Jen: Today we are excited to welcome Julie Metz to Romancing the Book. Julie, will you please share a short bio with us?
Julie: I grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and after four college years in Massachusetts I returned to New York City where I began my career as a graphic designer and met my husband. I write about my married life in my memoir Perfection. Since 2005 I have lived in Brooklyn. I am the mother of a teenaged daughter.
Jen: Tell us about your memoir, Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal, and where it’s available.
Julie: My memoir tells the story of the discovery of my husband’s infidelities seven months after his sudden death. I take the reader on the emotional journey through grief, anger and renewal as I experienced it. An unusual feature of my story is that I contacted many of the women with whom my husband had affairs and in one case formed a friendship that continues to this day.
Perfection was published in June 2009 and was a New York Times bestseller and a 2009 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection.
My book is available at chain and indie bookstores and on Amazon. You can purchase Perfection as a hardcover, paperback, or e-book.
Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Julie: I am a bit of a late bloomer. Until I wrote Perfection (in my mid forties), I worked as a freelance graphic designer. The events of my life prompted me to begin a writing life. My first published piece was for mrbellersneighborhood.com, a storysite founded by writer Thomas Beller.
Jen: Describe your writing in three words.
Julie: Others have described it as intense, lyrical, honest.
Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?
Julie: With nonfiction I work from an outline but with fiction it’s been a bit of both. I have a working outline but I don’t want to get too attached to that. Characters need some room to grow.
Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing?
Julie: Being alone in front of the empty page…
Julie: Until the deadline, you can always rewrite!
Jen: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Julie: Hearing from readers who respond to my work.
Jen: Is there a genre that you’d like to write? Is there a genre you’ll probably stay away from and why?
Julie: My next project is fiction. As a reader I am drawn to all sorts of books, so I want to leave my options open for future work.
Jen: What five authors or people, from the past or present, have been important to you as an author?
Julie: just a few of many writers I love:
Jane Austen: for writing sentences I can’t wait to read again!
E. M. Forster—for his ingenious plots and emotional depth
Richard Ford for mastery of first person narration
Virginia Woolf for sheer beauty of language
Jhumpa Lahiri for her subtle understanding of modern life
Jen: What did you do to celebrate your first book?
Julie: The publication of Perfection coincided with a birthday, so I threw myself a party!
Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Julie: I love to plant and weed my Brooklyn garden. It was a bare lot, so I have lots to plan. But that’s the fun part!
Jen: What’s next for you?
Julie: I am working on a novel…
Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Julie: www.perfectionbook.com I invite readers to check out the site for interviews, reviews, FAQs, and more.
Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Julie: What are you most looking for in a book? How do you choose your next book to read?
Jen: Thank you Julie for stopping by the blog and letting us know more about you and Perfection. Readers, Julie is giving away copy of Perfection to a lucky reader. Due to shipping costs, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only. To enter the contest, you first must leave a comment or question for Julie. Then to complete your entry, you need to either leave your email address in your comment or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. The winner will be chosen on Sunday, October 10.