Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Welcome to Romance Author - Jules Wake

I’m delighted to welcome romance author Jules Wake to my blog.

Jules Wake - Author

Hello Jules – Thank you for joining me on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat today. I’m always excited when a Romantic Novelists’ Association member steps up to the mark and is willing to delve into their personal and working life in order to share some of their inspirational experiences with readers. but before we discover more about your latest release - The Saturday Morning Park Run  - here are a few questions which will hopefully give your readers and followers an insight into some of the things that matter to you.   

Arabella: You’ve got an idea for a story but it has yet to take shape. Where do you start? Do you concentrate on the location in the story, or developing the characters personalities, or are there other key points you might consider?

Jules: For me it’s always the characters and their journey. I need to understand who they are, what they want and what motivates them before I can develop the story.  I’m lucky in that characters tend to pop into my head fully formed and then I have to work the rest out.  This sounds handy but actually it’s really annoying because it means that they don’t always do want you want them to!

Arabella: In your latest release The Saturday Morning Park Run what is the overall theme or premise, and what made you choose this topic?

Jules: This book about people being isolated from life either by loneliness, depression or anxiety and how they connect with their local community through running and setting up a parkrun in their local Victorian park. I’m a huge fan of the parkrun having started taking part in my local event nearly two years ago and I really wanted to share the sense of community that is a feature of these events. I’m what you’d call a reluctant runner, but at the end of the 5K I have a huge sense of achievement and I love the friendly atmosphere that greets me on a Saturday morning whether its wet and windy or gloriously sunny. I’ve been inspired by the stories of the people I’ve met from the lady that has lost twelve stone, the couple who met there and have now married and the husband who lost his wife who runs with his daughter every weekend.  There are former Olympians running, plodders like me, children, dogs, mums with buggies, people in their sixties and seventies, all running together. I really wanted to show this snapshot of community in this book.

Arabella: You’re stuck in a lift and it’s a two-hour wait before a pain-free extraction. What emergency rations would you like to be sent down the lift shaft?

Jules: Definitely a bottle of Prosecco, my full charged kindle and a packet of Cheddars. I’d be quite happy to have a couple of hours of uninterrupted reading time.

Arabella: You’ve arranged to meet up with friends and family for an afternoon of fun. Where do you go and what do you do?

Jules: At the moment, still in lockdown, I’d be quite happy for everyone to come to my back garden to share a really good bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and my favourite chilli spiced maple walnuts.

Arabella: The moment we are published, a career path is usually envisaged. Do you have any aspirations or ambitions for yourself and any future novels you might write?

Jules: My career path to date has been more of a zig zagging track up the side of a mountain, no clear direction but somehow more by luck than planning it’s on the upward trajectory!

When I set out, I hoped I might get a book published one day, that was as far as my thinking went. I joined the New Writers Scheme and got two wonderful reports (back in the day when you received a second read, if the first reader thought it was good enough).  I thought I’d got it made … several gazillion agent rejections later I started on a second book so that I could remain in the New Writers Scheme. Wind the clock forward and five books later.  By this time my first book had just been accepted by a small independent and I was on the path but in the meantime my fifth manuscript had just gone through the NWS with a rave report which suggested I approach agents.
I sent this manuscript out to an agent I’d been stalking, when I didn’t hear back I sent it to another five … and three came back to me! After years of rejection I couldn’t believe it. To cut a long story short my original agent, who I’d been stalking, came back to me and I signed with her. 

At this point I was dumped by the independent publisher because they don’t allow you to have an agent.  I was fairly devastated at the time but I had to make a choice, three books guaranteed with the independent publisher or take a chance with an agent and that she could sell my manuscript.  Not knowing much about the publishing industry or how things worked, I sent an email to an RNA member, Lynne Connolly, who I’d once met at a RNA conference and whom I knew from her posts on what was then the Romna yahoo group was very knowledgeable about publishing. Thanks to her sage words and extreme generosity in sharing advice to a complete newbie, I went with the agent.  She didn’t tell me what to do but she just expanded on my options and how publishing worked.  As a result I was able to come to a decision that I’ve never regretted and I’ll always be grateful to her for taking the time and trouble to respond to my email in such detail.

That book, my fifth that went through the NWS, became a digital best seller and since then my career has blossomed. The path divided into two and I became Julie Caplin as well as Jules Wake, writing travel based romances which was a suggestion from my editor. These have been hugely successful, and I’ve sold the foreign rights in a number of countries and am now a bestseller in the German market, something I could never have envisioned or planned for. 

 My first book was published in 2014 and I’ve just signed a new contract with One More Chapter, part of HarperCollins for seven books (!) which will take me to my twentieth book, so I have quite a good idea of what I’ll be writing for the next eighteen months. I’m very lucky because I have a wonderful relationship with my publishers, One More Chapter, and they support me in trying out new directions.  Later this year I’ll be writing a historic novel set in WWII which I’m very excited about and in December I’ll be publishing a contemporary romance which is a different style to my usual Jules Wake books. 
Despite these changes in direction, I’m a complete romantic so I can’t imagine I’ll be abandoning the romance any time soon.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine writing this many books, having two names or even being nominated for a Romantic Novel of the Year award not once but twice and I know that none of this would have been possible without the support, advice and amazing friendships that I’ve made since joining the Romantic Novelist’s Association.

Jules, it was wonderful to have such an entertaining guest on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat, and thank you for sharing a fragment of your writing journey with us.
It seems your publisher certainly has plans for you and your readers – seven novels are coming our way!
Best wishes and good luck for your latest release The Saturday Morning Park Run

Jules Wake - Author

Jules Wake announced at the age of ten that she planned to be a writer. Along the way she was diverted by the glamorous world of PR and worked on many luxury and not so luxury brands. This proved fabulous training for writing novels as it provided her with the opportunity to hone her creative writing skills penning copy on a vast range of subjects from pig farming and watches, sunglasses and skincare through to beer, wine and stationery, much of which has provided useful background in her stories.
She writes best-selling warm-hearted romantic contemporary fiction for One More Chapter as Jules Wake and under her pen name Julie Caplin, she writes the warm and witty Romantic Escapes series. 
Between them, the two Js have written fifteen novels, The Saturday Morning Park Run being the latest. (Released August 29th 2020)

Social Media
Twitter @Juleswake
Instagram @juleswakeauthor

Book Blurb:     The Saturday Morning Park Run

This is the story of two women.
One old, one young.
One looking for new adventures. One looking for a purpose.
Both needing a friend.
And this is how, along with two little girls in need of a family, a gorgeous stranger, and a scruffy dog, they bring the whole community together every Saturday morning for love, laughter and a little bit of running… (well, power walking).
Some people come into your life when you need them the most.

Buy Links:  Release date: 29th August 2020

1 comment:

  1. It was interesting to learn about your author journey, Jules.


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