Exclusive Interview with
Julie Ryan McGue
When did you start writing?
I have always been a journal, but it wasn't until I started researching my closed adoption that I got serious about telling my story.
What makes writing your passion?
Writing helps me flush out what I think about people, events, and situations. The creative release experienced by putting an essay, a blog, or a book chapter on the page is something I look forward to every day.
How long have you been writing?
I have been a serious writer since 2012.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Ecstatic. A life goal achieved. And I take care of my book baby by making sure I promote it with people who benefit from hearing my story.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
The characters in Twice a Daughter are real life characters, and bringing them to the page through dialogue and scene has been a great thrill. Most names were changed due to preferences of those concerned.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
It takes so long to get a book published and promoting takes perseverance.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
I take a walk. Once I get an idea, I go write to the computer and flush it out.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
Like any habit, it takes effort to keep going. Writing for me fulfills an inner need, a sense of purpose. I doubt I will ever stop writing essays, blogs, and nonfiction tales.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
You will achieve your dream of writing a book and it will benefit you and so many other people who are touched by adoption.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I do read them. Just like submitting a piece to a writing group for critique, I take the good with the bad. Not every reader likes every genre, every writing style, every plot. It's part of operating in the book world.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Validation makes me smile and the acknowledgment keeps me hitting the computer to see what comes out.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
I incorporate life moments into everything I write.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
My characters are based on myself and my twin sister.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I have weekly blog and love to get feedback from my readers. I try to return emails and comments regularly.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
It's such a compliment. I was at a book fair and a reader came around the corner and saw my books. She said, "Oh my gosh. I know you. I read your book." Thrilling moment.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
I have many: Ann Patchett, Elizabeth Strout, Dani Shapiro, Anita Shreve, Lisa Wingate, Taylor Jenkins Reid. Their ability to tell a story is gripping.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
Perhaps in 10 years.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
No. I want to be me, writing my stories, my way.
What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.
Try doing what an author does everyday. Use your time to be productive instead of annoying hard working folks.
What would you say to your readers?
Open your mind to possibilities, perspectives, and stories that are unlike your own. Let those worlds make you into a more informed person.
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I live in NW Indiana and Sarasota part of the year. I have four adult children and five grandchildren. I am a widow not, but was married to the same classy guy for 37 years.
What is your day job if you have one?
Author and mother/grandmother. Best of all things.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
Tennis, golf, walking
Did you have a happy childhood?
I was raised with my twin sister in a large Catholic family and life was frenetic and unpredictable, but loving.
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
Searching for my biological relatives triggered my first book.
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
Collection of essays and a second memoir coming in late 2023 and 2024
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
Reading and writing.
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
More time with husband who is now deceased. More time getting to know my birth mom. Having my family history before I turned 60.
What is your favorite music?
Share a secret with us 🙂