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  • Lynne Shelby

My Writing Journey - Julia Wild - This Writing Life #21

Today, I'm delighted to welcome Julia Wild, with a guest post about her writing journey.

Hi, Julia. Thank you for guesting on my blog. It's lovely to have you here...

My Writing Journey

Julia Wild

Hello there! Thank you to Lynne for inviting me onto her lovely blog and add that I really enjoyed her latest book, The Summer of Taking Chances, a cracking read!

My writing journey began in 1989 whilst working on a Saturday in a quiet double-glazing showroom; I decided it’d be good to write a book… I thought you wrote your story, posted it off and waited for a cheque in the return post. I know! Ridiculous – but that’s what I thought. I had a lot to learn… I happily wrote what I thought was an amazing 28k book featuring a Don Johnson lookalike detective and a hot romance and sent it off to Jilly Cooper’s publishers, I had their address because I read her books…

Well, the cheque didn’t turn up, but I had a charming rejection letter suggesting that I try a different publisher. Unsurprisingly, more rejections followed. I was hooked on writing by this time.

I’d always been an avid fan of Winston Graham and the Poldark books, and also loved many other authors’ books in that era. So, I decided to write in the late 1700s. I hadn’t done history at O level – so poured over children’s history books, diaries from the 1770s and joined the British Library gaining access to the Newgate Calendars. A history professor at Cambridge University suggested I might enjoy them when I phoned him up (yes, I know!) to ask when the last person was married off the gallows… (1648 if you’re interested, too soon for my time slot) Well, three swashbuckling historical novels later I still received rejections. My postage bill was becoming outrageous.

Then I won a competition for a week at a historical writing course for a promising first chapter. The course tutor said I must join the RNA and submit my historical, Kelsey to the New Writers’ Scheme. That was summer 1993. I joined and had a great critique back that suggested 230K word was a tad long, (!) but the story could make two books…

Finally, in 1997, I came through the Scheme to win the New Writers Award (now the Joan Hessayon Award.) with Dark Canvas. I was on cloud nine.

Illusions, my last traditionally published book won the RNA’s first Shorter Romance Prize in 2003. Although I carried on writing, I didn’t get published again until I got made redundant in 2014 and self-published my back-list as e books helped by generous members of the RNA Lizzie Lamb. Thank you! One of many fabulous supportive pals met through the RNA.

My journey has a hopeful diversion. Charlotte Ledger of One More Chapter read a historical of mine and asked me to write something, we came up with: The Secret Notebook, A dual timeline story featuring a WW2 romance, framed in the present which I am currently polishing.

In the meantime, below is the link to Illusions, if you’d like a peek:

Thank you again, Lynne for having me on your blog.

Thank you, Julia, for joining us here today. I hope you'll come back and tell us more about The Secret Notebook when it is published.

About Illusions

The Bride: On her hen night, Tasha Stone meets the man of her dreams. She's still determined to marry staid, safe Alan - so where's the harm in a brief, passionate fling before the ring is on her finger?

The Lover: Dexter Riley can't believe it. He's finally met the girl he's been searching for all his life - only to discover that she's engaged to another man. What's worse, while Dexter is quite happy to marry Tasha in place of her fiancé, she makes it clear that she is not interested.

The future: Can there be a happy-ever-after ending for Dexter and Tasha - or are they destined to share just a casual affair?

For more information on Julia Wild's books, please visit her fab website:

She is also on Facebook and Twitter:

Facebook – Julia Wild Author page

Twitter – @juliawildauthor

1 Comment

Jul 24, 2020

Hi Lynne and Julie, sorry for the delay in reading this heart warming and encouraging blog post. I, too, thought that all you had to do was write a great novel, send it off and wait for the cheque to arrive. Funny that. Have been heartened to learn that Julie thought the same (no wonder we clicked when we met via the RNA!). But here we all are, published authors and loving every moment. Thanks for the shout out, Julie, so glad I was able to help you. As for myself, it might be the time to cast off the indie cloak and look round for a publisher who likes Scottish-themed romance.

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