On Wednesdays on social media, people use the hashtag #WriterWednesday to chat about all things author, book and writing, including authors promoting their own work. As we love to support self-published authors, we thought we’d join in and we will be featuring a UK self-published author every Wednesday on the website. This week, we met Julia Patten to find out more...
Please tell us about yourself. When did you first become interested in writing?
I used to enjoy writing at school. When I misbehaved, my English teacher would dish out an essay as a punishment. Because I enjoyed writing so much, it was never a very good deterrent. I have been writing commercial material (press features, leaflets, press advertising, company newsletters) most of my working life, before the digital age, but never thought I had the imagination to write fiction. This only happened in 2011 after joining a local writing group. Since then I have barely stopped and have now written 23 books, including novels, a short story book and books of quirky rhymes. I am currently seeking a literary agent/traditional publisher to mastermind the marketing/distribution of my collection as I have neither the time nor the expertise.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I suppose in 2011. It was far too wordy but once I cut it down and revamped it, it became my first novel: MURDER ON THE CARDS, the story of an unemployed professional man, under pressure, who gradually loses touch with reality.
What genre/genres do your books fall under?
I always find this difficult to define. My novels feature 'normal' people in turbulent circumstances, with chaotic lives and stormy relationships. I have just discovered the genre, GRIPLIT, and I would say that this is the nearest genre I can find to suit my writing. Sometimes there is a murder, sometimes a mystery but the stories always revolve around chaotic lives.
What is your latest book called, what is it about and what was the inspiration behind your book.
There are two latest books. SWAP, just published, is about a couple who decide to swap roles after the birth of their baby. Unintended consequences threaten their relationship. As they struggle with lies, deceit and suspicion, an unexpected incident plunges them into a terrifying new crisis. The second, a novella, will be published within the next two/three weeks. STATE OF MIND, is a psychological drama about Jenna. Her relationships falter when she is consumed with suspicion. Her anxiety levels rise until, one day, uncontrollable fear threatens her life.
My inspiration behind both books is simply to write stories with twists and turns: stories which entertain.
Besides your current books, do you have any new projects coming up?
I am now about half way through my 17th novel, SIBLINGS, about a warring middle-aged sister and brother.
Where can people find your books?
All my books are in paperback only. They can be purchased from the publisher, www.feedaread.com. Just enter Julia Patten in the search box and all my books will pop up. First pages can be read without obligation.
What has been the greatest moment in your writing career?
If I can complete two more novels this year, I will have written my first million words. That will be my greatest moment, but I will have to be patient to achieve it.
Besides writing, what hobbies or interests to you enjoy in your spare time?
As well as keeping my mind busy with writing, I like to walk and swim and enjoy spending time with my family. My interests change over time, from once gaining a counselling qualification, to more recently qualifying as an exercise to music teacher by mistake!
Which novelists do you admire?
Since the age of 16, I have read only one novel, Woman in Black, by Susan Hill. I find reading fiction far too passive a pastime for me. I am essentially a doer, though I will read books on how to write a novel and non-fiction titles on any subject that interests me.
What has been the best piece of writing advice you've received?
To avoid overwriting. In other words, less is more. It made me realise that I need as much discipline writing fiction as I did writing commercial material.
Do you have any tips or advice for other indie authors?
Don't get demoralised by criticism. Sometimes an easy tweak can solve what seems at first like an insurmountable problem.
Contact: Anyone interested can follow my short blog on my website: www.novelsforyou.wix.com/novelsforyou. I usually update it every three weeks or so. There is also a contact page on my website if anyone wants to get in touch.