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Archive for May, 2015

Love the official photograph from People’s Book Prize where Beyond My Control made it to the final! Thank you to everyone who voted x

Me~used snipping tool

I will write a longer blog, with lots of photos, later x

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Welcome Julie Ryan… *offers Julie cup of tea*

Tea and scone

Can you tell me a little about yourself?

Julie Ryan

I was born near Barnsley in Yorkshire where I lived for the first eighteen years of my life before going to University. It was then that the wanderlust kicked in as when I finished my Teacher Training, I went off to work in Greece, Thailand and Poland. I have no idea where this desire to travel comes from as my parents didn’t even have a passport for a long time. Moving house and/or country twenty times in twenty years can be a bit wearing though so I’ve been happily living in the Gloucestershire countryside with my husband and young son for the last few years. We bought a semi-derelict property as that was all we could afford and w are still renovating. I dream of one day having all my books neatly arranged on shelves instead of boxes and can’t wait to unpack my new desk. I have a feeling I may have to wait some time though! When not writing, I work as a distance language tutor teaching English to French companies. I also enjoy amateur dramatic and can often be found treading the boards as the Fairy Godmother in the local panto or more recently as Miss Maple in an Agatha Christie pastiche.

What was the first story you wrote?

Oh my goodness, that’s going back a while as I seem to recall I was always scribbling something as a child. I think it was probably a little play that I wrote for myself and my friend to enact for her parents. I seem to recall we played husband and wife for some reason.

Were you inspired by someone or something?

Probably the neighbours but I really have no idea how I ended up playing a grumpy henpecked husband!

What do you like about writing a story?

I love the fact that when I begin, I really don’t have any idea of where the story is going to take me. I love it when characters develop a life of their own and wake you up in the early hours to insist you change their story. Sometimes they say or do things that surprise me. In one case a character mentioned her brother and yet I wasn’t aware that she had one. It meant a lot of backwriting but it added to the plot. I can’t sit down and plan out each chapter. I have a general idea of where it’s going and let the characters fight it out1

Can you tell us about your newest book?

My latest book is the third in the Greek Island mystery series but you don’t need to have read the others. It’s about a young girl who has a gift for seeing into the future centered around a group of holidaymakers staying at the same hotel. There’s a serial killer on the island so lots of drama and excitement as well as romance for some of the guests. The key to the mystery is the local thriller writer.

Julie Ryan book cover

How did you come up with the story?

I started from the idea of Pandora being able to see into the future and then the rest of the story developed from there. I read a lot and so I suppose my writing is influenced by the kind of books I like to read.

What genre best fits for the book?

I’ve been wondering about this. There’s romance but it’s not chick-lit. There’s suspense and mystery but it’s not a thriller. Although Pandora can see into the future, it’s not really a paranormal book either. Perhaps it should just be contemporary fiction.

Are you working on something new at the moment?

It depends on what my characters decide to do next. I have an unfinished Christmas novella that I really need to work on but it’s been put on the back shelf for a long time. I’m also working on a collection of short stories too. I only ever intended my first book to be a short story and look how it’s developed. I have the germs of an idea for a fourth book in the series but it needs to simmer for a while.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

It sounds trite to say ‘Just write’ but that’s the best advice I was given. Sometimes, you can be afraid to put pen to paper in case it turns out to be rubbish but some of my best ideas have come from stories that I originally discarded. At least if you have something written down, it can be edited or may provide future inspiration. Other than that – never give up!

Do you belong to a writing group?

I set up a book club with the lovely Linn B Halton and we sometimes read our work to each other. It’s not really a writing group though.

Do you have people who will critique your work? (And if you do, do you acknowledge them in the book?)

I have a group of people who will act as beta readers and critique my work. I like to acknowledge them in a paragraph at the end of the book.

What is your writing routine?

My free time when husband is at work and son is at school is usually in the morning. After dropping son off at the bus stop, I look forward to my morning coffee and usually reread what I wrote the day before. Then I may need to do some research – a good excuse for trawling the internet and looking at cats – and on a good day I may actually write 1000-1500 words. If I’m on a roll I usually find that my coffee has gone cold so I stop and make another and try to write until lunchtime. Then it’s onto the day job until the next day.

Do you have an editing process?

After finishing the first draft I usually leave it for a couple of weeks and then go through it for the storyline first of all to check on the timeline and any inconsistencies. This may involve moving paragraphs or chapters around which then means another read through to check that this change hasn’t affected anything else. Then it’s onto grammar and spelling and trying to find all those typos that are obvious to everyone else but slip through the net when it’s your own work you’re reading. Then I’ll send it out to my beta readers and make any necessary changes before giving it a final read through line by line.

What do you enjoy the most/least about writing?

Editing is the thing I hate most – the finished article is what I like best.

How important is it for you to share your writing?

Feedback is always useful especially if it’s constructive so I know the benefits of sharing. I’m quite shy about my work though so it doesn’t come naturally to me.

Where can people go to read your work?

At the moment I’m only published on Amazon but my first book ‘Jenna’s Journey’ has recently been signed by Booktrope so it should be more widely available very soon.

Where can people find you on the internet?

I love people to get in touch about my books. I have a blog at www.Juliesworldofbooks.blogspot.co.uk where you can get all the latest news and an insight into the life of a writer/reader.

I also blog about other writer’s books at www.allthingsbookie.com

Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?

You might like to take a look at this awesome trailer for my second book ‘Sophia’s Secret’

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Basics for a blog

There are a few companies where you can have your blog. I use WordPress.

Type in https://wordpress.com/

Click on the Log In on the right

Click on register

Add your email address

Choose a username

Add a password

Choose your blog address

If you want a free blog address scroll down to the bottom and click on the Create Blog button

Click on next step

Explain what your blog will be about

Choose a theme

Click on next step

Look to the top right of this page and click on the pencil icon. This will let you write a new post for your blog.

If you wish to add a photo or two place the cursor where you want the photo to go. Click on Add Media button. Click on Upload Files. Click on the photo you want to use. Click on Select File. Click on Pictures file on your laptop. Click on the photo you want to use. Click on blue bottom at the bottom right of your screen called Insert Into Post.

When you’ve written your post go to the left and click on tabs and categories. Complete this if you wish (I would recommend it). When you have done this click on preview button at bottom of your post then click on edit (this will take you back to your post). If you’re happy with the post click on publish.

Click on sign out when you have finished.

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To write a new post on your blog:

Type in: wordpress.com

Click on WordPress log-in

Look at top left of the screen and click on ‘my sites’

Look to the top right of this page and click on the pencil icon. This will let you write a new post for your blog.

If you wish to add a photo or two place the cursor where you want the photo to go. Click on Add Media button. Click on Upload Files. Click on the photo you want to use. Click on Select File. Click on Pictures file on your laptop. Click on the photo you want to use. Click on blue bottom at the bottom right of your screen called Insert Into Post.

When you’ve written your post go to the left and click on tabs and categories. Complete this if you wish (I would recommend it). When you have done this click on preview button at bottom of your post then click on edit (this will take you back to your post). If you’re happy with the post click on publish.

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Hi there, thank you for following my blog. I will now be blogging over at my Just Write It! blog. I hope you will come over and follow me. Thank you.

https://justwriteit1.wordpress.com/

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Writing a blurb

A good blurb can be the selling point of your book. The cover can attract a potential reader to pick it up and look at it. But what happens next? Yep, they turn to the back cover and read the blurb.

Look at the blurb of some of the books you have bought. What made you want to read them?

A few pointers:

Introduce the main character

Create intrigue around the main character

Explain the setting and action

What will the problems be?

How will the problems be overcome?

Keep it short (2-3 paragraphs)

Do not give the ending away!

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Virtual write-in this afternoon (Friday) from 4-8pm UK time. If you would like to join us please leave a message on here to say you’ll be joining us and come back at 8pm and tell us all what you have been doing e.g. writing, editing, reading through etc

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Just-Write-it/366023433491753

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Virtual write-in this afternoon (Friday) from 4-8pm UK time. If you would like to join us please leave a message on here to say you’ll be joining us and come back at 8pm and tell us all what you have been doing e.g. writing, editing, reading through etc

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Just-Write-it/366023433491753

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