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Travel Thursday with Julie Stock

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I'm talking to popular romantic novelist, Julie Stock, today about how her travels have inspired her work. Welcome, Julie. Can you tell you tell us a bit about where you live.

Hi, Karen. I live in rural Bedfordshire in a small village in the heart of the countryside.  

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Bedfordshire

We’ve lived here for nearly thirty years and I enjoy the setting a lot but I also feel we’re in a good spot for easy access to London and the rest of the country as well. I grew up in a large town before going to university in London, and although it took me a while to adjust to the peace and quiet when we first moved here, I probably prefer small town life overall.

It sounds an ideal place to live, Julie. Do you like to travel about much? What is your favourite means of travel?

As much as I enjoy being at home, I absolutely love to travel as well. Travelling is one of my favourite things and I really like having a holiday to look forward to. I’m not sure I have a favourite means of travel though! For many years, we would drive to France in the summer but it would always be quite stressful getting to the ferry on time and then often hauling our way down or across France once we reached the other side of the channel. And yet flying can be equally miserable. This summer we’re going to Menorca for the first time and our flight leaves at 6.35am! However, the flight isn’t too long so we’ll be okay. If I had a private jet, now, that might become my favourite way to travel...

Me too! What countries have you visited or lived in?

Apart from the UK, I have only lived in France. I lived there during my degree for my year abroad and my husband-to-be came with me, which was a sort of a trial run for marriage!

I have visited most countries in Western Europe, mainly France as I also have French family,but also because of my love of the French language and all things French. We’ve been to Spain several times, Portugal, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands, Czechia and Greece. We haven’t yet ventured very far east in Europe so we have all that yet to discover. We have also visited a few places in America, including Nashville, Memphis, Los Angeles and Boston but there are many places we’d still like to go back for. There are obviously whole continents missing from our travelling experience so we have a lot of places on our bucket list.

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Memphis

What country/place has made the most impact on you? Why?

We had a wonderful holiday in Crete a few years ago and at the end, none of us wanted to leave. It was strange really because when we arrived, our villa had no water and we were very impatient about things not being sorted out quickly enough. But we soon fell into the Greek way and found that we enjoyed the slower pace of life and the way that material luxuries didn’t seem to be that important.

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Crete

Have you featured any of the countries/places you’ve visited in your novels?  Tell us a little about them?

My tagline on my website is contemporary romance from around the world and it was my love of country music and Nashville, in particular, that got me started writing in the first place. So my first book, From Here to Nashville, was all about a singer/songwriter from Poole in Dorset who dreams of being a successful country music star all the way over in Nashville.

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My second book, which I’ve just published, is called The Vineyard in Alsace and this one draws on my love of France, and Alsace especially. It also allowed me to use my knowledge of winemaking, gained from the time I spent working at a mail-order wine merchant some years ago.

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How do you do your research? Do you use google or actually visit the place?

I hadn’t actually been to Nashville when I wrote my first book so I did do a lot of research on the internet. Then I was able to follow that up with proper research because I visited Nashville just two months after I published my book and luckily, all my references were fine.

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Is there any country/place you would love to write about but haven’t visited yet?

I’d love to visit Marrakech one day and I could imagine setting quite an interesting romance story there. I’ve always wanted to visit Chile since learning about their wines when I first worked in the wine trade, and again, I could imagine that would be a beautiful setting for a romance. In fact, this is all giving me lots of new ideas!

 

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Alsace

 

 

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 Alsace

Have you started work on your next novel yet and if so, where will it be set?

I have and it’s going to be set in Devon, which seems a bit less exotic than Nashville or Alsace but is every bit as interesting. One day, a few years ago, I was daydreaming looking at restaurants for sale on the internet and I came across this particular one which gave me the idea for this book. I’m now about a third of the way in and working hard to get to the end of my first draft.

Meet Julie

Julie-Stock

A bit about Julie

Julie Stock is an author of contemporary romance from around the world: novels, novellas and short stories. She indie published her debut novel, From Here to Nashville, in February 2015 and has just published her second novel, The Vineyard in Alsace. A follow-up novella to From Here to Nashville is also in progress, as well as the next novel.

She blogs regularly on her website, 'My Writing Life.' You can also connect with her on Twitter and via her Facebook Author Page.

She is a proud member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and The Society of Authors.

When she is not writing, she works part-time for a charity as a communications officer, and freelance as a web designer and supply teacher. She is married and lives with her family in Bedfordshire in the UK.

Thanks so much for dropping by to talk to us, Julie.

Many thanks for having me on your blog, Karen. It’s been lots of fun talking about my travels.

 

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  1. Karen

    It's a pleasure, Julie. I'm getting itchy feet too, hosting all these travel blogs. :)

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  2. Julie Stock

    Thanks so much for hosting me, Karen. The pics all look lovely and they're giving me itchy feet!

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