Julie Maloney author chat July 24

Tue, 07/24/2018 - 9:15am

Story Location:
5 Commercial Street
Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538
United States

Author Julie Maloney will be hosting an Author Chat and Book Signing to celebrate the premier of her debut novel “A Matter of Choice” at Sherman’s Bookstore, 5 Commercial St., in Boothbay Harbor on July 24 at 1 p.m. The thriller follows the story of an 8-year-old girl’s disappearance from a New Jersey shore town and her mother’s resulting five year search to find her.  

Maloney’s own journey in writing the novel, which has included a trek across Germany and an interview with an undercover DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agent, has spanned a decade. Maloney’s trip to Germany was brought on by the discovery of the work of Käthe Kollwitz, one of Germany’s most revered artists. Kollwitz is most well known for her depictions of the effects poverty, war and hunger had on the working class during the turn of the 20th century. As Maloney explains, “Kollwitz became my muse for my novel...The main character, Maddy Stewart, becomes an artist as she paints her way through grief. Having discovered Kollwitz in The Morgan Library in New York City, I knew I had to go to Germany. I had no doubt whatsoever.”

Much like how this European research trip surpassed Maloney’s expectations, the path that Maloney took to become a published novelist is also rife with unexpected happenings. Maloney is something of a Renaissance Woman, with her accomplishments in a variety of artistic pursuits, having worked as a professional New York City dancer, choreographer and artistic director of her own modern dance company for several years. However, with three young children at home, Maloney made the decision to put this passion aside to focus on her family. The result was Maloney trying to find an outlet for her creativity, which she eventually found by reconnecting with her love of reading and writing. Writing provided Maloney with “that same sense of “soaring” that [she] felt as a dancer.”

This renewed passion would manifest itself into a published collection of poetry called “Private Landscape,” as well as the foundation of the non-profit organization Women Reading Outloud. What began as 12 writers sitting around Maloney’s dining room table has transformed into a International organization whose writing retreats and workshops draws female writers from across the country and across the globe. When Maloney originally founded the organization 15 years ago she couldn't imagine how far the institution would evolve and the scale on which it would positively impact female creators. However, Maloney credits the success of the Women Reading Outloud with its ability to create a professional environment that also cultivates a sense of support and kindness. Maloney elaborates, “I host many workshops and retreats to encourage women from all walks of life to move to the page - to fill the white space - with the words only they can write. Writing is a life tool. We can carry it with us as we journey through the highs and lows of life.”

This message of self-actualization and finding solace in art is echoed in “A Matter of Choice.” This being one of the messages Maloney hopes to convey to readers, along with a sense of immersion in the character's struggles, challenges and unexpected triumphs.

Finally, for all those interested in pursuing a career in writing, Maloney offers this advice, “Read more. Read more than you thought you had time for! Write with the intention of exploration. And never give up! Never.”

Maloney will be at Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shop, 158 Main St., Damariscotta on Wednesday, July 25. Call for details: 563-3207.