Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Interview with Deborah Blumenthal author of "The Lifeguard"

Deborah Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and nutritionist and the author of thirteen books for children, young adults, and adults. She has been a regular contributor to The New York Times (including four years as the Sunday New York Times Magazine beauty columnist), and a home design columnist for Long Island Newsday. Her health, fitness, beauty, travel, and feature stories have appeared widely in many other newspapers and national magazines including New York’s Daily NewsThe Washington Post, The Los Angeles TimesBazaarCosmopolitanWoman's DayFamily CircleSelf, and VogueBlumenthal lives in New York City. 

I’m happy to welcome Deborah Blumenthal to my blog today for an author interview.

JMW- As an author of Adult fiction, YA fiction, and Children books, do you find it hard to write in different genres and find the right voice for each one?  

DB-Actually I enjoy going from one genre to another, especially when I need to distance myself from a project that may not be going smoothly. And no, it’s not difficult to find the different voices if I have a clear idea of the characters and the storyline.  

 JMW-Which one is your favorite genre to write in?  

 DB-Right now I’m really enjoying working on young adult books.

 JMW- How did you first get started writing novels?

DB- Before I started writing books, I worked as a nutritionist and then as a journalist, so my first adult novel, FAT CHANCE - the story of an overweight journalist who is a gung ho spokeswoman for self-acceptance until a Hollywood hottie asks her for help with a movie he’s in -  grew out of my work. 

JMW-Do you outline when you write? Or do you write whatever is inspiring you at the time? 

DB- I never outline. I start with an idea and then let the story tell itself while my fingers do the typing.

JMW- How did you come up with the idea of “The Lifeguard”?

DB- I was up in Rhode Island on vacation and I was struck by how beautiful the beaches were which led me to think about setting a young adult romance there. I thought about the somewhat cliched fascination girls have with lifeguards, but then decided to give my particular lifeguard magical healing powers so that he’d be more unusual. As an aside, I’ve always been fascinated with the powers of spiritual healers.  

 JMW- Are the Amazon shaman healers a real legend? If so, where did you find out about them?

DB- People like Antonio do actually exist, and before I wrote “The Lifeguard,” I read a book called “Black Smoke: A Woman’s Journey of Healing, Wild Love, and Transformation in the Amazon,” by Margaret De Wys that tells the story of a woman with breast cancer who was cured after going to the Amazon and meeting a healer who drew on the powers of both plants and spirits.

JMW- What’s your favorite website or book to get research from?

DB- I don’t have a favorite website, but I’m a big fan of a book on writing by Anne Lamott called “Bird by Bird.”

JMW - If your book turned into a movie and you could pick your cast, who would you want to play Pilot?
DB- Hard question. I can imagine him in my mind, but so far I don’t know of any actors out there who look the way I imagine him.

JMW- Sirena has to deal with a difficult issue that a lot of kids face these days. Was there a theme or platform that you were hoping to install in teenagers today?

BD- No.  Divorce is such a difficult issue for kids to deal with and I think that everyone has to come to accept it in their own way. What helped Sirena though was knowing that even though her parents marriage was over, that didn’t affect the love that each of them had for her, and that was what she had to hold onto.

JMW- Are you working on other new projects you can tell us about?  

BD- I’m finishing up another young adult novel, but it’s too early to talk about it.

Thank you Deborah!

Remember you have a chance to win "The Lifeguard" if you leave a comment by Friday April 27th midnight PST. You can comment on this blog or the book review. To read book review 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Book Review of THE LIFEGUARD by Deborah Blumenthal

juliemartinwallace.blogspot.com is where I usually do book reviews of historical romances. Since this was a Young Adult Paranormal story I decided it would fit perfect into this blog genre, where my WIP is a YA Paranormal novel. 

What a great setting, A 16 year old girl spending the summer with her aunt in Rhode Island on the beach. Sirena’s parents back in Texas are preparing to sell the house and move into two different homes. You feel empathy for Sirena and her depression is understandable as she faces a hard reality of parents divorcing. Sirena is enamored by a blond, tan, strapping lifeguard named Pilot. 
When Sirena hears voices during a storm, she finds out her aunt’s house has ghosts; nothing menacing or too scary, just yelling when it storms outside. 
Sirena’s aunt makes her volunteer at the hospital over the summer to keep her from moping around. When a young boy comes into the hospital with a head injury Sirena is upset by the thought of someone dying so young. She’s relieved when he makes a miraculous recovery. 
Marissa, Sirena’s BFF is at camp and they write back and forth providing a clever way to tell us what's going on in Sirena’s life. 
Antonio is an 80 year old artist who encourages Sirena to become an artist. While sketching on the beach, Antonio tells stories to Sirena about his people and how they are healers. 
Pilot the hunky lifeguard saves Sirena from almost drowning. Sirena will never forget this summer as her life changes in ways that she doesn't even understand. 

This isn’t an instant kind of love story. In fact, Pilot seems to be blowing Sirena off and she becomes an obsessed teenager. The author portrays a love struck, confused teenager girl perfectly. At first it was slow getting into the conflict of the story. The ghosts sparked my curiosity at the beginning but it isn't a main focus until the end. I like the depth that Antonio brought to the story line with his ancestors legend. It’s not your normal teenager summer lovin’ story. 

For more information or to purchase your copy of "The Lifeguard":

If you would like to win this copy of THE LIFEGUARD, leave a comment. Tell me if you had a summer romance? Leave a comment by Friday April 27th at midnight PST.

*I remember my best friend one summer had a lifeguard job at Golfland and I practically lived there. Ah... Those were the days.*

I received this book for free and didn't receive any compensation for this review.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Time Travel???

I'm working on my second novel "Far Far Away" and I'm trying to brainstorm a way to "time travel" but not write a Sci-Fi or Fantasy story.

I'd like to stay in the paranormal realm since this will be a sequel to "Far From Normal." A Paranormal Romance that I'm currently working on getting published. I started thinking about all the stories I've read that time travel. See my list below of my favorite time travel stories. Any suggestions on other books I can read that time travel but aren't strong Sci-Fi or Fantasy books? 

A favorite of mine is Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series. That's what I'm looking for a spiritual and magical place like the Stonehenge in Scotland where the character is warped back in time. I accepted that theory right away and loved the book. http://www.dianagabaldon.com/writing/the-outlander/outlander/
Janette Rallison does time travel in some of her books. In "Time Riders" the characters are in a science lab at college and someone in the future takes them through a wormhole by mistake as they were looking for an important scientist. It was believable enough because who am I to say that the future won't have that kind of advancement. (I found Janette's word play on how the future mistakes our meanings genius.) To purchase --->Time-Riders-Sierra-St-James/Janette Rallison

Janette also has two other stories that go back in time but to fairy-tale time. "My Fair Godmother" and "My Unfair Godmother." A fairy godmother is a great way to get your character sent back in time but very much a fantasy story. (see blog for  book review of My Unfair Godmother.)

<---To purchase  my-fair-godmother-janette-rallison

To Purchase --> my-unfair-godmother-janette-rallison

Jude Deveraux is another author that writes unusual stories dealing with characters being sent to another time. Always-Forever-Trilogy-Jude-Deveraux
Of course there is always "The Time Travelers Wife." We accepted the love story of him coming in and out of time. Time-Travelers-Wife-Audrey-Niffenegger

I want to write a story that is believable enough that after your done reading you stop and say, "what if?"