Julie Ryan piqued my interest when I found out she had set her entire Greek Island mystery series in Greece: “Jenna’s Journey”, “Sophia’s Secret” and “Pandora’s Prophecy.” So, an author feature seemed to be in order!
Your books are set on a Greek island. What inspired you to write it?
I lived in Greece in the 1980s as an English teacher, so really it was my time there that inspired me to write. I didn’t actually put pen to paper, so to speak, until nearly thirty years later, so I think of it as my gestation time. For me it was a way of reminiscing about my youth and wondering how life would have been different if I’d stayed in Greece.
What was the first thing you ever wrote?
As a child I was always scribbling something, but I think the first thing I wrote was probably a little play for my best friend and I to act out in front of her parents. It was pretty dire, but practice makes perfect as they say!
Any hobbies or interests that you enjoy in your spare time?
I belong to our local amateur dramatic society and enjoy taking part in the Christmas pantomime. Last year I played the Fairy Godmother. We’ve also just put on a play which is a spoof of Agatha Christie and I got to play the part of Miss Maple. All good fun. As I’ve got older and am able to spend more time at home, I’ve also become quite keen on gardening – or rather on having a nice garden where I can sit out and think. Unfortunately, my husband hates gardening so it’s all down to me really.
What are you working on at the moment? Tell us a little about your current project(s).
I have an idea for a fourth book which won’t let me rest, but I really want to finish a Christmas novella that I started about two years ago. At the moment I can’t decide which one should have priority, and I can’t work on two books simultaneously! Of course, I may end up writing something completely different.
Who are your favorite authors and what do you love about them?
I read a lot of different authors and genres. Among my favourites are Victoria Hislop for combining historical fiction set in Greece or Cyprus ( The Island, The Thread, the Sunrise), then there’s Anne Zouroudi with her Greek mysteries. I love her main character, the fat man! For the beauty of his writing I admire John Fowles.
What genres do you read mostly and what are you reading now?
I love anything that has a good story: usually historical fiction, contemporary fiction, thrillers, mystery and some romance, although my tastes tend to gravitate towards books set in other countries. I love the idea of armchair travelling as I don’t get the opportunity to travel as widely these days as I used to. At the moment I’m reading ‘The girl under the olive tree’ by Leah Fleming. Naturally it’s historical fiction set during the Second World War on Crete.
Are you an Indie author? If so, do you have any advice for other indie authors?
I started out as an Indie author and, although my first book, Jenna’s Journey, has just been signed to Booktrope, my advice has not changed. You need to treat writing as a profession and make as many contacts as you can. Believe in yourself and don’t give up.
Tell us about your website/blog. What will readers find there?
What are the things in your life that you’re most grateful for?
Every day when I look at my young son, I’m grateful that I was given the chance of motherhood. Having come to it very late, it’s all the more special. I never thought I would have children, so my family are the most important to me. Of course, the fact that my husband goes out to work so that I can stay at home and work part-time and write are added blessings.
How would you like to be remembered?
Fondly – to live on in the memories of those who love you is all I ask (although I wouldn’t mind too much being remembered as a world-famous, award-winning writer!)
What is Pandora’s Prophecy?
Lisa and Mark are going through a rough patch, Vicky is seventeen and has just discovered that the man she thought was her father really isn’t. Ruth is getting over her husband’s betrayal after nearly twenty-five years of marriage. On the surface they have nothing in common except that they are all staying in the same hotel on a Greek Island.
As they each come into contact with the mysterious Pandora, their lives will change forever. Bodies begin to pile up as a serial killer is on the loose who might just be targeting the hotel. The Island’s Police Chief, Christos Pavlides, tries to solve the puzzle, but has problems of his own to resolve. It seems that the local celebrity author is the one who holds the key.
Who is Julie Ryan?
Julie Ryan was born and brought up in a mining village near Barnsley in South Yorkshire. She graduated with a BA (hons) in French Language and Literature from Hull University. Since then, she has lived and worked as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language in France, Greece, Poland and Thailand.
She now lives in rural Gloucestershire with her husband, son and two cats: a rescue cat, and a dippy cat with half a tail. She is so passionate about books that her collection is now threatening to outgrow her house, much to her husband’s annoyance, as she can’t bear to get rid of any! They have been attempting to renovate their home for the last ten years.
She is the author of three novels set in Greece, “Jenna’s Journey”, “Sophia’s Secret” and “Pandora’s Prophecy.” She considers Greece to be her spiritual home and visits as often as she can. This series was inspired by her desire to return to Crete although there is a strong pull to revisit the Cyclades too.
- Jenna’s Journey (Universal link)
- Sophia’s Secret (Universal link)
- Pandora’s Prophecy (Universal link)