Happy Saturday, folks! I’m pleased as punch to have author Deborah Monk on the bloggity blog today. She was nice enough to hang out with me and answer a few questions about Julia Stone and her plans for the future!
I started out wanting to be a writer, but took a detour of passion as a professional ballroom dancer. Even when I danced, I couldn’t stop my pen from dancing across the page. The first line of my attempted romance novel, ‘‘Widowhood is so much more respectable, Destinee thought as she loaded the gun,” should have given me a hint that romance really wasn’t my niche. Now that I’m in my forties, I am much more comfortable writing women’s fiction. I aspire to write my novels like Melissa Etheridge sings… not always pretty, but raw and from the gut.
1. Having put aside writing to pursue a career as a professional dancer, were you able to identify with Julia’s struggle to find what makes her happy?
Absolutely. I think the answer to the question, “What makes us happy?” changes as we grow older. The real question becomes, when the answer changes, do we have the courage to forge a different life? For me, Lyme disease that went undiagnosed for a few years stripped me of my personal identity as a dancer. Although I was still teaching, aching joints robbed me of the ability to really enjoy, and to express myself, through my dancing. The combination of physical pain and emotional grief led to my own mid-life crisis.
2. Did anything surprise you during your research for this novel?
I’ll be honest, I was working on another book at the time, but I woke up one morning and just started writing how I felt. About three chapters in my critique group said we love the book, but Julia has to stop whining. So then I let the characters take over. Toward the end of the book when Julia reveals her truth, I was as shocked as anyone.
3. What part of Julia’s story interested you the most?
I love Flat Julia. She gave voice to the parts of herself that Julia had ignored for way too long.
4. Do you think Julia gets her HEA with Michael?
At the beginning of the book they were together and Julia wasn’t happy. Because she was brave enough to shine a flashlight on her dark, scary places, by the end of the book, Julia was ready for an intimate relationship, which she offerred to Michael on the beach. What he says…? Well lets just say I believe in happy endings.
5. Can you tell us anything about future projects?
I am currently working on two novels at once, which I‘ve never done before. Well Behaved Woman Coming Undone is another women’s fiction novel that deals with mother/daughter relationships. I am also combining two of my favorite things, dance and writing, to make a new genre, Dance Romance, tentatively titled, Two to Tango.
Check out Searching for Julia Stone at: