Today we’ve got Julie Ryan visiting the Inheritance Books sofa. Hi Julie, welcome to Inheritance books. Why don’t you grab a mince pie and tell us a bit about yourself.
At the age of eleven I decided I wanted to be a French teacher so after University that’s what I trained to be. Then I got a taste for travel and spent a few years teaching in Greece, Poland and Thailand. I didn’t realise at the time what a huge impact living abroad would have on my life. I now live in rural Gloucestershire with my husband, son and two cats; one with half a tail. I constantly draw on my travel experiences in my writing.
When not writing I can be found with my head in a book or treading the boards. I’m a member of our local amateur dramatic group and will be taking part in the annual panto – Oh yes I will! This year it’s ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ and I get to play Mystic Peg.
Over the last ten years we have been renovating our semi-derelict property. Hopefully, it won’t be much longer until I have my own study although I’d happily settle for just one room that is finished. I may not be the tidiest person in the world but there’s only so much chaos a person can take!
I’m quite pleased that out of the chaos I’ve managed to produce three novels in the Greek Island mystery series and in a new departure for me, a Christmas humourous romance set in Gloucestershire.
Which book have you inherited from the generation above? Why is it special?
Jane Eyre has long been a special book for me. I remember seeing it on the bookshelf for as long as I can remember even though the original copy has long since disappeared to be replaced by another version.
It was one of the books that we read at school for ‘O’ Level and has stayed with me. It can be read on many levels and for me that is its appeal. I think it would be a shame to dismiss it as simply a story of ‘the mad woman in the attic’ as it goes so much further than that. I empathised with Jane as the unlikely heroine; plain, emotionally honest. In contrast Mr Rochester I found less appealing. The tragedy of all their lives is the consequence. It isn’t the typical romantic happy ever after but it is nonetheless timeless.
Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why?
‘L’Etranger’ by Albert Camus was not only the first book I read in French but also my introduction to existentialism. Even the title fascinates me as in English it is often translated as ‘The stranger’ but I think ‘The Outsider’ is more apt. It is the story of an Algerian condemned for murdering his French friend and one that has stayed with me. Essentially Meursault is condemned by the jury because of his character; he didn’t cry at his mother’s funeral and is shown as not fitting into society because he is different. I think we can all learn to be more forgiving and less judgemental. I have always been fascinated by what motivates people but this book is more a reflection of society and it’s ‘mores’. I’m not sure if ‘why’ is really as important as the rules by which we are judged.
Thank you for sharing your favourite books with us, Julie. Best of luck with your new book.
Julie’s book Callies Christmas Countdown is available to buy now. You can catch up with Julie by visiting her websites (http://www.allthingbookie.com or http://www.juliesworldofbooks.blogspot.co.uk), Twitter (@julieryan18) or facebook (www.facebook.com/Julieryanauthor)