Author Interview: Q & A with Julia Cowan
Why did you start writing? Was there a specific moment when you decided to put pen to paper or words to a screen?
I’d had the idea for ‘Cells’ in my head for quite a while before I started writing. I guess the moment I started writing it was following a creative writing lesson in school (I worked with year 5 children at this point). They were creating their own characters so I went home and wrote the first three chapters of ‘Cells’. After that, I left it for a good few months before going back to it. I tend to think as I type rather than planning out a story first. ‘Cells’ took me about a year to write. Once I get into the flow of writing, I can keep going. If the ideas are not there, I won’t sit staring blankly at the screen.
What has been your hardest challenge this year?
Probably working on my own marketing for ‘Cells’. It’s all new to me. I’ve also written a second book which has also been pretty much ready for a while except I have known there has been something missing in it for a few months. During lockdown, I gave it a thorough edit and have redone the ending. Now I’m just waiting for a few beta readers to get back to me before embarking on the next step.
The book market has never been so tough as it is now. What advice would you give to aspiring authors to stand out from the crowd?
Definitely to connect with other indie authors. There is a good support network out there. However, I’m seeing a lot of fantasy books on social media so try and write something unique. Easier said than done!
Also a good cover will attract readers as well as getting your book edited. Sadly I’ve read far too many books this year with mistakes in.
What’s been your favourite book that you’ve read this year?
I’ve been reading a lot of indie authors this year so I’d have a top three:
The Edge of Insanity by James Flynn
Edge of the Breach by Halo Scot
Reliance by Paul McMurrough
Other than your own, which BLKDOG title would you recommend?
The Vulture King by Nikki Turner and Diary of a Vigilante by Shaun Curtis.
A mystery basket turns up on your doorstep. Would you prefer it contained a dog or a cat?
I’d take in another cat even though we have two already. However, I’d probably rehome a dog too providing it’s not a breed that sheds a lot of hair. Perhaps a poodle or something like that? No wet paw prints on my sofa either. On second thoughts, maybe I’ll stick to the cat!
Do you have a book in your mind that you know you’ll probably never actually write?
I’d love to write a classic horror but wouldn’t know where to start. I’m really enjoying reading dystopian thrillers at the moment but would need a new angle on this if I were to write one.
Which famous author do you most admire?
Probably Margaret Atwood or Susan Hill.
Which book have you read which you feel deserves much more acclaim that it has received?
I’d say Edge of the Breach by Halo Scot. I was hooked in from the start and am currently reading the sequel.
One of your books suddenly sells a million copies, how do you react?
Once I’d got over the shock, I’d quickly release another book! Depending on how much money I made, I’d look to pay off the mortgage and go on a first class holiday.
Julia Cowan is the author of Cells, for more information on this title click here.