***This book, which debuts on December 1st, is an Amazon First Reads title in November! The e-book is free for Prime members, non-prime members can read the e-book for only $1.99. (www.amazon.com/firstreads)
***There is a 100 e-book giveaway on Goodreads right now through the end of the month!
Holly Banks could not have made a worse first impression on the seemingly perfect moms in her new affluent community, the Village of Primm. Turns out wearing pink piggy pajama bottoms while dropping off her kindergartener late to the first day of school wasn’t her best look.
Not to mention Holly’s worried her husband may be having an affair, she can’t get her daughter to stop sucking her thumb, her hard-won film degree is collecting dust, and to top it all off, the power-hungry PTA president clearly has it in for her…
To make matters even worse, Holly’s natural eye for drama lands her smack-dab in the middle of a neighborhood mystery—right as her own crazy mother shows up in Primm “to help.” Through it all, Holly begins to realize her neighbors may be just as flawed as—and even wackier than—she is, leaving her to wonder: Is there such a thing as a perfect mom?
“There are many novels about women struggling to fit into upper-class communities, but debut author Valerie manages to create a story that feels fresh, with sparkling dialogue…A unique and over-the-top look at modern motherhood, full of funny and cringeworthy moments.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Valerie’s witty, rollicking novel is an ode to modern motherhood…A charmingly cautionary tale of the pursuit for domestic perfection.” —Booklist
“Julie Valerie does a great job relaying the anxiety that comes with starting your daughter in kindergarten in a new school and a new town. And she does it with the perfect mix of humor and humility.” —Laurie Gelman, author of Class Mom and You’ve Been Volunteered
“Seemingly perfect lives are usually anything but, as the eponymous protagonist of Holly Banks Full of Angst quickly learns. A sharp, witty, and altogether unexpected story about how striving can lead you straight to the end of your rope, Julie Valerie’s debut is not to be missed.” —Camille Pagán, bestselling author of I’m Fine and Neither Are You
1. Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
The most difficult and time-consuming challenge of getting my first book published was the writing and rewriting the of book three separate times, one rewrite from every point of view (first person, second person, and third), as well as rewrites in both past and present tense.Here's a list of each draft, noting which verb tense and which point of view was employed and why:First draft: present tense, second-person POV (written this way to capture the "voice" and motivations of an antagonist who was challenging to write but essential to master as she's a vehicle for satire in the novel)Second draft: present tense, first-person POV (written this way to lay down elements of humor and as a vehicle for understanding the wants, needs, and motivations of the main character)Third draft: past tense, third-person POV (written this way to broaden the market of readers after the second draft version failed to capture the attention of an agent)
2. If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you’d change?
Though I wish it had gone faster, I wouldn't change a thing, as my journey toward publication was unique and necessary for me.
3. What are you working on now?
I am fast at work on Book Two in the Village of Primm series, due to my publisher a week before Book One pubs, and slated for release in 2020. It's undoubtedly a busy time, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
4. What are some things you enjoy when not writing?
As a busy mother of four, when I'm not "mom-ing" or writing, I enjoy reading, traveling, the study of wine, and section-hiking the Appalachian Trail with my best friend.