Interview with Julie Rayner

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
When I was in the last years of primary school, (I must have been 11 or 12 years old), I used to hang out with a friend on weekends, playing with our 'Barbie' dolls. We had it all between us; the 'Barbie' Manor House, the pool set with blow up pool furniture, the convertible, the 'Barbie' campervan ... the whole box and dice. We would sit around for hours making up stories and acting them out with the dolls. They were probably the first things I ever wrote down. I had a book with all the different stories and chapters or episodes of each scenario. Impossible boy meets girl stories with impossible heros and the worst bad guys ever! If I remember correctly, one of those epics involved the Medusa - can't even remember where I got that idea or what we used to represent her in our little shows, but I'm sure that our little dramas would have rivaled the most epic of the Greek Gods movies ... at least I thought so then.
What is your writing process?
Writing isn't a process to me; I just sit down and write what I'm thinking at the time. It's like writing a conversation, even though it's a one sided conversation. I try to write in a style that's easy to read and that's why I treat every piece as a conversation with a friend. Having said that, once written, any piece could be edited up to 10 times or more before it reaches the final cut. Pity you don't get the opportunity to edit real conversations ... life would be so much easier sometimes.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Again, I was in my last years of primary school and the library was one of my favourite hang outs. They'd just gotten a copy of JRR Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings". They told me that they thought it might be too old for me but I took it anyway and promptly devoured every word. The writing style captivated me; I could see the scenes flowing from the page directly to my mind's eye. So vivid and colourful with all that elvish speak ... it was the perfect escape for me and the entire series remains one of my all time favourites. Intellectual fantasy ... I just love it!
How do you approach cover design?
Total novice here. What looks good to me, other people laugh at. I was also very reticent to have my own photo on the book cover (doesn't everyone hate how they look in photos?) So realising my own limitations, I have a 'little man' that looks after my cover designs for me. I make some suggestions or tell him what I 'see' as the design and he puts it together for me.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Anything written by JRR Tolkien - my first venture into the world of fantasy and what an introduction! Tolkein will always be my first love.
Anything written by Robert A Heinlen - a friend of mine lent me a book one day because I was bored and I've tried to read everything written by Heinlen ever since. I love the style of his writing; it goes beyond just science fiction and he has a wonderful way of using the English language with flair and intelligence.
Two more in the fantasy genre` would be Stephen Donaldon's series of books in 'The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant - the Unbeliever' and Robert Jordan's 'Wheel of Time' series of novels. Again it's the intelligent use of language and the style of the writers that attract me.
Others that warm the cockles of my heart are whatever subject I happen to be having trouble with at the time and the appropriate 'Dummies' guide written just for that purpose; a pictorial guide called 'Dancing with Cats' by Burton Silver and Heather Busch (furry little buggers make me laugh); Douglas Adams' 'Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy' and associated titles and my battered combined Dictionary and Thesaurus.
What do you read for pleasure?
Haven't you figured that out from my list of favourite books yet? Anything fantasy based ... so long as it's intelligently written .... and biographies ... factual biographies, Billy Connolly and The Kennedy's stick out as two of my personal favourites.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I don't have one. I'm old fashioned I guess, but I like books. I like to feel the weight of a book in my hand and turn each page. If I have to read on a device, I prefer my laptop ... I'm failing enough in the eye sight department that it's getting too hard to read on my iPhone anymore; if I magnify to the point where I can read the screen easily, there's only about four words left on the screen!
Describe your desk
Glass topped and messy. Files on the left for work to be done, files on the right for stuff I use everyday and the laptop in the centre. I've got a winged nymph that my mother in law made for me sitting on the edge of the desk with a menagerie of elephants, cats and a jade angle given to me by another friend. I've got crystals hanging in the window so that when the sun hits in the afternoon I'm surrounded by rainbows.
When did you start writing?
Probably as soon as I could string three words together in a sentence. I have a great love of the English language and have always written bits of what I thought was poetry and 'songs' ... the sort of things you write as a teenager, full of angst and unrequited love.
Through various parts of my working life, I've written technical works; training manuals, software manuals, and legal documents but the real writing began when I started my real estate career. I've been writing articles for my websites and news letters for the last couple of years but have only recently forayed into the world of print and publishing. So I guess the real answer would be 2011 when I started writing the book I'm now publishing.
What are you working on next?
I've still got at least two books left to write on different aspects of real estate and in between times I'll be working on articles for various publications, magazines and newspapers. I'm also planning on getting into blogging when I have a little more time to spare.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My husband .... and why wouldn't you? Each day brings a whole new world and a whole new group of opportunities in so many different forms. Why would you want to lie in bed and miss out on all that? Then there's always a new house to check out somewhere, whether in person or on-line .... there's just something different going on every day and it's a constant challenge to see what pops up next. So I guess if you want to break it down to one word, it would be curiosity; I'm curious about what the new day brings and that's why I have to get out of bed each day ... for better or for worse.
Published 2014-03-25.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

101 Things To Do To Sell Your House For More
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 37,780. Language: Australian English. Published: November 16, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Real estate / buying & selling homes, Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Real estate
As a real estate agent, I exist to help you sell your home for the best price in any market. I’m going to walk you through your house from the street to the back fence. We’ll look at quick fixes, budget reno’s, tips and advice to put you in the best position for a speedy sale at a great price. Then I get in depth on the sales process, explain 'real estate speak' and share insider tips and tricks.