Good morning Julie and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?
I’m now happily settled in rural Gloucestershire with my husband and young son. In the past I’ve lived and worked in France, Poland, Greece and Thailand; all of which have helped to broaden my mind and play a huge part in my writing.
When did you first decide you wanted to be a writer and how did you begin that journey?
I’ve always enjoyed writing. I remember as a child writing a play for my best friend and I to perform. I never really took it any further though as life just got in the way. It was only when I started working from home that I had the time to write. A chance encounter with author Linn B. Halton turned a short story into what eventually became ‘Jenna’s Journey.’ She acted as my mentor and made a dream into reality.
Your first three books Jenna’s Journey, Sophia’s Secret and Pandora’s Prophesy were all set in the Greek Islands. What made you decide to choose this location?
Greece is a magical place – there’s something about the atmosphere and light that just draws me back time and again. With a young child, time and money limited the trips there in recent years so writing the Greek Island Mystery series was, I suppose, a way of reminiscing. I really enjoyed looking back at the old photos and incorporating places I knew in the 1980s into a novel.
You recently published Callie’s Christmas Countdown, switching your talents to chick lit. Was this a one off or are there more in the pipeline?
To be honest I really don’t know. ‘Callie’s Christmas Countdown’ was playing in my head for about two years until I actually got it down on paper. It’s very different from the Greek series but I found I could only write it in real time during the Christmas period. It just wouldn’t have felt authentic to be writing it during the summer. I do have ideas for another two books about Callie but there are also other novels crying to be written so I’m torn at the moment.
Are you a panster or a plotter? What works best for you?
I would love to have every chapter planned out in detail but sadly that just doesn’t work for me. I start with a couple of characters and a rough outline of the plot and see where it takes me. Inevitably the end result is very different to how I initially imagined the book. I also think that if there is the element of surprise for me the author, then that will also work for the reader.
Can you tell us something about your current WIP?
At the moment I’m debating with myself which book to pursue as I have several in my head. One possibility is another Greek mystery. I’ve also written the opening chapters to a cosy English village mystery and of course Callie is telling me to write the second book in the series. It really will be a question of which characters shout the loudest as to which book gets written first. You really wouldn’t want to live in my head!
If money was no object, where in the world would you choose for a special holiday?
I’ve been fortunate to be able to visit some fantastic places such as Thailand and South Africa. Somehow though I always end up returning to Greece. A luxury 5* spa break at a resort in Elounda, Crete would probably be my favourite unless I take the bull by the horns and visit a place I’ve never been to. The Taj Mahal and the Pyramids are still on my to-do list.
And lastly, if you were a castaway on a desert island, what four things couldn’t you live without?
That’s difficult! If we assume the basics like food and water are provided then I would find it difficult to live without chocolate as I really am addicted and get withdrawal symptoms if I go more than two days without it.
Books play a huge part in my life and I know I would be a lesser person without them. They take you to another world and I’d have plenty of time to read. A solar powered Kindle might be necessary though!
I always carry a pen and paper with me and so that would be a hard loss if I didn’t have a way to write down my musings. After all, when I’m finally rescued, I’d have to write a book about my adventures there.
Thanks so much for featuring me Jo
It’s been lovely chatting to you Julie.
For more information on Julie and her books simply click on the links below:
Website/blog for the Greek Isles series https://thegreekurn.wordpress.com/
Website/blog for book reviews :http://www.allthingsbookie.com/
on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/julie.ryan.3114
and on Twitter @julieryan18
Buy Links for the Jenna’s journey