Hello everyone! Welcome to our first Women’s History Month (W.H.M.) Spotlight Event! This is a new blog event on Win’s Books that happens after B.H.M. Books ends and February. Women’s History Month is internationally known to be the month of March. And for two week-long of March, we spotlight female character centered books and stories, female authors, and more! Today’s posts are an author interview with the amazing author, Julie Bonn Blank. So, without further ado, let’s get on with the spotlight!
Warning: This blog contains:
- depiction or discussion of any nonconsensual sexual activity and sex trafficking.
About the Author:
When Julie is not writing, she designs websites, works a day job and loves to garden and walk the beach. She is an expert in domestic violence and also provides training in DV as well as many marketing and writing topics. She facilitates North Coast Christian Writers. She and her husband have four children, one granddaughter, one fur-child and live in Forest Grove, OR. Visit Julie at https://juliebonnblank.com. Download a free short story at https://www.subscribepage.com/penny
What and when started your love for writing?
Writing has always been a part of me. I began creating stories at a very young age and then never really stopped! There was a time in my life when I was in an abusive relationship, and I had a much harder time writing. But as I left that relationship and healed, I received a clear message that it was time to get back to writing, and that it would even be a part of my healing journey. It was time to write again for my own heart, and to take my healing message to the
Of all of the book genres, what drew you to write about yours?
I write a variety. The three books released this past year (one full novella, one novella and one short story) are all fiction and have the commonality of human trafficking and domestic abuse. They are suspense and some might even put them into the thriller category. But I’ve discovered that it’s important for the writer to include two things for the reader when writing these types of books.
One is other perspectives in addition to the victim’s and the second is that hope is always included. My books provide both in the form of chapters from other people’s perspectives (parents, detectives etc.) and the presence of angels (and sometimes rescues) to deliver hope. I also have some nonfiction in process, including a devotional to help walk abuse victims through healing from abuse and a potential memoir (or two). I freelance nationally and write for several blogs.
How does your writing empower other women or young girls?
Empowerment is incredibly important, and it starts with recognizing our true value. My books highlight kidnapping and trafficking but in most abuse stories, if we as victims recognize our TRUE value, we would be a lot quicker to act on those red flags that tend to show up in abusive relationships.
YOU were created for a purpose and there is NO one else in the world who can do what you were created to do, exactly as you were created to do it. As an example, no one can write these stories that I feel called to write except for me. Sure, they can write about the topic, but no one else will write it like I write it.
Your gifts are also unique to you and there is a reason that you are here in this world-to give this unique gift of YOU to help others. If we truly believe our value then we don’t put up with disrespect, poor treatment, dishonesty, and abuse. If it is safe to do so, we call people out when they are controlling, get support, set boundaries, and leave a situation
when it is unhealthy.
I would love to see more young gals empowered by the adults in their lives. It is so important that we provide education on what power and control looks like and what a healthy relationship looks like. That they understand their value and know their worth and have the tools they need to walk away from unhealthy relationships whether that relationship is with a partner, friend or family member. And then that they learn and understand that there are good
people in the world who will truly treasure them. These good people are worth finding, and worth waiting for.
What’s your favorite story centered around a female lead?
I love Pippi Longstocking, Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. Those stories show my age but are important examples of girls/women knowing their value and taking charge of their own futures. I also love the movie “Mamma Mia”.
In both movies, we see the same strong female character (at different ages) who, often at a big cost, plunges forward with determination, grit, and persistence. In my full-length novel, “Innocent Lives”, I resonate the most with Cienna in many ways. She is stubborn, a little rebellious, passionate, courageous, and never gives up. Although the abuse and the conditioning from her captor makes her doubt herself at times, she pushes forward, and freedom is always first on her mind, even after she has been damaged beyond repair.
Who is your favorite woman writer and why?
You are asking this of one who has been reading since an early age and who would sit under the cherry tree each summer as a girl and read over 200 books. LOL! I’m sure my parents were very grateful for the library as my habit started early and has been lifelong.
I suspect my husband is, as well! So I have had many and will answer with my current loves which are: Karen McQuestion, Catherine Ryan Hyde, Terri Blackstock, Melanie Campbell and Brandilyn Collins. These writers are not only amazing women in real life but are not afraid to tackle the hard stuff with strong women characters who certainly have their struggles but find their ways to victory.
What makes your book(s) special?
(Warning is applied here)
You will find other fiction books on human trafficking. However, for me they are often a struggle and painful to get through. They can be very detailed, use foul language and make one feel that there is no hope. They can include detailed and obvious use of obsession/stalking, a man in extreme power over women with no hope of her recovery or justice, D/S, murders of women and children, torture and more.
It saddens me that some readers really enjoy those stories and/or gain some pleasure in reading them. Although my goal is to raise awareness of human trafficking here in the USA,
my books also offer a lot of hope and even recovery from these situations. A woman can be proud to read my books and gain confidence, versus feeling degraded and hopeless. And readers agree. This review of “Innocent Lives” says: “I thought it would be a little difficult to review as I would be sensitive to some of the sexual passages…I believe you have struck a healthy balance between reality, sensitivity, and modesty in your description of some of the necessary scenes.
You have done a marvelous job of showing the psychological conditioning by abductors towards their abductee. The step-by-step conditioning displayed in the abductor’s behavior and actions, without ever having to explain it to the reader their action, is fantastic. I love the way you introduce and display your characters. In the case of the girls, you make the reader identify and care for them, to the point of tears. It is a deeply moving book.” -Richard B.
So… what are you working on now?
I’m committed to two more books in the series after “Innocent Lives: Guardians of Grace Book 1”. I have made good progress on one but still have a ways to go! My devotional to help with healing from abuse is about halfway done. I am speaking at a lot of venues on domestic abuse, trafficking, marketing and writing and some of those venues require writing out the story of what I will be speaking on first.
But you can keep up with me if you want to at https://juliebonnblank.com if you subscribe to my blog posts. You can also download a free short story called “Penny” and subscribe to my occasional newsletters by visiting https://subscribepage.com/penny
Thank you for the opportunity to chat with you all today! I would love to connect more. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and more!
Women’s history is being made by Julie! This writer and her work are admirable. Aside from being an excellent author, Julie seems to be a fun and wonderful person. For more information about Author Julie or to connect with her, please visit:
Check out my twitter feed!
It’s finally here!!!— Winnie Tataw (@WinsBooks) December 5, 2020
The 3rd Book in the Gods’ Scion Series, The Lone Star Child is out now !!!
A thrilling Sci-fi Fantasy about loneliness and revenge
Order your copy here:https://t.co/7V2uBcBEVd pic.twitter.com/yHtDMWKOTP
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