Today, I am conducting a virtual chat with new, local author, Julia Firlotte, author of Trust in You which has just been released. Congratulations. Hi Julia.
Hi Rosemary, I hope you have coffee and cake ready.
Yes, indeed. Mine’s a cappuccino and carrot cake. Can you tell us a little about yourself and background?
Although I studied English Literature at A-Level, my passion during education was languages and I went on to study Spanish and German along with International Trade at University. I’ve worked since then in Logistics and Exports, but always loved reading. In fact University was key to this, because I completely fell out of the habit of watching TV in the evenings and never resumed. I’m married and live with my husband, two children and cats.
When did you know that you wanted to become a writer? And how did you go about it?
I always had stories in my head and one day I simply went out and bought a laptop. As soon as I started, I couldn’t stop. Of course I had a lot to learn, I still do, but I knew I really wanted to do it professionally when I had my first manuscript printed on A4 at a stationers for beta feedback and couldn’t stop grinning. It was an exciting moment seeing it on paper for the first time. I also joined The Author Learning Centre and Chindi.
Who are your favourite authors, who do you feel has influenced you the most?
Jaine Diamond is my favourite author, although her writing is at a heat level higher than my own, I simply adore her wit and the character interactions in her stories. She portrays the male characters particularly well and always leaves you not wanting to put the book down until you finish.
Writers are often readers too, what is on your reading list?
At the moment I have a list of novels to read for ARC reviews, so they are mostly authors I have not read before. Usually though some of my other favorites are Chrystal Kaswell, Kendall Ryan and Charlaine Harris.
Do you base any of your characters on real people?
No! But I might take certain characteristics of people I know and blend them a little.
How much of you is in your heroine?
Not a lot! She’s not very resilient,but will get stronger.
Can you tell us what genre your books are and the audience you write for?
My books are romance, they range from romantic suspense, contemporary and also futuristic. I write primarily for ladies between 30 and 50 years old.
Tell us about your road to publication. Was it short and sweet? Long and winding with many bumps?
I decided to start my journey as self-published, simply because I think as a debut author, I’d heard that being accepted by a publisher was a tough and often crushing process. Not that I’m not up for a challenge, but at the time (and now!) writing was my passion and release, I didn’t want anything to taint that experience.
I did later approach a publisher, was accepted to be reviewed, however soon realized that many aspects of my book and established marketing plan I had already invested heavily in (and got exactly as I wanted) would likely then be altered and the lead-times greatly extended. For better or worse, I also wanted the challenge of managing a business, so decided I preferred to be my own boss and withdrew my application. Flexible deadlines which I can manage alongside my job and family and writing what I want are also key for me.
What is your writing process? And how long does it take?
I’m a bit of a pantser to be honest, although I try and have a rough idea where the story is headed. That’s probably the reason why I’ve in effect written five full length novels and actually only have one fully finished. I get beta feedback and then find I have to re-write nearly the whole thing! I’m sure as I continue to develop my craft, I’ll get better at this.
What is more important in your books – the plot twists or the characters?
The Characters! It’s all about the emotions and feelings for me!
How do you go about editing? It is a tricky business for self-published authors BUT very important.
As a new author with no connections, I found my editor by going through the writer’s guidebook editors’ section in detail, shortlisting a few and getting a sample of their editing style. What’s most important for me, aside from experience and ability, is that my editor is enthusiastic and encouraging. Prior to editing I of course go through the Beta readers stage for feedback.
Who designs your book covers?
I found a few different design companies at the London Book Fair last year, and although I know there are many, many cheaper companies online, I chose Hybert Design for the high quality of their work.
How do you divide your time between promotion and writing?
When I’m in the middle of a novel I spend more time writing than on promotion and vice versa prior to a launch. I also use a local social media company who post for me on a weekly basis, with a young family and day job, there are only so many hours in the week.
How do you keep track of your plot, characters, sub plots and so forth as you write?
I constantly re-read my work at different sections; it keeps the plots fresh in my mind.
Are you influenced by films and TV dramas, if so which?
No, I read, read, read and except for the occasional box set series, I watch no TV at all.
If your books were made into a film. Who would you pick as your leading actors?
Adam Brook would be Tom Hardy
Dan Monks would be Chris Hemsworth
Ella Peterson would be Emily Rudd
Apart from writing what are your favourite past times?
Reading, haha, does that count? I’m a black belt in Judo, I go to the gym, love cycling, salsa dancing and also enjoy cooking.
What inspires you?
Everything! From seeing strangers interacting on the tube, to imagining my characters reactions to different weather conditions and environments to family interactions,
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on a futuristic enemies to lovers romance called Shockwaves, although I may change the title, it’s currently in the 2nd draft stage.
I’m also planning the next two in the romantic suspense series Falling for You series called Faith in Him and Believe in Me. The first novel in the series is my debut, on sale from April 6th 2020.
Well, good luck with the new book. It’s exciting times and thanks for stopping by, Julia.
Author Website and Blog: https://www.juliafirlotteauthor.com
Purchase via: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=Julia+firlotte
Readers reviews: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47841242-trust-in-you
Facebook Page: Julia Firlotte Author
Facebook Group: Romance Chit Chat
First Tuesday of every month, Romance Chit Chat – Readers and Writers Group.
Creations Hair Salon, Chichester – 6-8pm – to be resumed after the lockdown, hopefully.