Saturday, 14 January 2017

Back Catalogue Books - Q&A with Julie Ryan

Back Catalogue Books is my new regular Saturday feature, focusing on books that are not the latest releases. There is going to be a mix of Q&As and also reviews, depending on what I have the space for. 

If you are an author wanting to take part in Back Catalogue Books then please do email on gilbster at gmail dot com and I'll whizz the questions over to you. 

I hope everyone enjoys this weekly look back at some of the slightly older books that are about but still great, and that I eventually make a dent in my TBRs as a result of it!

Hi Rachel. Many thanks for inviting me over. My name’s Julie Ryan and although born and bred in Yorkshire, I now live in rural Gloucestershire with my husband, son and two cats. I studied French language and literature at University and my love of travel was born. After University I went to work in Greece as an English teacher, then worked in Poland and Thailand. On returning to the UK, I taught French for several years. I now run the village Post Office and work as a distance language tutor for a French company.

When not writing then I’m probably reading or blogging. I also love amateur dramatics and can be found treading the boards in the local panto – Oh yes I can!

1) Please tell me about your first book, and what started you writing in the first place

I guess that I’ve always written, mainly short stories and sketches when I was younger but I never thought I’d write a novel. After my son was born I didn’t want to go back in the classroom and luckily found a job working from home. With more time on my hands and a chance meeting with another writer, it was time to turn a short story into a book. Drawing on my experiences of living in Greece in the 1980s Jenna’s Journey was born.

2) How many books have you written and what are they?

Jenna’s Journey, my first book is a mystery romantic suspense set on a Greek island. My aim was only ever to write one book so that I could say ‘I’ve done it’. However, the characters and setting wouldn’t let me go and a second book, Sophia’s Secret, was the result. It’s darker than the first book and can be read as a standalone. Book three features Jenna once again but is present day and is called ‘Pandora’s Prophecy’. After that I worried that I couldn’t write anything that wasn’t about Greece so I wrote a short Christmas novel, a romantic comedy called ‘Callie’s Christmas Countdown.’ The latter is much more of a chicklit book than the others.

3) Which book are you most proud of writing?

I’m immensely proud to have written and published a book as so many people say they have a book in them but do nothing about it. Writing a novel is a real achievement but I’ll always have a soft spot for my firstborn. I sweated blood and tears over that book and learned so much.

4) Which book was your favourite to write?

I thought the second book would be easier to write but it wasn’t really even though I avoided many of the pitfalls that I fell into with Book 1. If anything the third book was probably the easiest to write as it seemed to flow more than the others.

5) Who are your favourite characters from your books and why?

I love Jenna. She’s trapped in a bad marriage, doesn’t know how to escape and runs away to Greece. Somehow despite being caught up in an artefact smuggling ring, she meets the man of her dreams and falls in love. She’s slightly dippy but also quite feisty and I like to think there’s a big dash of me in her.

6) If you could go back and change anything from any of your books, what would it be, and why?

Argghhh – don’t ! I must have rewritten the first book at least twelve times and as a writer the temptation is always to tweak. I must walk away and leave it alone even though I know there are things that I will probably change at some point. 

7) Which of your covers if your favourite and why?

I love the cover for Pandora’s Prophecy. The photo which I sourced from fotolia is just perfect, summoning up a vision of s sun-kissed beach but hinting at a darker side. With a serial killer running amok, it’s not your usual romance although there’s plenty of that too

8) Have you ever thought about changing genres, if so what else would you llke to write?

I’d love to write historical fiction as I’m a huge fan of Philippa Gregory. The only problem is the mountains of research in order to be accurate and if you make the tiniest mistake, you’ll have hoards of irate readers pointing it out. Maybe one day though.

9) Looking forward can you let us know what you are working on next? 

It’s slow going but I’m working on something different. It’s about three sisters who gather at their father’s hospital bedside. It involves him reliving his previous lives ( historical research needed ) as well as the contemporary lives of the sisters, each one harbouring a secret.  

10) I dare not ask for a favourite author, but is there any author’s back catalogue you admire and why? 

With my passion for Greece and history I have to say I hugely admire Victoria Hislop. She manages to tell a good story as well as transporting the reader to another place and time.

11) Finally, is there anything else you would like to say about your back catalogue of books? 

Thank you for showcasing my back catalogue. It’s easy to overlook the earlier books of a writer. 

You are very welcome Julie and thank you for coming on to Rachel's Random Reads.

About Julie Ryan

Julie Ryan’s roots are in a small mining village in South Yorkshire. After a degree in French Language and Literature, wanderlust kicked in and she lived and worked in France, Poland, Thailand and Greece. Her spirit enriched, her imagination fired, Julie started a series of mystery romances, thrillers set in the Greek Isles. 

Jenna's Journey is the first novel in Julie Ryan’s Greek Islands Series, a series she did not set out to create but which took on its own life and grew, rich and fascinating. This is the first of three published so far and promises to delight readers looking for the hidden dark sides of dream vacations in the Greek Isles.

In a new venture, Julie's latest book is a short rom-com called Callie's Christmas Countdown.

A prolific and well-known book review blogger, Julie does her writing and reviewing from rural Gloucestershire, where she lives with her husband, son and dippy cat with half a tail.

You can find Julie on her websites:

Website/blog for book reviews
on Facebook
and on Twitter @julieryan18

Buy links





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