Hi Julia, thanks for coming to chat to us today!
Q1. It’s Never Too Late To Say, which is out now, is the final in your recent trilogy. Was it hard to say goodbye?
It was really hard to say goodbye, almost like waving off family members to a new life on the other side of the world. I guess in one book you get to know and understand your characters but over the course of the trilogy we became quite intimate. Who knows, maybe I will do a spin off book at some point in the future and a prequel is definitely on the cards.
Q2.What’s next for the writing? What are you working on currently?
I have recently finished my first ever short story which I really enjoyed writing so I may do more of those. I am also working on a Christmas novella and planning a couple of other full length novels. I’ve come to novel writing comparatively late in life – so many ideas, so little time!
Q3. In addition to your books, you are also somewhat of a TV star! Which aspect of your professional life do you love the most, and dislike?
It’s kind of you to say so, but I’m only known in the world of shopping television really. I love appearing on live TV which is strange as I’m quite a shy person in real life. My role at QVC has changed over the twenty-three years I have been there with the advent of social media. Fortunately I am adaptable by nature and I must confess I love a bit of Twitter. I am also required to write a weekly blog on the QVC website and that has become a favoured part of my job.
Q4. A typical day in the life of Julia – what does that look like?
There are two different types of typical days in my life. If I’m working at QVC, I get up have breakfast, catch up on social media and email, then head off to work. When I get there I do my make-up, hair and nails ( yes, we have to do it ourselves with occasional exceptions) and then I will get to know the products I will be presenting and go and meet any guests who will be appearing with me on the shows. I normally do three hours of live television spread over a six to eight hour day. On non QVC days I will often start writing straight after breakfast and sit at it for six hours or more with only a short break for lunch. If possible I try to squeeze a Pilates workout in three times a week. I do enjoy relaxing evenings in front of the TV or reading.
Q5. I collect elephant ornaments (and books of course!) – do you have something you collect?
Abandoned or mistreated cats, apparently! Our first cat, Dylan, was abandoned by his owners when they moved home. Our second, Charlie, was the third kitten in a litter and was accidentally missed by his mother’s owner when the kittens were moved to his girlfriend’s to be better looked after. He was two weeks old when we adopted him and we had to bottle feed him to start with – very touch and go, but he survived. More recently my daughter rescued a litter of kittens from mistreatment and we now look after one of them, alongside my elderly cat Poppy who has reached the grand old age of twenty-one, one hundred and five in cat years!
Q6. Women writers, and romance writers in particular, often see prejudice and a certain ‘pigeon holing’ when it comes to their books – what would you say about your own work?
I don’t take much notice of people’s prejudices as you have to grow a thick skin in the entertainment world. All that matters to me is that the people who read my work enjoy it for what it is… I’m not trying to be the next Shakespeare or Agatha Christie.
Q7. If you could branch out into a different genre, which one would you choose and why?
As a self-published author there are no restrictions on what I write. I will probably write a thriller at some point and definitely a romantic comedy if I’m able. I want to challenge myself to write in all the different genres that I find pleasure in reading.
Q8. Do you have any tips for the budding novelists out there reading this?
As Nike would say, ‘Just Do it.’ If you’ve got an idea for a story with a start, a middle and an end, just write it in your own words – there are plenty of professional editors who can help you lick it into shape when you are first starting out. I also used professionals for my cover designs and formatting as I want my end product to look as good as anything else on the shelves of a book shop.
Q9. What are you reading currently?
I don’t have as much time as I would like to read, but on a recent holiday I read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, and The Litigators by John Grisham. I’ve also just finished My Husband’s Wife by Amanda Prowse and I try to read every book written by Mary Higgins Clark. Quite diverse really.
Q10. Finally, do you have a next goal or dream in life? If so, what is it?
I would like to have a Times Bestseller (wouldn’t we all) and it would be fantastic if the Liberty Sands trilogy was made into a movie… I can dream can’t I?? And a chat show on ITV would be pretty cool too but I guess I shouldn’t be greedy!
Thanks to Julia for coming to chat today – I loved the answers!
The Liberty Sands Trilogy is out now