List Post, avril 2017 (April)

It’s the last week of April, and I just realized I forgot to do a List Post this month!

I’ve been a little busy writing…and appearing at bookstores, festivals and markets, signing copies of my books. Back in late March, I went to Asheville, NC for a few days, and to Savannah the next weekend. The first weekend of April, I went to Texas with my husband to visit family. Here’s a rundown of this month, through the end of it, this Sunday:

  • My appearance at Tall Tales Books had to be rescheduled from March 26 to April 8. It was lots of fun mingling with readers in a great bookstore!
  • Alas, I had to cancel as a Regional Writer for the Dahlonega Literary Festival last month. I hope to be back next year, though.
  • On April 9, I headed to Wilbur & Rudy’s Farmtable and Market in Milton, GA for a book signing.
  • Then on April 15, I appeared as a panelist with authors Gelia Dolcimascolo, Nancy Stephan and James Huskins at the Atlanta Writers Club meeting in Dunwoody, GA. Our panel was the 3rd speaker slot beginning at 3pm. Lots of interesting questions and discussion!
  • On April 22, I was one of several authors signing books at “Lemonade Days” in Dunwoody, a festival held at an area park. It was a gorgeous day and we met lots of cool readers. We appeared again the next day but had to close up shop early because of heavy rain.
  • And on Sunday April 30 (rain or shine), I’ll sign books at an Author Signing at the Donaldson-Bannister House in Dunwoody! Please stop by.

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That’s me on the left, with two other authors and a reader who grabbed copies of our books at Lemonade Days! 

List Post, août 2016 (August)

It’s the Dog Days of Summer, and I’ve got a new list!

  • The Georgia Writers Association has just released the judges’ notes for Finalists and Winners of the 2016 Georgia Author of the Year Awards. Here’s what judge Iraj Omidvar said about my book: 
    • “Julia McDermott’s All the Above, My Son’s Battle with Brain Cancer is replete with powerful dialogues and descriptions that bring to life the circumstances leading to — as well as the significance of — each of the often life-and-death decisions involved in fighting brain cancer. At the center of this drama is Jack, the courageous and much-loved young man whose struggle reminds us of the often invisible social ties that underpin our lives. In recounting the events, McDermott exposes the powerful relationships among parents and children, siblings, and relatives and friends that sustain life and work, here in face of tremendous stressors. The memoir is also a poignantly appreciative look at the dedicated physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals the family relied on for Jack’s surgeries and recovery.”
  • After my “Personal Journey” was published on July 10, 2016 by the AJC – Atlanta Journal Constitution – titled Fear and Gratitude, (click here to read), I connected with the Georgia Chapter of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Association (headquartered in Asheville, NC). They help families with children who have been diagnosed with brain tumors, and they do great work.
  • I’ll appear on the Atlanta Writers Club Thriller panel at this year’s AJC Decatur Book Festival on Sat., Sept. 3 at 11:15 am at the Decatur City Hall. Afterward, I’ll sign copies of my novels DADDY’S GIRL and UNDERWATER, and my memoir ALL THE ABOVE: MY SON’S BATTLE WITH BRAIN CANCER
  • That same day, from 2:00 to 3:00, I’ll be at the Atlanta Writers Club booth, to chat and sign copies of my books. I’ll also appear at the Sisters in Crime booth, time and date TBA.
  • Later in September: I’m traveling to New Orleans to attend Mystery Writers Conference, Bouchercon, and will appear on a panel titled Watch That Man – Thriller on Sunday Sept. 18 at 9:00 am. 
  • In November, I’ll be a participating moderator/panelist on a nonfiction panel at the Milton Literary Festival, and next March, I’ll be a “Regional Writer” at the Dahlonega Literary Festival.

 

List Post, mars 2016 (March)

  • If you haven’t already, please SIGN UP for my bimonthly Newsletter! (See “Newsletter” under “For Readers”). This month’s edition out very soon!
  • Announcing a TITLE CHANGE for Book 4, a women’s fiction/psychological suspense novel! It’s no longer called A ZERO-SUM GAME. New title is better and shorter. As you might guess from the below, two characters’ names are Valerie and June. I don’t know how I came up with those names – but they worked.
  • No travels this month – so I hope to get lots of writing done. Then, I’ve got long weekends away in April, May, and June. Destinations: Texas – bro-in-law’s wedding; North Carolina – a “Sisters in Crime” (writers organization) presentation I’m doing with another Georgia author; Las Vegas – a sis-in-law’s (big) birthday celebration!
  • Book 5 (work in progress) update: I’m not even ten thousand words in (yet), but it’s taking shape…
  • Glad to serve as Publicity Chair for the Atlanta Chapter of Sisters in Crime. If you live in the area and receive a “Neighbor Newspaper,” check it for details on our monthly meetings!
  • Looking forward to connecting with a local reporter about a piece on my book ALL THE ABOVE: MY SON’S BATTLE WITH BRAIN CANCER and its nomination for the Georgia Author of the Year Award in the Memoir/Autobiography category!

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Page and Word count (and other things) about my next novel, out soon. It’s finished!

 

 

List Post: Nouvelle Année – janvier 2016

  • Read my author interview by fellow Sister in Crime author Linda Sands on Wednesday, January 13 on her blog. I’ll be answering Linda’s funky questions about my book ALL THE ABOVE.
  • Then on Thursday and Friday, January 14 and 15, fellow Atlanta Writers Club member and author Rona Simmons will host me on the Virtual Village Book Festival on Facebook. From 10 am on 1/14 to 5 pm on 1/15, you can ask me questions on this interactive event!
  • Book 4 is ready! (See word count details below.) I’ll be revealing the TITLE soon. Estimated release date: late February or early March 2016.

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AND — 

Since this is my second “Nouvelle Année” Post, I thought I would look back to a year ago and add comments and updates. Here is what I wrote in January 2015. Comments are in blue.

  • Almost finished UN-decorating the house for the holiday season (This year, I got it done on the last day of 2015. Because I spent Christmas in France, there was less to take down.)
  • Writing back on schedule, after more than two weeks when I couldn’t remember what day of the week it was (Hmm..getting back on track TODAY!)
  • Several signed copies of UNDERWATER are available for purchase at Dunwoody Bakery, open Wednesdays through Saturdays (Alas, the bakery closed last year. If you would like a signed copy of UNDERWATER or ALL THE ABOVE, contact me, or order via PayPal on my Home page). 
  • Looking forward to my “Member Minute” talk at the Atlanta Writers Club meeting on January 17, 2015 at 1:30 pm, at Georgia Perimeter College (This year, I’ll be doing two virtual events in January – see above.)
  • On the horizon: My appearance at the Augusta Literary Festival on March 6-7. Looking forward to attending, meeting readers and signing books (No festivals coming up as of yet in 2016, but I’ll keep you posted.)
  • Planning the release of my work of creative nonfiction, titled ALL THE ABOVE this spring (It came out on March 24, 2015!)
  • Resolving to step up my exercise routine this year (Ditto.)
  • Cheering for the Cowboys and the Seahawks during the NFL playoffs (Not sure about this yet – Still celebrating Falcons victory over the Panthers!)
  • Happy that I’m traveling to Chapel Hill, NC in April and in May (I’ll be in the area this year in May again, and may be before.)
  • Glad to share family news with close friends and family. (Last year began with that good news.)

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Finally – a postscript for all you “Pizza and a Movie” post followers:

My Top 5 Movies of 2015:

  1. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
  2. Bridge of Spies
  3. The Gift
  4. Brooklyn
  5. Inside Out

And – here are 5 Movies I missed seeing, and want to see:

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. The Martian
  3. Creed
  4. Steve Jobs
  5. The Big Short *

*Actually, I saw this just after Christmas in France, but it was dubbed in French. I understood it 😀  – but still want to see the English language version soon.

 

List Post: octobre 2015

It’s only October 2nd, but I’m going to be so busy this month that if I don’t get this done now, it won’t happen.

  • It’s Promotion month for UNDERWATER: Yesterday through October 31st, you can download my Suspense novel set in my home town of Atlanta for only $1.99! UNDERWATER is an Amazon HALLOWEEN KINDLE BOOK DEAL. Look for it under Mysteries/Suspense — Suspense — Psychological!

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  • My trip to Raleigh is fast approaching! I’ll be a “Dark Romance and Dark Smiles” Panelist at Bouchercon next Friday at 10:00 a.m, and the next day I’ll be at the New Author Breakfast bright and early at 7:00 a.m.!
  • Note: even though I’m a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, I once worked in Durham, have visited Duke, and have flown in and out of RDU several times, this will be my very first trip to the state capital of Raleigh. I hear it’s nice. And I feel pretty comfortable in that neck of the woods, anyway.
  • My other appearances this month include the Book and Art Fair in Griffin GA Oct 16-18; book signing with fellow Sister in Crime Hank Phillippi Ryan at FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock GA Oct 21; and book signing at the Marietta Queen of Hearts Antiques & Interiors Oct 24 with authors Valerie Connors & Mike Buchanan. (See News and Events for times and details.)
  • At the end of the month, I’ll be at the Killer Nashville International Writers Conference with some Atlanta Sisters in Crime! My first time at this conference, and my third time ever (I think) in Nashville!
  • November Preview: in between 2 quick trips to Florida (I hope) I’ll appear yet again with some Sisters at the Ansley Book Club Meeting in Atlanta! Details to come.
  • Quoi d’autre? What else? Watching football, of course!

List Post: septembre 2015

  • First – we skipped Pizza and a Movie this weekend…Check back next weekend.
  • TODAY: I’m honored to be invited to the Quiet Heroes Luncheon in Atlanta by CURE Childhood Cancer. Let’s conquer cancer one day at a time.
  • My next event: I’ll be a Panelist at Bouchercon 2015 World Mystery Convention in Raleigh, North Carolina. My Panel is called “Dark Romance & Dark Smiles” and will take place on Friday, Oct. 9 at 10:00 am. I’ll also be talking about my debut Suspense novel, UNDERWATER, published by Thomas & Mercer on Nov. 25, 2014 on Saturday, Oct. 10 at the Meet the New Authors Breakfast!

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  • Also coming up this fall: two trips to Florida, and my birthday!

Pizza and a Movie: No Escape

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Green Peppers
  • Pepperoni
  • Pineapple

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Movie:

No Escape

Owen Wilson, who stars in this film, is one of my favorite actors.

It’s partly because of the way he talks, and partly because of his imperfect nose. He’s not a pretty boy. And whether the movie is decent, good, or great, I usually like his acting. This was the first one I’ve seen him in that wasn’t a comedy, and the first one where he played a dad. I was drawn into the story, and I liked the movie well enough; for most of it, I was on the edge of my seat. I didn’t even mind the slow motion parts, though I’d heard that some people did.

There was one dialogue scene between Owen Wilson’s character and the one played by Pierce Brosnan that I thought was unnecessary, or at least, badly done. At best, it was distracting, and it didn’t explain that much to me. If you see the film, you’ll know what I’m talking about, so let me know if you agree.

Now for the pizza. As Bill (of Corner Pizza) guessed, we I had decided on the toppings before we arrived. I was in the mood for pepperoni, and the other toppings are two of my favorites. My husband agreed, and everything melanged together nicely.

It was the perfect prelude to a fun weekend * – some of which I already wish I could replay, in slow motion.

* I appeared on the Thriller panel at the 10th annual Decatur Book Festival (my first time there as an author), and I moderated the Urban Fantasy panel, just after. I also signed books at the Atlanta Writers Club Booth, attended two presentations at the Romance Pavilion, and attended an interview with YA (Young Adult) author Sarah Dessen. I had hoped to meet her and talk about writing, books, UNC, and many other things, but before I got an opportunity, she had gone back home to Chapel Hill, NC. 

 

 

 

List Post, août 2015 (August)

Zut! August is almost over, and I haven’t done a list post for it yet!

Things have been cooking this month, so…

Voilà: 

  • Signing copies of UNDERWATER and ALL THE ABOVE at this year’s Decatur Book Festival on Saturday, Sept. 5 from 4:00 to 5:00 at the Atlanta Writers Club booth!
  • Looking forward to serving on the Atlanta Writers Club Thriller Panel the next day, Sunday, Sept. 6 from 12:00 to 12:45 at the CITY HALL STAGE, then signing books again.
  • Enfin, moderating the AWC Urban Fantasy Panel the same day from 2:30 to 3:15 at the MARRIOTT CONFERENCE CENTER AUDITORIUM.

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  • Speaking about my books on a panel at the Atlanta Sisters in Crime meeting on Saturday Sept. 12 from 10:30 to 12:30 with sister authors Sharon Marchisello, Lane Stone, Mary Anne Edwards, and Fran Stewart.
  • Going to Bouchercon 2015 world mystery convention in Raleigh, North Carolina from Oct. 8 – 11 (more on this later)!

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  • Looking forward to meeting readers and signing books at the Book & Art Fair in Griffin, Georgia from Oct. 16 – 18.
  • Appearing at FoxTale Book Shoppe on Oct. 21 in Woodstock, Georgia with bestselling author Hank Phillippi Ryan and some other Sisters in Crime authors!

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What’s left out of ALL THE ABOVE

My notes, outlines, and original drafts of ALL THE ABOVE included the following:

  • All the lyrics to the songs Jack and I listened to on the way to and from Emory (I was even going to use some of the lines at the beginning of chapters).
  • The time when, at an eye checkup at Omni Eye Services, another doctor (not Dr. Day or Dr. Sturdy) examined Jack’s eyes, put him in front of an apparatus, and he asked, “Is something going to touch my eyeball?”  To which the doctor replied, “Oh, just a little touch.” I don’t know if it was the “air blow” thing they do, but afterward, Jack and I laughed at how the doctor responded (as if a little touch is nothing…)
  • The time when, at Egleston Children’s Hospital, while he was waiting to check in for yet another MRI, Jack made friends with a little boy with cancer who was bald. When they called Jack up to the counter, the worker said she didn’t realize he was a patient, and thought he was that little boy’s father.
  • The fact that Jack’s brother Brian was driving our van, and Jack was driving our Honda CRV that summer. We only had one other car, so I took Dennis to MARTA every morning to go to work, and picked him up each evening.
  • The time when two of my friends (from my Bible study group) met me at La Madeleine for a glass of wine a few days before we left for North Carolina, and I told them what was going on.
  • The fact that many of our close relatives didn’t ask how Jack was doing, even after he went public; I think other family members told them.
  • The fact that Jack was his sister Annette’s Confimation sponsor that November. (Jack is pictured below, a few weeks later in Texas.)

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  • The fact that Dennis and I spent a weekend in Las Vegas that fall.
  • And, that in mid November, a friend from my Bible study, who had invited me to go to spend a long weekend at her beach house with her and another friend (in Seaside, Florida), graciously allowed me to bring my mom along, too.
  • Many other quotes from books and songs that I wanted to include, but couldn’t, such as:

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Some of the above got edited out, and some of it wasn’t part of the story. But it was all there in my mind (or on my desk) when I set out to write the book back in April 2013 while I spent a week at the beach.

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