Character Interview Blog Hop – Heroines

Posted Jun 16 2015, 1:10 am

Hello! Welcome to my Character Interview Blog post about Heroines. I really hoped you enjoyed meeting Lillian Marek’s heroine, Lady Emily Tremaine. If you missed that post, here are the details: 
Lady Emily Tremaine longs for adventure. In LADY EMILY’S EXOTIC JOURNEY, an historical romance, she finds that and more. 
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Lillian Marek spends most of her time in the 19th century, discovering new adventures for her characters. LADY EMILY’S EXOTIC JOURNEY, to be published on August 4, is the second in the Victorian Adventures series.
I’m Patty Blount and excited to introduce you to Julie Murphy, the heroine from my debut YA novel, SEND (Sourcebooks Fire, 2012). SEND is a story about a former bully trying hard to cope with the suicide he caused and was a Junior Library Guild Fall Pick in 2012.. You can meet Dan from SEND in our Character Interview Blog Hop – Heroes edition. SEND is my favorite project — not just because it was the first one published, but because the story is personal for me. I nearly lost my son to bullies when he was in sixth grade. And when he was in seventh grade, he was accused of being the bully. That was when SEND was born. 
Let me tell you a little about Julie. She’s a middle child with an older sister and younger half-brother, who committed suicide when he was just thirteen years old. She lives with her mom and step-dad and doesn’t have a very strong relationship with her own dad anymore.  Without further ado, here’s Julie Murphy.
“Hi,” she smiles once, tucks her long blond hair behind her ears and adjusts her bright red plastic glasses with rhinestones at the temples.
Your glasses are cool. Are those new? 
She grins and rolls her eyes. “Of course they are. I have probably a dozen different ones now. Since I can’t wear contacts, I figure I may as well get to have fun with them.” 
So, Julie, what’s your greatest fear? 
Her grin fades. She glances around and then asks in a whisper, “You can’t tell him this. Promise me you won’t tell him.” 
Who, Dan?
“Yes. If Dan finds out, he could get hurt. Promise me!” 
Whoa, Julie. Okay. I won’t tell Dan. 
She shuts her eyes in relief and with one more furtive glance around to make sure we’re alone, she whispers, “I’m terrified my dad will find out Dan’s real name and go after him.” She pauses. “I told one person. And now I’m terrified he was the wrong person to tell because if it gets out who Dan really is, my dad is going to flip out and so will Dan.” 
So shouldn’t we tell Dan so he can take precautions? 
Julie’s blue eyes go round behind her glasses. “What? No! Definitely not.” She leans back in her chair and folds her arms across her middle. “Look, I know you’re the writer, but you don’t know him the way I know him. He’s… he’s just so good. He’ll try to do the right thing. He’ll want to face my dad — man to man– and apologize but that won’t do any good. It’ll just make everything worse.” 
Julie looks so upset, twisting the strap on her handbag, I change the subject. 
What’s your most prized possession? 
Julie smiles. “That’s easy. This.” She hauls the giant bag onto her lap. It’s so large, it’s almost a duffel. “I know, I know. It’s huge.” She unzips it and starts removing things. “I rescued these from the trash. They were my brother’s.” She pulls out a bag of Lego blocks, a few toy cars, a Game Boy, a Rubik’s Cube, one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Do you have every toy your brother owns in there? 
Her blue eyes shine with tears. “Had,” she corrects me quietly. “This is all I could save from the garbage. It’s so I never forget him.” 
Your brother? Are you afaid you’ll forget him? 
She meets my gaze and I see the frown line between her eyebrows distinctly. A single tear escapes. “I already am. It’s getting harder to remember his face or his voice. I get that my dad is mad at him for killing himself. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ever say his name or talk about him again.” One by one, she puts all of the toys back in her purse and I can tell each one has a story — a memory. “These are his treasures.” She manages a smile. “Now they’re mine.” When the last toy is safely zippered up, she runs a hand over the bag itself and her smile grows. “Dan gave me this bag. He understands me just like I understand him.” 
Just then, Julie’s large black dog starts barking in the window. I glance outside and see a car idling at the curb. Julie’s face brightens. She scoops the big purse onto her shoulder, pats the dog on the head and heads for the door. “He’s here. Remember what I said! Not a word.” 
I hold up a hand in a promise and she’s gone. I watch through the window as Dan meets her at the passenger side and opens the door for her. Before she climbs in, she raises her lips to his and he lingers over the kiss and I know it’s because he’s saying a little prayer of thanks. 
That’s it for Julie from SEND. Please check back next week for DEBORA DALE and her heroie, Eden Widow, a bestselling thriller writer in the contemporary romantic suspense, Safe in His Arms. 

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Short author bio: Debora Dale is a New Yorker, born and bred. Her first literary love is contemporary romantic suspense – to read it and to write it. As an adoptive parent to six shelter cats, one of her biggest daily writing challenges is typing a complete sentence without one of those cats taking over her keyboard.



17 responses to “Character Interview Blog Hop – Heroines”

  1. Debora Dale says:

    How moving this is, Patty! In this brief moment, we can see the layers of Julie’s character – her pain, her grief and her love. Beautiful.

    • Patty Blount says:

      I adore Julie… one regret is not writing SEND in alternating POVs…. Julie has a lot of issues she’s hiding.

  2. Poor Julia, not being able to even mention her brother’s name. Sometimes talking about the ones we’ve lost is the only way to move on. I learned so much about her in a small amount of space. Excellent post, Patty!

  3. Poor Julia—so much tragedy to bear for someone so young. My heart aches for her. Powerful post, Patty.

  4. Gwen Petrarch says:

    Love Julie! And talk about teenage angst. I can feel her pain at having to hold such a secret so close… But really, what is it about girl’s obsession with handbags!?

  5. Great interview! I really feel like I got to know Julie – she’s a wonderfully complex character and much wiser than her years. How difficult it must be for her to keep her stepfather from realizing who her boyfriend really is – and how difficult to lose her brother to suicide. Great job!