2013 Club: Julie Kibler and Calling Me Home

CMH_Cover_small_101112Our guest today: Julie Kibler Why she rocks: She's a fantastic writer & she has great advice! (See below!)

Her debut: Calling Me Home Out today! February 12, 2013!

The scoop on it: Eighty-nine-year-old Isabelle McAllister has a favor to ask her hairdresser Dorrie Curtis. It's a big one. Isabelle wants Dorrie, a black single mom in her thirties, to drop everything to drive her from her home in Arlington, Texas, to a funeral in Cincinnati. With no clear explanation why. Tomorrow.

Dorrie, fleeing problems of her own and curious whether she can unlock the secrets of Isabelle's guarded past, scarcely hesitates before agreeing, not knowing it will be a journey that changes both their lives.

Over the years, Dorrie and Isabelle have developed more than just a business relationship. They are friends. But Dorrie, fretting over the new man in her life and her teenage son's irresponsible choices, still wonders why Isabelle chose her.

Isabelle confesses that, as a willful teen in 1930s Kentucky, she fell deeply in love with Robert Prewitt, a would-be doctor and the black son of her family's housekeeper--in a town where blacks weren't allowed after dark. The tale of their forbidden relationship and its tragic consequences makes it clear Dorrie and Isabelle are headed for a gathering of the utmost importance and that the history of Isabelle's first and greatest love just might help Dorrie find her own way.

Our thoughts: Beautifully written and incredibly touching, we loved this story. Read an excerpt here

Giveaway: FIVE COPIES. Just leave a comment and be entered to win. We'll select the winners on Sunday, February, 17th after 3pm PST.

Fun fact: Julie also writes for Book Pregnant, a group of debut writers who talk about what to expect when you're expecting a book!

Where you can read more about Julie: Her website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Goodreads. (Girlfriend is social media covered!)




DO'S: 3 things every aspiring novelist should do...

  1. Take your time! It's amazing how quickly it passes.Not selling the first book you write doesn't mean you'll never sell a book. Trust me on that. Starting my first (unpublished) manuscript feels like yesterday now.
  2. Be generous with your time and energy while you're aspiring. Your generosity will be returned to you exponentially when you are launching your first novel! (Host authors on your blog, attend their signing events, buy their books!)
  3. Realize that your novel is not the only thing on everyone else's mind—even if it's ALL you can think about. Life goes on around you. Try to join in as often as you can. Living leads to better writing. I have this lesson on repeat.

DON'TS: 3 things every aspiring novelist shouldn't do...

  1. Assume you already know everything you need to know about writing. It leaves egg on your face.
  2. Compare yourself with other aspiring novelists or published authors. Your journey will never, ever look like theirs or play out in the same way. Comparison is the sure road to killing your self-confidence, little by little. So easy to say, so hard to do...
  3. As tempting and easy as it is with the technology available today, don't surround yourself only with other novelists. When your book releases, you'll wish you knew a lot of everyday readers, too. (Thankfully, I think I did ok with this!)


On your desk? Suave Advanced Therapy Hand lotion. I am an addict. Truly.

On your Facebook feed? Family news. It's amazing how much more I know about my family, especially those who live far away, now that there's Facebook. Things that don't come up in phone conversations often appear in my newsfeed. I am watching my little nieces who live more than 2,000 miles away grow up there! I love it!

App on your phone? Ebook apps—Nook, Kindle, Overdrive, etc. I do about 80% of my reading on my iPhone.


Song you listened to on repeat? "Horses"/Dala (www.dalagirls.com) I missed hearing this group live by a few minutes at the Rocky Mountain Folks Fest a few years ago and have regretted it since.

Book you read? I'm always juggling about four these days. Last one I finished is The Promise, by Ann Weisgarber, an advance readers' edition from Pan Macmillan, my UK publisher.

Time you laughed? I hope I laugh every single day. My clever youngest daughter makes me laugh every day, especially. Last full-on belly laugh? When I was talking to a close friend after I had my first newspaper interview last week, and told her how I forgot the name of one of my minor characters from Calling Me Home. It wasn't funny at the time, but if you don't laugh about things like that, how do you survive?


Agents did you query before you found "the one?" I was very lucky with Calling Me Home. I queried maybe five agents, but Elisabeth Weed was my first choice from the get go. I queried her first with the previous manuscript, too. And she's the best, as is her foreign rights agent, Jenny Meyer.

Hours I write per day: I am a burst writer. I write like crazy when I'm in the midst of a burst. I beat myself up a lot when I'm not. If I'm writing consistently in one of those bursts, it's usually from about 11 p.m. until 3 a.m. I'm the worst night owl you'll never know.

Hours I waste online when I should be writing: Most of them. Yeah.


Way to celebrate a book deal: Chocolate dessert and a peach Bellini. And maybe a thick, juicy steak … Yeah, definitely that. I remember now.

Trick to overcome writer's block: I ask my character, "WHAT do you WANT?" before I go to bed. I can't do this if I need to wake up early, because that voice generally haunts me all night. I'm exhausted the next morning, but I usually know what they want, and that's the key to a good story.

Way to think of a book idea: For me, it tends to happen in the midst of an everyday conversation. Something I hear sets my heart and brain racing, and I'm off and running.


Show you'll DVR? Can you believe I don't own a DVR? We have basic cable. If I could DVR, it would be Parenthood, though the season is over now. I love that show.

Book you'll read? A manuscript from a dear friend who is seeking her first blurbs. I've already peeked at the first few chapters, and I know once I start, I'm in for the duration.

Book you'll write? I could tell you but then I'd have to think of another one, because once I start talking about them, they seem to lose their magic.

Thanks, Julie!