List Post, décembre 2016 + HOLIDAY POEM!

  1. Write my next novel
  2. Get ready for Christmas (at home, this year)
  3. Celebrate the holidays with family and friends
  4. And on Tuesday, December 13 – the Killer Nashville Facebook Page will host my guest blog.

I met KN blog coordinator Tom Wood back in September at the Decatur Book Festival, and he asked me to submit a post for later on…which I did, and Voilà!

I’d love for you to read it and Like it.

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Now, for this year’s verse:

My holiday poem, I’ll try to make short.

The year’s highlights, to you, I’ll describe and report.

Two thousand sixteen will be history soon,

and I’ve time to consider that, this afternoon.

I began the year busy with two new endeavors:

got on Facebook, and found it both easy and clever.

I started my newsletter also, and found

it a way to update you all – all the year ’round.

In the spring, my last book, Daddy’s Girl, was released

and my number of novels out, by one, increased.

In the summer, just after it won an award

My nonfiction book, All the Above, struck a chord

With the public, when I penned an article in

the Atlanta newspaper (called the AJC). Then,

in the fall, I attended three festivals where

I met readers and authors and others who share

in the interest of stories, both made-up and true.

I had fun, and ’twas hard, to them all, bid adieu.

I will close with my wishes of love and good cheer.

Joyeuses fêtes de Noel and a Happy New Year!

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Wine with Wendy on Wednesday, numéro douze (12)

Last week, for our October lunch, Wendy and I broke with tradition.

Instead of going to a French restaurant (of which, we’ve just about run out – that is, of any close enough to where we live), we went to a Mexican one. And instead of Wednesday, we went on Thursday, because it worked better for both of us, and gave us a bit more time.

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Which was nice, because we were celebrating our birthdays: mine was the week before, and hers is coming up this weekend.

We caught up with each other’s lives – work and family – and then talked about her art, my writing, and books we’ve read. I loved hearing about her current project, and I described my work-in-progress and asked for her thoughts. Sometimes, when I talk to others about the books I’ve written or about what I’m writing, they can lose interest, and their eyes start to glaze.

Not Wendy, though. She listened intently and offered great ideas for characters and missing plot elements –so many, in fact, that I later wished I’d taken notes.

When we parted, I felt re-energized about this new novel (whose working title I ran by her and explained what it meant). I’m writing the next scene today, and I hope to finish it before trick-or-treaters show up at the door.

And then, I’ll have (another) glass of wine!

 

 

 

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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Publication day for DADDY’S GIRL!

My women’s fiction/psychological suspense novel DADDY’S GIRL is out today! Find it on Amazon, or download it on your Kindle!

A spoiled, entitled princess risks it all to join a technology startup, loses it all, and then embarks on a mission of revenge and retribution.

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Where I’ve worked on my books, and when…

Where I was (and what the season was), when I began writing each of my books:

  • Book 4 (title to be revealed soon): My home office, in the winter ❄️
  • Book 3 (ALL THE ABOVE): My room at the One Ocean Resort & Spa in Atlantic Beach, Florida during spring break👙
  • Book 2 (UNDERWATER): The Library Coffee Company in Atlanta (now closed), in the summer ☕️
  • Book 1 (MAKE THAT DEUX): My kitchen, in the fall 🍁

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Where I was, when I found my editor: My writers group meeting in Atlanta, in the spring 🌷

Where I was, when I found my cover artist: The Resort at Longboat Key Club near Sarasota, Florida, in the spring 🌴

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Where I went to do research:

  • Book 4: McKinney, Texas 🌵
  • Book 3: Winston-Salem, North Carolina 🌳
  • Book 2: New York City, and Nice, France 🚖
  • Book 1: Montpellier, France 🇫🇷

Where I was (and the season), when I finished the edits for each:

  • Book 4: My home office, in the summer 🍉
  • Book 3: My home office, in the winter ⛄️
  • Book 2: Winter Park, Colorado, during a big family reunion vacation week and golf tournament, in the summer ⛳️
  • Book 1: My kitchen, in the fall 🏈

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My new motto, grâce à Steve Martin

One of my “Sisters in Crime,”* a talented editor, posted this quote on Facebook today:

Be so good they can’t ignore you.

– Steve Martin

Good advice for any field, she said. However, I’m going further. I’m making it my (new) motto.

Some things to know about writing books are:

  1. A gazillion other people are doing it;
  2. Not all of those other people are publishing independently (self-publishing) – about half of all books now are self-published, with the other half published by a small, medium, or large press;
  3. No matter who you are, how your work is published, or what you do, it’s very difficult to stand out (not be ignored) – and, if you’ve self-published anything, no matter how good it is, you’re likely to be viewed as not good enough;
  4. People are reading less and less (well, not everybody, but lots) and spending more time watching movies, TV, and on other media;
  5. Even if your work is really, really good, there’s no guarantee it will get noticed.

I’ve self-published fiction and nonfiction, and my (originally self-published) novel UNDERWATER was acquired and rereleased by a traditional publisher.** Somehow, they found it (I didn’t approach them). Was it so good that they – “they” – couldn’t ignore it? I don’t know, but I did the best job I could, writing it.

My next book (ALL THE ABOVE) was already written, edited, and ready for publication when that novel was rereleased. But I waited a few months before publishing it, myself. I wanted it to be so good that it wouldn’t get ignored.

Over the previous two years, I had poured my heart into writing ALL THE ABOVE. I got feedback from my writers’ group, beta readers, and my freelance editor. I made all the recommended changes. I combed through it for mistakes and typos. I paid attention to the details. I wrote the back cover copy, and approved the design created by my cover artist. Last March, I released it in paperback and on Kindle. Since then, it’s been selling steadily and has received 24 Reviews on Amazon.

It’s hard to get noticed, to stand out, and not to be ignored. But I’m inspired now, to be so good that they can’t ignore me.

One word at a time.

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*A national mystery/thriller writers organization

**Thomas & Mercer

 

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.

 

Wine with Wendy on Wednesdays

My friend Wendy is a talented artist, an avid reader, and the mother of 5. How does she do it all? Je n’ai aucune idée! (I have no idea!)

The last two times we had a rendez-vous, we met for déjeuner – lunch – on a Wednesday, and we had a glass of white wine. As we caught up on each other’s lives, the subject of our creative endeavors came up.

Art, and writing.

Wendy is full of energy, smart, clever, and fun. She’s been encouraging me and my writing for years. Her objets d’art are lovely and cool. Last Wednesday, as we dined at La Petite Maison, I told her about my latest book – the one I’ve just finished writing, for which I finally decided on a title.

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I told her a little about the story, and although the book has already been edited, revised, edited again, and proofed, she asked if she could read it, pre-publication.

She wanted to be my beta-reader.

Of course, I said yes, and I sent her the PDF later that day. That night, she sent me her initial (very positive) reaction (phew!). She also helped me fine tune the “elevator pitch” or “log line,” and the “blurb” (description).

It was so refreshing to talk to someone who reads constantly (and reads a variety of work) about my next book. Inspired by the fact that our birthdays fall during the next two months, Wendy and I also decided on a new plan: we’ll have lunch at a French restaurant once a month, on a Wednesday, and have a glass of wine with our meal.

Une très bonne idée! et merci, Madame!

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Kindle Countdown Deal TODAY ONLY!

In honor of the last day of August, and a week before Labor Day —

ALL THE ABOVE is ON SALE on KINDLE, TODAY ONLY!

From 8:00 AM EST (5:00 AM PST) until 12:00 Midnight EST (9:00 PM PST), you can download ALL THE ABOVE: My son’s battle with brain cancer at a SALE PRICE of only $2.99!

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That’s $2 off its regular Kindle price of $4.99 (still a deal), less than a latte at your local coffeeshop, and a lot less than a movie ticket!

I studied Economics (and French) at UNC Chapel Hill and then worked in banking and IT (before raising a family and writing books), and I remember learning about price elasticity of demand * …And now, I’m putting it into practice on my latest book. No matter how many books you have on your to-read list, this one is unlike any other.

Here’s what readers have said:

  • This book shows what Amazon should be all about – really well-written, personal story with depth and insight. This family is so likable. Very engaging prose..”
  •  “Captivating…made all the more riveting because it is true…Julia McDermott’s smooth, warm, yet detailed style of writing immediately drew me into this amazing story…The courage shown by this young man is beyond inspiring, and the love and support of his family gave me chills.
  • One of the best books I have read. The strength in faith and in each other was overwhelming.”
  • “Wonderful book! I could not put it down. Tears flowed from beginning to end! True stories are the best and give us all a look at the reality and what a family does when faced with crisis.” 

Click HERE  to download ALL THE ABOVE for less than 3 bucks, TODAY ONLY! 

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*Something my daughter discovered when she sold her hand-made barrettes and hairbands in high school “for less than the price of a cookie at the school cafeteria.”

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