Hello! We are Ruby and Matilda from Australia. We are two crazy girls who love to read and write. We have been interviewing some of our favourite Wattpad authors for our creative writing class. This month it’s the turn of Julie Embleton who is an Irish writer. She has promised to post this exactly as we wrote it. We’ll know if she changes anything!
Where are you right now?
I am sitting at the desk in my living room.
Is it comfortable?
Almost. The chair is not the best for sitting in for long periods. I need one of those fancy schmancy leather padded ones.
Are you eating or drinking anything?
Yes, I’m drinking green tea.
What is the weather like?
It’s cold, bright and dry.
Is there any background music?
No. I can’t write with any distractions so it’s very quiet here, although my cat, Cassie, is softly snoring.
Do you plan to write today?
Yes. I will be posting to my blog and working on my next release; The Dawning.
Can you remember what you dreamt about last night?
Not clearly. It was something about driving my car – that’s all I can remember!
What came in your post today?
OK, warm-up over. Let’s get down to business. When did you start to write?
I started writing in my mid-teens but it was only ever for myself; I never shared my work with anyone. It was only in 2010 that I got the courage to publish online.
What is your process when it comes to developing and writing a new book?
I always have a few different stories brewing in my head so when one fleshes out enough I begin to download it onto my laptop. I begin by loosely mapping out the story and characters, during which time more plot details usually occur to me. Once I’m ready I’ll start with the scene that has me most excited. It could be the opening chapter or a scene halfway through the book. As soon as I start to type I become immersed in the story and all the pieces begin to fall into place. With a few key scenes written I then get a little more organised and plan out each chapter. I then use this plan as a guideline but it gets chopped and changed a lot along the way.
What, if anything, do you struggle with?
I wouldn’t really struggle with any part of the process but if I find my fingers hovering over the keyboard or constantly deleting chunks of paragraphs I get up and walk away until inspiration comes back to me. It may take a day or a couple of weeks before I’m ready and I’ve learned not to force it as, when I have, I’ve produced nothing but tripe.
What’s the most enjoyable part?
There are a few of those! Opening a brand new document to begin a new book is always very exciting. There’s something very inspiring about the cursor flashing in the top left hand corner of a very blank page and I always get a burst of impatience to have all the ideas in my head translated into words. I also love when I’m deep in the flow of the book and I get so absorbed into the plot and characters that it’s all I can think about morning, noon and night. Finally, I would say that completing the first draft is also a very enjoyable part. There’s always a big sigh of relief and a great feeling of accomplishment.
If you could be an animal, what would it be and why?
A cat. I like their independence, their flexibility and their elegance. They also get to sleep a lot.
Who would you like to be for a day?
Either one of you two.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a writer?
Write as often as you can and about what you love. Words flow much faster when there’s passion behind them. Reading is important too. Gobble up as many books as you can. When you’re ready I would definitely recommend joining a site like Wattpad.com where readers can interact with you and comment on your work. It’s a fantastic site for writers at every level.
If you weren’t a writer what would you be?
I genuinely don’t yearn for any other profession right now. I work part-time in personnel and I get a lot of satisfaction from my job. I get paid for it too, which is important, as I couldn’t support my family with my books – not yet anyway! I would, of course, love to be writing full-time but until then I’m very content with my paid job.
When was your last holiday abroad?
It’s been a while. I think it was about 2 or 3 years ago. I went to visit my sister who lives in France.
When did you last embarrass yourself in public?
Oh dear . . . thankfully I can’t think of an answer to that one.
What are working on at the moment?
A trilogy called The Voyager Chronicles. Two of the three books are complete and I will be publishing the first around April if all goes to plan. I also need to write the next book in the Turning Moon series. The second book, Released, ended with a bit of a twist and I already have readers demanding the next instalment. Sorry, readers. (NOT! Ha ha)
What books do you wish you had written?
Easy. Harry Potter. J K Rowling has an incredible mind and talent!
What was the last track you downloaded?
Sigma feat. Paloma Faith: Changing.
What was the last album you bought?
Ghost Stories by Coldplay.
Where would you like to be 5 years from now?
Very happily writing my books from home full-time, and knowing that all my friends and family are hale and hearty.
What was the last book you read?
The Telling Error by Sophie Hannah. It was a great book, a real page-turner. I found it very hard to put down.
What was the last book you started but couldn’t finish?
I read the first few chapters of The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon but I couldn’t get into it. I will pick it up again and give it a second chance though.
E-readers or real books?
Both. My Kindle is great for when I’m travelling but I love the feel and smell of real books. I think e-readers and real books will co-exist peacefully forever and ever.
Have you a guilty pleasure?
Re-runs of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Tell us a joke.
Q: What’s yellow and smells of bananas? A: Monkey puke.
Where did your Wattpad user name Giddygoat come from?
When I was in 2nd Class in school (not sure what that grade would be in your part of the world – I was about 7 years old) my teacher wrote at the end of my school report card that I was a bit of a ‘Giddygoat’. I didn’t think I was giddy, I was usually very quiet, but the label always lingered in the back of my mind. (Maybe it’s my alter-ego?) Also, the town where I live has a strong association with goats. Legend has it that St Patrick landed on one of the small islands off our coast and had a goat in tow. One day, while ashore on a missionary trip, his goat was stolen. When he demanded to know where his goat was the townspeople could only bleat in response. Once the goat was returned to the island they all got their voices back but the nickname ‘Skerries Goat’ was given to the people as a reminder of the naughty deed. So, bleat bleat, I’m a giddy Skerries Goat.
Finally, what’s the best and worst review you’ve received?
The best review was from a reader who said she stayed up until 3am because she couldn’t put my book down. I know that feeling, I’ve often done it myself so I was really chuffed to hear it. The worst review was from a reader who gave one of my stories 1 star out of 5 because it had no sex in it. It’s hard to please everyone!
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, Julie! What are you going to do for the rest of the day?
You’re welcome, Ruby and Matilda. It was a pleasure. It’s late morning right now so I’m going to get lunch soon and then I’ll work some more before my daughter comes home from school. Then it’ll just be the mundane house stuff like dinner, ironing etc. My glamourous life!