World of Words: Novelist Julie Round on her passion for writing

FORMER schoolteacher and politician Julie Round, pictured above, decided to set herself a new challenge in retirement and is now the author of three novels, known as The Lane’s End Trilogy.

Why do you write?

To influence and entertain.

What prompted you to become a writer?

Having been a teacher and a politician, I wanted to carry on having an effect, but in my own time. I wanted to leave a legacy of ideas, so that I would be remembered for what I had written. It was my mother who got me writing the first novel, as she found she had read most of the large print books in the mobile library and didn’t like the content in some of the more modern works. I told her I’d write one she would enjoy and, thankfully, she lived long enough to read it.

How did you first get published?

After having a short story published in The Lady, I wrote a novel about a man with learning difficulties, because I believe there was too much emphasis on what people like him could not do, rather than what they could do. However, the publisher I approached said it was not commercial, so I published it myself.

What is the worst thing about being a writer?

Finishing a story. After months living in a different world, one has to come back to reality.

What’s the best thing?

Having someone say they enjoyed your book and asking you to write another. My first book, Lane’s End, became a trilogy because readers wanted to know what happened next.

Of what are you most proud?

Our children. It was only when they had grown up and left home that I started to write books.

How do you know when a book is completed?

A book isn’t done until it has been through a thorough editing process. As for my novels, I ended The Third Lane when all the characters had reached a satisfactory situation. I like happy endings.

Can you name a book that changed your life?

I think my moral compass was set by Beverley Nichols’ The Tree that Sat Down. It is very non-PC, but my father read it to us when we were children and I loved it. It is really about the power of kindness.

What do you think is the secret of being a good writer?

Reading – followed by a love of language, a grasp of character and the imagination to create a great plot.

What are you working on at the moment?

I have just completed a new novel, which is with a publisher.

What are you looking forward to in the future?

I like writing poems, and I hope to continue to record magazines, for The Voice of Progress, the local talking newspaper. I would like to write my memoirs, but not necessarily for publication.

What would you say to your 21-year-old self?

Don’t think you know everything. Writing is a skill and there is much more to learn than what you were taught at school. I found a creative writing class invaluable and still attend a writing group.