Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Peering Into the Shadows: Nineteen Teen Interviews Bestselling Author Julie Klassen

Please welcome bestselling author, Julie Klassen. Julie visited us previously, but she has news you’ll want to hear, and we asked her to tell you all about it!

Nineteen Teen: Since you last visited us, you’ve been busy with eight more books, including four in your wonderful Ivy Hill series, and accolades such as the Minnesota Book Award, Midwest Book Award, and Christian Retailing’s BEST Award. Well done! And now you have something special coming next week. What should we know?

Julie: My 18th novel, Shadows of Swanford Abbey, releases into the world. Release time is always exciting, if a little nerve-wracking as well. My publisher describes the novel as “Agatha Christie meets Jane Austen,” which I love since I admire both of those authors. The book is about a young woman staying at a Medieval abbey-turned-hotel rumored to be haunted. There she encounters a man who once broke her heart. When an author is murdered is the hotel, the two work together to solve the mystery, and find danger and romance along the way.

19T: Why did you decide to dip your toes into the mystery world?

: My husband and I had been listening to many mystery audiobooks, including titles by Agatha Christie and others. Somewhere along the line, I was struck with the idea of trying a “locked door” mystery myself (when a person locked alone in a room is killed and no one can figure out how). And being a writer, I was intrigued with the idea of the victim being an author who is perhaps not all that his public persona appears to be. Weaving together a convincing whodunit wasn’t easy but I enjoyed the challenge. Hope readers enjoy it as well.

19T: What was the most interesting thing you learned while researching Shadows of Swanford Abbey?

Julie: Good question! I was moved by the sad history of the many religious buildings that were claimed by the crown in previous centuries and given to noblemen, many of which remain private homes today, a few of which have become grand hotels. I was also interested to discover a few fascinating features in Lacock Abbey (the real abbey that inspired my fictional one), like a hidden staircase and abbess’s squint. You KNOW those ended up in the novel!

19T: You’ve been fortunate enough to take part in the Jane Austen Festival in Bath. What was that like?

Julie: It was memorable and strangely wonderful to parade through Bath in Regency attire while thousands of onlookers lined the streets to watch (even in the rain). Another time, I was blessed to find myself sitting next to Benjamin Whitrow (Mr. Bennet in 1995 Pride and Prejudice) at a theatre and enjoyed a lovely chat with him. Sadly Mr. Whitrow has passed away since then, but I feel privileged to have met him.

Popcorn round:

Milk or lemon in your tea? Milk.

Redingote or pelisse? Redingotes strike me as a bit more fashionable, but pelisses seem warmer, so since I live in frigid Minnesota, I’ll go with a pelisse.

Waltz or country dance? Waltz (I LOVE to waltz).

London townhouse or cottage in the country? Cottage in the country every time.

Jane Austen or Jane Eyre (we know, that’s tough one!) That is too difficult. May I just say “Jane” and leave it at that? 😊

Thanks for sharing Shadows of Swanford Abbey with us!

Gentle reader, be sure to preorder the book so that it delivers on release day, December 7, 2021: 



Baker Books (free shipping!)

Barnes and Noble

Books a Million

Christian Book

Indie Bound, an independent bookstore near you


Book Depository, free shipping worldwide

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