Writing Thesis: Side Effects May Vary
Abstract: When Alice is diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, she makes a list of things to do and people to ruin and drags her childhood friend, Harvey, along for the ride. After completing her list, Alice thinks all her scores are settled—until she goes into remission.
Department: HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray
Faculty Advisor: Alessandra Balzer
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Hometown: Bridgeport, Connecticut (but currently Fort Worth, Texas)
Minor(s): Library-ing; Eating Cupcakes; Polishing Nails; Cuddling with Cats & Dogs; Political Science-ing
Most Likely To: Miss a Flight Because She’s Trying to Lure a Stray Animal Into Her Car
Friday Night Whereabouts:
_X_ Missing in Action
# Books Queried Before SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY: 1
Quote from Thesis: “If ever my parents gave me a religion, it was the gospel of honesty.”
What inspired SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY?
I’d read lots of wonderful books about characters who were dying gracefully. I wanted to write about someone who was dying in a very desperate way, and then, when given a second chance at life, was unwilling to have faith in second chances. So, I guess it all started with Alice. (And some great “What if?” conversations I’d had with some teens at my library.)
What part of release are you most looking forward to?
Mainly, to finally be able to answer the question, “Where can I buy your book?” My agent and two of my fellow debut friends are flying in for my release party and I am SO excited!
If you could give one piece of advice to upcoming 2014 and 2015 debuts, what would it be?
Enjoy every moment of this process. You’ll only debut once. It’s so easy to get lost in the stress of it all and the comparison game, but live your journey. And keep your eyes on your own paper. I hate to be a sap, but as Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Do you have a favorite book from your teen years?
Either And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie or The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (I don’t know if this would still hold up for me, but man, it got me through some rough days.)
What is your advice to teens who have dreams of being published?
Read and write as much as you can. And know that writers come in all shapes and sizes regardless of what they majored in in college. (If they went to college at all!) Life is the truest form of inspiration, so live a life that inspires you.
Julie Murphy lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cat who tolerates her. When she’s not writing or trying to catch stray cats, she works at an academic library.
SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY, which releases on March 18, 2014 from Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, is her debut novel.
You can find Julie online: