Sunday, May 13, 2012

Julia Green (Awesome Women)

Please welcome today a special guest to the blog, the lovely Julia Green! Julia Green is the author of many children's and teen books, including her latest, Bringing the Summer, which was very recently published. Here is the product description:

 It’s the lazy end of summer and Freya is about to start her A levels. Her brother Joe died a year ago, but she is slowly coming to terms with his death. She is beginning to feel ready for something new – a change. And then a railway accident brings her into contact with the gorgeous Gabe. Freya is drawn not just to his blond good looks, but everything about him, including his large, shambolic, warm and loving family, which seems to Freya so different from her own.

And then Gabe’s clearly troubled older brother makes it clear he is interested in Freya – and Freya has some decisions to make about what she really wants.

I'm hugely excited to have Julia stop by, please give Julia a warm welcome! 

To find out more about Julia Green or Bringing out the Summer, please do visit the following websites:

Can you tell me a little something about yourself?

I’m an author, a mother ( of two sons), daughter, sister ( middle one of three), and a university lecturer, teaching creative writing. I’m the course director for a specialist MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University.

For the past ten years I have been writing fiction for teenagers and young adults (my most recent novel is called ‘Bringing the Summer’, published by Bloomsbury this May). I’ve just written a novel for younger children, too (‘Tilly’s Moonlight Fox’).

My fiction for young adults is set in the contemporary world, about real life things like relationships, family, friendship, growing up and the choices we make.

Did you have a role model growing up? Who do you look up to now?

I don’t remember consciously having a role model when I was growing up, though I thought my English teacher Miss Fox was an interesting woman, and I enjoyed reading novels with strong female characters. Now, I look up to my parents as an example of people who have stayed interested, actively engaged in life. They are loving and non-judgemental.

I admire many of my writer friends – especially those who take risks and tell important stories. I admire my artistic, creative sisters ( who both make beautiful gardens).

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was little, I wanted to be a ballet dancer when I grew up (hopeless: I never even had a single ballet lesson!) then an author (I managed that one). I used to write poems and stories as a child. I read a lot.

Tell me something about the women in your life who have been an influence on you?

Women have always been important to me: my mum, grandmas, teachers. My two sisters and a small group of close female friends have seen me through difficult times: loving and supportive. My first agent, the late Maggie Noach, was hugely important to me: she was the person who believed in me as a new writer and opened the doors to publication. I loved how she mixed business and pleasure (she cooked me supper at her house while we discussed contracts; when I was feeling low she took me on a trip to Edinburgh for a break).  I missed her terribly when she died. Rosemary Canter was another amazing woman (also a literary agent): stylish, funny, clever and warm-hearted.

Who is your favourite fictional character? And why?
It’s hard to choose a favourite fictional character.  As a girl, I loved Laura, in the series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder starting with ‘The Little House in the Big Woods’, and Arrietty, in ‘The Borrowers’. 17 year old Cassandra in ‘I Capture the Castle’, and Jane Eyre.

I suppose the common thread here is that they are all strong, independent, wilful young women who don’t give up easily, who dare to dream, who are passionate and have a sense of self.

What were you like as a teenager and how did you cope with all the changes that occurred?

As a teenager I was the usual mix of wilful, strong- headed, moody, passionate – wanting to fit in, and also wanting to be different! I worked very hard to pass exams. If I didn’t get an A, I felt I’d failed. Mostly, I did get As.

I fell in love at the age of sixteen with a boy of 17: this was my first, life- transforming experience of romantic love. We went our separate ways – to different universities. I still wonder about him sometimes. I kept the letters he wrote to me.

If you had any advice for yourself as a teenager, what would you say?

My advice for my teenage self would be something like: hang in there, this too will pass. Don’t worry so much. Passing exams isn’t the only thing that matters. Be brave and bold and always be yourself. You will be Ok. Honestly.

 Of the issues and concerns that women are faced with today, what's the area you most like reading/writing  about?

I enjoy reading about real life issues: families, relationships, love and losing love; friendship; choices; different ways to live.  These are the things that I like to write about in my novels, too. Inevitably, when I am writing a story, I am exploring something for myself, although I don’t always recognise what until afterwards.

Recently, I have noticed I’m interested in reading about the natural world, too. I find it difficult to read scientific explanations of things, but I want to challenge myself to do that more. I like walking, noticing things – that’s in my fiction, too, I think. Places and settings are very important to me. I seem to write a lot about the sea, and islands. I made a conscious decision to NOT write about them in my last two novels, but the river became important instead! It’s a mysterious and wonderful process, writing.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Thank you very much for asking me these questions. It has been a pleasure thinking about my answers, and having this opportunity to ‘talk’ to you.

Thank you so much Julia, it was a pleasure having you here!

1 comment:

HI! Thank you for leaving a comment, you've just become my new best friend :)