Romance author to give talk on her journey to self-publishing

Author Julie Stock from Meppershall
Author Julie Stock from Meppershall

An author from Meppershall will be giving an insight into her journey to self-publishing.

Romance author, Julie Stock, will be giving a talk about her debut novel From Here To Nashville and her road to self-publishing, at Shefford Library on Thursday, November 26 from 6.30pm to 8pm.

After a two-year roller-coaster ride of writing, rewriting and editing her debut novel, Julie self-published her book, a country music romance, in February. First published on Amazon as an ebook, the paperback swiftly followed.

The idea for the story came to the contemporary romance author when she was watching the first series of the TV programme, Nashville. Julie said: “I’ve always loved country music and the current revival of the country music scene in the UK inspired me to sit down and write my novel.”

Along with thousands of other fans, Julie went along to the second Country to Country (C2C) Music Festival at the O2 in March last year and was amazed to see the growing number of UK bands on the pop-up stages, including The Shires, who are now riding high in the country music charts.

It was then that the author realised that her book would be tapping into a growing revival for all things country in the UK. By the time of the C2C Festival, the book had already been rewritten a number of times but Julie knew she needed professional help to get it publication ready.

She said: “Having heard of The Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) New Writers’ Scheme through social media, I joined up at the start of 2014 and my book was read and critiqued by one of their professional readers. When I received such a positive report from the RNA, it was all the validation I needed.”

She engaged a professional cover designer and once the book was professionally edited and proofread, she went ahead and self-published earlier this year.

She said: “I learnt so much during those first two years that made me realise that I could do this for myself. The writing community is so generous and with a lot of help from the RNA and also The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), I decided to take the non-traditional route to publishing and see what happened.”

Julie is hoping to attend the C2C Festival once again in March 2016, now in its fourth year and attracting the big names of country music, like Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert, as well as up and coming newbies like Kacey Musgraves and Sam Hunt.

The festival is supported by BBC Radio 2 and its familiar country music presenter, Bob Harris. Bob showcases the best of country music and Americana, old and new, on his weekly radio show on Thursday nights.

The C2C Festival is one of many such festivals celebrating country music around the UK every year now. The iconic Bluebird Café, mentioned in Julie Stock’s book From Here to Nashville even came over to do a show in Liverpool in August.

Julie and her family finally made it to Nashville themselves in April and managed to visit The Bluebird Café, as well as all the other places mentioned in Julie’s book, From Here to Nashville.

She added: “If you love music, you will love Nashville. Everyone should go at least once in their lifetime.”

Julie’s next book is set in Alsace in France, another place close to the author’s heart, having a French family background, and which led her to study French for her degree. This book is currently in the editing stage and is due to be published early next year.

From Here to Nashville by Julie Stock is published as a paperback and on Kindle through Amazon and it is also available through iTunes.