Julie Kibler began writing Calling Me Home after learning a bit of family lore: As a young woman, her grandmother fell in love with a young black man in an era and locale that made the relationship impossible. When not writing, she enjoys travel, independent films, music, photography, and corralling her teenagers and rescue dogs. She lives in Arlington, Texas. Calling Me Home is on the February 2013 IndieNext List and is a SIBA Winter/Spring 2013 Okra Pick. It is her debut novel.
Talk about one book that made an impact on you.
I read The Kite Runner in about three hours on a Sunday afternoon (see, I even remember the day several years later). I could not put it down. I learned so much I didn’t know about the history of the conflict in Afghanistan, but Khaled Hosseini’s true feat was putting such a human face on it. I cared desperately what happened to his characters. It’s on my top ten list of books I always recommend.
Do you have any phobias?
When I was a child, I had an unreasonable fear of going blind. I created this ritual where I turned off my bedroom light at night, then opened one eye until it adjusted to the dark and I could see something. Then I closed it and opened the other one until I could see. Why this fear? I have no idea. I was very interested in the character of Helen Keller, so maybe that was it. But I’ve been extremely claustrophobic as long as I can remember. Perhaps, in my mind, blindness would have been the ultimate experience of being closed in.
I am also terrified of dancing in front of anyone but my kids. You think I’m kidding, right? Nope. It’s a weird one.
What’s the strangest job you’ve ever had?
The summer after my freshman year of college, I worked for a company called Rent-A-Mom, where I cleaned or babysat or performed other household tasks for complete strangers. Not long after I was hired, I stayed an entire week with an infant and a toddler after meeting one of the parents for only thirty minutes.
This still blows my mind—I rarely left my children with babysitters, much less ones I hadn’t vetted and gotten to know. For those kids’ sake, I was thankful I was trustworthy and took good care of them. Even weirder, I left a sweater at their home and went back to pick it up a few weeks later and the house was empty. Hey, this sounds like a great idea for a novel …
Where do you love to be?
More than almost anything, I love sitting in movie theaters, watching the previews roll, and then films I’ve been anticipating. My husband and I drive miles to see films that aren’t playing in our area (often, unfortunately, as we live in a pretty suburban community and we like indie movies and foreign films!).
It’s no surprise that writing, for me, is like watching a movie in my mind, then recording what I see and hear. I can’t write a scene until it’s clearly playing before my eyes. This is also how I choose point-of-view. If it’s playing as though I’m watching the main character, I write in third-person. If it’s as if I am the main character, I write in first person. I find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to switch point of view after that.
Which talent do you wish you had?
I’d like to have the limited ability to see the past. My grandmother inspired my novel. I know that she fell in love with a black man when she was young, and that they weren’t allowed to remain together. I know few details beyond that. I didn’t learn this until long after she died. I would love to know the true story and the fine details of what happened. I believe I’d probably be very surprised by some things, and not so much by others. If she were still alive to read Calling Me Home, I hope she would be happy with what I wrote and proud of me.
Thank you for joining us, Julie! We’ll be following Julie on twitter, facebook, and her website and you should too. Pick up a copy of CALLING ME HOME here or at your local indie!
And now it’s your turn… and your chance to win a free book! Comment below and tell us what part of the past you’d like a window into and you could win a free copy of CALLING ME HOME!
23 Replies to “The Debutante Ball welcomes Julie Kibler!”
I’m reading Calling Me Home right now and find it fascinated that it was inspired by her grandmother.
For some reason my original comments disappeared! Thank you, Kathy! I hope you enjoyed it!
I just finished Calling Me Home this week. No need to enter me. I loved Julie’s book so much.
WOW, I’m dying to read this now!! There are two time periods I’d love to peek into. 1) When my grandmother put my father up for adoption. I heard she was a redhead and so am I. 2) The fall of 1918 because I’m fascinated by the spanish flu.
Thanks for the great interview!
I’d like to peek into the moment when my dad saw my mum for the first time and fell in love with her.
I’d like peek into the life of my paternal grandfather at the time when me kidnapped my then five year old father from his home Southern WV in the 1940s.
This book sounds fantastic. I used to pretend I was Helen Keller and try and walk around the house with my eyes closed. It bothered me that I couldn’t master it. I worried that I would make a terrible blind person and somehow let down blind people the world over.
Thank you so much for interviewing with us, Julie! I read a review of CALLING ME HOME earlier this week and I’m actually heading out to pick it up this weekend!
Ooh! So excited about this book! I’d like to go back in time to Africa in the 1920’s/30’s to meet Karen Blixen (author of Out of Africa) and Beryl Markham (author of West with the Night). I am fascinated by the Africa of that time and the people that lived there.
I’d like to go into the past to ww2 during the Japanese internment camps because its something that isn’t touched on much when talking about wwII.
Your book sounds really good! I already put it on my Good Reads list. Good luck!
If I could peek into a time period it would either be the WWII era or the Western United States when it was being settled (Nevada and California).
I love all of these comments rich with personal history–such a thought provoking interview. Thanks for being here, Julie!
So looking forward to your book, Julie! The Kite Runner is also one of my all time favorites.
I’d like a window into Taiwanese political prisons in the 1950s to 60s, because it would save me a lot of time researching my second book!
this book sounds fascinating. will definitely have to read.
I would like a window into the moment my Mom/Dad were introduced to each other. I have heard their story from both sides so it would be great to see it.
I know this is crazy, but I want a window back into my last, so I can enjoy the moments with my dearly departed aunt.
Mrsmommybooknerdsbookreviews at gmail dot com
I would love to see my parents as they grew up.
thanks for the chance to read this wonderful debut novel 😉
i would love to be w/ my grandmother when she was a young girl.
I’d love to spend any day with any of my parents and grandparents during their childhood. Would be fascinating!
I would love to be with my grandparents when they first came to America.
For some reason my comments post, then disappear, or don’t post! Thank you all so much for reading the interview and leaving such fascinating comments about what you wish you could see on the past! Thanks to Kelly and the Deb Ball for hosting me, and I hope you’ll all read and enjoy Calling Me Home!
For some reason my comments post, then disappear, or don’t post, so I’m trying one here with a different email address. Thank you all so much for reading the interview and leaving such fascinating comments about what you wish you could see on the past! Thanks to Kelly and the Deb Ball for hosting me, and I hope you’ll all read and enjoy Calling Me Home! –Julie Kibler
Friends, lovely Julie has been, for reasons I don’t entirely understand, blacklisted by one of our blog widgets–and thusly was unable to comment all weekend! She wanted to respond to all of you personally–and did, but I wasn’t able to save the comments before they were eaten by our spam digester.
We’re sorry about this; she tried to leave oodles of comments to each and every one of you. Technology: 1, Debs: 0. FOR NOW.
I’ve always wanted to see how life was for my family before I was born, as I am the youngest of 8 children, so I didn’t see how things were when my siblings were kids.
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