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#HIFortnight - Author Q&A ~ Jules Wake

Welcome back to Day 7 of Harper Impulse Fortnight!! I can't believe it's been a week already! Wow!!

I know my posts have been absent the past couple of days, and again I apologise. We have glitches in technology at the moment as the internet, telephone services are being 'updated' so coverage is a little ... scarce at times. 

Yesterday we welcomed into the world a Princess, and I want to say a HUGE congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their new arrival.

Today on A Page of Fictional Love we have a fabulous interview with Jules Wake, author of the upcoming From Italy with Love 

Dawn: Hi, and welcome to A Page of Fictional Love. It's lovely to have you here as part of Harper Impulse Fortnight. 

Jules: Hi Dawn and thank you so much for having me.  Writing can be damaging to the ego, so the support of the blogging community is invaluable!

Dawn: Congratulations on your soon to be published novel; FromItaly With Love. You must be so excited? 

Jules: I can’t wait.  I’m just checking the final proofs at the moment … but I’m very pleased with it.  In fact some bits I read and think, ‘did I really write that?’

Dawn: Can you remember the moment that you discovered that Harper Impulse were going to publish your novel? 

Jules: Yes … my agent emailed me a copy of my publisher’s email accepting the book.  Charlotte’s out and out enthusiasm for my characters, Cam and Laurie, made me cry!

Dawn: As it's Harper Impulse Fortnight, can you share your experience of being an author with Harper Impulse?

Jules: It’s been the best publishing experience so far.   I can’t get over how excited and enthusiastic my publisher’s team has been about the story, the characters and the cover.  I also love the HarperImpulse fortnight idea and how it’s organised by all the HarperImpulse authors and bloggers sharing and being so supportive of each other.

Dawn: As someone who has written extremely short stories, I know how difficult I find the process of writing to be when you're trying to cram all your bursts of ideas in. How do you find the writing process? Are there any tips you have on writing a better novel? 

Jules: Well I’ve just converted from being a pantser to a plotter which has seen a radical change in the way I approach writing.  I’ve always been what they call a pantser – fly by the seat of your pants and make it up as you go along.  This can be great because ideas just pop into your head, but it makes the day to day writing excruciating because you don’t always know what you’re going to write each time you sit down at the keyboard.  When it comes to looking at the first draft I end up ditching an awful lot of really good stuff that I was inspired to write and love but actually it doesn’t move the story along or contribute to the plot.
 My latest novel I planned scene by scene and wrote the first draft of 87,000 in 33 days.  It was so much easier as every time I sat down I knew exactly the scene I was going to write.
 My best writing tip ever, ‘Always park your mini downhill.’ So at the end of each writing day, try to finish on a bit that will be easy to pick up the next day.

Dawn: Can you share with us a typical writing day for you? 

Jules: I do laugh when people tell me that they would love to write a book but don’t have the time.  I have a day job, so I don’t start writing until about five o’clock in the evening, however on my journey to work in the mornings I think about my characters and their story, so that I really get to know them.   As soon as I get home I try to get a quick hour in then, before making dinner for everyone, and after that I usually write from 7.30 onwards.  I always set myself a daily target of a 1,000 words but when I wrote my last novel it was 2,000 – 3,000. 

Keeping that word count going and sticking to it, is vital.

Dawn: Where did your inspiration for From Italy With Love come from? 

Jules: I was at a set of traffic lights on my way to work listening to the Chris Evan’s Breakfast show on BBC Radio 2, when live on the show he started up the engine of a GT250 Ferrari and I was so taken with the magnificent roar of the engine, like a dragon under the bonnet, that it fired up my imagination.  I started wondering what it would be like for a very ordinary person to own an extraordinary car like that.

Dawn: What was the last book you read, and what did you enjoy most about it? 

Jules: To be honest the last two books I didn’t finish.  As a writer, I’m now far less tolerant of things that I think writers are being lazy about.  One book was the third in a series and there was far too much tell and not show and a huge amount of backstory about the other two books that I’d read.  The other one was a thriller but by the time the third female character had gone to confront an over the top really gruesome serial killer without back up, without a phone, without a gun and without telling anyone where they’d gone … I lost patience.

Dawn: Who is your writing inspiration? 

Jules: I absolutely adore anything by Jill Mansell and have read some of her books two or three times. She’s a fantastic story teller with wonderful characters.  Their warmth just leaps off the page and that is something that I would love to be able to do – create characters that readers fall in love with.  On the more literary side, I think Tracy Chevalier is utterly brilliant. She writes in such a lean, spare style without a wasted word.  In my early drafts I over-write terribly and have to slash a lot when I do the first re-write.

Dawn: Now, From Italy With Love is due to be published in eBookversion on 14th may, and in Paperback 30th July. Have you got any celebration plans for Publication day? 

Jules: There’ll definitely be Prosecco! And now I’m thinking … an Italian themed banquet with some of my friends and family.  And if I can find anyone with a spare one, perhaps a spin in a Ferrari! Definitely an on-line launch with a flurry of social media … which I’m currently planning. 

Dawn: What is it like to hold your paperback in your hand? 

Jules: Difficult to believe I really did it! Writing is not for the faint-hearted.  I could wallpaper my study with all the rejections I’ve received over the years. It’s just an amazing endorsement when someone believes in your writing.

Dawn: I love any book set in the Mediterranean, and always had this fantasy of being swept off my feet by an Italian Man. What would your dreamiest book hero hunk be like? 

Jules: I was addicted to the BBC series of Merlin and was always rather partial to the knights, Sir Percival, Sir Gwaine and Sir Leon.  I think a rugged mediaeval knight would suit me just fine. There’s more than a hint of Eoin Macken who played Sir Gwaine, in With Love From Italy’s hero, Cam.

Dawn: Lastly, what can we look forward to in From Italy WithLove

Jules: I like to think of it as Cinderella meets Top Gear.  One vintage Ferrari, two characters with very different agendas and a road trip across Europe quite a few twists and turns along the way.  It has romance, family trouble and the warmth of the Mediterranean sun. 

Dawn: I can't believe this is the end of the interview (sob!) I've had such a great time talking with you for Harper Impulse Fortnight, I'd love to invite you back to talk more about From Italy With Love in the summer. 

From all my readers here and myself, we wish you the very best success with your new book, and can't wait to see it listed as a Bestseller! 

Jules: Wouldn’t that be lovely? Thank you so much for having me xxxx

To pre-order your copy of From Italy with Love head to amazon and purchase here 

1 comment

  1. What a great interview! Fab to find out more about Jules and I'm really looking forward to From Italy With Love xx