List Post, juin 2016 (June)

Even though fall is my favorite season, I love May and June. It’s warm, but not too hot, and flowers are blooming…And this year, my wedding anniversary falls on Father’s Day, and last month, my son Jack’s birthday fell on Mother’s Day! 

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This month’s list:

  • I’ll soon be on the way to a very fun city out west to help celebrate my sis-in-law’s milestone birthday with a bunch of other members of the family. I’m told there will be T-shirts!
  • I’m appearing from 7pm to 9pm on June 15th at The Snug Gastro Pub in Canton, GA with 4 other local authors to do a book reading and sign books.
  • Publicity update: If you missed the Neighbor Newspapers/Marietta Daily Journal article about me and the Georgia Author of the Year Award nomination of ALL THE ABOVE, click here to read. Winners (and finalists) will be announced this Saturday night by the Georgia Writers Association.
  • There may be another article about it in a different Journal soon, so stay tuned…

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Julie AND Julia

This isn’t a “List Post,” but here’s a few new things, for 2016:

  • I now have a personal/profile Facebook page (“Julie McDermott“), AND an author/fan page, created some time ago (“Julia McDermott, Author“)!
  • If you’re my FB friend on the former, please “Like” me on the latter (I’ll probably invite you to, if I haven’t already).
  • So, should  do you call me Julie, or Julia? My legal name (and the one I sign, and write under) is Julia, but call me either one. (See my post, https://juliamcdermottbooks.com/2013/10/29/julie-or-julia/)
  • Stay tuned for future announcements on publicity about me in the news!
  • It’s on my personal FB page, but ALL THE ABOVE is a nominee for the 2016 Georgia Author of the Year Award in the Memoir/Autobiography category!
  • Three trips are on the horizon, so far, and they’re all “out west” – one in April, one in June, and one in September!

“It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.”
– W. C. Fields

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Postcards from Europe, #1

My daughter (I’ll call her Mademoiselle, but if you’ve read ALL THE ABOVE, you know her name), is a junior in college, and is spending this semester studying in the south of France. She’s living in the same city I did (Montpellier), when I did the same (as a student at the same university*) for a year. Like me, she’s somewhat of a chronicler, and since August, she’s been sending me postcards (cartes postales) via la poste (snail mail).

Just as I’ve been doing with “Pizza and a Movie” posts, and as I’m starting to do with “Wine with Wendy on Wednesdays,” I’m going to do a series of posts sharing her postcards sent from Europe. Notice that she uses the French way for dates (day/month/year):

Voici la première carte postale:

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Bonjour à tous!

Today I visited the Château de Flaugergues, a small summer home built in 1696 by a member of the French Royal Court! Today it has sprawling gardens and the family that lives there makes wine (the rosé is the best) and it’s only 15 minutes away by train! I hope everything is good at home and I love you all!

Love,

Mademoiselle

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Of course, she’s been in touch with me and her father by telephone, text, email, and even the odd photo on snapchat or instagram. But her postcards seem more special, and they kind of link her time in France with mine.

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*The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 

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, 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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List Post, avril 2015 (April)

It’s a short list, but it’s a list!

  • Going to BUFORD, GA today from 4 to 8 pm with other local authors to participate in “Drop Everything and Read Month” at Queen of Hearts Antiques & Interiors! Come pick up signed copies of UNDERWATER & ALL THE ABOVE!
  • Thrilled with the responses so far about ALL THE ABOVE: My son’s battle with brain cancer. A reader: “Reads like a mystery…I was riveted by it…” FIVE STARS
  • Writing WIP (work in progress) daily, the end is in sight!
  • Reaching readers with a message about ALL THE ABOVE with more info about it…
  • Can’t wait to attend UNC Relay for Life in Chapel Hill on April 17! Help win the fight against cancer! More Birthdays!

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Author Focus Panel!

I’ve been asked to participate in an Author Focus panel at this year’s Murder at the Beach: Bouchercon 2014  in Long Beach, California!

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The annual World Mystery Convention of readers, writers, publishers, editors and others who love crime fiction, thrillers and suspense is being held there over November 13-16, 2014.

My Author Focus panel will be at 12 noon on Saturday, November 15! Check out the programming schedule here !

I will be speaking and answering questions about my suspense novel UNDERWATER, to be released in November by Thomas & Mercer of Seattle, Washington. I will also be attending various other panels and activities at the convention, my first Bouchercon!

New publishing contract for UNDERWATER!

A lot has happened since April 7, 2014.

One evening, about a week after my blog post titled Playing to Win – quoting Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, who led his team to win Super Bowl XLVIII (“Why not you, Russ?”) – I received a Facebook message from Anh Schluep, Senior Acquisitions Editor at Amazon Publishing in Seattle. She had read UNDERWATER and enjoyed it: “What a thrill ride!”

She wanted to talk about acquiring it for the Amazon imprint Thomas & Mercer (which publishes Mystery, Thriller and Suspense) and putting their forces to work to give it “the chance to reach more readers.”

This happened right before my husband and I were scheduled to fly to Austin, Texas to attend a nephew’s wedding, then to Napa Valley for the week. I love getting Facebook messages, and this was a very intriguing one. So, I spent half the night awake doing research, responded to Anh (pronounced “On”) the next morning, and we scheduled a conference call for the day before my travels began.

Then, in football terms, it was time for me to revisit the Playbook.

Three weeks later, after a lot of discussion with Amazon, my lawyer’s counsel, and some great California wine, the contract has been signed. Tentative release date for the new edition of UNDERWATER with Thomas & Mercer is November 2014!

Now, I don’t know if Anh (or anyone at Amazon Publishing) is a fan of Russell Wilson, or if they read my April 7 post, but serendipity comes to mind.

“Why not you, Russ Julie?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rendez-vous in the Big Apple

My husband and I spent a few days in New York City earlier this month, in between two bouts of record low temperatures up there, and (fortunately) days before snow fell in Manhattan.

As we walked from our hotel to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the “Met”) one day, I tried to picture Candace Morgan’s apartment. Candace is the main character in my Suspense novel UNDERWATER, and she lives in Atlanta and New York. Undoubtedly, her place in the Upper East Side is tiny compared to the luxury penthouse condominium she owns down south. But it works, because she’s a minimalist – sort of.

In UNDERWATER, Candace spends most of her time in the city I know better, Atlanta (though she jets off to two exotic locations, only one of which I’ve visited).  Relatively few of the story’s scenes take place up north, none during the winter; however, unlike me, Candace knows her way around “the City.”

So, why did my husband and I schedule a trip there, with no thought to the January weather possibilities? Parce que we recently reconnected with an old friend from our college days in Chapel Hill, whom we hadn’t seen in decades. That friend and we decided to rendez-vous in New York (she lives in Boston), and she and we contacted three other UNC friends who live in and around New York and asked them to join us.

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The Old Well on the campus of UNC in Chapel Hill, North Carolina:

We’d seen one of these friends a few times in recent years (although she, the Boston woman, hadn’t seen him since college), but we hadn’t seen or talked to the rest in over thirty years. Pourquoi? Because we had moved to Texas right after graduation and had simply lost contact. We hadn’t known their parents’ addresses or phone numbers  – pretty much the only way, back then, to find each other.

But now, thanks to technology, social networks and just plain serendipity – well, I’m going to credit serendipity too, because it just felt like it was a factor – all but one of us met on a Saturday at a Greek restaurant on 7th Avenue. We caught up over lunch at a round table, then continued to share memories and news at a nearby Irish Pub. That night, it was a smaller group at dinner at an Italian restaurant on 51st Street.

The one who couldn’t attend that Saturday had previously scheduled a weekend trip. But – serendipitously – we had arrived on Thursday, and she happened to be free for dinner that night, so we met at a fabulous midtown restaurant. It was a wonderful kickoff to a great weekend.

It was a  little weird to see each other again after so long and compare memories. On the other hand, it was somehow comfortable. We had all become friends without the benefit of instant and easy communication, and with the aid of serendipity. (Perhaps because we never did anything like it in college, exchanging emails and texts before and after our “reunion” in NYC felt a little odd – but only a little.)

I was glad the weather cooperated while we were there, and I’m thankful we dodged the snow and freezing temperatures (though ours down south have been pareil, lately). Next weekend, as I watch the Super Bowl, if it’s extremely cold (or worse) up there, I’ll be thinking of my northern friends.

With warm thoughts.

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