I love featuring authors. When we choose an alternative path in life, we do it knowing there are no guarantees, certainly not in a writer’s life. My blog allows me to showcase others and I know only too well how important that is. I try very hard not to play favourites with it and am happy when I am approached for the opportunity but also very excited when there is a chance of playing the favourite card. I am a reader first, a voracious and appreciative one, especially when I find someone who crosses genres so easily.
I first came across Julia Blake when I read Fixtures and Fittings, a contemporary romance/drama. It wasn’t my usual read but there was something so real about it I wanted to read more by her, and I did. I have two current favourites, The Forest and Erinsmore. The first is a delicate weaving of magic, folklore, fantasy and fairy tale and is beautifully written, almost poetical. The latter Erinsmore has a Narnia flavour and is a delightful Young Adult fantasy any adult will love. Julia has a gift that allows her to write in different genres, and I am hoping you meet and like her as much as I do.
Let me introduce myself, my name is Julia Blake and I’m a multi-genre author from the East of England. Multi-genre is basically a posh way of saying I write what I please and refuse to let myself be labelled. I’ve always believed that a good story is a good story, be it set in the Tudor court, the Wild West, modern day New York, a fantasy kingdom or a galaxy far, far away. It’s the tale that counts, and if it keeps you turning the pages then that’s the mark of a good book. To date, I have published nine books in the genres of contemporary fiction, romantic suspense, sci-fi, folklore fantasy, Narnia inspired fantasy, short stories and poetry.
I’m often asked where do your stories come from? Every writer is different, but how it usually happens for me is a seed of an idea flashes into my mind, be it a scene or a piece of dialogue, an interesting character or sometimes a great book title. I walk around for days, weeks, months with this idea germinating in the dimmest recesses of my imagination. Slowly it grows, with new ideas and what ifs being added to it all the time, until suddenly it becomes a story I have to tell.
For example, over a decade ago I was at a family party where ages ranged from babies to great grandparents. Idly listening to the reminiscing of a group of elderly gents behind me, one of them suddenly came out with the best line ever – “Whatever happened to old Wally Twitchett?” I sat bolt upright in interest. Wally Twitchett? What a fantastic name.
Over the next few days, my imagination built a vivid image of him, right down to his protruding Adam’s apple, craggy nose, patched but clean clothes and old boneshaker bike he’d rattle around the village on, because, of course, he needed to live in a village full of characters as eccentrically named and as quirky as Wally himself. But it was a village with a secret, a village that nobody left, ever. Ooh, why? Because the village was next to a huge, impenetrable Forest with something evil lurking at its core that had placed a curse on the village many centuries earlier. A curse? Love it. What did this curse entail? And so on, and so on.
These ideas eventually coalesced into my most popular book to date – The Forest ~ a tale of old magic ~ published in October 2018, and a lovely postscript to this happened last year. I work part-time as a sales consultant and was putting through a sale for a lady. She wanted to put it on finance, and I asked for her maiden name, to which she replied “Twitchett”. I stared at her, “No relation to Wally Twitchett?” I asked. “He was my great uncle,” came the answer. Of course, I was thrilled and told her why. Intrigued, she googled the book and bought it there and then to share with her family, and we both wondered at the coincidence of it all.
That, for me, is one of the most exciting things about being a writer, the fact that I literally never know where the next idea will take me.
I agree with that last statement. It is exciting to never quite know where the next idea will come from or lead to. What do you think?
Questions for me? Want to share your views and ideas? Follow me and ask away:
I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites)