Monday, 14 July 2014

Julie Ryan Pays A Visit

Today, I'm delighted to welcome Julie Ryan to my book blog. Julie's first Greek Island Mystery - Jenna's Journey - was published last year, and now her second mystery - Sophia's Secret - has been launched.

Hi Julie, please can you describe your book in twenty words.
It’s a story of love, hatred, jealousy and revenge told through three generations of a Greek family

This is your second book in the Greek Island Mystery series.  How did the writing process for Sophia’s Secret differ from that of your first book, ‘Jennas’s Journey’?
I learnt a lot about the writing process from my first novel. ‘Jenna’s Journey’ took me ages to write as I must have rewritten it about five times when I discovered problems with the timeline. I approached ‘Sophia’s Secret’ in a more systematic way. I still had to make changes but they weren’t nearly as painful! I still can’t plot out a novel and stick to it but I’m getting better.

I love discovering secrets and the source behind a mystery and so look forward to reading Sophia’s Secret very much, do you have a favourite character from this book, and if so, who would it be? 
I really felt empathy with Sophia from the minute she appeared in my head. I think there’s a lot of my grandmother in her. She is such a strong woman and has suffered so much. I really wanted her to find some happiness and her journey towards it really resonated with me.

I love visiting new places especially through settings in a novel, what is it about Greece that made you want to set your books there?

I think I just have an affinity with Greece- ever since I lived there in the 1980s. I love the landscape and even though I’ve been fortunate enough to visit some fantastic places around the world, my heart keeps coming back to Greece. I’m not sure if it’s the sunshine, the whitewashed houses, the food or the people that draw me back but a little bit of my heart is left behind each time I visit.

What books/authors have influenced your writing?

I’m a very eclectic reader so perhaps that’s why my books are a combination of romance, mystery, suspense and crime.  John Fowles is one of my all-time great writers and ‘The Magus’ is simply a masterpiece. Other writers that have influenced me are Anne Zouroudi, Sara Alexi and Jeffrey Siger who all write about Greece.

Do you believe in writer’s block, and if you’ve ever suffered from it, how did you deal with it?

I can only write when the feeling takes me so I never sit in front of a blank page. If the words don’t come then I go and do something else. Of course, inspiration usually strikes when I least expect it. On a car journey I recently got the urge to start writing the next book in the series and now have about 1500 words on scraps of paper and old envelopes. One trick I have learned is never to totally finish a chapter when I log off. That way, when I come back to it, I’m not starting from scratch.

What do you think is the most important thing you’ve learnt as an indie author that you would pass on to someone considering publishing their own book?
I’ve learned so much in the last year, it’s hard to know where to begin. If you are self-published then I think you have to believe in yourself and never give up, as you don’t have the support of a publisher behind you. You also need to make sure your book is as error-free as possible if you want to gain the respect of readers. Fortunately, I don’t think the dichotomy between Published and Indie is as wide as it used to be. There are some fantastic books out there and hopefully quality will win out regardless of how they’re published. You just need to stick at it and be patient.

Thanks so much for inviting me Georgina. (Julie's first book, 'Jenna's Journey' will be on FREE promo during the tour, from Monday 14th July to Friday 18th incl.)

Author links
Twitter - @julieryan18

Book Links:
Sophia's Secret: /
Jenna's Journey:

 Author Biography:
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’, her début novel set in Greece, a country to which she has a strong attachment, was published in 2013. The second novel in the Greek Island Mystery series,‘Sophia’s Secret,’ is due to be published in the summer of 2014.