– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘No Names to Be Given’ blogtour, organized by R&R Book Tours.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Julia Brewer Daily is a Texan with a southern accent. She holds a B.S. in English and a M.S. degree in Education from the University of Southern Mississippi.
She has been a Communications adjunct professor at Belhaven University, Jackson, Mississippi, and Public Relations Director of the Mississippi Department of Education and Millsaps College, a liberal arts college in Jackson, Mississippi.
She was the founding director of the Greater Belhaven Market, a producers’ only market in a historic neighborhood in Jackson, and even shadowed Martha Stewart.
As the executive director of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi (three hundred artisans from nineteen states) which operates the Mississippi Craft Center, she wrote their stories to introduce them to the public.
Daily is an adopted child from a maternity home hospital in New Orleans. She searched and found her birth mother and through a DNA test, her birth father’s family, as well. A lifelong southerner, she now resides on a ranch in Fredericksburg, Texas, with her husband Emmerson and Labrador Retrievers, Memphis Belle and Texas Star.
Title: No Names to Be Given
Publication Date: August 3rd, 2021
Genre: Historical Fiction / Women’s Fiction
Today’s young women will not understand how our families made us feel shame so intensely; we surrendered our first-born children to strangers. Faith Reynolds, No Names to Be Given
The widely anticipated debut novel by Julia Brewer Daily is a glimpse into the lives of women forced by society to gift their newborns to strangers. Although this novel is a fictional account, it mirrors many of the adoption stories of its era.
When three young unwed women meet at a maternity home hospital in New Orleans in 1965, they are expected to relinquish their babies and return home as if nothing transpired. Twenty-five years later, they are brought back together by blackmail and their secrets threatened with exposure—all the way to the White House.
Told from the three women’s perspectives in alternating chapters, we are mesmerized by the societal pressures on women in the 1960s who found themselves pregnant without marriage.
How that inconceivable act changed them forever is the story of No Names To Be Given, a novel with southern voices, love exploited, heartbreak and blackmail.
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I spent the majority of my life in Mississippi and four years ago moved to Texas. I was an English major in college and thought I might write one day, but my day job always interfered and I kept writing on the back burner. I did write a lot in my day job and did marketing and publicity for universities and non-profits. Guess I am a late bloomer, though. I ran a marathon at age 60 and I am a debut novelist in my retirement.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a young child, I loved the Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew series. Now, I love historical fiction and contemporary thrillers. I gobble up audiobooks while riding my bike and listen to at least two novels every week. My latest were “The Last Flight” by Julie Clark and “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice?
Who would that be and why? Lisa Wingate seems like someone I would like to know. I have heard interviews with her and she seems personable and likeable. She wrote about adoption stories, too, which is the basis of my novel, and is a fellow Texan, as well.
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I like the character of Anna Kate in “Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe” by Heather Webber. The setting is Wicklow, Alabama, which is based on a town in northern Alabama on Lookout Mountain where I went to camp every summer as a child and teenager. It is very southern in voice and the characters in the small town remind me of the town where I grew up in Mississippi. The novel is magical realism (no they don’t bake blackbirds in a pie), but the cafe does serve delicious pies. I could provide the tea and Anna Kate could make the pie.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I love to go to writing retreats. It is such a defined period of time, I can accomplish a goal of word counts. And, it takes me away from home task distractions and being interupted by my husband and dogs!
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
This debut novel is loosely memoir-like in that it is about women who meet in a maternity home hospital to relinquish their babies for adoption. I am an adopted child from a maternity home hospital and searched and found my birth mother and by DNA results, my birth father’s family. I do have the t-shirt that states “Be nice or you’ll wind up in my novel.” I’ve heard whether it is true or not, people you know will swear they are one of the characters in your book.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m a hybrid. I begin as a pantser by just typing whatever is in my mind and getting words on paper. I know the beginning and the ending—the mushy middle is what has to be plotted more carefully. So, I color-code chapters with lined cards taped on a large poster and make an outline to figure out the rest and to keep up with timelines and characters.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
My best advice is not to compare yourself to anyone else. As writers we beat ourselves up about how many writers are better than we are. Stay in your lane and write the book. No one else can write the story you can. Believe that your story needs to be told. The publishing industry is a humbling one with lots of rejections along the way. Develop a thick skin and your story will find its own way into the world.
What are your futureplans as an author?
I’m writing my next novel now, although it is more difficult to concentrate on the second, until the first is birthed.
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
1965. Sandy runs away from home to escape her mother’s abusive boyfriend. Becca falls in love with the wrong man. And Faith suffers a devastating attack. With no support and no other options, these three young, unwed women meet at a maternity home hospital in New Orleans where they are expected to relinquish their babies and return home as if nothing transpired.
But such a life-altering event can never be forgotten, and no secret remains buried forever. Twenty-five years later, the women are reunited by a blackmailer, who threatens to expose their secrets and destroy the lives they’ve built. That shattering revelation would shake their very foundations—and reverberate all the way to the White House.
Told from the three women’s perspectives in alternating chapters, this mesmerizing story is based on actual experiences of women in the 1960s who found themselves pregnant but unmarried, pressured by family and society to make horrific decisions. How that inconceivable act changed women forever is the story of No Names to Be Given, a heartbreaking but uplifting novel of family and redemption.
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Julia Brewer Daily.
$100 Amazon e-Gift Card (International)
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!