Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Author Julia Hughes Interview!

Hi all!
Please help me welcome Julia Hughes to my blog today!

 Her newest book, The Griffin Cryer is coming out tomorrow, 12/12/12!
Here is her interview that she shared with me!

What is your name? Do you use a pen name (if so, why?)?

Hi Jodie, and thank you for this opportunity to meet all your lovely blog visitorsJ I write under the name of Julia Hughes. Julia is my Christian name, and Latin in origin meaning “Young at Heart”. Hughes is Welsh (Celtic) in origin; but better still as far as my sons are concerned, because I write under my maiden name, none of their friends have to know about their mum’s scribbling.

Tell me a bit about yourself:

What type of genre do you write?
I started out writing pure adventure, but a slight fantasy element kept creeping into my stories. I left it there! After the “Celtic Cousins” trilogy, I wanted something completely different, and wrote a fairy tale romance: “The Bridle Path”. However, my latest title “The Griffin Cryer” which is due to be released by Talon Publishing on the 12/12/12 is a young adult fantasy.

What genre do you personally read?
In my opinion, truth is stranger than fiction, so biographies and history are my favourite reading materials. I recently devoured “How to Survive the Titanic” (J Bruce Ismay’s biography) and “Invasion of the Norsemen” which centred on the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066. Shortly after the Norse invasion, the Normans invaded England. Had it been the other way around, we might now be living in a very different world!

Tell me about your latest?
My latest title is “The Griffin Cryer”, and will be published by Talon Publishing on 12/12/12 – so hopefully it should be available round about now. (River gods willing!) The main character, Frankie Shaunessy, is an ordinary schoolgirl, who accidently summons a griffin and his rider from another world. The Rider is tall, blond and extremely rude. On the other hand, Balkind is the sweetest, most lovable griffin Frankie's ever met, and she’s determined to help the Rider and his griffin find a way back to their own world. 

What sparked your passion for books and the art of a good story?
C.S. Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia. It’s comforting somehow that these stories continue to enchant young readers. In “The Last Battle” Lewis explains that the Narnians and their friends continue to have fantastic adventures – and that one sentence sparked my desire to write.

*Is there a particular book that changed or affected your life in a big way? *
Jodie sorry – can we skip this question – I started to answer and it turned into a mini bio on how my perspective on life changed after reading “Testament of Youth” & I’m sure it would bore most people to deathJ

Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
No. No messages. None at all. LOL! Well since you asked … “A Raucous Time” and “An Explosive Time” are just sheer fun – if there’s any message in those two stories it is that life is for living – go ahead and take chances – in “An Explosive Time” the message is to expect the unexpected!
Of course, the unexpected can have tragic consequences. “A Ripple in Time” revolves around the RMS Titanic disaster: “Fate is inexorable” is the message, but hopefully a subtle one.
 “The Bridle Path” is a fairy-tale type romance set in Cornwall. The message is that we all deserve to be better than “good enough”; we all have the ability to be “magnificent” and if we try, we can do it! If “The Griffin Cryer” has a message, it’s that sometimes we need the help of others to escape the prisons we’ve created for ourselves. I think message is too strong a word though, themes or suggestions maybe? My priority is to entertain readers with a good old fashioned adventure!

What challenges have you faced in your writing career?
The biggest challenge is getting out of bed early enough to sneak in a few hours of writing. Without appearing too much of a prima donna, I like to write in complete silence – just the voices inside my head to keep me company!

What has been your best moment as a writer?
It’s hard to single out just one. It’s always rewarding when a complimentary review comes my way, it’s good to know others enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing the stories.

Who is your author idol?
Stephen Spencer. I’d love to be able to write like him. In my opinion, Stephen’s “Paul Mallory” thrillers deserve to be bestsellers, and I’m certain it’s only a matter of time before they are.

Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
Yes – but I’m not telling you which ones! Here’s a clue: If you’re ever reading any of my stories, decide which character appears to be the most bewildered and easily led into trouble. That’s usually me!

Do you feel like your dream has come true or is there much more to do?
My dream has come true, but there are still so many more story lines and possibilities I want to explore.

What does your workspace look like?
I write on a laptop so: In summer I’m in the garden, in winter usually I’m holed up in the kitchen. A little too handy for the fridge!

Have you ever had a day when you just wanted to quit?
Again – more than one day – LOL! Some days it is very lonely; and sometimes I feel very selfish, because I do get quite self-absorbed when writing.

What do you do when you’re not writing?
I’m fairly energetic – I adore messing about on boats and love to swim in deep water; a few of my friends own horses, so I can always ride. I enjoy playing tennis, football, basketball and cycling, and we’ve three dogs so I’m always walking. That’s the stuff I do, given half the chance!

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
Luckily for me, sanity is the one thing you don’t need as a writer.

Did you have a moment when you realized you were meant to be a writer?
Not really, I’ve always enjoyed being transported to other worlds by books, after finishing a story that grabbed me; I’d often invent more adventures for that story’s characters – “Fan Fiction” I suppose. Creating my own characters is a whole new experience; it’s surprising how many arrive almost fully formed. I still think of myself as a reader who enjoys writing.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Beg, steal or borrow a few beta readers, so you can have other people’s perspective on your work. Just because you know what’s inside your head, don’t assume others will too. There’s a craft to communicating your thoughts and ideas via the medium of words on paper in an entertaining story. Good beta readers will let you know where you’re succeeding and where you lost them.

After this book, what is next?
I’m working on a short story featuring the two teenagers, Winny and Sebastian, from “The Bridle Path”. The working title is “Adverse Canter” and will be up on my website as a freebie over the Christmas period.
 “The Griffin Cryer” is a complete story in around 50,000 words, but there are more adventures when Frankie journeys into the Rider’s world. I’m toying with titles, and a favourite at the moment is “The Griffin Princess”, but that may change in the future.

A RAUCOUS TIME AMAZON.COM : http://www.amazon.com/Raucous-Celtic-Cousins-Adventures-ebook/dp/B0062SDMV8/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

AMAZON.CO.UK : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Raucous-Celtic-Cousins-Adventures-ebook/dp/B0062SDMV8/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

A RIPPLE IN TIME : AMAZON.COM : http://www.amazon.com/Ripple-Time-Titanic-adventures-ebook/dp/B005CF7PJW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1354659963&sr=1-1

AMAZON.CO.UK : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ripple-Time-Titanic-adventures-ebook/dp/B005CF7PJW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1354659963&sr=1-1

AN EXPLOSIVE TIME: AMAZON.COM : http://www.amazon.com/Explosive-Celtic-Cousins-Adventures-ebook/dp/B007COSZX6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1354660106&sr=1-1

AMAZON.CO.UK : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Explosive-Celtic-Cousins-Adventures-ebook/dp/B007COSZX6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1354660106&sr=1-1

THE BRIDLE PATH: AMAZON.COM : http://www.amazon.com/The-Bridle-Path-ebook/dp/B007QN7WQY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1354660302&sr=1-1

AMAZON.CO.UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Bridle-Path-ebook/dp/B007QN7WQY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=13546603 

She can be found at:

Your website?

Other websites?

Where can your books be found?
My books are available in eBook and print format, and can be found online at Amazon, or at all good bookshops in paperback.

Website: Julia Hughes : http://www.juliahughes.co.uk/
Talon Publishing : http://www.Talonpublishing.com
Twitter: @Tinksaid : https://twitter.com/tinksaid

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