Julia Williams has always made up stories, and until relatively recently thought everyone else did too.
Julia grew up in North London, one of eight children, including a twin sister who also writes. She attended St Michael's Grammar School, before going to Liverpool University to study English. While at university she met her husband, David, a dentist. They have four children and live in Surrey.
After leaving Liverpool, Julia went into a career in publishing, firstly in academic books (which she loathed) and then into children's books (which she still loves). Following the birth of her second baby, Julia left to start a freelance career, and decided that now was a good time to start writing.
Julia is proud to be a member of The Romantic Novelist's Association.
Q) When do you normally get in the Festive spirit?
I love attending Christmas Carol services. Nothing like a good sing along to get in the festive mood. Though I am rather glad my children are beyond the point of Nativities, as I have sat through some dire ones in my time (one of which formed the inspiration for the first Nativity Marianne has to help out with in Last Christmas.)
Q) What is a family tradition you like to have or do at Christmas?
My children still demand stockings, so that's a big one. Decorating the tree is another. We don't I think have any specific family traditions, but we always have a turkey. On the rare occasions when I have got out of cooking on Christmas Day the children have all demanded a Christmas Eve turkey instead... We tend to eat at lunchtime and then watch Dr Who and whatever else is on on Christmas Night.
Q) How do you feel when your writing your Christmas books in Summer?
That is always a challenge I have to admit. I used to keep the kids' Christmas lists and letters to Santa to help inspire me. Plus I tend to keep hold of festive mags and write down silly things that have happened the previous Christmas to try and get me in the mood. The hardest thing is picturing snow on a sunny day in June!
Q) Do you love buying/wrapping gifts and seeing everybodys face's on Christmas Day?
I am a rubbish wrapper, and I have a big family, so no, I hate wrapping gifts. But I do enjoy the buying and I love it when a present works.
Q) What it is like on Christmas Day for you & your family?
It's a lot easier now then it was, as the children get up at a reasonable hour. (We had one hideous year, when I went to bed at 2am and they all got up at 4am!). So I get up now and put the turkey on and go back to bed. The children unwrap their stockings, and then we allow them presents from the tree till lunchtime. Lunch is traditonally about two hours later then I think it's going to be - as we had a rubbish cooker. That should be better this year, as we bought a new one in January. The old one also made it's way into Coming Home for Christmas. Cat's life parallels mine in quite uncanny ways.
Q) When do you normally put your Christmas tree up?
Earlier then I'd like, later then the rest of the family would like. But usually a couple of weeks before Christmas. I don't like having it up too late as I prefer the anticipation being closer to the event. We usually all join in and we have lights in our conservatory, and when it's up I feel properly festive.
!!Festive Giveaway Time!!
The lovely Julia is offering one lucky winner a signed copy of Coming Home for Christmas