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).
Connect with Julianna...
On Facebook: https://business.facebook.com/AuthorJuliannaDeering/
On Twitter: @DeAnnaJulDodson
On Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6565151.Julianna_Deering
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Get to know Julianna Deering...
You and Writing
Tell us a little bit about yourself...
People are often surprised when I tell them I had no plans to be a writer when I was growing up or even when I was in college. I always loved to read, but it never occurred to me to try to write anything. Certainly not for publication. But when I was in college, sitting through boring lectures on tax accounting or business law, I began writing little scenes. I still had no intention of ever trying to get published or even making the scenes I had into one coherent whole.
Then a friend of mine suggested I actually write a book and get it published. To my amazement, In Honor Bound, the book I pieced together out of my collection of random scenes, was accepted for publication. Now, as Julianna Deering and as DeAnna Julie Dodson, I have twelve books traditionally published and three more due to come out over the next several months. There have been lots of ups and downs over the past few years, some times of waiting, and some times of incredible answers to prayer. Through it all, I have held on to this scripture: For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, “Do not fear. I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13. Whatever comes, I know God is holding my hand and helping me through.
Tell us a little bit about your book...
Why did you write it?
This is Book Four of my Drew Farthering Mysteries series, so of course I wanted to continue his sleuthing adventures. I love Regency romances and Jane Austen, and since each of the books in this series have a literary inspiration, I thought it would be fun to have Drew and Madeline attend a Regency-themed house party. Besides that, I wanted to show that romance doesn’t end at the altar, so I was especially eager to write about Drew and Madeline as a married couple.
What is one take-away from your book you hope readers identify with?
One of the struggles Drew has during this investigation is something I think most of us deal with: What is my calling? What did God create me to do? He wonders if God would ever call someone to be a detective, but Madeline tells him that helping find the truth and helping people in tragic circumstances are certainly godly callings. We each have something we’re meant to do, something unique. One person’s calling isn’t going to look like anyone else’s, and that’s all right. As long as we do what we’re each designed to do, great or small, we are worshiping God.
Is there a funny story associated with writing the book?
One of my friends specifically asked to be killed in one of my books, and I was delighted to oblige. Of course even though I started with my friend for inspiration, the character grew and changed to become an individual. But it was fun to do a “murder by request.”
What’s your favorite snack while writing?
Mini Milky Way Dark, hands down. Only the minis and only the dark chocolate ones. Preferably frozen.
Tell us a little bit about your writing life...
How long did you write before you got published?
It took me about eleven years to write my first book.
How many rejection letters did you get before being accepted by a publisher?
Only two. The third accepted my book for publication. It was a genuine miracle.
Are you a Pantser or a Plotter?
Yes. I do both, depending on the book and how long I have before it’s due. Pantsing takes a lot more time and wasted words. Plotting takes a lot more preparation.
Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters?
I wanted this series to have the feel of a mystery written during the 1930s or a movie made during that time. I try not to let any “modern” sneak in. And, of course, each book has a different literary inspiration which gives them each a slightly different flavor.
Do you listen to music when you write?
Not usually. If I do, it’s something epic, like movie soundtrack music. That’s mostly to keep me from falling asleep at my desk, which I tend to do. I can’t listen to anything with words. That interferes with the words I’m trying to create in my head.
What is your favorite season and why?
Fall. After the usually brutal Texas summer, fall is a blessed relief.
What is your favorite genre to read? Why do you enjoy it?
I like almost anything American or English set between 1300 and 1949, especially mystery and clean romance. I like stories that take me away from all the crazy that is our current society.
Congrats Stella - I'll be emailing you!