Good Morning Everyone,
Please help me give a warm welcome to author, Julia McDermott. She is here today to answer a few questions about her latest book, Underwater. Plus she has a few questions for everyone here.
1. Hi Julia. Could you please tell my followers a little bit about yourself and your book Underwater?
Hi, Nicole! Thanks for having me! I was born in Dallas, grew up in Atlanta, and went to UNC-Chapel Hill, spending my junior year abroad in the South of France. I’m married with four almost-grown children, and my family has lived in Dallas, Detroit, Wichita, and Atlanta, where we’ve been since 2000. I write full-time, belong to the Atlanta Writers Club and a wonderful writers’ group, and am always looking for people with whom to practice my French. I love writing, reading, the beach, autumn, football, the holidays, most kinds of art, and all things French.
Underwater is my second novel and was released in August 2013. It’s the story of a super-wealthy Atlanta businesswoman, Candace Morgan, whose ne’er-do-well brother, Monty Carawan, guilts her into funding a luxury home for him to renovate and flip just before the real estate market takes a dive. Candace believes that by “helping” Monty, she’s fulfilled a decades-old promise and righted a wrong turn in her past. But when the housing market plunges even further, the tension between her and Monty rises to a boiling point, and she finds herself roped into a desperate, downward spiral of deceit. Monty’s wife Helen strives to keep their marriage afloat as rough seas threaten their young family, and her own demons rise to the surface.
Underwater looks at the powers of jealousy, greed, and shame, and tests the limits of generosity, in a long-held family pattern of enabling, as stakes rise to a crescendo.
2. What inspired you to dive into writing?
My dream to become a writer was born in the 7th grade, when my class was assigned to write a novel, and my classmates liked my story the best. However, I put that dream on the back burner, and after college, I worked in the banking and software industries before staying home to raise my children. As they grew, I read everything from classics to commercial fiction, often wondering how my favorite authors came up with their characters and plots, and what it was about their stories that made me sad to arrive at the last page.
When my youngest child was twelve, I considered my dream to become a writer, and at the start of the school year, I sat down to a blank computer screen and began. I finished the draft in the spring and began revisions, joined a writers’ group, attended workshops and revised some more. I kept reading a variety of fiction and began writing Underwater about a year before my first novel, Make that deux was released.
3. Underwater focuses on sibling dynamics. Do you have siblings and if so, are there any characters/characteristics based on your family?
I have a sister who is five years older, and a brother six years younger, but the siblings in Underwater are not based on them. I’ve known siblings close in age who are very competitive, and whose relationships are sometimes tense. I drew on these observations to create the relationships between Candace and Monty, and to a lesser extent, Helen and Dawn. Sibling rivalries have been written about since the story of Cain and Abel and the plays of Shakespeare, and I find the dynamics of siblings fascinating.
4. (Question from a follower) How important are your characters’ names and how do you name them?
My characters’ names are very important. I chose an unusual, strong but feminine name for the main character, Candace. I wanted many other characters’ names to suggest something about them: Helen, Dawn, Frank, Rob, Jack, Deirdre, Beau, Rich, Chip and Sonny. I chose Monty for two reasons: I wanted a name that ends in a long “e” sound, and if you change one letter, “Monty” becomes “money.” I decided on several other names only because I like them: Adele, Lucy, Darlene, Ginger, Wendy, Elena, and Julia.
5. Do you have any other books available or plans for future books?
My “New Adult” Romance/French Travel novel, Make that deux was published in October 2012. I am writing a work of creative nonfiction, which I plan to release next summer or fall, and I’m in the planning stages of my next project, another Suspense novel.
6. Where can readers find you and your books?
Find me on my:
Find my books on Amazon, Kindle and other e-readers, and order them at any bookstore! Here are the links for Amazon:
7. Is there anything you would like to ask the followers or me?
How do you find your next book to read? If you read a book you enjoy, do you tell friends and acquaintances about it, what you liked about it, and where to buy it? When you delve into a book, are you curious about the author, and how the story came to be written? Or do you prefer just to escape into the world created by a story?
To answer Julia’s questions, I read any and everything. I am grateful to have several sources for finding my next read, but I like to follow authors’ websites, in order to stay up to date on new releases. There is nothing better than discussing a great book with friends. I like “finding” new to me authors and learning more about them and their work. What about all of you?