JuliaPhillipsHeadshotWhen I’m not writing, I’m reading. The fact that it is so easy to share emotions, experiences and adventures by almost by thought transference via the written word enthrals me. I try to lead a tranquil life in London’s last village, where I share a home with two young adult sons and three dogs. Fate always seems to have other plans.

Time to chat with Julia!

I hear you have some very exciting news! Can you share it with us?

My latest title, a Young Adult Fantasy Adventure “The Griffin’s Boy” will be free to download for five days from lst March – 5th March. I’m ultra excited and hope every one of your readers grab a copy for their kindles or e-readers.


Is your recent book part of a series?

Yes, and although both stories are stand alones, Book 1 “The Griffin Cryer” (reader nominated runner up “Best Urban Fanasty 2013” eFestival of Words Awards)  will be only 99 cents to download during this special promotion.

What are the special challenges in writing a series?

Continuality: I had to re-read “The Griffin Cryer” in order not to contradict myself. Ideally, storylines of all titles in a series should dovetail. Some authors map out the whole series before writing. However, “The Griffin Cryer” was originally planned as a stand alone young adult urban fantasy. Readers wanted to know more about the mysterious rider. “The Griffin’s Boy” is his story. I never envisaged a series, yet now sequels, and prequels, are calling to be told.


If you were to advertise your book on a bumper sticker, what would it say?

“My other car’s a griffin!”

What else have you written?

Three titles in The Celtic Cousins’ Adventures: “A Raucous Time“, which is a complete boys’ own adventure/mystery and since this is the first in series, it’s totally free to download from Amazon, or Smashwords & their distributors. “A Ripple in Time“,  a time travel/paranormal romance, and “An Explosive Time“; a thriller set in London.

How often do your characters surprise you by doing or saying something totally unexpected?

There’s one character who never fails to surprise: Wren Prenderson. But I think even he was astounded to be voted by readers into runner up place in e-Festival of Words “Best Hero” award 2013 for his role in “A Ripple in Time“.

What part of writing a novel do you enjoy the most? The least?

I bloody love it all! Although, there’s always that moment of trepidation before starting the story, a fear that the words won’t lay down on the paper properly.

Some authors, like me, always write scenes in order. But I know some people write scenes out of order. How about you?

Before committing words to blank screen, the story is a shimmering multi-coloured bubble. I worry that by taking too long to outline one scene, the bubble might burst, or change shape. Chapters are sketched out quickly – words just banged down any old order. Some draft chapters might only contain skeleton sentences. I’ll return to the first chapter, but even more important in my eyes, is the last chapter. I want to leave readers with a feeling of satisfaction. Is there anything more annoying than reading a great book, only to be let down by the suspicion that the author grew bored with their characters and so rushed the ending? I’ve vowed never to let my readers down in that fashion. Besides, I’m the story teller, and if I don’t know the ending, then who does? So it’s best to write the ending while the story’s still young. Going back to the first chapter, I’ve often laid down too much information, and that gets brutally chopped.

Some writers edit excessively as they write; others wait until a novel is finished to do the bulk of the editing. How about you?

Because I like my beta readers’ feedback as the story progresses, I tend to send them several chapters at once. It would be rude to ask them to read anything that’s too rough, so I tend to edit as I go. I’d rather not – I’d love to be like Ian Flemming and just read the previous sentence written, and then take off again.

Have you received reactions/feedback to your work that has surprised you? In what way?

I’m constantly surprised by readers’ reactions. Although my stories are easy-on-the-eye rather than masterpieces, every form of art is open to the viewer’s own interpretation: “The reader doesn’t read the same story the author thought they wrote.” That’s the beauty of books.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Inconsideration. It takes seconds to put yourself in another person’s shoes and ask ‘How would I feel if someone else did or said this to me?’ As the song says ‘We’re all someone’s daughter, we’re all someone’s son.’ Kindness and consideration are two of the most valuable human traits, and should be second nature.

What are three things you think we can all do to make the world a better place?

l. Be a little more tolerant, a little less quick to take offence. (See above!)

2. Be polite to those who do the kind of jobs no-one wants to do – but somebody has to do. You know the ones – shop assistant – food waiters, telephone operators. I don’t think anyone chooses careers in those industries, they’re unglamorous, often thankless jobs. I can’t bear listening to someone bawling out someone in a service industry, who is unable to answer back.

Last week I was behind some lout who was effing and blinding at a hospital receptionist. ‘Please don’t swear at me, sir,’ she said. He said ‘I’m not swearing at you, just the situation(?!)’

So I spoke up and told him no gentleman would swear in the presence of ladies. To which he replied ‘then I must not be a gentleman.’ He’d bowled me the perfect ball. I looked him up and down and said ‘You’re certainly not a gentleman, in fact, I doubt that you’re even a man.’

3. The above, but double, triple and hundred times for the people who matter, family and friends. Don’t save the smiles and courtesies for strangers and work colleagues.

What simple pleasure makes you smile?

Having control over the telly’s remote, being the first to read a brand new book, diving into a lake or river and deep water swimming, freewheeling down a hill on a bike, someone bringing me breakfast in bed, trying on a pair of shoes, popping open a new jar of coffee, a friend calling in unexpectedly – the list is endless.

* * * *

I had fun answering these questions – some were very thought provoking. Thank you for inviting me over to your place, I’m very grateful especially as I know how busy you are with your own writing, and hope to read Mystical High‘s sequel very soon!

Lisette: Thank you so very much, Julia! It’s been an absolute pleasure and I hope to publish the 2nd book in The Desert Series by the end of spring.




Amazon (download free book samples)

Smashwords (Find Julia’s short stories and titles that are not exclusive to Amazon)


And finally, because she’d like all your readers to grab a copy of “The Griffin’s Boy” when it goes free from lst – 5th March here’s a universal link to the Julia’s freebie: The Griffin’s Boy: FREE