Our June Q&A is with author, Julia Scott. I’ve been a follower of Julia’s on Instagram for a couple of years now, since I became more active on the platform. Her feed always looks so organised and pretty, you really should take a look.

I’ve had her novel, The Mirror Souls, in my TBR pile for a while and finally got around to it during lock-down. Take a look at my review here. Julia is multi talented as she also has a formatting and logo creation business. I would highly recommend these services as, if you’ve taken a look inside my own book (Sorceress of Truth) you will see her handiwork first hand. She really has a way of bringing the pages to life.

Anyway, back to the Q&A, and here’s a little bio.

Julia Scott is a British author, whose goal is to take you out of ‘regular life’ and teleport you to new worlds and alternate futures through her writing. The Mirror Souls is her debut novel, and like many sci-fi and fantasy books, it started off as a dream.

In her ‘other’ life, Julia lives in Essex, England with her husband and two children. She spends her time mum-ing, writing, prettifying books (via Evenstar Books), graphic designing, singing, and digging or planting stuff up in the garden without really knowing what she’s doing.

Getting to Know You

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I spent lots of time at the beginning of my journey researching whether or not I wanted to walk the path of traditional publishing or not. Ultimately, I decided to become an indie author right now, because I was impatient and didn’t want to wait years for my book to make its way to print! I also wanted more creative control over my book. That’s not to say I’d never consider traditional publishing in the future. You never know what’s going to happen…

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I’m a mum, so all of the things that come along with that take up a fair amount of my time! I love to sing, plant pretty things in the garden, game, and read of course. I’ve recently discovered audiobooks and doing diamond art at the same time as a fun pastime; it really pulls me out of the real world for a while.

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It’s probably the response from readers. Not from an egotistical point of view, but just knowing when my stories have brought someone joy, or made them think, or just given them some time out of the stress of life – it’s a great feeling.

The Writing Process

What is your writing process?
When I wrote The Mirror Souls, I generally had no clue what I was doing. I just wrote and wrote and wrote without any kind of direction. It worked out pretty well, even if I did need to change some (many!) things afterwards! However, with the second and third book in the trilogy, things are having to be pulled together in a much more structured way. I usually plot in sections though, rather than a whole book at once, because the ideas come to me as I go along. Or just before I’m about to go to sleep!

How do you get inspired to write?
Us writers can’t help but be inspired to come up with new story ideas. A book outside of The Mirror Souls trilogy that I’m looking forward to writing is a sci-fi, and came from the question ‘what if’? And The Mirror Souls came from that exact same question. I love ‘what ifs’, and I encourage other writers to think about them as much as possible, not just in their writing but also in the business of publishing books. Dream big!

What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
Take every piece of ‘writing advice’ with a pinch of salt. Not every method will suit everyone. Listen to those who are successful and learn from them, but ultimately, everyone’s journey will look different. Just be you.

Reading

What are your five favorite books, and why?
Don’t make me choose just five! That’s so harsh! I’m a fan of series so they’ll be chosen as a bunch of books rather than just one. I don’t care if that’s cheating or not… (Don’t worry Julia, I would do exactly the same! – Jodie)

  1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (all books) – these books got me back into reading as a teenager, during a time where I was very stressed with school and health issues. They took me out of the real world and showed me a hidden one that was full of fun and adventure. They’ll always hold a special place in my heart.
  2. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (all three books, not the novella, haha!) – not many books can make me burst into tears but these books managed to several times. There are things I don’t love about this series, but they were trumped by the things I did love.
  3. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – this book was outside of my comfort zone, but I’m so glad I gave it a go. Not only was it addictive reading, it was beautifully written.
  4. Matched (the trilogy) by Ally Condie – this is a dystopian trilogy that really stuck with me over the years, one that I think back on and want to re-read again.
  5. The Dark Wood by Sydney Mann – this is a book I found from a fellow indie author, and I absolutely loved it! I’m a sucker for a love triangle!

As a side note, I really wanted to pick the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth, but I hated the third book with a passion, haha! So I had to sideline it.

How do you discover the books you read?
At the moment, I mostly pick up ideas for my next reads from Instagram, especially since becoming an indie author! Other than that, I’ll trawl the YA shelves in the library to see what jumps out at me.

What books are on your reading list this year?
Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas is top of the list! I want to read Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I have a HUGE amount of books on my TBR list by indie authors, so I need to get reading!

The Mirror Souls

Like the rest of the Gaian race, Alana’s life is ruled by the Avalon, the superior race who once created Earth and returned to reclaim it after humanity brought it to the brink of destruction. Because of the Avalon, every Gaian faces the risk of being moved from Region to Region, over and over, with no warning. Alana has no place to call home.

Fearing that she may be resigned to this life of control forever, the opportunity to explore the world outside of her Region is literally dropped into Alana’s pocket in the form of a small silver device.
Taking a leap of faith and teleporting to the unknown, Alana must discover who is pulling the strings in her life and why. But in her quest for answers and freedom, she’s thrown headfirst into a hidden battle for humanity alongside a boy whose life was destined to be entwined with hers from the start.

With the secret of who she really is starting to unravel and abilities she didn’t know she had rising to the surface, she becomes a commodity to whatever faction can keep her in one place.

But others around her are carrying secrets, too, and Alana must decide who to trust before she can change the fate of all the races.

What inspired you to write The Mirror Souls?
The plot for The Mirror Souls came from a dream I had about two soul mates who didn’t know about each other, and one was given a teleportation device so that they could travel across the world to find them. And of course the dream had a ‘bad guy’ which was the alien race who had reclaimed earth who were trying to stop them getting together. But that was about it, I had to fill the rest of the detail in! I sent a text message to a friend saying I’d had this dream that would make a great story for a book or movie, and she told me to get writing!

Is there going to be a follow up to The Mirror Souls?
My plan for The Mirror Souls is for it to be a trilogy. Book two is in progress and will likely be published around October/November 2020.

The Mirror Souls is available in hardcover, paperback and ebook from various retailers including Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes and Noble and Waterstones.

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