I'm pleased to introduce you to Author Julie Chibbaro and deadly, her hot off the press historical fiction novel set around the turn of the century in New York City. What you'll find in this post is a brief bio about Julie and the article she wrote for YOU, dear reader, along with some special links you'll want to check out. An insightful interview with Julie about her first historical novel and writing process will follow next week. Julie has generously donated an ARC of deadly as a giveaway to celebrate her Book's Birthday! It's easy; simply leave a comment. Your comment will be numbered and random.org will choose the winner! Now, please join me in welcoming Author Julie Chibbaro! Let's all celebrate her Book's Birthday by leaving a comment to congratulate her.
|Author Julie Chibbaro
(I'd rush over there if I were you--if you don't win her book here, you have a chance to win one of five books she's giving away!)
And now, Julie Chibbaro shares an inside look at deadly: how do you catch an invisible killer?
"I’ve always been interested in other people’s business. Not just their personal business, but their backgrounds as well. Where did they come from, how did they get there, what do they do with themselves all day?
Pretty early on in my life, I found that other cultures fascinated me for just these kinds of human stories – when I lived in Mexico as a 19-year-old, I spent a lot of time learning about the Aztecs and their evolution, their language and history. Every time I visited a new country, I’d explore their story – who conquered this place, how did they settle, why did they stay? Ten years later, after living in the Czech Republic, I came back to my side of the world (I moved to Montreal, where my husband was from), wondering who I was, and what my American history was. That was the genesis of Redemption, my first book.
|Deadly by Julie Chibbaro
While doing research for another book (one I never wrote), I stumbled on the story of a woman I’d only heard about in urban legends, one who tied directly in to my rekindled awareness of germs. I’d always thought that this woman, who most called Typhoid Mary, was an intentional killer, slaying masses with her germ-spreading powers. When I came across her real story, I knew I had to write about her.(Purchase deadly by clicking on this long link: http://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Julie-Chibbaro/dp/0689857381/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1298131294&sr=1-1
The real Typhoid Mary lived at the beginning of the 20th century in New York City. Her story contained very interesting elements to me – she was an immigrant (which fit with my previous fascination with other people’s business), she spread disease among rich and poor, and she was a real firecracker of a lady (busting the stereotype of the refined “Gibson Girl” of the time). I knew that writing about her would answer a lot of questions I’d always had about the city in general. I wanted to use her real story – the scientists who tracked her down, the way they found her – but of course, I had to figure out a whole fiction around her too. I needed to create a teen with a desire to fight disease. I write for teens, so how could I involve them in this story?
Prudence Galewski, my 16-year-old heroine, shares with me only a love of journaling and a curiosity about the world. Other than that, she is a lot smarter than me, and certainly braver. She helps her mother the midwife deliver babies (an occupation that takes her close to life and death often), and she loses her brother to disease. This makes her need to know why people get sick, and why they die. Prudence’s voice was a struggle for me to find – I rewrote this book from scratch a number of times, first as a boy, then as a series of letters. Once I understood her strong desire, once I could hear her secret whisperings to herself (in the form of a diary), then I could write this book.
My research took me many times to the New York Public Library, where I buried myself in the many tons of microfiche they have of the newspapers of the time (about 20). I read the whole paper, not just the articles about Mary. Newspapers tell you what price apartments rent for, how much salaries are, what people are buying and eating and reading in a time period. I also visited the Tenement Museum in the Lower East Side, a building that is preserved from that time period. And I read historical fiction of the time (especially helpful was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn), and looked at many pictures (my favorite photos were Byron’s). I read a great book called Typhoid Mary by Judith Walzer Leavitt. Imagination was really my best tool.
I think the trailer for Deadly gives you a good sense of the book. Made by the artist Jean-Marc Superville Sovak (supervillesovak.com), with music by Eric Helmuth:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHMFec_e6Vk
I’m currently working with Jean-Marc on another book. It’s about a graffiti artist (though he wouldn’t call himself that) and a poet (though she wouldn’t call herself that) who live in the parks of NYC. That’s about all I can share about it right now.
I love to hear from readers, who can visit me and download an excerpt of Deadly from my website, juliechibbaro.com. I’m also on FB (Deadly by Julie Chibbaro: http://bit.ly/bHtTBx), and twitter (@juliechibbaro). I will be at the Empire State Book Festival (http://empirestatebookfestival.wordpress.com/) in Albany, NY the first weekend in April, and would love to meet readers there.
Thank you, Julie, for stopping by to share with us! Congratulations on your new book, deadly!
Thank you, dear reader, for joining the celebration! We'll be back in a week with more from Julie!