Welcome to my stop on Charles Sheehan-Miles Virtual Blog Tour for A Song For Julia. Please be sure to leave a comment or question below to let Charles know you stopped by and to enter to win a digital copy of Just Remember to Breathe. You can also fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter his AWESOME tour wide giveaway.
Mini Interview with Charles Sheehan-Miles
Me: You personally served in the Army during a war and currently work in public relations and outreach with disabled veterans. How has your personal experience influenced your writing in regards to the anti-war movement?
Charles: A great deal of the work I’ve done for my entire adult life has been driven by some of the experiences I had in Iraq. The bottom line? War is incredibly destructive, on every level. Regardless of your politics around any particular war, the fact is that the people involved on the ground: soldiers, civilians, and innocent bystanders are always harmed in one way or another.
With regards to the anti-war movement, and specifically those who protested invading Iraq in 2002-2003: I chose that setting for my main characters to meet in A Song for Julia for a number of reasons. First, I’m intimately familiar with the subject, because I was heavily involved with it. So you could say I’m both sympathetic and somewhat cynical about it. I saw both good and bad around the anti-Iraq war movement.
However, while Julia and Crank do meet at a protest in the fall of 2002, the story itself doesn’t center around or focus on the antiwar movement. Rather, it is very much focused on them as individuals, their families, and the personal interactions which drive the story.
Me: What's the best piece of advice you can give to any new parent?
Charles: It’s an interesting question in the context of this book tour. As a parent, I’ve often struggled with fear of failure, with frustration, with not knowing what is the right thing to do. The things I fear, the things that dominate my inner thoughts: that is always what ends up on paper when I’m writing. One of the key themes I ended up writing about in A Song for Julia was the stress of parenting, the unintended consequences of the things we do and say as parents.
Julia and Crank are still very young, both of them 22 years old. She has a distant relationship with her father and a tortuous, hostile relationship with her mother. Crank’s family is split, and considerable focus centers on the difficulties of raising a child on the autistic spectrum.
I think my number one piece of advice: remember your children are themselves: they aren’t extensions of your ambitions and desires. Sometimes, in an effort to protect our kids from making our mistakes, we don’t allow them to make their own.
Me: What can we expect to see from you on the writing front in 2013?
Charles: I’ve got several books lined up, and I’m hoping to complete three in 2013. I’ll be writing at least one more about the same family of women as A Song for Julia and Just Remember to Breathe, followed by another book in my dystopian America’s Future series. After the release of A Song for Julia I’m on a writing break until after New Years, so I can get some reading in for a change! I’ll likely make a decision on exactly what is next on New Years day.
A Song for Julia
Publisher: Cincinnatus Press
Release Date: December 2, 2012
Crank Wilson left his South Boston home at sixteen to start a punk band and burn out his rage at the world. Six years later, he’s still at odds with his father, a Boston cop, and doesn’t ever speak to his mother. The only relationship that really matters is with his younger brother, but watching out for Sean can be a full-time job. The one thing Crank wants in life is to be left the hell alone to write his music and drive his band to success.
Julia Thompson left a secret behind in Beijing that exploded into scandal in Washington, DC, threatening her father's career and dominating her family's life. Now, in her senior year at Harvard, she's haunted by a voice from her past and refuses to ever lose control of her emotions again, especially when it comes to a guy.
When Julia and Crank meet at an anti-war protest in Washington in the fall of 2002, the connection between them is so powerful it threatens to tear everything apart.
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