Inheritance Books: Julie Ryan

Children Reading by Valerie Everett

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.

DSC_0904 (1)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.

DSCN0964It 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)

Christmas countdown

Inheritance Books: Julie Ryan

Children Reading

 This week on the Inheritance Books sofa, we have Julie Ryan. Hi Julie. Fancy a brew? 

Tell us a little bit about yourself, while I sort out the tea and biscuits.

IMGP0755I’m a Yorkshire lass, born and bred near Barnsley now living in rural Gloucestershire with my husband, young son and two cats, Gizmo with half a tail and Smudge, a rescue cat. I love travelling and have lived and worked in France, Greece, Poland and Thailand although I didn’t realise at the time how much this would influence my writing. There is definitely something about foreign travel that opens the mind.

I love amateur dramatics and enjoy participating in our local panto where I can be found playing the Fairy Godmother or more recently Miss Maple in an Agatha Christie spoof. In much the same way as reading is a form of escapism then acting also offers the chance to put on another persona. I still have this ambition from childhood to appear as an extra in ‘Coronation Street’.

I also run our local village Post Office, a great way to connect with people (and catch up on all the local gossip). We bought a run down shop ten years ago with the idea of renovating it. It had no bathroom, no electricity upstairs and no heating. At the time I can only blame being in love for agreeing to take on such a massive project. Whilst we now have modern facilities there is still so much to do and after ten years the novelty of moving furniture from one room to the next is definitely wearing thin. My dream is to have all my books displayed in one place instead of in boxes in the cellar. Unfortunately, my husband being dyslexic doesn’t share the same dream when it comes to books.

I should also add that I  am hopelessly addicted to chocolate, suffer from selective deafness and according to my husband I have no sense of direction!

Which book have you inherited from the generation above? Why is it special?

DSCF1687One of my all time favourite books is ‘The Magus’ by John Fowles. There is such a special quality to the writing and off course it is set in my beloved Greece. The protagonist is an English teacher and I think that perhaps subconsciously this book inspired my desire to travel. It also encapsulates the 1960s and when Nicholas becomes entrenched in the mind games of millionaire Conchis it makes the reader think about what we take for granted. It’s a journey of intrigue, plot twists and betrayal yet each time I read it I find something new in it. It captures the mystery of Greece perfectly and is a pretty good read to boot. It’s one of the few books that I can read and read again. In fact, I’ve read it so many times that my poor old battered copy fell to pieces and I had to buy another!

Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why? 

‘Le grand Meaulnes’ by Alain Fournier was a book I read when I was studying ‘A’ level French and captivated me then as it still does. Even the title is enigmatic and ‘grand’ has been translated by ‘big’, large ‘great’ yet doesn’t quite convey the sense of the original. Set in the 1800s it describes that period between boyhood and manhood, a time that can never be reclaimed. The language varies from beautiful, moving prose of the utmost clarity to almost mystical poetry as the story becomes more surreal. It’s quite simply a beautiful story that every love-struck teenager should read.

It holds a special place in my heart as I have a beautifully illustrated copy with the most lovely watercolours that originally came from the flea market in France. This was the only book that Fournier wrote before being killed in the first World War so it is especially poignant.

Thank you for sharing your favourite books with us, Julie. All the best with the new book!

71Atc2DLtkL._SL1199_Julie’s book Pandora’s Prophecy is available now. You can catch up with Julie on her website, her blog, on Facebook or Twitter (@julieryan18).