Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Julie Pennell Interview - Louisiana Lucky

Photo Credit: Riser Vance Photography

Julie Pennell was born and raised in Louisiana. After graduating from college, she headed to New York to work at Seventeen magazine. She currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two young sons, and is a regular contributor to TODAY.com. Her writing has also appeared in The Knot, In Style, and Refinery29. She is the author of The Young Wives Club and Louisiana Lucky.


When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill? 
When I was in elementary school -- before we had a computer in our house -- my dad brought home a typewriter, and I would play with it for hours at a time. I wrote lots of little stories, and my super-supportive parents told me I was a good writer (thanks, Mom and Dad!). So, I kept it up, and here I am now!

Tell us your latest news. 
I just had a second baby boy. His name is Callan and he’s a total sweetheart. 
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published. Just holding my books in my hand has been the most rewarding experience. I just stare at them, feeling super proud. I am not a runner, so I always say writing a book is like my equivalent of finishing a marathon. It was hard work, but it’s all worth it to reach the finish line. And I’m still in awe that someone believed enough in it to print it and sell it. 

Your Favorite Quotes/Scenes from LOUISIANA LUCKY
I don’t want to give anything away in terms of spoilers, so I’ll just say that my favorite scene in the book is the last one. And my favorite quote is the last line J 

  • 1.) The jackpot winning was originally less money, but as I was writing it, I decided to give them a lot more so they could really have some fun with it!
  • 2.) In a small plotline of my first novel The Young Wives Club, one of the characters wins a little money playing a scratch off, and that kind of sparked the idea to do a whole book about winning the lottery. Because who hasn’t fantasized about winning an obscene amount of money?!
  • 3.) Callie’s job as a newspaper reporter is my love story to print journalism (my first job). 
  • 4.) Lexi’s storyline came because I love writing about weddings and planning mine was one of my favorite times of my life (although mine was definitely not as big and fancy as hers).
  • 5.) When I started writing this book I had just had my first child and yearned to give him the best life possible, which is where I came up with Hannah’s character, who uses the money to give her kids everything she didn’t have growing up. 
  • 6.) Hannah’s old house in the story is based off of a family member’s. I could picture the layout and features of it while I wrote. 
  • 7.) I wrote the majority of this book during my son’s first year of life, during his naps and at bedtime. I’m thankful he was a good sleeper!
  • 8.) While writing it, I bought a lottery ticket with the numbers the sisters’ win on in the book — I sadly didn’t win… 
  • 9.) Hannah kind of invites herself into a book club with moms at her son’s school. I basically did the same thing with some daycare moms after I finished writing the book. I had to warn them that the moms in the book were not based on them (ha!)
  • 10.) I crave cupcakes every time I see the cover.
What is the first job you have had? 
I interned at my local newspaper when I was 14 and wrote a weekly column for them called “Teen Scene” – the job inspired Callie’s occupation in Louisiana Lucky J

Best date you've ever had? 
When my husband and I went to Barcelona, we found a tiny little restaurant that wasn’t frequented by tourists like most of the other places we had been. We perched ourselves up at the bar and ended up staying there for four hours, just eating, drinking and having good conversation. Sometimes it’s just those simple moments that are the happiest. 

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? 
I wish that my kids would go back to sleep. Ha!

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before? 
True love with a guarantee of heartbreak. I couldn’t imagine choosing to not ever being in love. 

When you looked in the mirror first thing this morning, what was the first thing you thought? 
“Is that another gray hair?” 

If you wrote a journal entry today, what would it say? 
“Day 9,274 of quarantine … please send childcare.”

Who has had the most influence in your life? 
My mom! She’s always been the biggest cheerleader and has given me the courage to make my dreams come true. I don’t know if I would have ever learned to believe in myself without her constant support. She’s also my first reader on my drafts because I know she’ll give me the praise I need to keep going, but she’s also not shy about telling me if something’s not working.

From the critically acclaimed author of The Young Wives Club, a “heartwarming story about friendship, heartache, and self-discovery” (Karen White, New York Times bestselling author), comes a charming novel reminiscent of the works of Mary Alice Monroe and Kristy Woodson Harvey, about three sisters who win a huge lottery prize and learn what it truly means to be lucky.

Lexi, Callie, and Hanna Breaux grew up in small-town Louisiana, and have always struggled to make ends meet. For years, they’ve been playing the lottery, fantasizing about how much better life would be if they had the money.

For Lexi, it means the perfect wedding; for Callie, it means having the courage to go after her career dreams; and for Hanna, it means buying a house that isn’t falling apart and sending her bullied son to private school. When the incredible happens and the Breaux sisters hit it big—$204 million dollars big—all their dreams come true. Or so they think. Because it’s actually not a cliché—money isn’t the answer to everything, and it often comes with problems of its own.

Heartfelt, engaging, and featuring characters you’ll root for from the first moment you meet them, Louisiana Lucky is a satisfying page-turner from a rising star in women’s fiction.

You can purchase Louisiana Lucky at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you JULIE PENNELL for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Louisiana Lucky by Julie Pennell.