Welcome on a brief journey into the world of Deb Julienne, no telling where we’ll end up.
First, I’d like to thank M.Q. Barber for tagging me in the Writing Process Blog Hop. She’s a fellow Lyrical/Kensington author working on the third book Healing the Wounds (neighborly Affection #3), sequel to the Playing the Game and Crossing the Lines. M.Q. Barber took us on a trip to the wild side, now it’s my turn to take you into the craziness that is mine.
What am I working on?
I’m finishing of the revisions of Antics, Antidotes, and Angel, (book 2 of the Twisted Sisters Club series) the sequel to Sex, Lies, and Beauty Aides, then onto book 3 Love, Lies, and Alibis, and book 4 Suckers, Soldiers and Mischief Makers. At the same time I’m plotting a nine book cowboy series I can’t wait to dig into.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I classify my genre as romantic comedy.
What’s different about my stories or at least this series is that it’s about different kinds of revenge with a twist of comedy. Yes, I’m a Lucy junkie and proud of it. Who can forget all the situation Lucy managed to find herself in..all for the sake of those 4 little words: “I’ve got an idea.”
In the first book of the series, it’s dealing with an innocent girl…don’t laugh, there are quite a few left in the world, even if they are a minority. Not everyone has lived a perfect life, fully informed with complete knowledge of every aspect of life, love, sex, men, and all things of the world. Sabrina considers herself a nice person. Being mean isn’t in her vocabulary. Neither is acting like something she’s not. The girl next door really does exist.
Give her some internal and external scars, a penchant for all things fashion, and you have Sabrina Thompson. Her world is turned upside down when she’s given an ultimatum, learn and write about LOVE and SEX or lose her job.
Think about it…go back to the last day of your own innocence. How would you suddenly learn about it? In my day we didn’t have the internet. There was no reality TV blatantly throwing it in your face. Step forward because Sabrina does live in a world of the internet, TV, reality TV, and you still have a problem. Who do you ask? Where do you go? It’s not like we’re given a manual with step-by-step instructions the second we start thinking about the opposite sex. We learn by trial and error. In Sabrina’s case it was baptism by flame-thrower, tossed into a situation she’s not prepared to deal with.
Sure Sabrina has Kat and Jill, but with an uncomfortable topic how do you EASE into it. Falling for Travis gave her a good start, but then what? Sex and love mean many things to people. She soon discovers it’s not just an act, it’s a pretense, an illusion that Sabrina must uncover for herself. When she discovers Travis has been lying to her, that he’s really the man she’s crushed on for years, there is only one thing to do…make him pay, dearly. Sabrina’s brand of vengeance teaches Trent a lesson he’ll never forget.
Sex, Lies, and Beauty Aides started out as a single book. By the time I finished it Kat was ranting and screaming for her own story, “Why should Sabrina have all the fun?” And of course, Jill was jealous, “When do I get a man of my own.”
It was only AFTER I finished Sex, Lies, and Beauty Aides that my editor asked “What about Angel?”
I actually hadn’t thought about her. And once I did her story took off like someone poured gasoline on it and lit it with a match. Instant inferno.
In Angel’s story, I consider her broken to some degree…too hurt to take chances. The only man who could convince her otherwise is a man who had been equally damaged, but was willing to take one last stab at a chance for love and a life with a woman he’s not willing to let get away. When his ex comes back into the picture, the lost girl finds her voice and turns heads and hearts defending the man she loves, but can Travis convince Angel she deserves his love as well?
Kat’s story is about bullies. At a time where bullies are ever prominent, it’s not just children who deal with bullies, there are bullies of every kind in the adult world, and who but the outspoken Kat could deal with a bully and extract her own special style of revenge to protect the family business. I wrote this one with a real life friend in mind. She was married to a bully of her own, he was sneaky, low, and if I had my way about it he’d no longer be among the living. Since I’m a law abiding citizen, I let Kat have a crack at a slime ball and taught him a lesson every girl would love to dish out.
In Jill’s story it’s a matter of life taking over. Her family is gone and she’s alone. Jill moves to the Time of Your Life Retirement home as the activities director to care for the seniors she’s come to love and genuinely care for. If you met the little old ladies in book I, you have a good idea of what I’m talking about. By book two the Blue-haired brigade is beginning to grow. By the time Jill’s story starts they’re fully formed and taking prisoners wherever they go. When someone kills one of the seniors she’s come to love, Jill’s revenge takes on a whole new meaning as she extinguishes them. Nobody messes with her family.
Why do I write what I do?
Well, let’s see…I’m 55 years old. I’ve been married for 33 years to a great guy, but life has given us some very real, very harsh things to deal with. He was on total disability at age 35 for degenerative disc disease. He’s my 2 million dollar man, without the bionics. He’s survived 12 surgeries: 7 back, 1 neck, 1 shoulder, 3 heart surgeries, including quadruple heart bypass, we’re dealing with diabetes, heart issues, and kidney issues. He’s died on me twice and luckily been brought back to life. We’ve raised 4 kids on a very limited budget. I’m the queen of making money stretch. I’ve been laid off twice and been told that if I didn’t get a job and get hubby back on insurance I’d lose him. I know all about panic, chaos, and how unfair life can be. I’m sick of the real life angst, meds vs food vs living. I’m tired of struggling every dad-gummed day, but I do it, life goes on. I’m fed up with the stupidity of with modern times…needless to say I hate reality TV. They need to try a day in my shoes…then get a life!
Yes, I’ve discovered just how strong I am. This is also why I write comedy. It’s my escape and my chance to create the kind of Karma I’d like to see.
How does my writing process work?
Here’s an example from Sex, Lies, and Beauty Aides: I get a glimmer of an idea. In this case, I had a female character, outwardly scarred and as a result, emotionally challenged. The actual scar she received as a teen and the torment she went through thanks to her peers, created the introvert she became, sending her into a self-imposed exile to escape from that torment, which led to an addiction to movies as her only outlet.
Years later, she now lives on a shoe-string, she masks her scars with an addiction to fashion, even though her wardrobe comes from thrift shops, granted they are high end, and the poor girl can’t even afford a decent mani/pedi. And yet she’s out to save the world, one beauty aide at a time. She’s fun, fun-loving, and smart, and while her female friends can be counted on one hand, they’re totally loyal. She can talk to guys but they don’t take her seriously because they view her as a little sister. Plus she’s utterly and completely naive about some things.
Then I had to decide how mean to be to her. I had to ask…what does she fear? What’s the worst thing that could happen to her…then let it happen. Some funny, some not so funny.
And of course, I had to create a man strong enough to could get beyond her mental barriers, remove her thorns, and help her blossom.
I started this story back in 2000. Then as usual my real life took over…when I got back to my story in 2010 I liked it, but it was missing something. My hero and heroine just didn’t sparkle as I wanted them to.
I like to choose my characters from the actors and actresses I’ve seen and admired. I chose Paul Walker for my muse to model Trent/Travis after. I watched everything I could find with him in it. I also did some research on the man. What I found was a real life hero. Someone who was larger than life, who cared about his world, and gave of himself for the greater good. Once I started using his real life admirable qualities I could picture Trent so clearly that Paul became Trent and vice versa. I’d like to think I did him justice. I can’t wait for Paul’s movie “Hours” to come out. I have a feeling it’s going to have been his finest work. We miss you Paul!
As for Sabrina, I tried a number of actresses, but it was only when I selected Autumn Reeser that Sabrina came alive. She had the sweet quality of my character. I could see her going through all of Sabrina’s trial and tribulations, only to come out stronger than she imagined. What’s funny, is that in book II she continues to evolve as a character.
I can’t wait to share the rest of the books with you!
The Writing Process Blog Hop continues I’ve tagged three talented authors to follow me, so please check them out below and visit their site on Monday, April 7, for a peek at their writing processes.
Anise Rae has no superpowers. To compensate, she dreams up alternative realities where magic rules, worlds that are populated with heroines who dare to stand up to society’s expectations and be true to themselves and heroes with plenty of savvy to fall in love with such brave women. She aims to live life like her characters do–with days full of love, adventure, and magic. In case that fails, and sometimes it does, she hits the escape button on her iPhone and reads a book. She’s well-prepared for such emergencies, always keeping all three e-reader apps fully stocked. Urban fantasy and paranormal and sci-fi romance are her genres of choice. Her debut novel, Syphon’s Song, is the first book in the Mayflower Mages series.
Catherine McGreevy lives in Northern California. A former newspaper reporter and editor, she grew up in several countries overseas and is an avid historical enthusiast with particular interest in Gold Rush history. She has even been known to don period clothing to reenact the past at Sutter’s Fort and at the gold discovery site at Coloma! Catherine writes both romantic suspense and historical, two of which are currently available on Kindle Select and Smashwords. The Jewelry Case is a romantic suspense novel about an opera singer caught up in a search for lost heirloom jewels, and The Gardener is a historical about an English gardener sentenced to hang for a crime he did not commit, who must rely on the help of a headstrong American girl to escape and finds love along the way! More novels are on the way!
My journey as a writer began when I turned 30, my youngest started kindergarten, and I went back to college. I took a class on fiction writing and the author was born—except it wasn’t a direct route to publishing my novels. I took a 15-year detour as a photojournalist specializing in agriculture. Twenty years later I published my first book, but it wasn’t the romance novel I’d anticipated—it was a children’s book. Three more children’s books have followed and now, finally, my first romance. This book is near and dear to my heart as Emma reflects all my years in agriculture and more than a decade sitting on the bleachers watching my children play baseball.