That’s How You Know by Julie Simmons

by | May 6, 2024 | Author | 0 comments

A Journey of Love and Discovery on the Alaskan Seas

First of all, I would like to sincerely thank Authors’ Lounge for contacting me to offer me this opportunity to introduce myself and tell you about my debut novel.

My novel is called That’s How You Know, and is available on all Amazon platforms in both Kindle and paperback formats. If you love romance, travel, and music, this is a must-read for you. Two performers working on an Alaskan cruise find themselves faced with some major life-changing decisions. How much will they be willing to risk for true love?

Twenty-four-year-old Tori Stewart is on the threshold of a promising career in musical theatre. Despite her crippling performance anxiety, she has her eyes set on her dream of performing on Broadway. She is engaged to her lifelong best friend, Evan, and her path seems to be set. She decides to take a summer to work as a performer on an Alaskan cruise before her wedding. But her entire life’s plan is turned upside down when she meets the love of her life and experiences intense love and passion like she has never known before. Will she risk losing her best friend forever to be with this man?

Balancing Passion, Duty, and Desire: A Conductor’s Journey

Everything in Charles Ryan’s life is exactly where he wants it to be…mostly that is. At forty, his career as a Juilliard professor and orchestra conductor is in a good place. He has a teenage son he adores. The only thing missing from his ideal life is love. He is trapped in a marriage with a woman he has never loved, who threatens him with financial and professional ruin whenever he brings up divorce. When Charles meets his soulmate while working as a music director on a cruise ship, will he risk everything for a chance at a life with her?

I will admit that I have become quite attached to these characters and they take up a great deal of rent-free real estate in my head, and my heart. Avid readers often joke about falling in love with fictional characters and thinking of them as real people. Well, Tori and Charles are definitely very real to me, and I think that if I were to write a hundred books, these two characters would continue to be the most special to me. They were my first, and like all firsts in our lives, they take up a special place in our hearts. It is my fondest hope that they will resonate with my readers as well and that my audience will love them as I do.

Soundtrack of Emotions: Enhancing Your Reading Experience

Music is a huge part of this novel, and it even has an extensive playlist, which I have curated on Spotify. As you read through this book, you will encounter references to many songs, most of them performed by Tori and/or Charles. I urge you to take some time to look them up and give them a listen as you read, as they will enhance your reading experience. Most of the songs were not random choices on my part. In fact, I was quite deliberate in my selections, intending that they express the feelings of the characters, or foreshadow things to come.

Overcoming Obstacles: A Journey of Resilience and Achievement

I’m originally from Newfoundland, Canada and I hold BA and B-Ed degrees from Memorial University of Newfoundland. I currently live in Kamloops, BC with my soulmate and husband of 30 years, Rodney. I’ve been legally blind since birth and have never let my disability hold me back from doing whatever I set my mind to. I am a peer support mentor for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB).

I have worked in a number of different fields, including teaching, employment counselling, and banking. Work was halted in December of 2021, which finally allowed me the time and energy to devote myself to endeavors that give me joy instead of the struggles of the daily grind of the workplace. I am a first-time author and, at the age of 51, I self-published my first novel through Amazon KDP on December 1st, 2023. So, I’m proof positive that it’s never too late to realize a lifelong dream.

Enthusiast Extraordinaire: A Life Centered Around Musical Theatre

Perhaps the biggest obsession of my life is musical theatre. I am the host of a syndicated radio program in Canada called “On The Marquee”, which focuses on musicals. I’ve been doing that since 2017 and it is the joy of my life. I also teach musical theatre courses for adult learners here in Kamloops. My love and in-depth knowledge of the world of Broadway played a huge role in my novel as well. I definitely wrote about what I know, so if you’re a fan of musicals, you’ll love this book. I am also a singer and my specialty is, you guessed it, show tunes.

Dreams to Reality: The Birth of a Novel

Since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to write a book. The issue was that I could never come up with a storyline. Finally, the idea came to me in a dream in January of 2023. Yes, I always wondered if that was a real thing. I’ve heard creative people talk about getting ideas for books, movies, songs, and so on in dreams. Well now I can tell you that it really does happen.

I dreamed one of the scenes in my book, and within a week, I had a fully formed story in my head. A piece was written a detailed synopsis for myself and then I sat down to write the novel at the end of January. I wrote all day for about a month and before I knew it, I had the bones written. Then I spent months re-reading and revising it until I realized it had developed into something I was quite proud of. In less than a year, it was published.

So what are you waiting for? Get yourself to Amazon and order your copy today.

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