Monday, March 8, 2010

Author Interview: Julie Ann Peters

I have today Julie Ann Peters, the brilliant mind behind By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead, a very powerful deluge into the world of depression, bullying, and suicide.

AGA: Describe the book in one sentence.

JAP: By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead is a book about how the effects of bullying can push a person to the very edge; how too many young people wake up every day feeling their only hope is to end it all.

AGA: Where did the idea of the website Daelyn visits often in the book come from?

JAP: My computer background in designing information systems must’ve come into play, but so much of writing is subconscious. I think my site was a combination of everything I found on the Web: bully boards, suicide boards, information about suicide methods. I invented to give its users a contained environment in which to interact.

AGA: How much research was involved in this book, both from the mindset to the after effects of various suicide methods?

JAP: Not as much as I usually do for a novel. Everything about bullying and suicide can be found on the Web. The only guesswork was deciding on the pain levels of each suicide method and assigning them a relative number. For example, would it hurt more to jump off a building or blow yourself up with explosives? Before this book begins, Daelyn’s already made up her mind to kill herself, so all I had to do was chronicle her journey. It was weird, though. Normally I’m so emotionally attached to my characters that I cry when the book is finished, but Daelyn distanced herself from everyone—including m

AGA: What was the hardest part of the book for you to write?

JAP: The helplessness of Daelyn’s parents, and the ending.

AGA: If you could pair Daelyn with any character from any other book, what would be your pick?

JAP: I’m going to be self-centered and pair her with one of my own characters—Mike in Far from Xanadu. Mike endured tremendous adversity in her life and grew strong from it. I think she could’ve shown Daelyn how to be a survivor.

Thanks Julie for taking the time for this and if you haven't already, I suggest everyone picks up this book. It's raw, real, and gripping- it sets itself apart from other bullying and suicide related books and is definitely worth the read.


  1. Ahhh, a character reference that I know about! I really liked Mike from Far From Xanadu. She really could've helped Daelyn. *nodnod* Although I thought Santana was a good character... I mean, the boy actually made her speak! that's huge for Daelyn.

  2. I am looking forward to reading this book, despite the excruciatingly painful subject. Thanks for sharing this terrific interview!

  3. great!thanks for sharing.
    be sure to check out my new book also!