Friday, November 16, 2012

Julie Rieman Duck Author Interview

Photo Content from Julie Rieman Duck

Born in Los Angeles and raised in San Clemente, California, Julie Rieman Duck wrote her way through school on an old-fashioned typewriter. Somewhere along the line, she was sidetracked by careers in magazine publishing and copywriting. While Julie honed her skills at writing print ads and articles, the stories that moved her heart and soul were bubbling underneath, waiting to escape.

It took a medical scare and the loss of her job — on the same day and within 30 minutes of each other — to finally allow her stories to free themselves and be put to paper. First came A Place In This Life, an edgy young adult story about a girl who falls for a boy with leukemia. Next there was SWELL, the story of an art prodigy who loves the most popular boy in school... and becomes addicted to the alcohol they both can't live without.

Julie looks forward to writing more stories that hit where the heart beats fastest, and the soul reaches out for more.


Print Length: 225 pages
Publication Date: August 31, 2012
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B0094MI2Z0

What was your first introduction to YA literature, the one that made you choose that genre to write?
Twilight. My neighbor loaned me the book when I was facing a possible thyroid cancer diagnosis, surgery, and what to do with my life. It sat for two weeks before I picked it up. Fifty pages into the story I was about ready to quit reading it (before the good parts came along). My thought was, “If this gal can write a book, I certainly know that I can.” The stories in my heart were naturally YA. I never picked the genre, it picked me.

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
That I started out as an artist (at the tender age of 2) and didn’t begin writing until third grade.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?
My first book was Kittyland. I wrote and illustrated the book, as well as bound it. This was in the third grade and I LOVED the whole process. I still enjoy publishing.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
That I could read as part of my schoolwork. With the exception of getting through the Greek tragedies in high school, I never thought it a boring and awful thing to read a book and write a report on it.

How would you describe yourself in three words?
A funny girl.

Did you learn anything from writing Swell and what was it?
That I did some awfully messed up things as a teenager. Not that SWELL is my life story, but I took experiences I had, mixed them with the experiences of my friends, and came up with some pretty dark stuff. Looking back I am sometimes aghast. We are crazy when we’re teenagers!

For those who are unfamiliar with Beck, how would you introduce her?
A talented, sensitive girl who wants to please people and be loved.

What part of Christian did you enjoy writing the most?
After the climax with Beck and Hillman, I enjoyed allowing Christian to show his true colors. He loved Beck and could be himself at last.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Oh, it would be a bad boy showdown between Todd from A Place In This Life and Hillman from SWELL. I think Todd would have kicked Hillman’s behind. At least Todd is real and genuine. Hillman is stuck-up and inhumane.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Judy Blume. Not only did I cut my teeth on her books, I was inspired by her life story.

How many books have you written?
Four. I plan on publishing little rooms in 2013.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
You may go to a dark place of introspection when you read this. It might be uncomfortable. It might be just what you need to see the light of life.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
My age! Just kidding. I don’t lie about my education, but I usually skirt around the issue.

What scares you the most and why?
Being tickled. I had a relative that used to tickle us kids and didn’t know when to stop. I had fears of suffocating thereafter. To this day, if anyone tries to tickle me I will go nuts and not react too kindly.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
True love with heart break.

Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?
My mom. Actually, we email. Being introverts, that’s our preferred way of communicating.

When was the last time you cried?
Yesterday. I’m going through some personal stuff that is highly stressful.

When Christian Rusch plucks Beck Ionesco from the freshman ranks for himself, she’s tempted with parties, popularity, and love. But as the free-flowing booze that soaks his world seeps into her own, Beck begins using liquid courage as a way to ignore Christian’s dark moods… and cover her anxiety about his flirtatious friend Hillman.

However, when Christian breaks up with Beck, and Hillman makes a dangerous move, no amount of alcohol can stop the pain or keep her out of trouble. And just when it seems like she’s lost everything, Beck is partnered with Jesse Leary for an art project. After spending time with him, Beck realizes it’s more than a study date… and Christian’s not happy about it. Then again, Beck’s not sure she’s happy with him, either.

But only after plowing through a bottle of wine, a wild fight, and one guardrail that becomes Christian’s last call, does Beck admit to her problem and ask for help from the one whose life secretly parallels her own.

Juile Rieman Duck’s emotional rollercoaster, Swell, tells the story of Rebecca (Beck) Ionesco whose life has been tainted by the effects of alcoholism. When Christian Rush chooses Beck for himself, she is tempted with the glamorous life that he leads. The parties, popularity, and love are all very inviting that she begins to distance herself from the people that truly care about her. The temptation causes her to use liquid courage and transform her to someone she is not. The more she lives a lie, the more her world starts to fall apart.

Some may read this and simple nod their head and brush it off as very fiction, but in reality author Julie truly delivered a depiction of what many teenagers face today. Beck is very believable as she’s just a normal high school looking for ways to fit in and be noticed. The realness of the book is what will captivate readers to be entranced into its gripping tale of drinking, sex and the awful effects it entails if it is not handled correctly. The impact of these activities really took a toll on Beck. However, Julie reminds us that no matter how deep one goes into their downward spiral, there is always hope and help at the other end.

Julie’s writing etiquette is simply beautiful and readers will have an exact feeling of all the emotions that Beck goes through. The first person view places the reader deep into Beck’s problems. She builds this character up that readers will be searching ways for her to overcome this seemingly inescapable ordeal. Swell is a remarkable look into the life of a teenage girl taking that uncertain road of risky high school activities and the consequences it contains and the importance of young women holding value to themselves.

You can purchase Swell at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you JULIE RIEMAN DUCK for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Swell by Julie Rieman Duck.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Jean for hosting a stop on this tour. And your review is beautiful! I agree, it's a realistic look at things.

    You also asked some great questions! When I write I tend to naturally go into my teenage head and write teenagers. I think it's easiest for me to harness that and it brings more emotion and feeling to my stories.