Ames’ Julie Stone Writes ‘He’s With The Band’, Her Third Novel
Sometimes when you’re unhappy with life, it’s time for a change.
Such is the state of mind of Campbell Cavett, the heroine of the new book “He’s With the Band”. Published by Entangled, this is the latest novel by Ames-based author Julie Stone.
The book opens with Campbell divorcing her husband of 23 years. She decides to quit her job, sell her house, and join her favorite band Golden Tiger on their reunion tour – picking up where she left off years ago as a groupie.
“The average age of people in romantic comedies is 20 and that doesn’t affect me or people my age,” Stone said. “And in most of these books, happily ever after is that they’re going to get married and have kids. Isn’t there happily ever after for divorced or unmarried women? It’s not what everyone is looking for. »
A lifelong writer, with three previous books to her credit, Stone says she worked for two years to find a publisher who would allow the story to feature a heroine in her 40s.
Stone noted that the characters of “The Golden Girls” were around the same age in the first season as the stars of the “Sex and the City” reboot.
“Look at what we thought of 50-year-old women 30 years ago, compared to what we do with them now,” Stone said. “Part of the story of this book is about second chances. This is really my second chance.
Locally, Stone has already begun his book lecture tour at Dog Eared Books in Ames and Beaverdale Books in Des Moines. She has another scheduled at the Huxley Public Library on February 10 for “After Hours With Julie” starting at 7 p.m.
Stone, originally from Eldora, grew up a 1970s kid in a house where the music was still playing.
Stone began her studies at the University of Iowa as a journalism major before moving on to English and creative writing. She married her husband Chad and the couple moved to Chicago, living there for seven years. Stone has held various jobs in the nonprofit sector writing business-style. Her son, Jake, followed and she devoted her time to motherhood, writing during her naps. A girl, Wren, came later.
When the family moved to Cincinnati, where they would live for nine years before moving to Ames, Stone decided it was time to seriously pursue a writing career.
While attending a neighborhood barbecue, Stone met a man whose wife helped nurture her budding writing career by inviting her to join a writers’ review group that met weekly. at Panera Bread. The members, all authors writing in different genres, read each other’s work and provided commentary. Each person made corrections or suggestions using a different colored pen.
“These women really taught me about chapter structure, plot points, what makes things compelling, and the whole show says nothing,” Stone said. “But they also taught me what to do to get published.”
Stone submitted her first book, “These Darn Heels,” to a competition in which she became a finalist. This opportunity landed him a book deal with Avalon, now owned by Amazon. Novels “Deja Who?” and “Try, try again” followed.
“At that time there was this genre called ‘chick bed’ that burned for three years and then everyone was done,” she said. “It’s just a name for romantic comedy.”
She moved to Ames, but struggled to find the right kind of review group. She eventually joined the Des Moines Writers’ Workshop. A decade passed between the publication of this last book and “He is with the band”.
Stone said after Glenn Frey of the Eagles died in 2016 — and was unable to attend his last concert in Des Moines — she and a friend traveled extensively to see favorite bands and musicians in concert. At events, Stone would observe crews putting on shows, and that sparked the idea for the book.
“It’s about the feeling the music gives you and a place to put your emotions,” Stone said. “This group has always been that for her. She goes to a concert, finds the manager and is hired to be the photographer for the tour.
But Campbell’s behind-the-scenes access leaves him with mixed feelings and emotions.
Stone has written another book due out in January 2023. It will follow the story of Campbell’s friend Marissa, who is widowed. The third book will follow divorced friend Rachel, then the fourth book will feature Samantha, who has never been married. Although the characters are connected, they are stand-alone books.
To learn more about Stone, visit: www.booksbyjuliestone.com