“I think as a writer, you never stop learning.”
A writer whose latest novel shines a light on the experience of a determined young woman returning to her homeland, while asking questions about the future of the traditional family estate in Scotland. Julie Shackman certainly knows how to gives the reader a good old dose of escapism.
Studying Journalism & Media at college, Julie always knew she wanted to be an author and even though she has had her own novels published in digital format, she, like most authors, dreamed of publishing in traditional print… Which she can say she’s done, as of tomorrow.
That’s right, A Room at the Manor by Julie Shackman will be published by Allen & Unwin on the 27th of June 2018. You go girl!
When her Maltese love affair turns sour, Lara McDonald returns to her quiet Scottish hometown of Fairview heart broken, yet determined – instead of looking for another PR position, she decides to follow her dream of baking. She impulsively takes the first job offered and finds herself working for local dragon Kitty Walker in her tea room True Brew.
Lara’s life is full of surprises, however, not the least being an unlikely friendship forged with one of Kitty’s elderly customers, the former Laird Hugo Carmichael. The Carmichael family has lived at the beautiful Glenlovatt Manor for almost 300 years and, although in need of renovation, Hugo, his son and grandson currently make it their home.
There’s something about Lara that Hugo likes, and when Hugo suddenly passes away, Lara is stunned to discover she is mentioned in his will. But not everyone is happy with the old Laird’s faith in Lara.
A story of love, family, hope and trust, A Room at the Manor will delight every reader keen to find their place.
In the midst of all the excitement we managed to grab a quick interview with the lady herself – and she has some solid advice for all you aspiring authors out there.
So, tell us… When did you first think ‘I want to be an author’?
I have always loved reading and writing. I grew up surrounded by books and when I reached around eight years old, I remember spending a lot of my pocket money on buying exercise books to write all my stories in at home!
Describe your writing style and your working method?
I do enjoy writing in First Person, as I seem to be able to feel like I’m connecting with my main protagonist more that way.
I find it very difficult to write at home – there are just too many distractions – so I take myself off with my notebook and pens to my favourite tea shop and sit and write in there.
I find it easier to write all my work in long hand first in notebooks and then I type it up on my PC at home.
Who inspires you to write and pursue your passion?
My late Mum Helen definitely inspired me to write. She always told me and my brother Ian never to give up on our dreams. I just wish she was here to see my book and read it.
Today, I would say not only other writers inspire me (my favourites are authors like Jenny Colgan; Sophie Kinsella; Wendy Holden) but also my wonderful agent Selwa Anthony. She is so passionate and enthusiastic with an incredible knowledge of the publishing industry. I am also inspired by my fab publishers Allen & Unwin. Their editorial advice & support is superb.
Any advice for our future authors out there?
Please do not give up! I know a lot of authors say this but it really is true. Published authors are unpublished authors who never gave up, so please keep writing; read lots and stick with it.
A Room At The Manor by Julie Shackman will be published in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. You can grab a copy of the book online at The Book Depository; Amazon & Booktopia. You can also buy the book at any good book store!
Congrats Julie from the team at 94! X
Check out more from author, Julie Shackman:
Edited by Ella Thorold
LinkedIn: Ella Thorold