I get to chat with the super cool Julianna Deering today! We started talking through the blog a while back – she blames me for her ever-growing TBR list. Pffft. What’s up with that? lol. Well…. it works both ways. Since “meeting” her, I’ve added the entire Drew Farthering series to my TBR island (and wondered HOW I haven’t read them before now?!?), not to mention the medieval series she wrote! (And then – in this interview – I found out she has contemporary mysteries too! So on to the island go they!) 😉
JULIANNA DEERING has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey. Her new series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuted from Bethany House with Rules of Murder (2013) and is followed by Death by the Book and Murder at the Mikado (2014), Dressed for Death (2016) and Murder on the Moor (Coming 2017). Also, as DeAnna Julie Dodson, she has written a trilogy of medieval romances (In Honor Bound, By Love Redeemed and To Grace Surrendered) and six contemporary mysteries for Annie’s Fiction. She is represented by Wendy Lawton of the Books & Such Literary Agency (www.booksandsuch.biz).
Alrighty, Ms. Julianna – let’s start you out with the usual “fast four”!
Julianna: Wow, that’s a tough one since I love them both. I guess I’d have to give oranges the edge just because they’re so deliciously juicy.
Carrie: Some (me) might say they’re TOO juicy… but that’s okay 🙂
Julianna: Oh, winter. Winter, winter, winter, winter, winter, winter! Even though I’ve lived here in Texas all my life, I still find the summers unbearably hot. Expensive electric bills. Expensive water bills. Expensive lawn care bills. Painful heat. Bugs. Sweat. Dirt. Total pleh. Now the winters here are generally short and mild. We might have an ice storm every two or three years, but those last only a few days, if that. Christmas and New Year are often shirt-sleeve weather. If we do have snow (and that’s more rare than ice) it’s wonderful. I don’t know if I’d feel that way about it if it was around for five or six months every year. Winter. Definitely.
Carrie: Makes a note to never visit Texas during the summer.
Carrie: As always, Zuzu wishes for me to issue the disclaimer that your answer could affect your further participation in this or any other interviews on the blog. (Not really… I don’t think.)
Julianna: Awww, dear Zuzu! Do assure her that I love dogs with all my heart. When I was growing up, we had all kinds of pets: multiple dogs and cats, gerbils, hamsters, birds, fish, turtles, rabbits, almost everything. I loved and enjoyed them all. But from the time I left home, I’ve had only cats. They’re so self-sufficient and easy to take care of. And, despite what some people think, they are extremely affectionate. I couldn’t do without them.
Carrie: After conferring with Her Highness (otherwise known as Zuzu), she has decided you may proceed. Despite the dreaded c-a-t answer 😉
Julianna: Depends on the weather most of the time. In the winter, I drink coffee. In the summer, I drink iced tea. No lemon, no sugar, thank you, but lots and lots of ice.
Carrie: Since it’s almost summer, here’s a lovely glass of ice cold tea – no lemon, no sugar – for you to sip at your leisure as we settle in for the longer-questions portion of our chat! I’ve got my diet coke, extra ice, from McDonalds – also no lemon or sugar 🙂 – so I’m good to go too.
Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Julianna: The one I would most like to have is the ability to do without sleep. I could get so much done every day! Then maybe I wouldn’t be so far behind on my writing schedule.
Carrie: That superpower would come in handy for blogging as well! And reading… Maybe I’d actually catch up on my TBR island.
Writing is a superpower all unto itself. Do you have any writing process quirks? Any favorite snacks or beverages to get the words flowing?
Julianna: I usually don’t write in chronological order. Most of the time I write the big set pieces I know I want to have in the story, and then I go back and write the connecting scenes. Once in a while I’ll start at the beginning and write to the end, but not usually. My favorite snack is bite-size Milky Way dark. Not the big bars and not the milk chocolate ones. Only the tiny dark ones. Mmmmm.
Carrie: Alright now. I was ok with the oranges (sort-of) and the cats (to each her own) but DARK chocolate? Yuck. I do love Milky Ways and happen to also prefer the bite-size bars but it HAS to be the milk chocolate. Mmmmm.
If we peeked inside your purse right now, what would it tell us about you?
Julianna: It would tell you that I’m a quilter (lots of quilt shop “frequent buyer” cards and notes on patterns and designers) and a cross-stitcher (a list of hand-dyed threads I want to get). It would tell you I’m a reader (lists of books I need to get to complete or start series and to make sure I don’t accidentally buy the same book more than once). It would tell you I’m a Dallas Stars hockey fan (I keep a schedule in my purse at all times). It would tell you I definitely need a new checkbook cover.
Carrie: LOL! I love quilts and have always wanted to learn but as learning to sew was a disaster, as was knitting, I feel that I probably shouldn’t torture the beautiful fabrics that way. I do cross stitch, however! Well… I used to before I started the blog. Now, all I do is read haha!
You’ve written 4 books now in the Drew Farthering series, so you and Drew have undoubtedly spent a lot of time together. This question is in two parts:
Julianna: You mean besides “yummy”? Okay, I’d say he was a loyal (if sometimes snarky) friend, a devoted husband, a seeker of justice and of God, an avid reader, and (though he’ll stoutly deny it) a closet romantic. Oh, and yummy. Did I say yummy? I guess that’s more than one sentence.
Carrie: Yes… but… he IS yummy so I’ll allow it 🙂
b) If I asked DREW to describe YOU in one sentence, what would he say?
Julianna: “She’s stark staring mad.”
Carrie: LOL! Well… it’s probably because you like the dark Milky Ways.
You previously wrote medieval romance (under the name DeAnna Julie Dodson). Now you write 1930s era mysteries. But Dressed For Death also has a Regency element to it. What other historical eras/genres have you considered writing?
Julianna: I’ve written five contemporary and one contemporary/historical (French Revolution) cozy mysteries for Annie’s Fiction. I’ve written a Civil War novel that’s still unpublished. I absolutely adore Georgette Heyer’s Regencies (especially as read by Richard Armitage — be still my heart!) and would love to try my hand at that era someday. I’d love to write some Gothic romance, the Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights (but with more likeable characters) sort of thing. I want to write more medieval romance as well as some western and/or prairie sort of tales. I want to write about the World Wars and the Revolutionary War. Just about anything from medieval times to WWII interests me. Oh, and I want to write fantasy, too. I have a bit of a start of one, though I never seem to have time for it. I want to write everything!
Carrie: I tried a Georgette Heyer book once (Cotillion, I think?) and couldn’t get into it. Perhaps I should listen to the Richard Armitage version! Oh – and could I go ahead and order that Civil War novel, the Gothic romance, the more medieval romances, the western/prairie tales, the ones about the World Wars, the Revolutionary War SERIES…… and yeah, even the fantasy. Thanks!
I love, love, LOVE how each of the Drew Farthering books has a literary inspiration. What is the inspiration for this latest novel, Dressed for Death?
Julianna: Dressed for Death is my Jane Austen book. The story opens with Drew and Madeline attending a Regency house party where they are required to dress, eat and play as if it were still the early eighteen hundreds. Drew particularly objects to the dancing and the inability to drive his beloved Rolls, but all in all he’s pleased to take part as a treat for Madeline for their six-month anniversary.
Carrie: Drew in Regency? Yes please. And thank you. <3
I seriously adore chatting with you. 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you. (I think I heard a rumor about a gardener who resembles Aiden Turner???)
Julianna: Ooooh, I am SO excited about Book Five in this series, Murder on the Moor. Drew and Madeline go up to Yorkshire to help an old school friend of his figure out who’s behind the strange happenings out on the moor and why the local vicar was murdered on the steps of the church. The delicious Aidan Turner (especially his Poldark incarnation) was definitely the inspiration for my gamekeeper, Rhys Delwyn, even though Delwyn is Welsh and not Irish. Drew isn’t at all sure what he’s up to or whether or not it involves his friend’s posh wife. Stay tuned.
Sign up for Drew’s News (Julianna’s newsletter) for an exclusive look at the cover of the upcoming Murder on the Moor!
One of my readers will win a paperback copy of any one of the Drew Farthering Mysteries – your choice of #1-4!
Thanks, Julianna!! 😀
(Can I just state for the record that I’m wishing I could enter too? lol)
(US Mailing Addresses only please)
Ok – now it’s your turn! Comment on this post and a) weigh in on the Milky Way discussion or b) tell Julianna which Drew Farthering Mystery is your fave so far or c) just tell her how super cool she is!