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Sunday, 22 January 2017

My Favourite Things by Julie Ryan, Author

Food  Savoury and sweet

I’m a real chocoholic so my favourite sweet food is absolutely anything to do with chocolate. If I had to choose then a moist chocolate fudge cake with cream is up there. For savoury food it’s hard to beat roast chicken with all the trimmings.


I can’t get through the day without tea and coffee. I have a cup of freshly brewed coffee first thing to kick me into gear then it’s tea all day long – must be something to do with being born in Yorkshire where the kettle was always on the boil. As for alcohol then my favourite tipple is a glass of red wine, French preferably!


When it first came out, I went to the cinema five times to see ‘Shirley Valentine.’ I loved the dialogue, the Greek setting and empathized with the desire to break out of the mundane – so much so that the following week I booked myself on a plane to Athens. I didn’t fall in love with a Greek though the experience did lend itself to the theme of one of my novels.


There’s a bit of a Greek theme to my life and one of my all time favourites is ‘The Magus’ by John Fowles. He captures the mystery and excitement of Greece perfectly and each time I read it, I find something new in it.


The Greek theme continues as I love Victoria Hislop. Along with a handful of other authors such as Philippa Gregory, she’s one of the few whose books I’ll buy without even reading the blurb and I haven’t been disappointed so far.


I have long admired Scarlett O’Hara in ‘Gone with the wind’, partly because she’s so annoying but at the same time she’s so full of life and has to deal with some real tragedies. Beautiful, sulky, generous, selfish, outspoken – she portrays the characteristics that all of us possess to some degree, a woman born in a time to which she doesn’t belong or fit in.


Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen fascinated me when I was growing up and is the first pop video I remember. I defy anyone not to join in the lyrics or start pulling funny faces. It’s my feel-good factor song even though when you actually listen to the words it isn’t what I’d call a ‘happy’ song – nevertheless I think it’s brilliant.

Holiday destination

Bet you can’t guess this one, right? My favourite holiday destination has to be somewhere in Greece – anywhere in Greece in fact. With its miles of beautiful beaches, friendly people, good food and magical light what’s not to like? One of my favourite islands is Aegina, easily reached from Athens but I have a longing to return to Crete as I hardly scratched the surface on my first visit.


I am most definitely a cat person. I currently have two of them, Gizmo ( Gizzie to his friends) who was rescued from a farm ten years ago and Smudgie who adopted me a couple of years ago. They both have very different personalities and although they don’t really like each other, they tolerate each other.


Whilst there are many people I admire, my favourite person has to be my son. When I met my husband, I didn’t think I would be able to have children so when this little bundle came into the world nine years ago, he was and is very precious. He is not only kind and sensitive but has an other-world quality about him as if he’s been here before. Naturally he can also be the most annoying person in the whole world and knows just how to push my buttons.

Place to write

A couple of years ago, my husband bought me a writing desk. The intention was to create a writing nook in the space between the bathroom and the bedroom. Time and money haven’t been on our side and the space is still waiting to be plastered and the desk sits reproachfully in its box waiting for its moment of freedom. Meanwhile I can only sit and dream of what might be as I write this perched on the end of the dining room table amidst all the breakfast things.


I love Spring – mainly because it’s a sign that the dreary dark nights of winter are coming to a close. I love seeing the trees and flowers being reborn and there is the element of anticipation of what summer might bring. Perhaps because I got married and my son was born on beautiful spring days, this is the season that resonates with me most.


In my view, Christmas is the only redeeming feature of winter so we try to make the most of it. The tree goes up during the last weekend of November and it’s a family tradition to decorate it together. We also buy some new baubles to add to it each year. Then it’s time for the first Christmas film as we sit and watch old favourites like ‘ A muppet Christmas carol’ or ‘Elf’ and open the first box of Christmas chocolates. Every year I have to go out at the last minute to buy more – why do I never learn?

Inspirational quote

“Carpe diem’ – seize the day. Life really is short and we should make the most of every minute.

Thing in the whole world

The book I made about my son’s infancy full of details of his first steps, birth weight and so on. It’s amazing how quickly you forget the key moments and looking at this makes me realise how lucky I am. It has a lock of his hair after it was cut for the first time and his first baby tooth. I’m just a big soppy mum.

Purchase Links 

Author bio and links

Julie Ryan’s roots are in a small mining village in South Yorkshire. After a degree in French Language and Literature, wanderlust kicked in and she lived and worked in France, Poland, Thailand and Greece. Her spirit enriched, her imagination fired, Julie started a series of mystery romances, thrillers set in the Greek Isles. 
Jenna's Journey is the first novel in Julie Ryan’s Greek Islands Series, a series she did not set out to create but which took on its own life and grew, rich and fascinating. This is the first of three published so far, and now as a newly released edition in the USA from Booktrope, it promises to delight readers looking for the hidden dark sides of dream vacations in the Greek Isles. Pandora's Prophecy and Sophia's Secret make up the rest of the trilogy.

In a totally new departure, Julie's latest release is a romantic Christmas comedy, Callie's Christmas Countdown, is a fun, light-hearted read that you can relax with if you can grab a few moments amidst the hustle and bustle of all that the season entails.

A prolific and well-known book review blogger, Julie does her writing and reviewing from rural Gloucestershire, where she lives with her husband, son and dippy cat with half a tail.
You can find Julie on her websites:
Website/blog for book reviews

Twitter @julieryan18

Thanks for joining us on My Favourite Things Julie
Book Angel x