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An Interview with Julie Shackman, Author of The Highland Lodge Getaway

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Julie Shackman is a feel-good romance author with the HarperCollins imprint One More Chapter. The Highland Lodge Getaway is Julie’s fifth book to be published with HarperCollins and her ninth novel in total.

When not writing books, Julie writes verses and captions for greeting card companies and loves to work out, read, listen to music, and take her rescue dog Cooper for long walks.

Julie lives in Scotland and has an obsession with stationery and handbags.

You can buy The Highland Lodge Getaway here.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

I’ve always been an avid reader and grew up surrounded by books. I hated maths at school and was never any good at it, but I was good at English and loved creative writing. My late mum always encouraged me and told me to never give up on my dreams.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I was a journalist for a while, studied Communication and Media, and I also worked in the Civil Service. I think any other job that you do can be a fountain of inspiration and give you ideas for stories, plots, and characters.

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

That feeling of excitement and almost disbelief never goes away for me! All the hard work, writing, editing, and revising is worth it when you hold your book in your hands and think “I wrote that out of nothing.” You forget about the rejections, the lack of responses, and the amount of effort it has taken. That’s why it’s so important to keep going, persevere, and never give up. It only takes one person to say “Yes.”

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

As it’s a festive romance, definitely the likes of “Step into Christmas” by Sir Elton John, “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey, and “I Believe in Father Christmas” by Greg Lake. They are my favorite Christmas songs for sure!

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

For The Highland Lodge Getaway, I hope the reader takes away the belief that okay, they can’t do anything about yesterday, but they can do something about tomorrow. That is essentially what Lottie teaches Blake. Don’t live in the past and regret the things you’ve done. Regret the things you haven’t done and then try to do something about that.

My perfect reader would be someone who just wants to escape in one of my books for a while; who wants to laugh, cry, smile, and lose themselves for a bit. That’s what I think storytelling should be all about.

What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?

For each of my books, it’s the response from readers. When someone says to me they lost track of time reading one of my novels, didn’t want the story to end, or found themselves falling for my hero, that’s what makes all the slaving over a hot keyboard worthwhile!

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

I’ve just finished writing Book 7 (Book 6, The Bookshop by the Loch, is out at the end of February) after having conducted a few rounds of edits with my agent, who submitted it to my editor about a week ago.

I’m now starting the first draft of Book 8, which is set on the Isle of Skye…

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