I am pleased to welcome to my blog today, a British friend who feels like a Greek at heart too. Her name is Julie Ryan and she is the author of the holiday mystery, “Jenna’s Journey’.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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. She is now working on a second novel in the series, “Sophia’s Story.”
A FEW WORDS ABOUT HER BOOK
When Jenna decides on a whim to go to Greece, she’s trying to escape her failing marriage. Will Greg let her go so easily though? Can she make a new future for herself and how did she get involved in an antiques smuggling ring? Is fellow holidaymaker Tom all he seems and will it be happy ever after with Nikos? It’s not until twenty-five years later that some of the questions are finally answered.
Welcome Julie! I am particularly intrigued by your book as it is set in Greece. The book cover is so enticing! How come you decided to set your story in my country?
In other words, what has inspired you to write this book?
Living in Greece in the 1980s made a lifelong impression on me. It wasn’t until about two years ago, however, that it became the setting for my debut novel. It was a cold, grey winter’s morning in England and as I looked out of the window I couldn’t help wondering how my life might have been different if I’d stayed in Greece. That started me thinking about the choices we make and the repercussions and before I knew it, I had the bones of a story sketched out in my head.
What was the first thing you ever wrote and how old were you then?
I was always scribbling little stories as a child but the first thing I consciously remember writing was a little play for my friend and I to act out for our parents- I must have been about nine or ten at the time.
Any hobbies or interests that you enjoy in your spare time?
Reading, reading and reading! Oh and when I’m nor reading I am a member of our local amateur dramatic group. I love taking part in the annual pantomime and have made some good friends as a result. Travelling and learning languages also figure pretty highly in my interests too. There’s a lot of wanderlust in me although I’m pretty settled at the moment.
Where can people purchase your book?
“Jenna’s Journey” is available as an ebook for Kindle on Amazon at ‘mybook.to/jennasjourney’
What are you working on at the moment? Tell us a little about your current project(s).
I’m currently working on another novel, “Sophia’s Story.” Although it is set on the same Greek island, it’s with different characters and has a more contemporary vibe. That’s not to say though that some of the characters from “Jenna’s Journey” won’t put in a brief appearance.
Do you plot your novels beforehand or do your stories unfold gradually as you write?
I usually start with a few characters, a location and a brief overview of a plot so that I know in my mind how I want the story to end. That’s when the trouble starts though as sometimes my characters won’t do what I want them to do and take the plot in a totally different direction. It’s a fascinating if frustrating process and I can end up with about ten different versions.
Do you have any advice for other indie authors?
The best advice that I was given which I’d like to pass on is to get your book into the best possible form that you can. A lot of the stigma against indie authors is fortunately disappearing and your book needs to look professional. The hard work really starts when you finish the book as you need to spend a lot of time promoting it.
How do you overcome writer’s block? Any advice on that?
This was passed on to me by another writer who said that you have to treat writing like a career and write every single day. After all, if you have something on paper, it can always be edited whereas a blank page can’t. If you’re really blocked, re-read what you’ve written and find the place where it seems to hold up the story. By rewriting that part, it might help the creative juices to flow. Now if only I could follow that advice I’d have finished my second book by now! Of course a research trip to Greece might also help.
Thank you Julie for stopping by to introduce yourself on my blog! Look forward to your next visit already and “Sofia’s Story” sounds like the perfect opportunity!
“Jenna’s Journey” is available at the Amazon Kindle store here