Indie Author Interview
Julie Evans, Author of
The Bitter Fruit Beneath
A Sisterhood of Silence
Congratulations, Julie! Your three debut books are now available on the Amazon bookstore. How did it feel to see them all there for the first time?
I think it will take a little time to sink in to be honest. I know the stock answer to a question like this is ‘Exciting’ or ‘Amazing’ but as all authors know, writing a book is an incredibly solitary process. The realization that others will be reading it is suddenly brought home when your books are released. It’s like leaving your child at the school gate and hoping he or she doesn’t get bullied. You’re desperate to see the smiling face and the invite to a party clutched in their hot little hand at the end of the day.
Oh, I love that. Yes, you’re totally right. Launching your first book does leave you feeling somewhat vulnerable, but it is a huge confidence boost too – what a sense of achievement it brings.
Can you tell us a little bit about your books – how long you’ve been writing/working on them and why you wanted to write them?
I began RAGE the first book in my Cornish Crime Series in 2018. Book 2 A SISTERHOOD OF SILENCE was largely written in tandem. I have no idea why I chose to write two books at the same time. Inexperience maybe? I’m a lawyer and used to juggling several cases at once and that might have had something to do with it. I also found it helpful when I hit a brick wall with one to turn to the other for consolation.
Whilst the inspiration for each book is quite unique, my overall aim is to give my reader a taste of the Cornwall I call home. It seems you can barely move these days for books set in the county or TV programmes featuring celebrity chefs talking about ‘their Cornwall.’ The Cornwall I know is quite different from these picture postcard impressions. Yes, it is a heart- crushingly beautiful place, but living in the midst of beauty is not a panacea against trouble, ugliness or plain old evil. In fact, it can intensify the impact of all of these. A crime in a small community has the same effect as throwing a hand grenade into pond. The shock waves extend beyond the garden fence.
They certainly do. I love the fact that you could turn to the other book you were writing when you hit a brick wall with the author – great advice for any aspiring author, thank you. Have you always been a writer / wanted to become an author?
Not really. I don’t even think I’ve ever kept a diary. But I’ve always been an observer and an avid listener so in a roundabout way I’ve been gathering material and ideas for years. I never really considered writing them down until I started one day and couldn’t stop. It’s come as a bit of a shock to me that none of my friends or family are the least surprised I’m doing this. They are more amazed I’ve stuck at being a lawyer for so long. I like to think of myself as a storyteller, a spinner of yarns in the Celtic tradition.
What made you take that leap and publish all three books at the same time?
Good old pragmatism based on sound research. I learnt very early on in the process that to be successful as a self-publisher in my genre you need more than one book out there and should be prepared to write a series. My books do not need to be read sequentially as I didn’t want to be bound by the constraints of that format, but readers need to be kept entertained and if you don’t do it someone else will. That doesn’t mean skimping on quality, on the contrary the competition is tough so a substandard product won’t cut the mustard. As scribblers we can take thirty years to write a masterpiece no one will ever read but once you decide to become a self-pub author, I think it’s important to keep on top of the trends in your genre and meet the needs of your readers. It’s a two way stretch.
Have you any more book plans in the pipeline?
I’m currently writing A BAPTISM OF FIRE – book 2 in the Eden Gray series and am at the plotting stage of book 3 in the Cornish Crime Series so I am still writing two books at a time. I’m obviously a glutton for punishment. I’m putting the finishing touches to No Sleep for the Wicked – Part 2 of my FREE E-BOOK The Rosary Pea – due to be released exclusively to my book club readers later this year. No sleep for me that’s for sure.
Fantastic! I cannot wait to read your next book.
One final question … what advice would you offer other aspiring authors who are thinking about self-publishing their books?
First and foremost, take the time to learn the craft of writing. Thousands of people believe they have a book in them, most never begin to write it. If you are in the tiny minority who achieve this and decide to self -publish you must be every bit as hard on yourself as any agent or traditional publisher would be if they were footing the bill. When you think your book is perfect get professional editors and proofreaders to look at it and suck up the criticism like a sponge then rework your book until it sings.
Read every piece of advice you can get from other self-publishers. They are an amazingly generous bunch of people prepared to share their mistakes so you can learn from them. Lastly, if you are serious about self-publishing don’t think of it as writing a book but rather starting a business. If possible, and your budget allows, get professionals to do the things you find mind boggling. This will pay for itself in the end and free you up to do the things you are good at; most importantly to write. PLAN AHEAD.
Thanks so much for sharing those insights with us! All the best with your fantastic books! I cannot wait to see the next ones.
The Bitter Fruit Beneath:
Burnt out and disillusioned following a messy divorce and a career defending the very worst type of criminal, Eden Gray escapes the city and moves back home to her beloved Cornwall to start her own law firm. Though money is tight, she begins to think life is sorted until she is railroaded into defending teenage surrogate Rowan Lutey, charged with the manslaughter of a baby found buried in a ‘witch pit;’ one of a number of ancient pits filled with fertility offerings discovered by archaeologists at a site close to the Lutey farm.
With the discovery of the baby, the family is plunged into a shadowy past full of secrets and face personal attacks fueled by fear and superstition as the baby’s discovery sparks a media frenzy.
Abandoned as an infant, Eden’s feelings about her birth mother are unleashed as the site’s shadowy history is revealed.
As she risks her life to unravel the mystery and protect others from a manipulative and deranged killer, she discovers the truth about her client, her own abandonment and an inner strength she never imagined she possessed.
‘Rage is a cage without a key’
A small Cornish town; two women share a past. One a lawyer with no respect for the law, the other a doctor, with no respect for human life; both trapped by rage.
What happens when their paths cross and history catches up with them?
Can they escape the cages they have built?
Lawyer Claire McBride is a good person.
She believes in fair play and operating within the rules but when told by her consultant, the cancer she thought she’d beaten is terminal, she descends into a dark and alien place at odds with her character. Compelled to right wrongs and punish those who have caused harm and avoided justice she seeks to take back ownership of what little life she has left.
She does not know there is someone from her past, far more dangerous than her, who calls the shots. Issy Moran, Claire’s consultant; a bitter, deranged, narcissist, has for years routinely ended the lives of those patients she judges unworthy of treatment.
From childhood she has harboured a grudge against Claire and when by chance, they meet she seizes the opportunity to satisfy her twisted desire to first befriend her and then destroy her.
A Sisterhood of Silence
Jem Fielding is a pimp and drug lord who counts blackmail and violence as part of his repertoire. But when he abducts mute teenager, Carly Taylor, and attempts to bury her alive, he risks the wrath of a small Cornish town.
Carly survives but is damaged by her ordeal. She undergoes a disturbing psychological metamorphosis. As her psychosis grows she turns her back on those she loves; dedicating herself, to Fielding’s destruction.
She is not alone.
Other women out there have cause to hate Fielding.
His abused wife Josie, has found love with another woman but knows he will kill her if he discovers her secret and Kerenza Martin’s ex-husband, a policeman has been trapped in a cycle of blackmail and corruption jeopardizing her family’s safety.
If they try to fight Fielding alone, they will lose.
If the women join forces, take a stand and discover the power of Sisterhood, they might win but at what cost?
Julie Evans’ Cornish Crime books are available in Kindle (free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers) and paperback formats.
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