Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Thank you so much to Splashes into Books for having me on your blog, I really appreciate it and loved answering your questions.
The Secret Notebook, was inspired by several factors, including discussions with the lovely Charlotte Ledger of One More Chapter @ Harper Collins. This came about after I had submitted an historical that she loved but it didn’t fit their list, but she suggested I may like to try another era. As Mum and Dad ran a guest house in Blackpool during my teenage years, I used that as the location for the billeted RAF trainees in the Second World War, in particular the hero…
The story began with that idea and then became enfolded in a contemporary story that featured a romance in each era and the bond between a grandmother and granddaughter, a hidden notebook revealing many secrets.
Yet for other books, Illusions, for example, I had been on my first hen night with a dear friend and her daughter… I wondered what would happen if a heroine met the man of her dreams on her hen night! Similarly, my other books too were coaxed from glimpses of real-life experiences or locations.
Once I’m happy with the names, I tend to plunge in and just write; it’s not as easy as I make that sound because the final draft bears little resemblance to the first rough draft! When I begin, I generally know the beginning and the ending and many of the bumps in the road for the romance occur whilst I’m writing – or in the middle of the night when I waken up with an idea!
I do both, sometimes it’s lovely just to feel the flow of a pen against paper, but of course, it’s far quicker to use the computer. Sometimes, if my shoulders are aching, I use Dragon (Voice to text) but that can be a bit dodgy if anyone comes in the room whilst you’re writing – and I return to typing if I come up to a romantic scene!
Currently that’s probably Izzie Dean from The Secret Notebook. She carries an emotional burden at the beginning and learns a great deal about herself as well as her Nan throughout the story; and I love the location that it is set by the sea in Blackpool where most of my teenage years were spent.
The names are something I will spend a long time on choosing until I’m happy with them. I have a wonderful book called The Guinness book of Names that I’ve had since the ‘90s and it lists popular surnames in different UK counties – also it lists which Christian names are the most popular in each decade, so that helps to get a sense of location and the era a story is set in.
Of course, that information is available online now, but there is something fun about using a book to discover the fitting names for my characters.
Probably Izzie, especially when towards the finale of the story, she rediscovers her sparkle.
Many thanks again, Splashes into Books, for your splendid questions and for having me on your blog, it is really appreciated. All the best, Julia Wild x
You’re very welcome, Julia – thank you for answering my questions, I enjoyed the opportunity to share you answers so others can also gain an insight into your inspiration, writing and book!
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…
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.
Social Media Links – www.facebook.com/authorjuliawild