Get To Know Author Julia Spiro and Her New Book, Full
She resides on Martha's Vineyard with her husband and her 1-year-old son, Winston, enjoying the outdoors, writing and teaching spin classes. After graduating with honors in English literature from Harvard College, and after years as a studio executive in Los Angeles, she moved out to the island to fulfill her destiny as a writer—and that commitment to her craft has fully paid off.
In her latest novel, Full, Julia channels her own experiences of struggling with an eating disorder through the protagonist, a wellness influencer named Ava, which she hopes will deeply resonate with many women who've gone through the same issues—as well as fostering empathy for those who have not.
Keep reading for more on Full and Julia, and order your copy now!
(Image courtesy of Julia Spiro)
Name: Julia Spiro
Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts
Birthday: May 18
1. Julia has been a writer since she was a kid.
"As an adult, I didn't think seriously about a career as a writer because it seemed too good to be true, and I was scared to try. I had another job for a long time, but I was unfulfilled. I knew that my passion was writing. One day I realized that I had to go for it and at least give it a shot. I started writing my book while I still had my other job, and after a few months I took the risk to quit and write full time. I never looked back."
2. She'd love to go back to the '90s, she says, at least in some ways.
"I love the aesthetic and the music. If I wrote a book set in the '90s, there would absolutely be a soundtrack to go with it."
3. Martha's Vineyard is the setting for both of her novels. Julia says she has to write about what she knows.
"Using my home as the background for my books allows me to create characters and worlds that are authentic and relatable. Even though my books are fiction, Martha's Vineyard is rich with nuanced people and interesting stories. There's no shortage of inspiration for me here."
4. Julia would like to tell her younger self to "stop caring so much about what other people think."
"I let that dictate my decisions for far too long."
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5. She says she can't leave her house without her phone, as well a a few other must-haves.
"I'd like to say a notebook and pen. And now that I have a baby, I always have a diaper bag with me. Pure glam."
6. Julia doesn't believe in writing all day long.
"Even if I had the time (which I don't). I work best when I focus intensely for several hours at a time and then stop completely for the day. I like to work at coffee shops or public libraries, where there are people coming and going and I can look around to get ideas flowing. I put headphones on and listen to classical music. And I always have coffee."
7. Julia always puts part of herself into her main characters.
"Most of the time, their struggles are things I've experienced myself in some capacity. I don't want to create a main character who's doing something that I don't deeply understand myself. But none of my characters are squarely based on any me or any other individual person. Rather, I draw traits from different people in my life and infuse them into the characters. I live in too small of a community to base my stories on real people; I'd be banned from the island!"
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8. She says hope is what she wants her readers to get out of her novels.
"I write about women who are experiencing real issues that are complicated, painful, and sometimes traumatic. But I believe in happy endings, or rather, hopeful endings. I don't think it's unrealistic to expect that in life, even if it's a long, hard road to get there. Life is tough enough, the least I can do in my books is give readers a sense of hope and the notion that we might actually be okay."
9. Julia's mom inspires her more than any other person.
"Especially now that I'm a mother, too. I've had some challenging jobs in my life, but nothing comes close to the challenge of motherhood. I've been very lucky to have a mom who's always supported me and encouraged me to be myself."
10. She loves watching all of the Housewives shows on Bravo.
"My favorite is Potomac. Don't tell me otherwise."
11. If she could create a character based on herself, she'd give her the confidence she has as a mother and the freedom she had before she become one.
"It's amazing how little it scares me now. I feel like I've been through so much as a mom and can handle anything now. If I'd had that strength and tenacity in my twenties, who knows what I might have done. That's not to say I regret anything, just that I wish I'd had this kind of grit before. I'd also give this character a wicked, filthy vocabulary. I don't have much a filter myself."
12. If she could, she'd send both of her grandmothers her books.
"They'd love to see that I became a writer, and I think they'd appreciate reading books about modern, unapologetic women."
Full describes the life of Ava Maloney, a wellness influencer, on her journey to overcoming her biggest challenge. A love-hate relationship with food takes over every aspect of her life as she also attempts to maintain an "effortless" appearance for her followers.
Ava signs herself up for a six-week luxury wellness retreat on Martha's Vineyard to treat her eating disorder and escape the pressures of Los Angeles. Through unexpected friendships with the friendly and non-judgmental locals, Ava finds herself actually enjoying her time during the retreat—that is, until she receives an anonymous DM on Instagram, including a threat to release her biggest secret to the world.
Julia Spiro lets her character reflect on her judgemental ways of the past. While she promotes the importance of changing the idea of what "perfection" means to society, she hides her truest self from her 1 million followers and hurts others in the process. Ava finally sees the influence she has on her fans first-hand after she comments on a young girl's body type—the exact way her mother did to her when she was younger.
Full captures the complex emotions Ava goes through during her journey to truly loving and accepting the important role of food in her life. She develops a sense of hope, and the bravery to overcome her struggle. She knows it will be tough, but her supportive friends continue to give her reasons to love and appreciate the food that fuels her body.
This novel creates a safe and relatable space for others who may be experiencing similar struggles. It is a story about a girl finding love in her relationship with food. Though not everyone may relate directly to Ava's experiences, they can find themselves in her triumph, and the book shows us all how important it is to be our authentic selves on social media, and to find love for ourselves.
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