Julie Farrell author of Driving Me to You and Ruby in the Dust
About the Author
Life is for living, and I’m loving it!
I spent my twenties losing myself in light-hearted romantic fiction novels, which sparked my imagination with a desire to write my own stories. I’m happiest when I’m creating plots, characters, and dialogue – it’s like watching my very own Richard Curtis film inside my head, and I get to control the action and outcome!
My novels Ruby in the Dust and Driving Me to You are the products of my passion for writing!
I enjoy meditation, yoga, and Buddhist philosophy, all of which are subtly reflected in my work. I also love the music of Bob Dylan – he certainly knows how to create magic with words!
I live in the town of Maidenhead, in south-east England, which is a truly lovely place to be – as long as you stay clear of the town centre!
What inspired you to become a writer?
That’s a great question! I write because my mind drifts to daydreams of stories. The characters and plots become ‘real’ in my mind and I start to feel actual emotions from imagining them. It’s like watching a film in my mind, which I’m able to control myself! I love to then get those stories and characters out of my brain and onto the computer. And it’s such a pleasure to go back and revisit them later, to re-live it all over again!
I love to write in the romance genre, because I get so many pleasurable feelings from connecting with my characters. It incites love and contentment within me!
Who and/or what is your greatest inspiration?
The music of Bob Dylan incites within me some really powerful inspiration. His melodies strike me on such a primal level, and his lyrics are just amazing. He’s such a great wordsmith.
But generally, I’m inspired by life. I love to be with people and to connect. There’s nothing better than sitting with a good friend, and having a chat over a cup of tea! It makes me feel so alive, which in turn makes me feel very creative.
Do you have any writing habits?
If I’m not out and about enjoying my hobbies, friends, or the great outdoors, then more as likely I’ll be sitting in my office, typing myself into a world of romance and excitement! I’m lucky to have the perfect balance of seeing my friends, going to Toastmasters (the public speaking organization) going to yoga and meditation classes, playing my guitar, and writing. It’s a lovely experience.
What genres do you enjoy reading?
I love contemporary romance and chick lit. I grew up reading Marian Keyes and Sophie Kinsella!
But I also love Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. He writes so eloquently – always exploring our little human quirks and commenting on them in such a sweet and intelligent way. I think he’s influenced my writing a lot actually!
What are your future writing plans?
I’m currently working on a new contemporary romance novel, about a woman who’s a con artist. But love saves her, of course. It’ll be an uplifting, heartwarming journey!
I can’t imagine ever not writing, so it’s great that I’ve got so many ideas bouncing around my head. I’ve got my next three books outlined already!
Do you have anything in common with your characters? If so, which one?
In Driving Me to You, Sam is the most like me. Like her, I went travelling in India and contracted dysentery, which really changed my perspective on life. I realized how precious life is, and how lucky I am to live in a country where we’re able to afford to pay taxes! Many people in India have nothing to tax!
Like Sam, I’m a dreamer and a go-getter. And like her, I’ve recently transformed from the ‘little girl’ into a strong, powerful woman in charge of my destiny! I was suffering with panic attacks not too long ago, but I’ve worked very hard to overcome them. It’s been hard and painful at times, but it’s taught me that by facing my fears, I will overcome them.
There are a lot of classic cars referenced in this book. Do you have a favorite?
I really love the Bentley Corniche – Sam’s childhood nemesis! It’s so sophisticated and well-crafted. A beautiful piece of machinery that begs to be driven fast, down the freeway!
At the end of Driving Me to You I noticed a possible opening for a second book with Jack leading the way. Is that a possibility?
This has been suggested by other readers, too. The great thing is, I know all the characters very well now, so I can try putting them in various situations and see how they play out! I would love for Sam, Verlaine, and their friends to have more adventures, yes.
The world around us isn’t always the happiest place. Are you an optimist like your main characters?
I am definitely an optimist. In fact, I’ve been blogging about how to keep a peaceful mind and enjoy living for about a year, here: www.youaresunshine.wordpress.com
You only get one life and it goes so fast – it’s important that we enjoy it while we can. Life’s too short for hanging onto petty quarrels or worrying about what might not even happen. I feel so lucky to be alive – it’s a precious, time-limited gift, and I won’t waste it.
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to become a writer in today’s literary world?
Now’s the best time to be an author. People are reading again, thanks to Kindle and other ebook readers, and we’re able to promote ourselves directly to our readers, thanks to wonderful book bloggers like Hines and Bigham!
If you love writing, then write. Spend a little time honing your craft (it’s taken me eight years!). Read other writers in your genre and see what works. But mostly, write because you love it – because of the wonderful places it takes you. When I’m in the flow of writing fiction, it gives my life an extra sparkle; it’s like being in love. If writing takes you to that place, then let it out and share it with the world!
On a side note: I will be reading/reviewing Ruby in the Dust soon…so stay tuned!