Lots of things inspired 'Drawing with Light'; I started with a landscape (the Pyrennes in France ) and an image of a mother and a teenaged daughter meeting for the first time. That led me on to asking lots of questions: what had happened? Why did she leave? I started working out these things, and seeing the connections that might be there between the mother and Emily even though they have been apart for most of Emily's life. This led me to thinking about art, and photography, and other things. I really wanted to write a love story, about real first love, and how it changes you and makes things possible...
I loved Emily’s passion for photography. Is this a subject that interests you too?
Yes, I'm interested in the same things as Emily - art, and photography... I got more interested when one of my sons did A level Photography. He was very helpful to me while I was writing my story!
I really loved the character Seb – he was just really sweet. Do you have a favourite character from any of your books?
I'm glad you liked Seb! He's based on a real person I once knew and loved! I love all my characters: it's too hard to choose one favourite (it would be like choosing one of your own family as your favourite!)
I love that your books deal with very emotional and real life topics. What made you decide to tackle these subjects?
I'm so glad you like the fact I write about real life emotions. I write about the things that are important to me, that fascinate me. That means people and relationships. Real life rather than fantasy. I want to explore complex emotions. I think you feel everything deeply when you are a teenager (but actually, all our lives we feel like that, I realise now!). I write the books I would have liked to read when I was a young adult.
What authors/books did you love when you were growing up? Did any of these inspire you to become a writer yourself?
Yes, I loved reading so much when I was younger I wanted to write my own stories. Everything has influenced me, I think, right from the very beginning (Peter Rabbit, The Borrowers, Tom's Midnight Garden, The Children of Green Knowe .. then I Capture the Castle, the Flambards series .. Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights ; more recently, Skellig and Heaven Eyes by David Almond... and I've just read a book called 'Tender Morsels' which I thought was brilliant.
What is next for you? Will we see more of Emily and Seb?
I'm writing some more about Freya, from 'Breathing Underwater' at the moment... and I'd love to write more about Emily and Seb. I have to talk to my publishers first, to see what they think about that idea!
Thanks for asking such good and interesting questions!
Thanks Julia! I'm really looking forward to reading more about Freya and really hope you get to write more about Emily and Seb! You can read my review of Drawing With Light here and you can read an extract of Breathing Underwater here. You can also visit Julia's website here.