Interviewed by Sue Leonard.
Published in the Irish Examiner on 3rd August 2013
Beginner’s Pluck Julie Kibler. Pic shows me with Julie in Brooke's Hotel, Dublin.
Writing was always a fantasy for Julie Kibler. She adored reading, and wanted to tell stories, but after her first marriage broke up, she needed money to support her children, and took any job going.
“I was a welfare case worker, then a customer service rep. Then, after taking a Masters in Library Science, I got contract work in editing, proof reading and research writing.”
Marrying a second time, life became calm. Julie took writing classes, and experimented with voice and genre. She’d completed one manuscript before her debut took root.
“I discovered that when my grandmother was a young woman she had fallen in love with a black man. That opened a window for me.”
Who is Julie Kibler?
Date of birth: 1965 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Education: High School in Denver, Colorado; Hardin-Simmonds University, in Abilene, Texas – English and Journalism.
Home: Arlington, Texas.
Family: Husband; adult son, adult foster daughter, and two teenage daughters.
The Day Job: Fulltime writer.
Interests: Taking photos, and music. Whilst in Dublin, Julie heard Josh Ritter and Glen Hansard in concert.
Favourite Writers: Elizabeth Berg; Chris Cleave; Chris Bohjalian; Barbara Kingsolver.
Second Novel: “I’m working on one, but having trouble settling in with it.”
Top Writing Tip: “Don’t show your work to anyone until you’ve completed a first draft; if you show it to agents or writing groups too soon, you’ll end up writing a book by committee.”
Web: www.juliekibler.com Twitter: @juliekibler
The Debut: Calling Me Home. Pan: €11.50 Kindle: €4.18
Isabelle McAllister needs to take a long road trip. She has to attend a funeral in Kentucky, and asks her black hairdresser, single Mum Dorrie Curtis, to accompany her. As the miles pass, Isabelle tells her story. She once loved a black man; it was illegal, and ended badly.
“I would like people to examine their prejudices, and how they treat other people. Also, if you find a good thing, hang on to it.”
The Verdict: A wonderful debut; thought provoking, heart breaking yet redemptive. Utterly compulsive.
© Sue Leonard. 2013