Interview with Author Julia Benally.


Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with author Julia Benally. Julia is an up-and-coming author who focuses on the horror/thriller genre. She has had many shorter pieces published in a variety of places, and she recently published her debut novel, Pariah, which is available on AMAZON! Check out Julia’s WEBSITE to read more of her writings.

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What drew you into the horror/thriller genre?

Since I was little, I had been exposed to horror and thriller together. I loved the excitement that they both offered, and when mixed together, I found that, at least to me, they enhanced one another. I wasn’t sure I could write anything thriller, I thought that I was strictly horror, but when a reader classified one of my pieces as horror-thriller, I started to wonder.

Do you think that your Native American heritage has influenced your writings? How so?

At first I had no idea if my heritage did or not, because it’s just been a part of me. Then in an interview a few years ago with Daniel Foytik of The Wicked Library Podcast, he asked me about putting my heritage into my story. I was totally confused and just said, “I do?” He mentioned my nods to respecting elders and to the importance of family. I thought about it, and began looking into my stories, and I found those themes running throughout, some not so much as others, but there it was. I had thought I had just been taking superstitions and ghosts from the reservation as a part of my storytelling. So I’m pretty sure it’s meshed into everything I do.

You have a nice, long list of published works (congratulations on all your success!). Do you have a personal favorite piece that you’ve written?

Thank you! I had fun writing every one of them. I have several favorites, one of them being “Tiger,” because I absolutely love tigers. I had no idea what I wanted to write about one day, and then I saw a quote that said to write what I love. And I said to myself, “I love tigers!” I love to hunt, and sometimes while I was hunting, I would wonder what I would do if I did run into something out in the woods that didn’t belong there. There’s a man in a town several miles away who does own tigers, and I wondered what would happen if they ever got out. So “Tiger” came to me, and is one of my longest pieces.

Compared to other demographics, there is a under-representation of Native American authors. What made you pursue a career as an author?

When my middle school teacher made us finish a story for her English class, I absolutely fell in love with story-telling, because I found that telling a story was playing with words, and not so much “writing” in the boring sense. My imagination needed an outlet. Writing turned into my air. I had to write to get through the day. I had to write to be happy. I would explode if I didn’t write, and I knew that if I did something that didn’t involve writing, I would die inside.

Where do you hope to be in your writing career 5 years from now?

In five years, I hope to still be writing for my own enjoyment, and not having to write what other people want me to. My first book “Pariahs” has come out, and I hope to have the second and third books to it out in the next five years. I also hope my writing and story-telling improve so that I can be lauded as a great author.

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