Wednesday, May 30, 2012

TBR welcomes Dee Julian

TBR: Welcome to TBR, Dee. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Dee: Hello. Well, I've lived in Memphis, Tennessee for twenty-six years. I have two grown children and as of March 5th, my husband and I have been married thirty-four years.

TBR: Tell us about Promise Me and where it's available.
Dee: Promise Me is an e-book, and it's available through Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook. Here's a short blurb:

After a hasty promise to her dying fiancé jeopardizes the future of his illegitimate child, Lady Leah Sheridan vows to make amends for the gentleman’s lack of honor by personally seeing to his son’s financial needs. When the boy’s heartless mother abandons him, Leah finds herself nearing a disastrous scandal. To make matters worse, her fiancé’s older brother returns to England demanding answers she swore never to divulge.

As soon as the Duke of Chase meets the woman his deceased brother had intended to wed, he is unexpectedly captivated by the lady’s beauty, but he quickly suspects she is hiding a secret, making him more determined than ever to seek the truth behind his brother’s fatal accident.

Will Leah break her promise and confide in the only man who can keep her safe?


TBR: Please tantalize us with a story excerpt.
Dee: Certainly.

Chase closed the door and faced Leah, his expression angry but controlled. “You almost got away with it, did you not?”
“Got away with what?” she inquired.
“You almost buried Adrian’s shameful secret so deep no one would’ve ever discovered it. What were your plans for the boy?”
“Certainly not what you’re implying. I kept Edwin’s existence a secret because Adrian begged me to.”
“Do not blame this on my dead brother. You kept that child away from his family for your own selfish reasons. Adrian would’ve never considered hiding his son if his beloved fiancée had not issued an ultimatum.”
“The only request I made to Adrian was that he not abandon his child. I certainly never threatened him. Yes, I kept Edwin from his family, but my intentions were not what you think. I never meant to cause anyone pain. Especially your grandmother.”
 “Save your worthless excuses for the next eager gentleman who knows nothing of your character. I came back for one reason.” His hot gaze flicked over her. “Where can I find Maria Santiago?”
“Surely you don’t intend to contact Edwin’s mother.”
“That is none of your concern. Do you know where I can find the woman or not?”
“No. I have no idea what’s become of her.” Heat rose up Leah’s neck. “It’s the truth.”
After a slight hesitation, he turned to go but changed his mind. “One more thing. You, Miss Sheridan, are no longer welcome at Chase Manor. Edwin is not now nor will he ever again be your responsibility. Do not speak of him or ask about him. Do not send messages. And if you value your friendship with Lady Ashburn, do not ask her to check on the boy.” His eyes narrowed. “Have I made myself clear?”
“Perfectly.”
“While you may not be Edwin’s mother, you are certainly not an innocent bystander. Edwin appears to be fond of you, but he’s a child incapable of proper judgment. Within a month, he’ll forget you entirely. In fact, I’m counting on it.”
“You have everything figured out, do you not? I am the villain...the cause of your brother’s death. We both know Adrian’s accident would not have occurred if not for me. I’ve already assumed the blame, but that isn’t enough, is it?”
“If you hope to elicit sympathy--”
“You’ve had your say,” Leah snapped. “Now I’ll have mine.” She balled her fists to keep her hands from trembling. “How bloody dare you! You’ve accused me of being both a liar and a strumpet. Yes, I’m guilty of making poor decisions, beginning and ending with Adrian, but you were determined to despise me from the very moment we met. Perhaps because your own guilt presses unbearably upon your conscience?”
“Miss Sheridan--”
“Kindly shut up, your Grace, and allow me to finish. Hear this and hear it well. My period of mourning is over. With the numerous balls this time of year, my dance card should be filled to overflowing.”
His mouth opened.
Leah cut him off. “I still mourn for Adrian, but I’m no longer obligated to his memory. And if I never see your arrogant face again, rest assured I will lose no sleep over it.” She crossed her arms. “You may leave now, your Grace. You are no longer welcome at Greyson Manor.”      

TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Dee: I get asked this question a lot in regards to both my historical romances. Honestly, I don't know what inspires me other than history. I guess I enjoy writing and reading about a time when life was a little less complicated.

TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Dee: Actually, I think I'm a little of both. I usually plot the general idea of the story and get a good feel for the characters before I turn into a panster. 

TBR: How do you develop your characters?
Dee: Most of the time they develop as I'm writing, but I normally follow a set plan. Hero and heroine have to be well-rounded. Both must be likeable, sensible, honorable, and trustworthy individuals, otherwise readers won't care to invest their emotions.

TBR: Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
Dee: 'Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.' It was written by an unknown author, and I believe it offers hope where sometimes there is none. 

TBR: Did any music inspire your book? Do you have a playlist?
Dee: I do have a playlist, and I love music, but it plays no part in my writing.

TBR: Which of your characters would you most/least like to invite to dinner, and why?
Dee: This might sound odd, but the character I'd like to invite to dinner most is Grandmother Margaret of Promise Me, because she is the daughter of the hero and heroine of my debut novel, The Macgregor's Daughter, and there are lots of questions I'd eagerly ask. As for who I'd least like to invite, that would have to be Grandmother Margaret's old friend, Irma Crandle. You see, Irma is the writer of a weekly gossip column, and she is very good at her job. She would make me terribly nervous.

TBR: While creating your books, what was one of the most surprising things you learned?
Dee: That characters often have a mind of their own, and they talk to you at night when you're trying to sleep. They want to know why you changed that last scene or wrote it the way you did, because it didn't fit or it was out of character for them. It should be written this way or that way. My characters seem to object to the oddest things...like the color of a gown. (It clashed with the heroine's eyes) One villain refused to die in a certain way. He argued it was too undignified. He was right.
                
TBR: Tease us with one little thing about your fictional world that makes it different from others.
Dee: I can't think of anything that sets my fictional world apart from others except that I live mainly in historical romance, and history has already been written and rarely changes. For me, there is no evil boogie man hiding in the closet, no vampires and werewolves threatening to annihilate one another before taking over the world, and no hooking up with sexy aliens of another galaxy. 

TBR: What's next for you?
Dee: I intend to take the summer off from writing and get back to reading. For years I devoted most of my free time to crafting my own stories, and I miss getting completely lost in someone else's romantic creation.

TBR: Any other published works?
Dee: Yes, my debut novel, The Macgregor's Daughter. It has a solid connection to Promise Me.

TBR: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
Dee: For me, the most challenging, and therefore the most frustrating, was getting published. I was starting to think 'rejection' was my middle name. There were several rewarding moments. Finally being offered a publishing contract, having a hand in creating the perfect book cover, seeing the finished product for sale on your publisher's web site or other sites, and of course getting awesome reviews.


TBR: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Dee: Promise Me is fairly young in the review department, so I'd have to say that one belongs to The Macgregor's Daughter. Snapdragon of Long and Short Reviews said, "The shining star here is the simply fantastic dialogue. It is always fast-paced and believable, sometimes heartfelt, sometimes full of innuendo, and always always revealing."

TBR: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Dee: I haven't started any new book yet. For years I enjoyed reading everything Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney wrote, but my favorite author of all would have to be Jill Tattersall. Her historical romances left me breathless and wanting more.

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?
Dee: At www.deejulian.com or they can friend me on Facebook.

TBR: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Dee: Yes. Next to a book's genre, how do you chose what you read? Do you select familiar authors? Does a great cover pull you in first or do you turn straight to the blurb to see if the story is for you?

TBR: Readers, Dee will give away one copy of Promise Me and one copy of The Macgregor's Daughter to two lucky commenters. She'll pick a winner in one week and announce the winner here. Be sure to leave your email address so she can contact you.
Thanks for visiting TBR, Dee. All the best to you.

8 comments:

  1. Welcome, Dee! Thanks for sharing your work on TBR.
    Cate

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    1. Hi Cate! It's a joy to be here on TBR.

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  2. Lovely interview! Congrats on your latest release Dee..the story sounds full of intrigue and emotion and I loved the excerpt!

    As for your question at the end...normally when choosing a book the cover draws me in...then I read the back cover and if I'm still interested I open the book for the excerpt...and sometimes if I'm still not sure I'll leaf through a few pages. It's a process for sure! lol

    Enjoy your summer off to read...sounds like something I should try!

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    1. Hi Christine! Thanks so much for dropping by. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt. Sounds like you choose a book about the same way I do. And you're right. It is a process. Sometimes a lengthy one for me. lol

      I think I'll be taking the "summer off" from now on and just writing in the fall and winter. Hubby owns a deck boat, and most summer weekends are spent on the Tennesse River. He fishes. I relax in the sun. Not enough time to get my head into creating or polishing my own story. Too many distractions. Now reading someone else's story...yeah, I can definitely do that.

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  3. I'm not very good at historical novels. However, I have an adoration for those who can pen an exceptional historical novel. Best of luck with Promise Me and The Macgregor's Daughter.

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  4. Dee,
    I've read both of your books and both were great. I'm not sure which one is my favorite. I can't wait for the next one to come out.

    Ida

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  5. Hi, Ida. Thanks for the lovely comment. I'm glad you enjoyed both historicals. I have a wonderful critique partner who helped me along the way.

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