Her new book The Woman He Married is just out. Here is a brief synopsis of the book:
As an aspiring young defense attorney, Josie McClain looked forward to taking on the injustices of the world—one case at a time. Eleven years later, she is a stay-at-home-mom battling demons that don’t require a law degree, but do demand the ability to remain insanely busy, while nursing a heavy dose of denial. Only keeping up pretenses proves more than she can bear when a bracelet that should have been hers shows up on the wrist of another woman. Now, in the midst of an Alabama judicial campaign, Josie’s marriage to candidate, John Bearden, slowly begins to unravel as an ex-lover comes back into her life. When he offers her the dreams she thought she’d lost, Josie faces one of the most difficult decisions of her life. She embarks on a journey of self-rediscovery, finding that fulfillment was unwittingly within her reach the whole time.
Julie is an amazing woman. She graduated from San Diego State University with a BA in Political Science and a minor in English Literature. She later attended the University of Alabama where she received a Masters Degree in Social Work. With an MSW, she had hopes of working as a family therapist. However, this ambition had to be put on hold when she was diagnosed with Lymphoma during her third semester of graduate school. In addition to her primary job as a stay-at-home-mom and budding author, she has worked as a substitute high school teacher, Lamaze Certified Childbirth and Infant CPR instructor, family therapist and don’t forget, Parisian’s sales associate.
Let's hear Julie's take on life and her new novel.
Question: How much of this story was driven by your work as a marriage and family therapist?
Answer: I’ve only practiced as a therapist for short period of time but have notice some common threads that run though the couples I’ve treated. One being that infidelity, unless chronic, doesn’t cause divorce, lack of communication does.With Josie and John their problems started in the beginning when she chose to let him dictate the roles of their marriage. She sacrificed her dreams for his instead of telling him what she wanted. But then over time began resenting him while he was left wondering why she wasn’t happy. Resentment doesn’t exactly encourage productive communication.
Question: What role does today’s culture play in the demise of marriages?
Answer: Couples in today’s society seem to get so caught up in doing the “right” thing. Fathers feel compelled to build a prestigious career, provide a larger than necessary home in a safe neighborhood, expensive gas-guzzling cars, country club memberships and vacations to hip places. The pressure to provide financially is overwhelming.Mothers feel they need to stretch themselves and their children to the limit with extra curricular activities, volunteering, social clubs, church and even a career. All the while keeping close tabs on what their kids eat and watch on TV, how they dress, and their grades. Parents get so caught up in what society says they “should” be doing that their marital relationships are forced to take a back seat.
Question: The book has a somewhat PG-13 element to it. Why not clean it up and make it suitable for the Christian market?
Answer: The book is clean and contains no graphic language or sexual content. But I wrote the book from a non-LDS perspective so that the story would appeal to all readers. I think a story about a woman’s struggle to hold onto her identity while dedicating her life to the service of her family is applicable to women of all walks of life, and I didn’t want to limit my audience to only LDS readers.
Question: Being a member of the LDS church comes with its own unique challenges. Why would a book about a woman with very little faith appeal to women in a church where god is their central focus and the example they look to for guidance?
Answer: Although Josie doesn’t have a strong belief in/or understanding of God in which to draw upon, her struggle to find the right answers is not unlike any woman’s. In the end, she does turn to a higher power for guidance, thus illustrating the need we all have at times for a little divine intervention.
Question: As church members we have been taught that women fulfill the measure of their creation by becoming a wife and mother, yet in this story you have a shown a woman who is somewhat resentful of those roles.
Answer: I think a lot of women, especially those who forgo a career to stay at home and raise a family, question at times if anyone really values or even appreciates their sacrifices—if their time and energy wouldn’t be better spent pursuing other venues. But motherhood is worth it, and thus Josie was able to find fulfillment in the very place she had thought she never would.
Question: Why give Josie a problem with alcohol?
Answer: We all have our vices that may include food, hobbies, or staying so busy we don’t give ourselves time to think—to feel. I gave Josie a problem with alcohol because, whether we want to admit it or not, we all have our own hidden demons. Simply put, I thought this one fit a politician’s wife the best.
Ok, now here is your chance to win an Barnes and Noble gift card worth $50 and a free copy of the book!
All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog about this review, Julie, the book - you get the point. Julie will pick a winner from all the blog comments. The more you comment the more of a chance you will have to win. For a listing of other bloggers participating in this book tour you can visit Julie's blog.