Mar 30, 2013

Carol’s ‘Close Up’ today with Author Julia Hughes!


Carol’s ‘Close Up’

Carol Bridgestock

I am thrilled today to be having a chat with Author Julia Hughes. Her latest book I am pleased to say is aimed at young adult readers. ‘The Griffin Cryer’ is her first title in this market. Come with me and learn more about what this enormously talented lady is up to  and what the reviewers say ;-) … 


  Lovely to meet you Julia! Tell me what are you working on now that the ‘The Griffin Cryer’ is out?

Catching up with my sleep: we’ve just finished a major book promotion on “The Griffin Cryer” which is my first title aimed at the young adult market. We’ve had some outstanding support from the indie community, and some outstanding reviews too. I feel as though I’ve bought shares in the words “Thank you!”

I know. A lot of new authors and readers think that once the book is launched that’s it but that is when the work starts isn’t it? For if we don’t promote our work then how does anyone know about it? You’re doing a sterling job Julia – glad to have met you!

Okay, so now we’re friends share something with me that nobody else knows about Julia. ;-)  

Well – I’ve already shared (with the lovely Charlie Plunkett in her “100 Little Words on Parenthood”) that I screamed the hospital down when I was in labour with my first born – like Jen in “White Lilies” I was minutes away from a caesarean and forced to undergo an epidural. Reading Jen’s ordeal brought memories flooding back, and every woman vows ‘Never again.’ Until the next time!

Absolutely! The strange thing was when I came to writing those scenes I had actually forgotten the details (maybe as it was because it is 28yrs since I had Sammy), and had to enlist the help of two friends who were pregnant. Luckily Kate Young actually gave birth to Mattie just as I was about to  write the birth which was  great timing!

Who would you like to share a cup of coffee and a natter with?

Right now, I’d like a coffee and natter with the best-selling authors of the “DI Dylan” series. I’ve heard the book rights have just been snapped up by a major telly company, and I’d love to congratulate them in person.

Although we have sold some rights of ‘Deadly Focus’ we haven’t sold the rights to the Dylan TV series yet. ;-)  The report in the national tabloid yesterday was subbed dramatically from what Natasha Harding actually wrote about us in The Sun newspaper. We are actually working with award winning scriptwriter Sally Wainwright and a production team at Red Production Company who are presently at the cutting edge of British drama for TV, and have been for a few years . ‘Happy Valley’ is reported by the BBC to be a major drama commission for BBC 1, 2013. It’s a 6 x 60min series kidnap drama that will be filmed this year. We will have more news to share in the near future but that’s all I can say for now… ;-)

How do you relax?

R.E.L.A.X. How are you spelling that? Can’t seem to find it in the dictionary – LOL! I seem to remember I enjoy dancing, mucking out horses, and walking dogs.

Me too! We’d have a lot in common – if we had the time! :-) If you won the lottery what do you think you would spend it on?

I’d give it all away – I adore the telly programme “Secret Millionaire” the look on the faces of those people who work tirelessly to make their community a better place to live in is heart-warming. To be able to make a difference to the lives of people who make a difference to others would be worth every penny.

Ha! You’re not going to believe this but when we do talks we give the proceeds to our local hospice and we always say that if we won the lottery, once we have seen our family are okay we too would love to make a real difference to others lives…

Are you a savoury or sweets girl?

Depends.  I could be both, or neither and sometimes forget to eat. Whatever’s put in front of me really.  Given the choice, I’m one of those who choose quality over quantity every time, and would rather have a sandwich of homemade bread and good cheese than a McDonalds.

OMG this is really freaky – you are me. I’m sure we are out of the same mould!  Okay, what do you have in your handbag right now?

LOL – I don’t carry a handbag. I do have an oversized beach bag that I drop Tinker into, and then she goes into the bike basket when I’m cycling on roads. I guess you could say Tinker’s in my bag.

Mine’s not a beach bag and I don’t have a bike now but it is a big bag with everything but the kitchen sink in it. Come to think of it Belle and Vegas, our Springers would be hard pushed to fit in. What’s your earliest memory?

Riding on my dad’s shoulders as my parents walked along Hammersmith Broadway. I caught sight of his reflection in a shop window, and I can see him now wearing a hound-dog’s tooth checked suit and his “Buddy Holly” glasses. He still dresses so smartly, and I’m still metaphorically riding on my parents’ shoulders. (At my age(!))

Love it! One of my earlist memories are that of sitting on my dad’s shoulders at a Halifax Town Football match! Mum & Dad live in our house annexe now.What’s your favourite smell?

Blackcurrant. It always reminds me of country lanes after a rainfall.

The figure from history that you’d like to buy a pie and a pint?

Nell Gwenn – she seems like a girl who knew how to have a good time!

Absolutely! ;-) We’ve stayed here The house was enlarged by George Brydges to accommodate Charles II and Nell Gwynne.

What piece of wisdom you would pass onto a child?

I think most children would rather listen to fairy tales, rather than some old dear telling them never to accept any limitations.

The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it?

What makes you think I haven’t already committed it? :D I secretly admire people who manage to pull off betting scams, a la “Ocean’s Eleven.” In fact – I’m currently laying the finishing touches to a horse racing coup. I’m just scouting for a race track where communication is scanty. Would you guys like a piece of the action? (Best not to tell DI Dylan, though he’s a diamond geezer.)

Shh… I won’t tell Dylan. ;-)

We all have a tune that means something to us for one reason or another. What song means the most to you?

This really is a hard one to answer. I’m going for Jose Feliciano’s version of “Twilight Time”. The lyrics are beautiful, the song begins : “Heavenly shades of night are falling, it’s twilight time, out of the mist your voice is calling …” It speaks to me of home, and people you adore returning from work, or school, or even a shopping trip or day’s excursion. But they’re home, and here with me again. “Together, at last at twilight time.”

A bit like the old song ‘I’ll be home for Christmas…’

What is the philosophy that underpins your world?

Toleration: if someone happens to be a little snappy or rude – it’s usually because they’re having a bad day, and I think it’s pointless to take offence. Until you’ve walked a mile in another’s shoes, you shouldn’t judge them.

 The way you want to be remembered?

I’d like to be remembered as a good mother, a loving daughter, a loyal sister, a supportive member of my community, and an inspired writer. I’ll probably be remembered as someone who was always late though.

The PLUG….

Having published four titles, including three in “The Celtic Cousins” adventures, marketing guru and fellow author Sean Campbell advised me to consider writing a novel aimed at Young Adult readers. Materially, youngsters today have more than we did, but more is expected from them, especially academically and employment wise.  I do have a huge admiration for the way youngsters cope with parents splitting up, step families, peer pressure and studying for exams. I wanted to pay tribute to the good decent living kids of today, and Sean’s advice began to germinate ideas, in particular an ordinary teenage girl with more than her fair share of problems. Walking my dogs over the fields and hills last September, I paused to admire the view from a summit, and watched in amazement as a massive cloud of vapour began to rise from the lakes behind our village, swelling and ballooning until it had blotted out the entire landscape.

“Anything could be hidden in that mist” I told myself, and there was a feeling that something truly magical was about to happen. That’s how “The Griffin Cryer” was born. 

Over the past thirty days or so, “The Griffin Cryer” has received 47 reviews in the US, and 17 reviews with a solid average of five out of five stars in the UK, as well as complimentary five star reviews from Germany, and Canada. The story line appears to have struck a chord with adults and young readers and I couldn’t be more delighted with the feedback received. The ebook is available to download for 99cents, or around 77p, for a limited time only.

Below is the synopsis for ’The Griffin Cryer’, where you can download and where you can reach Julia.

Thank you so much for our chat Julia I am so very glad that our mutual love of writing brought us together and I hope that you will stay in touch.


Carol x 

Synopsis for The Griffin Cryer:

It’s an easy mistake to make – instead of whistling and calling for her dog, fifteen year old Frankie accidentally summons a griffin and his rider from another world. The Rider is tall, blond and extremely rude. On the other hand, Balkind is the sweetest, most lovable griffin Frankie’s ever met, and Frankie is determined to help the Rider and his griffin find a way back to their own world.

Dealing with parallel universes, disgruntled warriors, and hungry griffins is the easier part of Frankie’s life. At school, Frankie learns friends can become enemies, teachers aren’t always right, and the boy of your dreams can be all too human. Told in approximately 53,000 words, suitable for young adults, and all those who’ve ever dreamed of riding a griffin.

You can download “The Griffin Cryer” from or for only 77p, or 99cents. This offer is for a limited period only, and subject to change.


You can catch Julia tweeting on twitter @tinksaid, or visit Julia’s site to discover more about Julia and her books: A Raucous Time; A Ripple in Time; An Explosive Time and the stand alone romantic adventure “The Bridle Path.”


  • Thank you so much Carol, it’s an absolute pleasure to have met you both, and thank you for this opportunity to meet with your lovely readers here in cyberspace! Congratulations on the massive success of your latest book “White Lilies” I see it’s already rocketing up the charts, with rave reviews, and deservedly so!

    Julia x

    • Thank you Julia for your kind words. It has been a great pleasure to meet you through our mutual love of writing. I hope we can stay in touch. Good luck with everything. :-) x

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