Monday Interview with Jean Bull

Jean Bull is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association’s New Writers Scheme and is the self published author of Gipsy Moth, a novel set in 1930s Devon, and an anthology of short stories entitled Postcards and Suntan Cream.

Jean Bull

Hi Jean, welcome to the Write Romantics Blog and thanks so much for taking the time to be an interviewee.

Hi everyone, thank you very much for letting me be a part of your blog. I live in Oxfordshire, and love exploring the countryside. I belong to a ladies walking group, but with all our talking, I’m sure we scare all the wildlife away! I also enjoy reading novels set in the places I visit at home and abroad.

We know that, like us, you are a member of the NWS but we wondered if you could tell us a bit about how you came to join, how long you have been a member, the genre you write in and what inspired you to start writing?

I joined the NWS three years ago after seeing an article in a writing magazine about Katie Fforde who said what a good opportunity it was for unpublished writers. I write mainly historical romance, but have written some modern stories too. I love history and one of my greatest wishes would be to travel back in time to see how things really were.

I’ve also adored books from an early age and would always ask for them for Christmas and birthdays, so I think my love of writing grew from that.

Please can you tell us a bit about your journey so far, your self-publishing experiences and what is next for you?

Like many authors, I found it very difficult, ok, impossible, to find an agent for my novel, Gipsy Moth. My husband read about EL James, and thought I should have a go, but of course, my book is nothing like hers!

Jean Gipsy Moth

I didn’t find self-publishing too difficult. Firstly I asked Samantha Groom to create a cover which was fantastic and really made me feel that self-publishing was possible. Then with the help of Catherine Ryan Howard’s book Self-Printed, and some guidelines from RNA member, Freda Lightfoot, I formatted my text for Amazon Kindle. Afterwards, I contacted Lonsdale Print Solutions to print me 100 copies to sell locally. It was wonderful to actually hold my own book in my hands!

Gipsy Moth has done quite well and you can buy it here. I am working on another novel set in the First World War, but I’ve also self-published a book of short stories Postcards and Suntan Cream which is available here!

Jean Suntan

Have you got any advice for other aspiring writers?

My advice is read as much as you can, and write as much as you can. You need the reading to develop your skills and feed your knowledge. And if you don’t write, your writing dreams will never come true!

What are your dreams and aspirations as a writer, in terms of your short-term and long-term career?

I would really like to be published by a mainstream publisher. I think that is every writer’s dream.

What has been the single biggest benefit of joining the NWS, do you think?

The single biggest benefit has undoubtedly been meeting so many friendly writers, not only people striving like me to be published, but also those well known novelists who are always willing to help and give advice.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us or any other advice you can offer?

It’s really worth going to the RNA conference, and meeting up with your local group each month for all that help and advice I’ve just mentioned. I’ve found that everyone in the RNA and NWS is so supportive.

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us Jean.  The Write Romantics would like to wish you continued success with your self-published work, as well as with fulfilling the rest of your writing dreams.

Find out more about Jean by following her at the links below:
Follow me on Twitter @jean_bull
Gipsy Moth available on Amazon Kindle
Postcards and Suntan Cream available on Amazon Kindle


9 thoughts on “Monday Interview with Jean Bull

  1. Hi Jean

    What an interesting interview, love the cover for Gipsy Moth – it’s beautiful! You have really inspired me to think about the possibilities of self-publishing. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and may all your writing dreams come true.

    Jo x

  2. Hi Jean,
    I think it’s great you took the bull by the horns( Sorry, I just couldn’t resist that one.) And really went for it. To see your book in print must have been a moment of joy. I agree totally about how friendly everyone is in the RNA. And I will be going to the conference. Will we see you there?
    Thanks for joining us. And thanks for the advice.
    Lorraine x

  3. Great interview Jean and I love the cover of your book. I agree completely with your advice to attend the conference and local chapters. RNA members, published or not are all so supportive.

  4. Hi Jean, lovely to ‘meet’ you. I love the covers of your books and the gorgeous titles! I must admit I always think of setting when buying books & 1930’s Devon sounds lovely, I don’t know that I’ve ever read a book in that time & setting but it sounds lovely. I agree, the RNA is a very special organisation, there are so many lovely & talented people there. I can’t go to conference this year, but hope to next year. Have a good time, Lynne x

  5. Thanks to Jo, Lorraine, Rachel and Lynne for your lovely thoughts about my interview. I enjoyed taking part. Yes, I’m going to the conference, and I hope to see you all there! Will you have The Write Romantics on your badges? Can’t remember if The Romaniacs had their name on theirs last year? If not, I think you can get little pin on badges from Vistaprint. Just an idea!!!

  6. Hi Jean
    Lovely interview. Thanks for being part of our job. And thanks for the tip on having our promo on our badges. Loving that idea. I’ve been brave and submitted my form this year so i hope to meet you in person there. Best wishes

  7. Hello Jean, enjoyed your interview. I bought Gipsy Moth for my Kindle a while ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I felt it evoked the period very well as well as being a nice romantic read. Looking forward to your next, and good luck with your future projects.

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