by Julie Murphy
This past Friday, June 6, 2014, Marcy and I posted our answers to Julie’s debut novel, Side Effects May Vary. We would like to congratulate Julie on her debut novel and for providing us with her answers which will give you even more insight into the heads of her well-developed characters.
Thank you so much for having me! This was such a fun feature to do. Below are my answers!
1) What is your favorite line or paragraph from the novel as it relates to the main character's development and/or growth?
Ya know, I'm going to be really obvious here and say the first line of the book. I'm really into first and last lines and how they relate to one another. Here's Alice's first line:
"If ever my parents gave me a religion, it was the gospel of honesty."
Alice really prides herself on her ability to be brutally truthful, but she spends so much of the novel lying to herself. That being said, I really love the juxtaposition of this first line. Hopefully if you read to the end, you'll see whether or not Alice is finally able to be honest with herself.
2) What is your favorite chapter ending or cliffhanger?
A lot of the chapters end on sort of a grim note, so I chose a lighter one that's always been one of my favorites. Come to think of it, it's actually stayed intact since the very first draft.
"I laid my head against him and he wound his arm around my shoulder. 'What's going to happen to us, Harvey?'
He pressed his lips to my head and said, 'It's a surprise, I think.'"
3) Who is your favorite secondary character and why?
Natalie, Harvey's mom, is without a doubt my favorite. She's this total constant and has such a clear understanding of Alice. And Harvey, too. She sees both of them for the people who they might some day become. She's also very calculated with her words, which is something I always gravitate to.
4) What is your favorite line or paragraph of description?
I would have to say this one Alice line from when Alice and Harvey go watch the prom from the golf course outside of the country club where it's being held. I really love this particular section because Alice is seeing her peers say goodbye to the lives they know in a completely different way from the way she currently is, but there's still something there that she can relate to. (Even if graduating and dying are totally not the same thing!)
"We sat there and watched the juniors and seniors of Hughley High fall in and out of love, say no and say yes, let go and hang on. A few couples tripped off into the darkness together while others stood on the terrace, yelling back and forth as the tension brought on by prom and graduation slipped between the crevices of their cracking relationships."
5) What is your favorite line of dialogue?
Well, I can't say my absolute favorite because I fear it might give too much away, but this one from Harvey when he's especially frustrated with her.
"You never surprise me, Alice, which is such a disappointment."