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: Elle Turner

Children Reading by Valerie Everett

Hello, it’s been a while. I’ve finally brushed down the Inheritance Books sofa in order to welcome Elle Turner. And I’ve got stollen! You’ve got to love stollen. yummmm.

Anyway, welcome to Inheritance Books, Elle. Why don’t you start us off by telling us a bit about yourself.

100_0740Thank you so much, Rhoda, for having me on Inheritance Books! It’s a lovely idea and I’m delighted to be taking part.

My love of books started when I was very young and I first decided to write a book myself when I was eight. I only got as far as chapter headings, though, and these were directly influenced by the books my mum introduced me to that I talk about below. I did have some real friends, but I spent most of my time talking (out loud) to the Famous Five and sleeping with a stuffed dog called Timmy on my feet. My young childhood was definitely characterised by books, sitting by the fire when the weather was bad (as it often was as I live in beautiful, but often wet and windy, Scotland) or in my bed until I could hardly keep my eyes open. I thought in stories, imagined I lived in the books I read and was more than happy with their characters for company. 🙂

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

IMG_1563It’s really my mum who started me off down the path of loving books. She gave me many, but the ones I loved the most were from the Abbey Series by Elsie J. Oxenham. These were stories of young women and schoolgirls growing up by an Abbey near High Wycombe. Red-haired Joan and Joy were the original Abbey Girls and the series followed them into adulthood, with eventually their own children following the original Abbey Girls’ traditions. I only have a few of the books, nowadays they are collectors’ items, but I’d love to track down more in the series one day.

The Abbey Girls were members of the Hamlet Club, they learned elaborate country dances that I wanted to be able to do and spent ages prancing around our living room pretending I could. The girls were chosen to be “May Queens” with their own designated flower and colour associated with their reign. I wore a nightie of my mum’s and rooted through our linen cupboard for something I could use as a train when I was pretending to be a May Queen. I think I used a bath towel in the end, probably not exactly the look the characters were going for! Joy was responsible for me wanting red hair from a young age, something I’ve achieved a few times over the years. Sometimes a female character would “disappear” for a short while only to “reappear” with twins, which I also thought was kinda cool. A bit eerily, fast forward a few years and I too now have twins, so I should probably be grateful I inherited the Abbey books from mum and not, say, a Stephen King novel, or who knows how my life would have turned out. 😉

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

IMG_1560My twin boys are now in their early teens. I think the book I would want to pass on to them is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. It was on the syllabus at school when I was just a few years older than they are now and it’s the main book from that time that resonated with me. It’s such a famous book that we probably all know it’s about the burning of books as they are no longer allowed in society. Books are thought to cause unrest and unhappiness as they risk leading people to think. Better to be anaesthetised watching screens the size of walls pump information that doesn’t take too much processing.

Eep.

Considering it was written in 1953, it’s a scary, but wonderful, book. I remember my English teacher saying that when she first was teaching it, personal Walkman stereos were starting to become popular. This was the advent of people walking about wearing earphones, disconnected from those around them (which I’m not immune to doing, I admit). It struck such a chord with me at the time (around 35 years after the book was written) and I’d love to know how it’s viewed by my guys a further 30 years down the line.

That’s quite a mind-boggling thought. Thank you for sharing your inheritance books with us, Elle. Good luck with your new book.

TAPESTRY_front150dpiElle’s latest book Tapestry is available to buy now. You can find out more about Elle by visiting her on Twitter (@ElleTWriter), Instagram (elletwriter), Facebook (elleturnerwriter) or her website (www.elleturnerwriter.com).