My most recent book is In The Shadows and is about an eighteen year old girl, Giselle Bergman who is pretty much your average teenager and one most readers can relate to. Her family who is far from perfect love her, she is dating a popular guy and is best friends with a boy who would do
anything for her. The only problem is she is deceived in the worst possible way, and by two people she loved the most. Giselle embarks on a journey that opens her eyes to the supernatural elements of her world – or what she thought was her world. She is never in one place, and throughout the story I introduce my readers to some pretty amazing settings. It is a fast paced, adrenaline filled story that leaves you craving the next installment.
Tell us something about yourself.
I am married to my childhood sweetheart, and we have four brilliant children. I am originally from Northern Ireland, but now reside in Ireland. I have always been a keen reader, and fell in love with the classics at a young age, and more importantly, I found myself being drawn to the works of Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King – authors who have inspired me in more ways than one. At the age of sixteen I penned my first novel, “Dynamite” (complete nonsense), a story about a sixteen year old girl kidnapped by a Russian aristocrat, and soon turns into the most bizarre adventure! I laugh when I read it, simply because of the complete array of elements used. One minute my heroine is on a plane to Russia, next thing she is travelling through a portal to some fantasy land, were she meets goblins – yes, it is that crazy. I guess from there on in writing became a big part of my life. I documented my teens in a journal (I still have them all), I wrote about people who inspired me, and in a sense keeping those journals helped mould me as a writer.
What inspired you to write this book?
I have always wanted to delve into vampirism in my work, and toyed with the idea for quite some time. I had been reading a lot of vampire literature, and began to get bored with the same cliches thrown at me. I thought to myself “I can create something completely new,” and I did. So in a sense getting bored with the same story lines inspired me to write my own adaption of the nightwalkers.
How did you choose the title?
The title was the first thing I thought of once I had completed my storyboard. Shadow creatures play a very big and important role throughout the series, so it made perfect sense to have “shadows” incorporated somewhere in the title, and because of the darkness that Giselle is pulled into, “In the Shadows” was born.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
Although I never doubted my ability as an author, I did however doubt the interest of the publishing world, simply because as soon as a publisher reads the words “vampire,” they automatically think it is just another carbon copy of more successful vampire based novels of recent times. There was of course the rejections, that often came in the form of a computer generated response, that stung. To overcome the doubt I investigated pitching and hooking, and drafted up a pretty decent query, which proved successful, and after only six months of submitting I got signed. The rejections hurt at first, but soon enough I grew thick skinned and was pushed to prove myself even more so.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
I knew as soon as I finished reading Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and “The Fall of the House of Usher” that I wanted to create something dark and twisted. I wanted to create my own worlds, and play havoc in my own way. And to get started, I read, and read, and read. Reading is possibly one of the best tools any writer can use. It opens up your mind to the genres out there, how books are written and the markets. I’d offer any aspiring writer to read as much as possible, and write. Write short stories, memoirs, poems – in fact anything, as it helps your writing skills in the longterm.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Not really. I am the kind of writer who can sit in a crowded room, music booming, people talking over each other, and still write. My house tends to be noisy and chaotic, especially since there are four little people running about, so I adapt very easily. The only thing that I would consider a ritual would be the fact that I like to have my research journal with me wherever I go. I can’t write properly with out it, so no matter what else is going on, my journal is with me.
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
The names is the easy part. I love old Russian and Slavic names. I have a book with thousands of names dating back to the medieval times, and I use names that have certain meanings, that enforce a kind of essence in my characters profile. For instance, one of the old vampires in the book is called Afanas – which means immortal, and of course we can’t forget the main character Giselle – meaing hostage or pledge – both important elements throughout the story.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
Writing this book proved to me that I can achieve anything that I put my mind to. I loved every part of the writing experience – even the dreaded edits. There was never a time that I thought I could not do it, I guess that I knew where I wanted to take this and feel blessed that I achieved that goal. I learned that the publishing industry is a world away from the real world. You can be built up and shot down very quickly. You can’t wear your heart on your sleeve, and you must always be professional – there is no room for sentiment.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would not change anything, honestly. The things that I have experienced have been more than useful to me, they educated me in more ways than one and opened my eyes to the whole industry. I have made solid friendships, and because of those, I am happy with the way things played out.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?
I am an avid reader of many genres. I love fantasy, horror, thriller, erotica and steampunk. At the moment I am reading the Morganville Vampire series by Rachel Caine, as well as reading some James Patterson. I have to say James Patterson, Stephen King, Richelle Mead are among my top favourite authors. I also have a passion for Charles Dickens, Samuel Puig, Alice Walker and Katherine Mansfield. I love Patterson’s writing style, and how everything is fast paced and straight to the point. Mead’s work draws me in and leaves me craving more. Walker captivates me with everything she pens, she is truly an artist whose works have found themselves being read more than once.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
Yes, at present I am finishing up “Walking With Shadows,” which sees Giselle catapulted back in to darkness, only this time she has more than herself to think of. She has enemies lining up left, right and centre and not everything or everyone is as what it seems. Things certainly get darker.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
I’d say read as much as possible, it helps in more ways than one. Investigate the current markets, find where your niche is. Join local writers groups, they are valuable for critiquing your work, and a great way to meet new people. And most importantly, write as much as possible, you need to know what you’re doing. When it comes to publishing, again investigate the markets that your work would be best suited for; and no matter how many rejections you get, never lose heart, there is always someone out there who will love your work.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
I’d recommend my book for all YA, as wells as adults. I can safely say that it can be enjoyed by all. Women and teen girls alike will get drawn into the story, and I am pretty sure there are some guys out there who would appreciate the plot as well.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
Readers can of course find all the latest news about releases and interviews on my website: http://www.julieannelynch.co.uk
They can also keep updated and entertained via my blog:
I have an active Facebook authors page, that I update daily and host the odd giveaway:
I can also be found on Goodreads, and love to hear from my readers: