It’s that time of the week again and I’m delighted to welcome Julie Ryan to Bloomin’ Brilliant Books for today’s Author Influences.
Which authors/books did you like to read as a child?
I grew up on Enid Blyton. Thanks to her Famous Five series I discovered the love of a good story and the sheer escapism of reading is just as enjoyable today.
Were you good at English at school? Did you like it?
I was pretty good at English although I struggled a bit with Shakespeare and poetry. I think because I read a lot, grammar and spelling were never a problem but at school my first love was French.
What genres do you like to read? Have they had an impact on the genre you write?
I love historical fiction, romance, crime and thrillers. In fact I would say that my writing is a combination of all those genres. Reading most definitely influences me as a writer.
If you were to write a different genre what would it be and why?
I’ve never written proper historical fiction and I think that’s because I know, despite all the research, some bright spark will spot a bloomer. However, the historical aspect is becoming stronger in my romances so who knows in the future?
Did any author’s work encourage you to pick up your pen and write and if so who, what and why?
I’ve always been interested in Greece but one day, long before I actually visited the country I came across The Magus by John Fowles. I was blown away by the magic and mystery he managed to convey. Not long afterwards I got a job as a language teacher in Greece. That was the beginning and I had no idea then how important the book and Greece would become in later life.
Are there any authors who, as soon as they publish a new book, you have to get it?
There are a few – Victoria Hislop, Kate Morton, Philippa Gregory, Kate Mosse – all brilliant writers whose next work I always look forward to.
Which books have you read that have made you think ’Wow, I wish I had written that’ and what was it about the book?
Last summer I read The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman. Not only is it well-written but it encompasses many of the themes of my own writing except that she does it so much better. It has time travel, alternative futures, great characters and sense of place. It has quickly become one of my new favourites.
Have any of your plots/characters been influenced by real life events/people? (Be careful, I don’t want you getting sued!)
The story of Jenna in Jenna’s Journey was loosely based on my own experiences. As a writer, no one character is based on a real person but there are many influences that come together to create a new character. I love it once the character comes ‘alive’ and starts telling me as a writer what to do.
Huge thanks for taking part, Julie.
The first in Julie’s Greek Island Series, Jenna’s Journey is out now. Here’s what it’s about:
Heading to the Greek Isles without telling husband or friends is heady medicine for a failing marriage. Seduced by Grecian sun and sky, Jenna innocently obtains an ancient urn that tangles her into a web of a criminal world more sinister then she could ever have imagined. Romance is always afoot in the Greek Isles and Jenna gets a large helping with the seductive Nikos.
Twenty-five years later, Allie takes this same journey in a story that spans 25 years and intertwines the lives of mother and daughter. Twisty as the streets in a Greek island village, full of unexpected characters and threatening villains, Jenna’s Journey will keep you turning pages far into the night.
About Julie Ryan
Julie Ryan’s roots are in a small mining village in South Yorkshire. After a degree in French Language and Literature, wanderlust kicked in and she lived and worked in France, Poland, Thailand and Greece. Her spirit enriched, her imagination fired, Julie started a series of mystery romances, thrillers set in the Greek Isles.
Jenna’s Journey is the first novel in Julie Ryan’s Greek Islands Series, a series she did not set out to create but which took on its own life and grew, rich and fascinating. This is the first of three published so far and promises to delight readers looking for the hidden dark sides of dream vacations in the Greek Isles.
In a new venture, Julie’s latest book is a short rom-com called Callie’s Christmas Countdown.
A prolific and well-known book review blogger, Julie does her writing and reviewing from rural Gloucestershire, where she lives with her husband, son and dippy cat with half a tail.