major guts because just writing the email to those agents that I wanted to pull my manuscript from consideration was nerve wracking. This isn’t to say traditional publishing isn’t the way to go. For some people it is absolutely the right path, just not for me, for this book. I saw the creative and business control of indie publishing and I was sold.

 

Expand on that, please. What drew you to dipping your feet into the indie pool?

 

R. M. Webb: Where/when does inspiration strike?

Usually in the shower, when I’m running, or when I’m trying to fall asleep. Basically anytime it’s difficult to get to a computer.

 

Eeek! Me too! Do you just to try to remember your ideas or do you have a way of getting them out of your head while you’re otherwise indisposed? A notebook? A recorder?

 

R. M. Webb: How do you react to negative feedback?

I haven’t had negative feedback from readers yet, since I’m still eight days out from publishing, but I’ve had plenty of rejection from agents. How I deal with the feedback depends on the source and if the criticism comes with reasons for not liking my work. Lots of negative feedback has helped me to become a better writer, while other feedback has helped me to grow a thicker skin.

 

By the time this interview posts, you’ll be a published author! How does that make you feel?

What’s next? Another book? Focus on marketing your first book? Kick your feet up and have a drink?

 

R. M. Webb: What’s your greatest obstacle as an artist?

My own self doubt.

R. M. Webb: Who’s your biggest champion?

My husband.

R. M. Webb: Quick! Red or blue?

Blue or red. Why is this so hard?

R. M. Webb: Do you have kids? If not, do you want to have kids?

Yes. My six-year-old and I’d love to have more kids.

R. M. Webb: If your child showed talent in an artistic endeavor, would you help her pursue a career in that field after having worked in a creative field yourself? Why or why not?

My gut reaction is to say absolutely. But it would depend on how old my child is and how serious he is about said endeavor. If he’s thirty-five with a family and wants to give up a stable job to move back in with us and become a rock star, I think I’d try to talk some sense into him. At least do night gigs while keeping his day job, if he’s serious about it. If he’s ten and wants to be a sculptor, I’d be off to buy him supplies and find him some classes asap.

R. M. Webb: How do you structure your day as an artist/entrepreneur/person/parent? How do you get it all done?

Before my son was in school, it was near impossible. Now that he’s gone during the day, I write and try to do as much of the business side of things while he’s not around. I make sure to have a good amount of time with him as soon as he get’s home, no matter how busy I am and then if I have to go back to work, I’ll do it after I’ve had time to play and speak with him. Even though my writing is important, he’s only this age once. If I miss my chances now, I won’t get them back.

R. M. Webb: Describe yourself as a parent.

Wow, this is hard. I love my kid and try to show him that love at every turn. Sometimes it means cuddling him, sometimes it means disciplining him, and sometimes it means teaching him. It’s definitely the most difficult job I’ve ever had and the fear that I’ll mess up this great kid I’ve been given is one of my biggest fears.

 

I think fear has its fingers in the hearts of most parents. How do you manage your fears?

 

R. M. Webb: What’s the best thing about raising kids?

Seeing him grow and learn. How much he loves me even when I mess up. How much he teaches me.

R. M. Webb: What’s the hardest thing about raising kids?

Seeing my faults in someone else and knowing it’s all my fault.

R. M. Webb: Are your kids ever involved with your art? Do they inspire you? Work with you? Would you like to include them in your business as they grow?

So far he isn’t really a part of it, but I’ll always leave that option open to him.

R. M. Webb: What advice would you give someone dreaming of making it in your field?

Go to Kboards. Write, write, write, and write some more. Know that the first maybe even hundred thousand words will be crap. Doing all parts of publishing is hard work. Be ready for a long haul.

R. M. Webb: If you could pass one thing on to the next generation in general, what would it be?

Always work to improve yourself. Be better today than you were yesterday.

R. M. Webb: What’s the best thing about your life?

My relationships

R. M. Webb: Quick! Eat out or cook at home?

Eat out! Yay an easy one 🙂

R. M. Webb: What’s the hardest thing about your craft?

Knowing when a manuscript is finally done.

R. M. Webb: What’s the best thing about your craft?

When a manuscript is finally done.

R. M. Webb: What’s the hardest thing about the business side of your craft?

Finding people to work with that you can trust. Everything is up to me.

R. M. Webb: What’s the best thing about the business side of your craft?

Everything is up to me.

R. M. Webb: Quick! Your peanut butter’s on your banana. What do you do?

Eat it and then lick my fingers.

Want to learn more about Julia? Follow the links!

Website

Twitter

Have a question for Julia? Leave a comment!

**Standard disclaimer: The views expressed in this interview don’t necessarily reflect the views of R. M. Webb.

2 thoughts on “An Interview with Julia Keanini”

  1. The mother of 22, 24 and 26 year olds is the most challenging job I’ve ever had. And Julia, my dear, you’ve nailed it! Seeing my flaws in them and knowing it’s ALL MY FAULT is probably the worst. But there is a pay off here too…cause when you see your best qualities come out in them erases any and all of the bad.

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