This is a picture of the Nile. It was a life long ambition to go on a Nile cruise and we did it in November 2017 and I would go again tomorrow. - Julia Sully Morgan
Today's interview is with Julia Sully Morgan, author of Tug of War
Tell me a little bit about yourself?
I am a former family lawyer who lives on the Welsh Borders with husband and a small dog, who thinks she is big. A life long interest in history especially the 17th century, I am a member of the Sealed Knot Society which has led me to make friends from all over the world. As I am typing this I am in the Northern Netherlands in a star fort at Bourtange after a weekend of fighting, singing, drinking and eating with people from all over Europe. I love to travel.
Tell me about your novel and anthologies?
The Tug of War came about after a conversation with a friend and his Uncle. It was coming up to the anniversary of D Day and he told us he had broken down after the invasion and been cared for by a French family. The Army had told them to stay where they were! My imagination was fired and after reading many biographies and general history books on the period the Tug was born. I knew many ex service men from the time in the SK, who had been at Arnhem, D Day etc., and had heard their stories. I did not want to write book about the destruction and death but a story about a man. My short stories are in anthologies by the Forest of Deane Writers, we have a Facebook page unfortunately our mentor died and it has fallen away, although some of us still meet and write. I have a short story coming out in an anthology on Peace by Tintern Abbey Festival sometime soon.
Your novel, Tug of War, is based on true events, what gave you the inspiration to write something on real events?
As I said earlier inspiration over dinner, and meeting the men and women who served and hearing their stories. One man I knew drove the first train after D Day for the Allies, another the gliders, and I can never forget Brigadier Peter Young, MC who founded the SK. He was one of the first Commando’s and his story is amazing, he won the MC twice.
Why did you want to tell that story?
I felt it was right to show the effect of war, and how the boys who left to fight came home men and their thoughts. The Tug of War is written in first person which I think helps it become more personal.
Do you find it hard to write a fiction story based on true events?
Amazingly no, having been a living history performer for many years it seemed right.
Tell me about your writing environment. People around? Alone? Music? Silence? Pen? Computer?
I can write with background noise, tv, music, radio if the story is coming. I block things out.
What do you love most about the writing process?
Telling a story that people enjoy and can relate to. With a twist at the end.
What do you hate the most about the writing process?
What advice would you give to yourself when you first started writing?
Practice and keep at it. Listen to good teachers, weigh up their advice and do not be influenced to write as they write. Everyone has a style of their own. Show don’t tell.
What can we look forward to in the future for you?
I have a novella, A Calabrian Summer which is ready to be edited, and the sequel to The Tug is nearly finished.
Where can we find more information about you? Learn about up-coming books?
I have a Facebook page, J M Sutherland rather heavy on tanks at the moment I am afraid, but other things are posted. I will be posting short, flash fiction during the summer.