8 Mar 2014

Say hello to the lovely Julie Shackman!

Do dreams ever inspire your writing? What did you last dream about?
Yes, they often do. The last dream I had, was about Bradley Cooper....We were in this gorgeous restaurant but it was a disaster! He kept laughing at me for being clumsy. I constantly spilt things and almost set fire to the table cloth! It could easily have been a chick lit novel scene. Smooth....!

When did you first start writing? And when were you first published?
I started writing when I was about nine. Little poems and stories mainly. I had several poems published in anthologies later on and then about 14 years ago, I had two childrens' picture books published. But it has always been chick lit/romance that I've wanted to write.

What is it about 'chick lit' that appeals to you the most? Do you read other genres?
Chick lit is so diverse. I find the writing is warm, funny and emotional and the stories have such a wide range. I do read mainly romance and chick lit, as I love the genre so much, but I'm also partial to a bit of Jodi Picoult and Wilbur Smith.

Can you tell us a little about your latest book?

The spirit of Rock n’ Roll does exist…..and he’s “living” in Ruby Cameron’s new home!
Stevie Vee, an enigmatic local rock singer on the brink of fame, died in 1989 in mysterious circumstances and he wants local reporter Ruby to find out what happened to him.
Apart from a troubled dead singer, Ruby has other things on her mind…
Her Mother is dating a new man but there is just something about Peter de Marlow which Ruby doesn’t like. It turns out her Mum possesses a secret of her own….
Whilst trying to put her disastrous relationship with selfish ex-boyfriend Luke firmly behind her, Matt Jardine, a handsome but irritating new journalist joins her newspaper.
Will Ruby still have a “ghost” of a chance of happiness and can she help Stevie rest in peace?

What inspired you to write it?
My love of music, especially rock. I'm a huge fan of Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks and the idea for "Rock My World" started from that.

Have you ever spotted anyone reading your books anywhere?
No, not yet as this is my debut chick lit novel - but I really hope I do - that would be mind-blowing!

Who designs your covers?
The cover for "Rock My World" was designed by two talented people called Polly and Tareq. My publishers have also had alot of input and they've done a fantastic job.

If your latest book was made into a film, who would you cast?
That is a great question!
I think somebody like Santiago Cabrera would make a fantastic Stevie - attractive and charismatic.
Bradley Cooper (yes, him again and why not!) would make a sexy and intense Matt Jardine (Matt has a "brush of the Bradley" about him) and Ruby would be played by somebody lovely like Natalie Portman. Ruby is passionate and sensitive and I think she'd play her perfectly.

What's your favourite Chick Lit book that made it to the big screen?
I loved "PS I Love You" and really enjoyed the film as well.

What were the last two books you read?

"Christmas At Rosie Hopkins Sweetshop" by Jenny Colgan and "Love Under Different Skies" by Nick Spalding.

Name one female author who you think deserves to be better known.
Lucy Dillon - I'm currently reading one of her novels, "Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts" and it is just beautifully written.

Where do you write?
Normally, in local coffee shops! I find it really difficult to motivate myself at home a lot of the time and can get distracted, so I usually go out, find a quiet corner and write, with support from a latte!

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? And did you follow the dream?
I always wanted to be a writer. I trained as a journalist, but writing romance/chick lit was always my dream. It has been a long journey to get there, but it's worth it.

In the movie of your life, who would play you?
Photo credit: GabboT via photopin cc
I'd love somebody gorgeous like Julia Roberts - well, I can dream!

Speed Round...
Top drink to make you tipsy? 
White Wine
Shopaholic or shopadon't? Shopaholic - but I have to be in a shopping mood.
Sky high heels or closer to the ground? Higher heels but not too high!
E.L. James or Jilly Cooper? Jilly Cooper - I read "Riders" when I was a teenager and was captivated.
Cry baby or tough cookie? A bit of both!
Exotic beach or enchanted forest? Enchanted forest - it sounds far more romantic!

Author Bio
I trained as a journalist but writing chick lit 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 greetings card
Writing at home seems to be incredibly difficult for me – I usually require coffee, music and noise.
“Rock My World” is my first chick lit novel .
I have just finished writing my second novel, another romantic comedy and am polishing that at the moment whilst beginning to do some research for my third.
I’m married, have two sons and live in Scotland.
Website coming shortly!

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