Julie, will you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Sure! I write seaside stories filled with faith, flip flops, and waves of grace. My family and I make our home on California’s central coast, and I’ve written five novels plus hundreds of published articles on everything from parenting, to team building in the workplace, to Christian surf dudes on a mission.
How did you become interested in writing?
My father wrote magazine articles on the side, including interviews with entertainers such as Fred Astaire and Fred MacMurray. Always loved that! I too became an article writer almost twenty years ago, but I always yearned to create fiction. I wrote two novels that did not sell, but as they say, third time’s a charm, and my debut novel, Chocolate Beach, released in 2007 (re-released with recipes in 2011 as an eBook). By that time, I had a renewed faith in God as well as a redefined focus on the kinds of stories he was leading me to write.
What compelled you to write a book on this subject?
Ever since the inception of the Otter Bay Novels with Sweet Waters, I’ve wanted to set a book with the famed Hearst Castle as its backdrop. So much intrigue and mystery about that real castle on the hill and its eccentric, yet astute owner. Of course, novels are more than their location. So after writing the 2nd of these stand-alone novels, A Shore Thing, even I longed to know what happened next for the big-hearted, single mom from that story. Fade to Blue satisfies that curiosity …
What is the main theme or point that you want readers to understand from reading your book? Are there any other themes present in the book?
Writing this story was much like holding a seashell, constantly turning it over in my hand. Though they’re often tossed into the sea with nary a glance, seashells are intricately beautiful—even when broken. The more I examined the shattered life of Suz—the heroine of Fade to Blue—the more beauty I found. Only the One who restores our souls can make that happen.
Are there some specific lessons you hope readers will learn and apply to their lives after reading your book?
I hope readers get lost in the story and the beautiful setting, that they revel in God’s creation as much as I did while writing it. I also hope they experience the Good Shepherd’s gentle leading (Psalm 23), and fall in the love with the concepts of forgiveness, sacrifice, and grace—as much as they do the breathtaking locale.
What makes your book different than any other books similar to yours that are in circulation today?
Although I’ve been compared to some amazing writers—something that humbles me—I also know that God made each one of us uniquely. I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5. One unique aspect of my books is the focus on God’s creation of the sea and everything in it. My characters have loved dolphins, sea lions, otters—even giant, glowing sea anemones. But they take that admiration a step further by drawing closer to the God who made such beauty.
How does the book intertwine with God’s call on your life and how you are currently serving Him?
This story reminds me not to dwell on the past, but to prayerfully, joyfully—and ‘hope’fully—move forward. Such lessons there! Suz Mitchell made mistakes in her past—so have I—yet healing brokenness and restoring souls is God’s business. Praise him for that!
Do you have a favorite Scripture verse?
I have more than one favorite, but this one’s been spinning in my mind again lately: Psalm 19:14 NIV, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
When you are not writing, what do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies?
I love to comb the beach, to jog the sand with Charlie the Dog, and take coffee breaks with my husband—so adore that man!
As we close, is there anything else you would like to add?
Just that I hope people reading this are encouraged to follow their heart’s desires with the Good Shepherd as their guide. God took all the lows and highs in my life and created something new with them. Although I’d always wanted to write, I had no inkling that I’d be writing beach- themed novels one day. I just kept praying and writing and seeking until an idea popped into my head. I followed that idea, and now find myself talking about my fifth novel filled with ‘waves of grace.’ Be encouraged!
posted by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer