Julie Ryan visits JJ today to talk about her writing journey.
Julie was born and brought up in a mining village near Barnsley in South Yorkshire. She graduated with a BA (hons) in French Language and Literature from Hull University. Since then she has lived and worked as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language in France, Greece, Poland and Thailand. She now lives in rural Gloucestershire with her husband, son and a dippy cat with half a tail. She is so passionate about books that her collection is now threatening to outgrow her house, much to her husband’s annoyance!
“Jenna’s Journey” is her début novel set in Greece, a country to which she has a strong attachment.
Twitter – @julieryan18
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/julieryanauthor
My writing Journey
One of the first questions most people ask me is ‘ How did ‘Jenna’s Journey’, my first novel, come about? The second question is ‘ How long did it take to write?
The inspiration came from the time I spent in Greece as an English teacher in the 1980s. I fell in love with the country, the people, the culture and the beautiful landscape. I didn’t know then that it would be a love affair that would stay with me all my life. Somehow Greece seemed to suck me in and refused to let me go.
As a child I loved writing stories and fancied myself as a second Enid Blyton. Strangely enough, I didn’t write much as an adult, just a few short stories for my own amusement. It wasn’t until thirty years after my sojourn in Greece that a chance encounter with a fellow author led to me dusting off a short story and turning it into ‘Jenna’s journey.’ My lovely friend, Linn B Halton convinced me that I had a novel in me and her own determination served as my inspiration. As I looked out of the window on a cold snowy morning, I started to wonder what my life would have been like if I’d stayed in Greece. That was the starting point for the parallel stories that make up the first book in the Greek Island Mystery series.
I still find it hard to believe that from one short story has evolved a series of books all set on the same Greek Island yet featuring different characters. Of course, some of the characters from the first book get a mention later on as once I’d written it, they just wouldn’t leave me alone! It’s only a few months, back in September 2013, that I self-published ‘Jenna’s Journey’. At the time I thought I’d achieved my goal and could sit back. I hadn’t counted on the pull of writing though as I found I just couldn’t walk away. It took me about 18 months to write the first book although I like to say it had a gestation period of 30 years. It has been such a steep learning curve but I must have gained some knowledge in crafting the Art as the second book, ‘Sophia’s Secret’ only took about eight months. At this rate I’m counting on the third book only taking about six months!! So far it’s just a germ of an idea, provisionally called ‘Pandora’s Prophecy’ but anyone who knows me will be aware that it could change dramatically between now and publication. So far it’s looking very different from the predecessors although it’s still set in my beloved Greece.
All it can take is that one chance meeting 🙂
Thank you for sharing your inspiration Julie.
Kat has never understood why she was sent at the age of seven from Greece to live in England with her Aunt Tigi. When she receives an email from her grandmother, the first contact in over twenty years, informing her of her mother’s death, she knows this could be her last chance to find out the truth. Little by little she finds out the shocking facts as her grandmother opens her heart. It seems everyone has a secret to tell, not only her grandmother, as Manoli, her school friend, also harbours a guilty secret. Then there’s a twenty year old mystery to solve as well as a murder and what happened to the missing Church treasure?
Sophia’s Secret is going on tour!
|14th July||Books, Reviews, Etc|
|14th July||Brook Cottage Books|
|15th July||Georgina Troy|
|15th July||A Novel Review|
|16th July||Crooks on Books|
|17th July||Chicklit Club Connect|
|18th July||DizzyC’s Little Book Blog|
|18th July||M’s Bookshelf|
Giveaway is UK Ecopy of Sophia’s Secret plus an Amazon Gift Card £5 and US ecopies of Jenna’s Journey and Sophie’s Secret.
We hope you’ll enjoy the interview, guest post and reviews.