Author Interview | The Secret Notebook @rararesources

Today I have author Julia Wild here answering some questions.

The Secret Notebook
Julia Wild

When Izzie Dean’s beloved nan, Molly Blackshaw, passes away, Izzie returns to the Blackpool bungalow where she grew up, to say goodbye once and for all. When Izzie’s homecoming reunites her with her first love, Justin Swift, every emotion that Izzie has repressed since the day he broke her heart comes rushing to the surface. But then an unexpected discovery changes everything.

Between the pages of the battered secret diary Molly kept during WWII, Izzie discovers a story of love, heartbreak, and the incomparable hardship of life in a world at war. Reading her grandmother’s words soon puts her own story into perspective, and suddenly Izzie realises that the only thing holding her back from happiness, might be herself. Now she just has to convince Justin that they deserve a second chance at forever…

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What would you like to achieve?

My absolute magical dream is to have The Secret Notebook – and then all my backlist – optioned by film makers – or for a TV serial. That would be my dream come true! A runaway best seller would be fantastic, too!

How long have you been a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association?

I joined in 1993 as a result of meeting a writing tutor on a residential historical writing course; the tutor loved my work in progress and said that I must join the association and that they would be a good help for me with their unique New Writers’ Scheme.

How long did it take you to be published after joining the Romantic Novelists’ Association?

It took me until 1997 to have a book accepted for publication – but at that time I had already been writing in earnest since 1989. By the time I was published, I had tried writing historical tomes and medical stories – those after hearing a talk by Mills and Boon when they were looking for medical romance writers. After the talk, I picked up a copy of ‘Nursing Times’ and a medical dictionary on the way home!

Do you listen to music whilst you write?

I used to listen to music non-stop whilst writing and would have my favourites on repeat – but now I tend to work in the quiet, or just occasionally have music playing. It can be very inspirational for certain scenes.

Do you have any research stories?

I do. I began by writing swashbuckling historical romances – and I really wanted to write a story about a heroine being married from the gallows – but I wasn’t sure how to find out when the last instance of this took place. This was before Google or the internet – so I phoned Cambridge University and asked to be put through to a History Professor! A lovely chap called V A C Gatrell at the university answered my barrage of questions most patiently! Coincidentally, he told me he had a book coming out that had all that kind of detail in called ‘The Hanging Tree’, but it wasn’t until the following year (1994) so I bumbled on with the information he gave me verbally. He was a very helpful fellow.

Also, for another story, my second to be published, Blue Silk Promise, I wanted to know how to blow a lorry tyre up, so I phoned a forensic accident investigator. He told me what I wanted to know – but said, ‘No!’ When I asked if he would like me to mention him in an acknowledgement in my book. He was very helpful, though, despite this.

Lancashire born, I moved to Bedfordshire in the late seventies, married and started a family. I’m a past Hon Sec of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, have been a member since 1993 when I joined their New Writers’ Scheme as a probationer. That came about after winning a week’s historical writing course on the strength of the first chapter of my third Poldark-era romance. The tutor on the last day loved the story and handed me details of the Romantic Novelists’ Association – she said I absolutely must join as they would be able to help me towards publication.

Some four years later my first published book, Dark Canvas, won the RNA’s New Writer’s Award in 1997, the sixth, Illusions, won the RNA’s Romance Prize in 2003.

After working in the local library service for 18 years, during library cut-backs I took the leap to become self-employed as a writer and worked on releasing my backlist as eBooks for Kindle.

Most recently, I’ve had the pleasure of working with amazing Charlotte Ledger when she pulled me from the writing wilderness and have now signed a three-book deal with One More Chapter.

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