Author interview ~ Julie Shackman

Becca's Books is delighted to have the wonderful Julie Shackman here to answer some questions about her debut novel Rock My World. Julie, it is a pleasure to have you on my blog, let's get started! 

1.) Rock My World is not only a fun and flirty read, but there's a whole lot of paranormal going on in there too. What made you want to include that aspect in your novel? Do you believe in ghosts? 

I really don't know where the idea of making one of the characters a ghost came from. I was sitting drafting ideas and characters and the idea just popped into my mind. I have an open mind on things like ghosts!

2.) One of the things I loved most about Rock My World was how you jumped back and forth to different times in the history of your character's lives. Did this ever get confusing at any point? 

No, not usually. If I thought I might get a bit confused, I'd make extra notes and then I'd have a bit more of a clearer idea where I was when I went back the next day. I wanted to try and give my characters extra depth - I hope I managed it! 

3.) Your character Matt was a bit of a hottie to say the least. Did you enjoy creating him? Was he based on anyone real or purely created from your imagination? 

Oh Matt! He was great fun to create! I wanted a hero who was obviously sexy but had a bit of an emotional edge to him. I'd seen a clip of Bradley Cooper playing Face in the movie The A-Team and there's one point where he kisses a French girl. She slaps him but he just grins at her, breaths "Ooh-la-la" and then kisses her again. I wanted to create Matt in that sexy, wolfish but slightly arrogant mould. 

4.) How long did it take you to write Rock My World? What made you choose to write and publish a story? Is it something that you've always wanted to do? 

It took several months to write and polish. Then I started sending it off to agents and publishers and Not So Noble Books were very quick, saying they enjoyed it and wanted to publish it - I was delighted! I've been obsessed with books and writing, right from an early age and being a writer was what I always wanted to do. 

5.) What would you say was the scariest past of publishing Rock My World? Has it reached as many readers as you thought it would? 

I think the scariest part was actually finishing it and then sending it out. I think most writers wonder what sort of reaction there will be to your work. The response and comments I am receiving about Rock My World are terrific and I hope people continue to enjoy it. 

6.) Are you planning to write any more novels? I think after reading Rock My World you definitely have a talent with words and writing! I loved it so much! 

Thank you so much Becca - it's great when readers tell you that! I've written my second novel (also a rom-com) and am polishing that at the moment. I've also just started jotting down research and ideas for my third novel (also a rom-com) which will feature a well-known figure from history. 

7.) What's your writing routine like? Do you like to have a hot drink whilst you write? Or some music playing in the background? Or do you just let your fingers hit the keyboard and type away? 

I have to usually get out of the house and go to a local coffee shop. I tend to get too distracted if I'm at home! I like places where there is music as I can't seem to write with just silence. I'll try and get as much down as I can in my notebook and then return home to edit it and type it up. 

8.) How long were you planning Rock My World before you actually put it all to words? 

I spent a good few weeks sketching out the characters, plot ideas and doing a bit of research on the internet before I started to write it. 

9.) There was one part in the story where Ruby has an erotic dream involving Matt. What made you want to include that? Was there a particular reason? I loved that part by the way. Definitely added a little bit of steam to the mix ;) 

I wanted to show how much of an effect Matt had on Ruby, even though she was protesting that he didn't mean a thing to her and even disliked him. There's a real chemistry there but she's so convinced (or at least thinks she is!) that relationships don't work for her, she keeps shutting him out - but for how long?!

10.) There was a huge twist that I most definitely did not see coming and it blew my mind! Did you know that you were going to make that happen from the beginning or did it come to you after you'd written a large part of the story? 

That idea came to me just after I had started writing the opening chapters and when it did, I thought "Oh, that could throw things around a bit!" It seemed to send my characters into different directions as well, which I liked. 

11.) To any aspiring writers out there, what's the advice that you would give them? 

Read lots of books, write lots and just don't give up. I don't think you can be a writer, if you're not an avid reader. If you want to be published, it will happen. You've just got to be persistent.  

12.) How important are reviews for your book? 

Reviews for any author are important - it's the feedback from readers that means the world to me and makes my writing mean so much more. 

Thanks for such a lovely interview Becca! X

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~ Julie Shackman's author bio ~ 

I trained as a journalist but writing romance has always been a dream of mine. When I've not got my head in a book or drafting one, I write verses and captions for greeting card companies. Writing at home seems to be incredibly difficult for me - I usually require coffee, music and noise. 

"Rock My World" is my first contemporary romance novel. I have just finished writing my second novel and am polishing that at the moment whilst beginning to do some research for my third. These are also contemporary romances with a good dose of humour (hopefully!). I'm married, have two sons and live in Scotland. 

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Thanks so much Julie, it's been wonderful having you here! 
Don't forget to check out the links above to find out a little bit more about the author and her novel. I hope you've enjoyed reading!
Becca xxx

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