Wednesday, April 6, 2016

#MMBBR Showcase: Letters for Scarlet by Julie C. Gardner @juliecgardner



Pain can take a lifetime to heal, but hope lasts even longer…

Corie Harper is twenty-eight years old when she is first visited by a ghost—in the form of a graduation letter she forgot she wrote. Although she spent a decade burying that desperate girl and her regrets, each page resurrects the past, dragging Corie back to a time when all she craved was Scarlet Hinden’s friendship and Tuck Slater’s heart. But she couldn’t keep them both and keep her word.

Scarlet is haunted in her own way, by memories of Corie and of a night that left her wishing she were dead. But Scarlet is not only alive, she’s carrying new life: a baby she never wanted and is terrified to have. Convinced she would be a disastrous mother, she questions whether or not she deserves the love of any man. Especially the father of her child.

"Letters for Scarlet" traces one friendship from deep roots to branches torn by broken promises and loss.

Julie C. Gardner

Julie C. Gardner is a former English teacher and lapsed marathon runner who traded in the classroom for a writing nook. Now she rarely changes out of her pajamas. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two children, and three dogs.

To find out more about Julie and her upcoming books, visit JulieCGardner.com or follow her on Twitter (@juliecgardner), Instagram (@juliecgardner), and her Facebook Author Page (Julie C. Gardner).


Q.  What inspires your writing?
A. Such a great question. I find real-life, ordinary people to be fascinating and complex; I'm most interested in characters who aren't on one end of the spectrum (all good or all evil) but who instead have both admirable qualities and flaws. I search for stories that allow characters to make mistakes but ultimately learn and grow from them.


Q.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
A. Honestly, the fact that I work from home and never have to change out of my pajamas - ha! I also love the excuse to read a lot (my favorite pastime). Reading is the best research for anyone who wants to become an author.


Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?
A. For me, the toughest part is knowing when I'm done. I can always write more, revise more, keep working. There isn't an easily-definable schedule to this job. I'll spend an entire day working on one scene and end up scraping it, then the next day write ten pages that simply flow. Uneven progress is hard for someone who's goal-oriented.


Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A. I was a high school English teacher for 16 years and absolutely loved my job. I'd probably continue my education and teach at the college level or work at a bookstore or library. Something that still involved reading and books!


Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. Hmmm. My life story would probably be called Success and Failure: A Love Story. Or Margaritas and M&Ms. They'd both be true!


Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?
A. That's almost impossible to answer. For a long time it was The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver. More recently I fell in love with The Book Thief by Mark Zusack and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. (I mentioned three books. Was that cheating?)


Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A. I see pieces of myself in a lot of characters; Judy Blume's awkward girls, like Margaret Simon in Are you There God, it's Me Margaret?, really speak to me. I wanted to BE Judy Blume when I was ten years old. Well, I wanted to be a writer like she was. I still do!


Q.  What character from all of your book are you most like?
A. I'm probably the most like Corie Harper from , although my life is much less complicated!. She's an English teacher who wants to be a writer; and although her relationships aren't perfect, they're still grounded in love.


Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A. I love your questions. Wow! How about Stephen King's 11/22/63? I'm fascinated by the John F. Kennedy/Camelot period in our country's history and I've always loved King's well-rounded characters (but I wouldn't want to be in Salem's Lot or at the Overlook Inn!). Time-traveling to prevent a presidential assassination would be less relaxing than, say, a weekend on an island with music and cocktails; but it wouldn't be boring, either!


Q.  What is your favorite season?
A. I love aspects of each season but as a lifelong California girl, I'd have to go with summer. Sunshine, no school, lazy days by the pool. Works for me!


Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A. In Letters for Scarlet, Scarlet Hinden wears lavender perfume and the scent plays a role in the story. Since the book is about her and the letters Corie writes for her, a wrinkled piece of paper on a table with a sprig of lavender at the side seemed like the right picture for the cover.


Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. The funniest thing that's happened so far are the curious looks/questions I receive from people who know me in real life. Since I pulled some of the occupations and locations in this book from my own experiences, a few of my readers have been wondering what else might be true in the book. I can tell you all now, NONE OF IT. This is a work of fiction!


Q.  Are you working on something new?
A. I am, thanks for asking! I've completed another women's fiction and I'm working on revisions now. I love this story so much. The main character, Nora Adler, is 35 and facing several major life changes/struggles that force her to reevaluate who she is and what she truly wants in life. I relate to Nora in many ways because she's a pleaser who does what she thinks others want/need from her.


Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A.  Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and get to know me. Writing Letters for Scarlet has been a dream come true and I appreciate the support so much. An extra-big thank you to Emily for featuring me here. I'm ever grateful.

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