Writing: Good for Your Health? by Author June Gillam

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June Gillam’s “House of Erie” on Tour

Our article today comes to you courtesy of June Gillam, author of the Hillary Broome Novels series.

Book three continues an entertaining mystery series, this time set in lovely Ireland. The location itself is enough to draw many readers, myself included.  You can read our review of the novel here on Mystery Suspense Reviews.

As part of her book tour, Ms. Gillam has written a guest post for us here.  It is always interesting to hear more from the author about her/his writing.  The article below reflects that…Here’s a look at a day in the life…

Writing:  Good for Your Health?

by June Gillam

Sometimes being a novelist can be good for your health. Or for the health of your gym. Okay, let me explain. Keeping strong mentally is one benefit of writing novels but sitting at the computer for long hours is not all that good for your body.

I try to combine both kinds of conditioning as much as possible because my mother died of coronary artery disease when I was fourty-four years old. Even though I’d been a health nut about eating, I’d not played sports or been more active than required when raising five children while married to a man who was building a ferro-cement boat in our back yard. Okay, that kept me pretty busy but after my mom died suddenly with heart disease, I knew it was time to hit the gym. Around then I was pretty busy with writing poetry, too, as part of getting my master’s degree in English. So, I began a balanced lifestyle.

Years later, my husband started suffering complications from diabetes and after a couple awful surgeries had failed, he had to have his leg amputated above the knee. He was a big guy and had a heavy custom wheelchair made for him. After he got transferred into the front passenger seat of my PT Cruiser, it was my job to fold his chair and heft it into the back section of the car. The first time I did that, I slightly tweaked my back. It hit me that I had to become super strong or I wouldn’t be able to help him. So I paid the cost for a twice-weekly trainer to keep my core strong. My darling husband passed away a few years later and I mentioned to my daughter that I could quit the trainer now. She said no, Mom, we need you to be strong.

So, here I am seven years later still with the twice a week trainer at the gym in my small Northern California town. Well, we are supposed to give our member number to the staff behind the counter when we go in or if they are busy, to sign a sheet with our number. Today I was late for my trainer appointment, partly due to helping a tennis player find the ball she’d hit into the parking lot—then retrieve it and throw it back to her, so I was in a rush and the counter was packed with people so I could not reach the sign-in sheet. I figured I’d sign on the way out.

Well, after working with my trainer, I stopped by the counter to “sign in.” It was still packed with staff and people with problems crowded around their sign-in sheet. I waited patiently until a young woman asked how she could help me. I told her my story and she nearly gasped. “You have to sign in when you come in,” she said. I explained there was no room around the sheet earlier, so I was doing it this way. “If the owner finds out, you can have your membership suspended,” she retorted. I expressed surprise at that and noted it seemed excessive as a consequence.

“If you don’t sign in, the staff person at the counter will be fired!” She was nearly shouting, and I was standing with a stupiefied look on my face.

“Then people need to be informated about such extreme consequeces,” I said. “That should be put next to the sign asking people to sign in.” I was amazed that such grievous actions could be taken without telling folks about it.

I told her I was going to write a suggestion to the effect that the information about such dire consequences needed to be made known to everyone. So I got a couple suggestion box form slips and proceeded to write the story. As I got halfway through the backside of one of the tall thin forms, she asked in an irritated tone, “Are you writing a novel?”

That was my opening. “I’m a novelist,” I replied and waved to indicate the counter, staff and adjacent gym rooms. “And I might include this in my novel.”

Her face change from annoyed to kindly. “I hope it’s in a positive way,” she purred.

“Not today,” I snapped and proceeded to fill out that back side and the front of another form, glad I had the writing skills needed to tell what happened and ask for action. Now time will tell the ending of that story.

The Tour

Ms. Gillam’s tour for House of Eire runs from September 6th through September 16th. Check our her iRead Author page here to visit other stops along the tour. You will find interviews, more reviews, and guest articles from this delightful author.

Book Description for House of Eire:

In House of Eire, Hillary Broome, a reporter-turned-ghostwriter from Lodi, California, and her detective husband Ed fly to Ireland—Ed for a gang conference in Dublin and Hillary to research her ancestors in Galway.

Hillary plans to meet up with her friend Bridget, who’s pushing a greedy developer to include a memorial museum inside his proposed Irish theme park. As Hillary travels through Ireland and learns more about her friend’s crusade, she uncovers secrets and mysterious forces nudging her to fly away home.

Praise for Hillary Broome Novels

House of Cuts

A maniacal butcher, a journalist/teacher with a shameful secret, and a cigar-toting detective set the stage for this psychological thriller, the first in a series of Hillary Broome novels.

Set in California’s Central Valley, House of Cuts involves suspense, intrigue, and a burgeoning romance. My favorite things about this novel include the dialogue, the wonderful details, and its sense of place—from the lush walnut orchards of Morada, CA, to PriceCuts, what Gillam terms the “24/7 machine,” the kind of superstore familiar to any modern reader.

I also enjoyed the fact that eight of the fifty-one chapters are told from killer Melvin’s point of view so that I was able to get a first-hand glimpse into his demented, mother-obsessed mind.

~Candace Andrews, author of High Tides: Wading Through Depression—Every Day

House of Dads

One of Gillam’s strong virtues as a writer is her ability to enmesh you, the reader, in the many layered action of the story until you become that close and helpless bystander who must live every unspeakable thing out with the characters.

Too bad about the hundred things and obligations with their gummy fingers on you. Too bad until the story is finished, for you are not free to return focus to your own life, not yet. When you close the book at last, it is with a sigh of relief and gratitude and satisfaction that YOU don’t have to live out such things yourself as you and the characters have experienced together.

Oh, but all will linger in your mind. And at the same time, you will already have an eye out for the next Hillary Broome adventure!

~Zoe Keithley, author ofThe Calling of Mother Adelli

House of Eire

Hillary Broome returns to her Irish roots to uncover not only her family’s history, but the Emerald Island’s betrayal of its own people. This poignant story taps into the yearning we all have to uncover our beginnings. We try to carve away the protective facades of civilization but often are left naked and fatally exposed to the unexpected. June Gillam presents a fascinating tale of the past clashing with the present. It’s a story of lost love, murder, magic and ghosts in the fairytale land of the shamrocks.

~ J. J. Lamb & Bette Golden Lamb, authors of theGina Mazzio RN “Bone”series

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Barnes and Noble

June Gillam

Author’s Bio:

June Gillam teaches literature and writing at a Northern California Community College. She describes this series as psychological suspense novels in which Hillary Broome, reporter and ghostwriter, fends off complex villains of many kinds: a berserk butcher, a demented daughter and a haunted theme park developer.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~Facebook

Tour Schedule:

Sept 5 –  Library of Clean Reads– book spotlight / giveaway

Sept 5 –  Over the hills and far away– review / guest post / giveaway

Sept 6 –  Working Mommy Journal– review / giveaway

Sept 6 –  Mystery Suspense Reviews– review

Sept 6 –  Rockin’ Book Reviews– review / guest post / giveaway

Sept 7 –  The World As I See It– review / giveaway

Sept 7 –  Heidi’s Wanderings– review / giveaway

Sept 8 –  Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine– book spotlight / guest post

Sept 8 –   Books for Books– review

Sept 9 –   Bless Their Hearts Mom– review / author interview / giveaway

Sept 9 –   Deal Sharing Aunt– review / author interview / giveaway

Sept 12 – Book reviews nature photos– review

Sept 12 – My Journey Back– review / guest post / giveaway

Sept 13 – Readers Muse– review

Sept 13 – Jessica Cassidy– review / author interview / giveaway

Sept 14 – A Bookaholic Blog– review / author interview / giveaway

Sept 14 – Olio By Marilyn– review / author interview / giveaway

Sept 15 – Sahar’s Blog– review

Sept 15 – The Autistic Gamer– review

Sept 16 – Bound 4 Escape– review / giveaway

Sept 16 – Dab of Darkness– book spotlight / author interview / giveaway

iRead Website new logo-2


Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Alzheimers HQ and Simple Living Ideas

Author: Merry Citarella

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    • Thank YOU June. It’s terrific. Best of luck on your tour!

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this article!

    • So glad to hear it. I did too. Thank you June Gillam!

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