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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Interview & Giveaway! Julie Klassen ~ Author of The Maid of Fairbourne Hall!

Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Julie!! Will you tell us a little about yourself? 

Thanks, I'm happy to be here. I am from Illinois originally and graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in advertising. I worked in marketing and then as an editor for Bethany House Publishers for many years before becoming a full-time writer. I live in Minnesota with my husband of 21 years, our two sons, a cat named Mojo, and a herd of dust bunnies.

What inspired The Maid of Fairbourne Hall?

I’ve wanted to write a book like this for some time, first of all, because the books I write are set at a time and place (early 1800s England) where live-in servants were common. Second, because I really enjoy programs like Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey which portray the lives of servants as well as those they serve.

What is something the average reader wouldn't know about you?

Readers I meet in person are often surprised to discover I’m tall (5’10”). I must look smaller in photographs!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I have enjoyed writing stories since the second grade, according to a faded report card. And throughout school and college I took many literature and writing courses. But it wasn’t until later, after working in advertising, then as an editor, that I got serious about writing and completed my first novel.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Perhaps that I “cast” my characters, choosing actors or models for each main character before I write a new book. This helps me to see my characters as “real” people, to differentiate them from other characters, even to begin “hearing” their voices. (Yes, my husband is worried--I’m hearing voices in my head. And they all have English accents. :))

How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall is my 5th book to date, and I am working on a 6th. My first published novel (Lady of Milkweed Manor) will always be special to me, but otherwise, I seem to have a new favorite each time a new book releases. It’s the honeymoon phase, I suppose.

What would you say is the best and/or worst part about being a writer?

The best part is the fulfillment of knowing I’m doing what God wired me to do--and for His glory. Being an author is a lifelong dream come true! But it is probably the hardest work I’ve ever done.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I enjoy watching period dramas, going out to dinner with friends, watching my sons play basketball, and traveling with my husband.

Is there a place you’d like to visit, but haven’t yet?

My husband and I would like to visit Ireland and/or Scotland one of these days.
Do you have a favorite song and/or movie?

My favorite hymn is Great is Thy Faithfulness. And I loved the mini-series based on Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel, North and South.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

“For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” --Ephesians 2:10

Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you give us a hint?

Yes, I am working on my next stand-alone Regency-era novel, called The Tutor’s Daughter. More details will be shared at my Facebook party on March 15th. Hope to see you there.

Thanks so much for being here! Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web?

I enjoy connecting with readers. Please feel free to send me an email through my website (www.julieklassen.com) or to find me at “Author Julie Klassen” on Facebook. Thanks--and thanks for having me here.

Book Giveaway!

Enter to win a copy of The Maid of Fairbourne Hall! You can read my review here. This giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada only. 

The mandatory entry is to leave a blog post comment on this post. Also, for those who leave comments as anonymous, would you please leave your name in the comment (so I can match it with Rafflecopter)? Thanks! :)

Enter using the Rafflecopter below! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I really enjoyed reading this interview! Please enter me in the giveaway, Melanie! Sounds like an interesting read. =)

    my e-mail addy is: evenstarheart{at}gmail{dot}com

  2. Oh, I LOVE Julie's books! I await each and every new one!
    I loved the interview! I enjoyed her candid answers and especially loved it when she said that she lives with a herd of dust bunnies, same here:)))))
    It would be a privilege to win an autographed copy of her latest book!
    Thanks for making it possible!

    Many Blessings and Smiles:)
    Charlotte Kay

  3. Really enjoyed your review! Adding to my must read list! Thank you!!!!

  4. This book sounds really interesting!
    I am really excited to read it!

  5. Thanks for the great interview and opportunity to win! Julie Klassen sounds like a good author

    Marianne Barkman
    marianne dot wanham at gmail dot com

    1. The Maid of Fairbourne Hall is the only book I've read by Julie - it was great! Thanks for entering! :)

  6. Great interview. Thanks for the giveaway. I believe I'm signed into Rafflecopter as Crystal Williams Fulcher.

    1. I'm glad you like the interview and giveaway!! Thanks for entering! :)

  7. What a great interview- I enjoyed reading more about Julie and like that we both love North and South! Thanks so much! Cheryl

  8. Sounds like wonderful book! I would love to read it!


  9. Great interview Melanie. I really like the cover and can't wait to read this story. Congrats on the release Julie!

    your1chef at aol dot com

    1. I love that cover, too! :) Thanks for entering! :)

  10. Great intereview. She has had a lot of practice if she has been writing since the second grade!


  11. Great interview. I've heard great things about this book and woudl love to read it!

    1. Thanks, Rebecca! The Maid of Fairbourne Hall is great! I hope you get the chance to read it! :)

  12. Lovely interview! I've heard alot about this book and I love the shows Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey :) Thank you, ladies for the fun interview :)

    1. You're welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed the interview!

      I haven't even watched those shows... but I have heard a lot about them! :)

      Thanks for commenting! :D

  13. Great interview. I have read a couple of her books and looking forward to reading this one as well.

    avidreader at middleswarth dot net

  14. Fun review and looks like a book very much in vogue right now! Thanks :)

  15. *Squeal!* I am so excited about this giveaway! I went on a Julie Klassen craze a few months ago and with the help of Amazon.com and my local library, read all of her books! I've looked forward to this latest one since I heard about it!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    biblioprincess15 (at) yahoo (dot) com

    1. Oh! I've only read this one... I really want to read her other books! :)

      Thanks for entering and I hope you get to read this book soon! :)

  16. This book sounds very interesting. I have never read one of your books before so I hope I win. Sherri igottawrite@bellsouth.net www.sherriwilsonjohnson.com

  17. I've been seeing this book all over the place! Sounds like a great read!

  18. Oh, and my rafflecopter name is Kate {The Parchment Girl} ... either that or Kate Scott. I'm not sure which. All I can see is Kate on the login screen, so maybe it's just kate?

  19. I've heard really good things about this book!!!

  20. I absolutely LOVE regencies and have ready every one in my library. I'm so glad it is becoming popular in CBA. Looking forward to reading more!!!

  21. Thanks for the great interview! I loved learning about Julie and reading about some great new books to read.

    Andrea Williams

  22. I love how simple and gorgeous the cover designs are! :)

  23. Hi, Melanie -

    I enjoyed your questions to Julie. And to your question of the best/worst part of writing, I was captivated by Julie's response:
    "The best part is the fulfillment of knowing I’m doing what God wired me to do--and for His glory."
    "....what God wired me to do--" "...for His glory."

    Those are phrases worth soulful pondering.

    Thank you,


  24. Oops!!!!

    I forgot to leave name and email in previous comment!!

    Patricia Blomeley-Maddigan

    madley (AT) cogeco (DOT) ca

  25. I have been seeing this book and thinking it would be great to read, thanks for sharing interview with Julie, I read a lot and would be happy to be in your drawing, will post on FB also.
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

  26. This sounds like a great read. I'll have to look up more of Julie's books.

  27. I would love to win this book, saw the contest on goodreads. please enter me, I follow your site.

    mamat2730 at charter dot net

  28. Melanie, my favorite of her books has to be Girl in the Gatehouse because Mariah is a writer, but the first one I ever read, The Silent Governess, is a close second! Such unique premises!

  29. Great interview! I absolutely love period pieces!

    Stefanie McMullen


  30. Thanks everyone for the great comments. Glad you enjoyed the interview!

  31. I have now read two of Julie's books and I have become a huge fan! must read all the others. Would LOVE to win this book! =)

  32. I love a great historical!!
    Thanks for the wonderful giveaway :)

    Kim Reid
    kimberlybreid at hotmail dot com

  33. Would love to read this book. I know Julie is a great writer.

  34. Stephanie CHristmann

  35. Great interview Melanie! I am just dying to get my hands on TMOFH! Thanks for this opportunity!


    Julie! I've always wanted to go to Scotland or Ireland myself!

  36. I just recently watched North & South for the first time. Loved it. And I "hear" Julie and other friends talking about Downtown Abbey on facebook a lot, suppose one of these days I'll give in and find a way to watch that online.

    Please enter me for the book! rmjagears AT gmail DOT com

  37. Oh, do enter me! I would love to win this lovely novel, as I have been interested in reading it for a while now...

    serving tea and scones @ www.theoldfashionedgirl.com

  38. I would love to win this book because I love Julie's books and have all the rest.

    Julie, all the voices in my head are from the UK, too. I wish I did a better job with my Scots when I read my book aloud (it's really bad!)

    Thank you, Melanie! my email addy is debraemarvin (at) yahoooo

    Oh, North and South is ... well, I would say my favorite if I wasn't so addicted right now to Downton. oh yes. It's bad. I just watched the finale again on line. Apparently three times in one week is not enough...

  39. I love Julia Klassen books. I have read her books and she is an excellent writer and author. I enjoyed her interview very much. Could you please enter me in this contest for The Maid of Fairbourne Hall.

    Mary Duff


  40. This sounds like a great story! I've never read any of Julie's books before, but am looking forward to reading this one!

  41. I tried leaving a comment before, but I guess it didn't go through :)
    Excellent interview, Melanie, really loved Julie's answers! I love how tall Julie is and I also want to visit Ireland, very cool!
    Please don't enter me, I already have a review copy, but wanted to stop by and say hi to you :)
    Thanks for the giveaway and best wishes to all who have entered!
    Later Mel, blessings!

    1. Hi Kara!

      Thanks for visiting and commenting!

      I'm glad you enjoyed the interview! I hope you love The Maid of Fairbourne Hall as much as I did when you read it! :)

  42. Great interview melanie way to get us all excited and dying to win the book it sounds great!

  43. Sounds like a great read .Scotland and Irelenad are places Id love to see


  44. I've seen this book on Goodreads quite a bit and am looking forward to reading it - hopefully my library will get it! Or I win it! :-)

  45. This book sounds wonderful. Can't wait to read it! Thanks for the giveaway!

  46. Can't wait to read this book!
    kandrajane (at) bellsouth (dot) net

  47. This sounds great! The author sounds wonderful, too. I wish I was 5'10"! haha...:)

  48. I've heard nothing but wonderful things about Julie's latest. I'd love to be entered! :)

  49. Thanks again Melanie (& all)--it's fun to meet old friends and new readers here.

  50. Wonderful interview!

    P.s. I used the name Kimberly in rafflecopter!

  51. I have never read one of her books, but this seems like a great one to start with!
    eg kaufman

  52. Thank you so much for th giveaway!

    Since this book is on my TBR, I would KILL to win it. *crosses fingers*

  53. This looks like a good book to read!
    I'm in!

  54. Some of Julie's books are on my TBR list - can't wait to see if I get this one!

  55. I haven't read anything by this author before but I'd really like to -- sounds really interesting.

  56. Love all your books! This one has been on by to be read list. I am so looking forward to reading it!
    Candice Valdez

  57. Thank you so much! I really want to read this book but cannot afford to buy it. Thanks again!

    - Cecilia


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