Today we're joining the FOREVER JULIA blog tour by chatting with author Jodi Carmichael. Come get to know all about Jodi and her book.
Hi Jodi! Welcome to We Do Write. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Tell our readers a bit about Forever Julia.
16-year-old Julia falls for a wealthy and controlling boy who leads her to betray her best friend and sacrifice her integrity. Because love and infatuation can turn dark. Fast. Ultimately, she alone must decide what lines cannot be crossed. Forever Julia is full of romance, heart-break, and dangerous secrets.
How did the idea of the story come to you?
I actually didn’t set out to write a story that dealt with abuse. My original intention was to write a Rom/Com or some sort of YA Chicklit. The working title for this novel, for a long time was; Who Needs Romeo: A Tale of a Modern Day Juliet. In my first version, the abusive relationship with Jeremy was something in Julia’s past and my focus was on her new relationship with a mysterious boy who was struggling with very different demons than the sort that drive Jeremy’s actions.
Although it was an entertaining read, that version had zero dramatic action and it fell flat in terms of character growth. As I struggled with rewriting Forever Julia, I had the great fortune of getting accepted into The Manitoba Writers’ Guild, Sheldon Oberman Mentorship Program as an apprentice. I was privileged to have Carolyn Grey, award-winning playright, puppeteer, and author as my mentor. She helped me discover the heart of Julia’s story, which I squirreled away in the back story – the pre-story. She encouraged me to explore Julia’s abusive relationship with Jeremy, because it was the more important story to tell.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
By nature I am a 100% pantser, but I like to think of myself now as a pantser-in-remission. Plotting is something I now do to avoid massive amounts of rewriting. That being said, I don’t do an incredibly thorough plot outline. I do a very brief chapter by chapter description, just ensure there is enough dramatic action to drive the story.
What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
Finding time to write and not getting distracted by the ever so shiny and always exciting internet.
What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?
Hmmm, I think it’s more what shouldn’t be nearby when I am writing! If my kids are in the room or they need my attention I am done for and I need to be disconnected from the internet. It is just too tempting for me.
What are you reading right now?
Oh! I just finished All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr which was fantastic and I’ve now just started The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Mystery, by Alan Bradley which I adore.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Flying. Is that a superpower? I think it would be amazing to soar through the air and fly to far off countries, without needing an airplane ticket.
What's the weirdest thing you've googled?
For research I’ve googled all sorts of things, but the one entry that worried me most is when I googled World War 2 grenades for my current work in progress. I needed to know what smell would linger after a grenade exploded. I was a bit concerned it would “flag” me for CISIS, but maybe I was just getting paranoid since that book is all about top secret spy activities...
Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...
day dreaming about my characters or reading.
Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.It’s got to be my family. My husband is incredible and I think he may have more faith in me than I do. My daughters inspire me to keep writing stories they would like to read, about characters who are strong and thoughtful, and often times feisty!
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