Today I’m conducting a session with…Julie Mulhern!
Julie is giving away an e-copy of The Deep End!
Just comment and share this post to be entered into the giveaway! Feel free to use the handy-dandy click-to-tweet links to share it quickly.
Enter to #WIN an e-copy of The Deep End by @juliekmulhern! #AOTC Click To Tweet
~ First things first, if you missed Julie’s first session you can take a quick look at it HERE.
Me: Have there been any big changes in your life since our last session—good or bad? Tell us about them.
Julie: Abbie, it’s so nice to be sitting on your couch again. But, I have a confession to make. I feel about as interesting as a potato. The only big change in my life is that my eldest is in college. We miss her when she’s gone but the house is a lot cleaner.
Me: Which of your characters are you most like? Why?
Julie: I am most like my heroine, Ellison. I sneak into bits of her personality and we have the same dry, interior monologue.
For instance, when confronted with her neighbor’s collection of owl décor, Ellison thinks the woman might be as barmy as a barn owl. I would think the same.
Me: How many books have you written? How long does it typically take you to write a book? What’s the most painful part of the writing process for you?
Julie: I’ve written six books in the Country Club Murders series and two romances. It takes me four to six months to write one and the most painful part of the process is opening the editorial letter. I read it, gnash my teeth, sleep on the suggestions therein for a few days, then get to work.
Me: What’s the most painful rejection or review you’ve ever received? How did you get over it?
Julie: Early on, a reader wrote of The Deep End that (I don’t have to look this up to quote it), “Nothing could redeem this trash from the bottom of the barrel.”
One of the plot elements in The Deep End is a predilection for kinky sex. There is no actual kinky sex in the book but that reader was appalled by the mere mention of it. I hope. That or she hated my writing.
Me: How do you deal with rejection or bad reviews? What advice can you give others about how to handle rejection and bad reviews?
Julie: I don’t like sushi. Truly, I hate sushi. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. You could take me to the best sushi restaurant in the world and feed me the best dish on the menu and I still wouldn’t like it.
My dislike is no reflection on the restaurant or the chef or the preparation of the dish.
I just…well, yuck.
My books are funny. They’re mysteries. They deal with women’s issues in the 70s. If a reader doesn’t like those things, or if a reader thinks that social issues are serious topics and humor has no place in a book about abuse or women’s rights or the fall-out of infidelity, they won’t like my books.
No reflection on the book, the writer, or the story.
Now that I sound as deep as a butter plate…
Me: What’s your life motto? Why does that motto speak to you?
Julie: Perception is reality. That’s my motto. We CHOOSE how we perceive the things around us. I choose to be positive (the glass is half-full damn it!). That’s not to say I can’t be knocked down. I can. But I always get up, and I welcome each day with the belief that something marvelous is going to happen.Perception is reality. That’s my motto. We CHOOSE how we perceive the things around us. @juliekmulhern #AOTC #AmWriting Click To Tweet
Me: What’s your writer’s mantra? Why does that mantra speak to you?
Julie: Butt in chair. Books don’t write themselves.Butt in chair. Books don’t write themselves. @juliekmulhern #AOTC #AmWriting Click To Tweet
Me: What do you collect? Why? What personal meaning does this item have for you?
Julie: Not owls!!! Actually, I’m not much of a collector except for books. I have way too many books. The books I love are doorways into places I may never see, experiences I may never have, or times I definitely won’t live in.
Me: What genre(s) do you write? Why do those particular kind of books call you to write them?
Julie: I write mysteries. In a good mystery, death upends the natural order of things and a detective or sleuth works to restore that order by catching the killer. There’s something very comforting in the restoration of order.
Me: Tell me about your mystery, Watching the Detectives:
Ellison Russell wanted a decorator, not a corpse. Too bad she finds Mrs. White in the study killed with a revolver. Things go from bad to worse when she finds Mr. White in the dining room killed with a candlestick. With so many bodies, is it any wonder Detective Anarchy Jones’ new partner considers Ellison a suspect?
With the country club gossips talking a mile a minute, an unexpected cocktail party, a visit from Aunt Sis, and a romantic decision, Ellison hardly has time to think about murder. Unfortunately, the killer has plenty of time to think about her.
Me: Share with us a favorite paragraph or two from your book, Watching the Detectives.
When my daughter, Grace, was little, we invited every child in her class to her birthday parties. I particularly remembered the party the year she was in first grade. The children played party games like pin the tail on donkey and musical chairs and shrieked, swung a pole at a piñata groaning with candy and shrieked. Trip Michaels whacked someone in the head with the pole which caused even more shrieking. Then there was the jostling and shrieking to determine who got to sit next to the birthday girl when she opened her presents. Finally, the little darlings ate cake and ice cream—and shrieked some more. After two exhausting, soul-killing hours, the mothers arrived and took their sugar-filled progeny home. CeCe Lowell told me in advance that she’d be late. Laurie Michaels did not.
I took the children into the den, sat on the couch, and sipped an industrial-size glass of wine.
Grace sat on the floor and played with her new set of Easy Curl rollers, also known as giant tear-inducing snarls waiting to happen.
Bobby and Trip plonked themselves down a respectable distance from Grace and her girly curlers and engaged in a heated debate. If Superman and Batman fought each other, who would win?
“There’s no way Batman would win in a fair fight.” The stripes on Bobby’s t-shirt were marked with chocolate syrup and his hair was mussed from a scuffle for a musical chair, but he managed an unexpected level of gravitas. “Superman has super powers.”
Trip wrinkled his freckled nose. “Fair? Batman doesn’t have super powers. What he’s got is a cool car and gadgets. It’s fair if he uses them.”
The argument grew heated. The boys’ cheeks flushed and their eight-year-old hands tightened to fists.
“Boys.” I offered up a smile that hardly had the energy to move my lips. “Does it matter?”
“Yes!” They agreed on something.
I sank farther into the couch and sipped my wine. Boys. They always had to know who ran the playground.
This excerpt speaks to me because it encompasses a bit of the humor or the Country Club Murders with a real issue. In this case, two men are competing for the win rather than the prize and Ellison sees that as a problem.
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Abbie Roads writes dark emotional novels featuring damaged characters, but always gives her hero and heroine a happy ending… after torturing them for three hundred pages. RACE THE DARKNESS and HUNT THE DAWN are available now! SAVING MERCY Book 1 in the Fatal Truth Series is available now.