Today we are chatting to Julie Whitley author of Secrets of the Home Wood: the Sacrifice
Tell us something unexpected about yourself!
I am a grandmother and I have just learned to scuba dive! Overcoming my fear was a great accomplishment and now I love diving. You’re never too old to learn something new or conquer something that scares you.
What kind of books do you write?
My debut series is an adventure/fantasy geared towards YA, but enjoying a cross-over audience. I love building a world and bringing it to life for my readers.
What inspired you to write?
Reading inspired me to write. I have had a life-long passion for books. When I was nine years old, I decided I wanted to put my own stories on paper and spent many hours writing and illustrating. I continued with writing sporadically throughout my adult years with creative writing courses. Retirement finally allowed me to knuckle down and complete my first novel.
What makes your writing stand out from the crowd?
To keep up with what my daughter was reading, she would pass along her books to me. I truly enjoyed the YA genre. One thing I thought was missing was the whole family. I like that the young protagonists are portrayed as independent and brave, but I didn’t care for the adults as being either absent or evil.
So in my book, I took an approach that I feel makes it stand out. I revolved the points of view of the three members of the family, Jonathon the son, David the father, and Sarah the mother. A crisis between them precipitated a physical separation. Through this loss, they realize how much they all still need each other. The obstacles and trials they experience separately, gradually bring them together, but they’re not safe until they step outside their own problem and stop the looming war.
What is the hardest part of writing – for you?
The hardest part of writing for me is being consistent and disciplined with sitting down to write. I have the story constantly revolving in my head, but when life has other plans for my time, I put aside my writing time.
Where do you like to write – what is your routine?
I write in bed first thing in the morning. If I come downstairs to write, I am fair game for my family.
What do you do when you are not writing – do you have a day job?
I am retired from nursing. I worked in the Neonatal Intensive Care as a Transport Nurse. While I loved my job very much, it took its toll, so I opted for early retirement.
Other than writing, I also love to paint in watercolours and oils.
Do you work with an outline or just write?
I do a little of both actually. My first book was of the “pantser” style, with just a vague outline in my head. It took me a long time to move through the story that way, though, since I was constantly having to wait for the characters to speak up. My second novel is a little more organized. I have an outline for the first half of the story and a basic idea where it will end. I extend the outline as I write.
What advice would you have for other writers?
Write, connect with fellow writers, join a writing group if you can, find a class that’s helpful, have an editor you can work with who is not family.
How important is marketing and social media for you?
I have met a lot of wonderful people through social media. I know marketing is important, but I’ve found it very difficult. It is getting a little easier as time goes on and my experience grows.
What’s your next step?
My next step is to finish the sequel to Secrets of the Home Wood: the Sacrifice. It is called the Stalker.
Secrets of the Home Wood: the Sacrifice by Julie Whitley is available here.
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