Sunday, 4 December 2022

🍴 Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo ~ Julie Shackman

On this quiet Sunday morning why don't you put the kettle on, make your favourite breakfast and settle down for Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo

I'm delighted to welcome Julie Shackman to Sunday Brunch

Welcome, Julie. What favourite food are you bringing to Sunday brunch? 

Oh, something tasty like Eggs Benedict.

Would you like a pot of English breakfast tea, a strong Americano, or a glass of Bucks Fizz? 

Definitely a good old pot of English breakfast tea. I am rather a tea fiend!

Where shall we eat brunch – around the kitchen table, in the formal dining room, or outside on the patio? 

I suggest either at the kitchen table or out on the patio if the weather is good. I love getting lots of fresh air.

Shall we have music playing in the background, and if so, do you have a favourite piece of music? 

I am really into my music. I usually listen to music when I’m writing. My favourite band is Fleetwood Mac.

Which of your literary heroes (dead or alive) are joining us for Sunday Brunch today? 

What a great question! It would have to be Trisha Ashley, Sophie Kinsella, Jenny Colgan and William Shakespeare. All of these ladies are superb at creating such loveable (and not so loveable) characters and world building. As for Shakespeare, my all-time favourite play of his is Twelfth Night and I just think he must have been such a fascinating character and the first real romcom writer.

Which favourite book will you bring to Sunday Brunch? 

Oh dear! I have a few. It would either have to be Who’s Afraid of Mr Wolfe by Hazel Osmond or The Giver of Stars by Jo-Jo Moyes. They are both so beautiful and captivating.


When you are writing do you still find time to read for pleasure? And is there a book you like to read but haven’t had time for ...yet! 

I read somewhere a long time ago, that you can’t be a good writer if you’re not a good reader and I think that is so true. I read every day and always have a book on the go. I have rather a large TBR pile and am determined to read them all!

Where do you find the inspiration for your novels?

 It is often from a piece of music, or overhearing a piece of conversation. I find I often come up with ideas when I’m out walking Cooper, our two-year-old little rescue dog.

Have you a favourite place to settle down to write and do you find it easier to write in winter or summer? 

Before Covid struck, I used to go and sit in a local tea shop every day, but since then, I have had to adapt. Usually, I write sitting looking out of the sitting room window or in my office. I think overall, I maybe find it a little easier to write in winter, especially if its cold and snowy outside!

When writing to a deadline are you easily distracted and if so, how do you bring back focus on you writing?

 If I have a deadline, then I’m usually ok, but if there isn’t a deadline hanging over me, I find it easy to procrastinate and spend too much time on social media! I find that sitting reading a good book, will often make me refocus and remind myself that I should be getting on with it!

Give us four essential items that a writer needs? 

Perseverance – You never, ever, ever give up. If somebody had told me three years ago, that I would be published by HarperCollins, I would never have believed them. 

Secondly, optimism – Keep writing, keep reading and keep going. Don’t be despondent. A published writer is an unpublished writer who never gave up. 

Next, I would say, a desire to read. As I said before, you learn so much from reading and see from other authors what works and what doesn’t. 

Lastly, imagination. Write the sort of book you would want to read. If you do that, your enthusiasm will shine through and if you enjoyed writing it, then the reader will have enjoyed reading it.

What can you tell us about your latest novel or your current work in progress? 

My latest novel is called The Cottage in the Highlands and is book three in the Scottish Escapes feel-good romance series from the HarperCollins imprint One More Chapter.

Harper Collins
1 December 2022

When Leonie Baxter finds herself out of a job and out of a relationship, she’s at her wits end. Her life has just been turned upside down and she needs a plan, fast.

By chance, on a walk with her rescue puppy, Leonie stumbles across a striking house in the woods; fully furnished but unoccupied. As a journalist, she is determined to find out more, after all, reporting is in her nature.

But her attempts are thwarted by Lily Cruickshank who lives in the cottage next door. Why won’t Lily help Leonie? And who is the mysterious Flynn Talbot, whose letter Leonie finds inside the house?

And in uncovering the secrets of the abandoned house, will Leonie open her own heart and let love back into her life?

More about Julie

Julie Shackman is a former journalist from Scotland, who has always wanted to write feel-good romance. As well as being an author, Julie also writes verses and captions for greetings card companies. Julie admits to having an obsession with stationery and handbags. She is married, has two sons and a Romanian rescue pup, Cooper. The Cottage in the Highlands is Julie's seventh novel.

Julie where can wee follow you on Social Media ?

Twitter @G13Julie

Thank you for taking part in Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo.

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