Hello and Welcome
Thanks for dropping by...
You may know me from the TV but here you will find out about my passion for writing.
You can order the Kindle and Paperback version of Julia's new novel NOW! Click here
Find out more about what Julia has been up to this week on her QVC Blog
Julia's books are on the shelf in some independent bookshops and can be ordered in Waterstones. Alternatively you can click on the ‘Buy from Amazon’ buttons opposite for each title, where you can also upload the Kindle versions to your electronic device (Kindle app for iPad is free)
You can order personally signed copies of Julia's novels from Chapter One bookshop for just £11.50 (free P&P)
Call: 0118 944 8883 (normal opening hours only)
My Live Twitter Feed @JuliaRobertsQVC
Julia talks to Emma Grant of The Wave News
10 Things you may not know about me... FEMALE FIRST
An Interview with Josephine Pembroke on Radio Gorgeous
Chiswick Book Festival Interview on Chiswick buzz
Interview at Waterstones Book shop on Chiswick buzz
My picture book...
Julia started her professional career at the age of 16 as a dancer in a summer show in Guernsey. This was followed by numerous pantomimes in Leeds, Croydon and Watford as well as further summer seasons in the Channel Islands. Deciding to leave the UK and see a bit more of the world, she went on to dance on cruise ships, in a theatre show in Barcelona, and performed as a singer/dancer in a cabaret show in Hong Kong. In 1980 Julia appeared in The Song for Europe as part of a band called The Main Event performing alongside Cheryl Baker, who went on to join Buck’s Fizz the following year while Julia signed a record deal with her band Jools and the Fools before moving into television.
Having featured in various TV commercials, notably the Woolwich Building Society and Head & Shoulders shampoo, and small television acting roles in Citizen Smith and Doctor Who, Julia became a hostess on the first and second UK series of the hit American game show, The Price is Right. This was followed by becoming a member of the ‘Hit Squad’ on comedy series Beadles About before she took a short career break to have her children.
It was during this break in her career that Julia decided to turn her hand to presenting. Her first presenting job was for Vauxhall motors at the 1989 Motor Show at Olympia during which she was approached and offered a job presenting several weekly ‘magazine’ style shows for her local television channel in Croydon. One of these was called Palace Chatback and led to her passion for Crystal Palace Football Club, a team she still supports today. In addition to this show, Julia has produced and presented several features about Palace for Sky Sports.
In 1993 Julia successfully auditioned to become a Presenter for a new shopping channel, QVC, and appeared in the opening sequences which launched the channel with co-presenter, Jon Briggs. Little did she know that this was the start of a long, successful career with the channel which now boasts over 25 million viewers in the UK alone, with over 1 million active customers. Throughout this time, she has shared the screen with many famous names, including the likes of the late Joan Rivers, Ivana Trump, Tony Blackburn, Joan Collins and Lulu, to mention a few.
Julia has now written and released 3 books. Her first book, a memoir entitled One Hundred Lengths of the Pool, was published by Random House and sold 5000 hardback signed copies exclusively on QVC and is still available for download on Kindle. The title of this book was inspired by her battle against polio in her early years, and the huge part that swimming played in allowing Julia the chance to walk unaided. A percentage of proceeds from her book sales were donated to the End Polio Now campaign as well as the British Polio Fellowship.
Close to completing the finishing touches to her first book, Julia was faced with a new health challenge. She was diagnosed with a rare type of blood cancer, Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia. After such a tough year continuing to work full-time at QVC, signing her book deal, and battling her new illness, Julia needed some R&R so booked a much needed holiday for herself and her partner, Chris, to a place she had always longed to visit, Mauritius.
On the first morning of the holiday Julia had an idea. Using her recent experience of Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia as a basis for one of her main characters she began to write her debut novelLife’s a Beach and Then…. Julia has pledged to donate a percentage of profits from this book to a charity that she holds close to her heart, Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. ( now known as Bloodwise
What is it like to work with Julia?...We asked her Copy Editor Justine Taylor for her thoughts...
Beginnings are always hard, that's what I tell all of the writers I work with. Having written the main part of this post, I've been staring at my screen, wondering how to start. Perhaps with an introduction? My name is Justine Taylor and I'm a freelance editor. I've worked with Julia on all her books, from her memoir One Hundred Lengths of the Pool to her Liberty Sands trilogy. Julia has asked me to say a few words about what I do, and about what it's been like working with her. (Spoiler alert: pretty great, actually!)
Editing is not just checking spelling, grammar and punctuation, or making sure that a character has the same eye colour throughout, though it certainly includes those things. It's also working closely with the writer to ensure that the story is presented in the best way possible, that any confusing elements are made clear, and that the author's 'voice' is consistent throughout. I see editing as a conversation between a writer and his or her first reader, and while we might not always agree, usually the solution to any problems comes out of that discussion.
One of the many lovely things about working with Julia has been her complete confidence in her material. From the first Liberty Sands book, Life's a Beach and Then..., it felt to me that she had a clear idea of how the trilogy would progress, including how it would end. Not that she told me! I preferred it that way – it was good to be kept guessing. And I came to know and love the characters almost as much as Julia does. It was very funny to read that Holly is a freelance copy editor – essentially, my job! Unfortunately, I do not have a sideline in blogging from exotic and glamorous locations around the world!
It's not often that I get the opportunity to edit a series, and it's been a privilege working with Julia on Liberty Sands. Without giving too much away, some of the most moving scenes come in the third book, It's Never Too Late To Say... between Carol and Helen. Julia confessed to me that she found writing these scenes extremely hard, which surprised me as I thought that they were beautifully done, and in fact needed little work on them my end.
This is something else that has made working with Julia so enjoyable. From book to book, her writing – always very good – has improved markedly, and it's been wonderful to see her develop as a writer. I do hope you enjoy the Liberty Sands trilogy as much as I have enjoyed working on it, and I hope that you – like me – are looking forward to seeing what Julia comes up with next!
A member since January, Julia was invited to write a blog for The Romantic Novelists' Association. Read it here
Holly Wilson seems finally to have it all: a beautiful baby daughter, a son about to embark on an exciting career, a glamorous new job in television, and an adoring boyfriend in best selling novelist, Philippe. But something isn't quite right...
In another part of the country, Carol is reliving memories - dreadful memories - of sins committed against her and those she has inflicted on others. Her carer, Helen, hopes a vision from the past might help mend Carol's broken soul.
What links Holly to Carol and Helen? And who is Nick, the handsome stranger who has just walked into her life?
A story of secrets, misunderstandings and almost-missed connections, It's Never Too Late To Say... is the final volume in the highly acclaimed Liberty Sands trilogy, which began with Life's a Beach And Then, and continued with If He Really Loved Me...
If He Really Loved Me …The Liberty Sands Trilogy Book 2
History is about to repeat itself in Holly Wilson’s life… or is it?
Single mum, Holly and her son Harry have an enviable relationship but when Harry discovers she is pregnant again and, for reasons unknown to all but herself, intends to raise the baby alone, he begins to question her decision not to tell him about his own father, who abandoned them before his birth.
Upon discovering his father’s name, Harry secretly embarks on his search for the truth and uncovers a tragic story. Still reeling from what he has learned, an extraordinary twist of fate brings Harry and Philippe, the father of Holly’s unborn child, face to face. Should Harry tell him?
Life’s a Beach and Then… introduced us to Holly, Harry and Philippe; If He Really Loved Me… continues their captivating story, from love to heartbreak, trust to betrayal, and back again.
Life’s a Beach and Then…The Liberty Sands Trilogy Book 1
Holly Wilson has landed a dream job but there is one proviso... she must keep it secret, and that means telling lies.
Holly hates telling lies. Her latest assignment has brought her to the paradise island of Mauritius where she meets a British couple, Robert and Rosemary, who share a tragic secret of their own.
The moment they introduce Holly to handsome writer, Philippe, she begins to fall in love, something she hasn't allowed herself to do for twenty years. But Philippe has not been completely honest and when Holly stumbles across the truth, she feels totally betrayed.
One Hundred Lengths of the Pool
A Memoir of my Life
One Hundred Lengths of the Pool is a memoir exploring Julia’s extraordinary life, including surviving the killer disease polio and, against all odds, becoming a professional dancer. That was the start of a long and varied career in the entertainment industry. Each of the hundred lengths is associated with a special moment or memory from her life. However, there is an extra length of the pool that she didn't expect to swim and it has changed her life completely, testing her belief in her favourite saying, 'That which does not kill us, makes us stronger...'
My second 5 star review for this wonderful author. I loved the first book 'Life's a beach....and then' and was so excited for the second instalment which certainly didn't disappoint. I enjoyed the ease of picking up with the characters as if they were old friends, as well as the introduction of new faces and a focus on Harry's response to the twists and turns of Holly's life decisions so far. I actually had to slow down when reading this to try and eeek it out otherwise it would've been done in one sitting! The pace, once again, wraps you up in the lives of each and every characters plot line and I'm so intrigued to see where this will all end up - I'm secretly hoping Phillipe and Holly will get there 'Happily Ever After' but the odds and new faces have left me intrigued. Bring on number 3 Julia and please bring us some more exotic locations to drift away from the cold UK winter nights. A wonderful read. I'm hooked. Get this in time for Xmas, curl up and enjoy.
I loved this book - it not only explores more of the character Harry it also brings in some new younger characters as well as the much loved Holly and Robert. It has so many plot twists and turns that I was left breathless and as for the sneak preview of the next book at the end all I can say is that I was left totally shocked! A fantastic read and highly recommended. Cannot wait for book 3...
I couldn't wait for this second book in the trilogy and wow I wasn't disappointed from the first page to the last I was captivated .From the characters, story line and setting it has the wow factor it totally gets you engrossed couldn't put it down so read it in two sittings I'm left waiting for the next book
Really couldn't wait for this 2nd book in the trilogy & it certainly didn't disappoint. I downloaded it for my holiday & read it in a day & half! The characters seem so real & believable, the places are described so well you can imagine being there. There are twists in it that you don't expect & it's certainly not predictable. As the book ends it leaves you wanting to read the 3rd book straight away as you desperately want to find out what happens to the characters. Thanks Julia....a great read
I really loved this book, I could not put it down. Made me laugh and cry in places. Can't wait for the final one.
Wow, what a fantastic book. I am an avid reader & it has to be said this book really caught my imagination from the very moment I downloaded it late on Friday evening. I got caught up in the characters right from the very start. The description of the setting made me (almost) believe that I was there with the characters in the book on that beautiful beach. I read a few chapters in bed & immediately upon waking today spent the next few hours curled up on the sofa thoroughly enjoying the story, before I knew it the book had ended on a cliff hanger needing me wanting more. Although this book had it's sad moments they were brilliantly written & I felt bereft when the unthinkable happened, this just goes to show how well written it is. Julia tells a fantastic story, I cannot believe this is her first novel. I am eagerly awaiting the next instalment. Thanks for a fantastic read Julia.
I read this book in just two sittings and finished at 00.45am last night! I was instantly transported on holiday within the first few pages. The writing is descriptive and vivid and evokes all of your favourite holiday memories with the detailed descriptions of the sights, sounds and scents that the characters encounter. I really loved the character of Rosemary - she's the mum everyone wants to have. I also loved how the plot has some pretty major twists and turns and how you don't know which path it will take which makes for some pretty compelling reading!
The book transports you to a new world but one which is also familiar at the same time with the dynamics of family and intimate relationships laid bare. I liked how the characters are not perfect but have flaws and quirks which make them both real and likeable. A 5 star read!
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. A lovely story tinged with sadness but also hope and love. Beautifully descriptive with really believable characters with whom you feel a genuine connection. Can't wait for the next one.
I loved all the characters, especially Holly. Her relationship with Rosemary was perfect. Having just lost my own mother to cancer a few weeks ago,when I got to the part about Rosemary's illness I was tempted to stop reading. I'm so glad I didn't! Julia handled it with consideration and care. I would have wished the same for my own mum if I had been given the chance. A brilliant book which had me engrossed from the very beginning. Loved it! Can't wait for number two!
An excellent read, once started could hardly put it down, can't wait for book number two.
Looking forward to see what happens between Holly and Philippe.
This is a fantastic story and is fabulously written - I just couldn't put it down and had finished it within just 2 days! Julia's style of writing allows you really get to know the characters and connect with them on an emotional level which I find essential to enjoy a book. I don't want to give anything away but there was a one moment in particular that caused a lump in my throat and, had I not been on a train surrounded by strangers, there would have been tears.
I choose to read on the train when I am commuting to and from work so I need a book to be easy to pick up and put down yet still exciting enough for me to want to read at the end of a long day - this book is perfect! Julia leaves you wanting to read on at the end of EVERY chapter which is most likely why my reading was extended beyond my train journeys and onto the sofa with a cup of tea in the evening.
Despite not having a huge amount in common with lead character Holly I felt that I was easily able to relate to her and to feel what she was feeling.
This is a brilliant debut novel from Julia and I can't wait for the next book in the Liberty Sands Trilogy to be released!
This book is written with such empathy and sensitivity,I just couldn't put it down!! Can't wait for the next one! Very beautifully written.
"After being diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia in 2012 I pledged to help raise money for the charity Bloodwise which helps to fund important research into the latest drug therapies to treat all forms of blood cancer. Both Bloodwise and British Polio benefitted from a charity swimming gala that I organised in conjunction with QVC in July 2013. Former Crystal Palace footballer and fellow CML survivor, Geoff Thomas, Paralympian and fellow polio survivor, James Crisp and Crystal Palace first team coach, John Salako, all supported the event along with many friends and colleagues from QVC.
My Week 1. (Archive)
I’ve been really busy this week with my on air commitments at QVC but I’ve still found time for a bit of reading (I’m currently enjoying The Dead Dog Day by my QVC friend and colleague Jackie Kabler) and cooking. I’ve adapted this Stuffed Peppers recipe to my own personal taste so thought I would share.
Veggie Stuffed Peppers (serves 2)
Preheat oven to 200
Let me know what you think if you try it.
I’m looking forward to the weekend off from work as I’m planning to visit my son in Swansea and go to my first football match at the Liberty Stadium – I wonder how it will compare to Selhurst Park, the home of my team, Crystal Palace.
More from me next week
My Week 2. (Archive)
I’m very lucky to have a shift pattern at QVC which gives me
five consecutive days off every fortnight. I must admit it is pretty tough working eight days out of nine but the reward of a longer break is worth it. It’s particularly useful now that my son is based in Swansea working as Head of Foundation Phase for Swansea City Academy. I’ve visited him fairly frequently since he moved there in January and I’ve done a lot of the writing on my new book at his flat. I only realised the other day that I’ve been writing book two in the Liberty Sands trilogy whilst looking out towards the Liberty Stadium where both Swansea City and the Ospreys play their matches.
Talking of which I went to my first football match at the Liberty last Saturday. My daughter, Sophie, drove us both down to Swansea on Saturday morning and we were there in plenty of time for kick off. It was really funny to be the home fans and not be at Selhurst Park watching Crystal Palace. More about our trip on this week’s QVC blog but we were also watching football on Sunday. Daniel’s under 11’s were playing at the Swansea City training ground on Sunday morning. Thankfully the sun shone brightly as otherwise it would have been freezing cold even though I was wrapped up in my Centigrade coat, woolly hat and Emu boots! His boys beat West Brom 8-4 over the four 20 minute quarters that they play at that age so a good result all round.
We had gone to visit as this Friday (27th) is Daniel’s birthday and we didn’t think we were going to see him. Yesterday I got a text saying he was going to drive home after training on his birthday as his training on Saturday morning had been cancelled… I’m wondering if that’s the real reason, or if he was after chocolate birthday cake which is baking in the oven as I speak! I’ll make our Christmas cake this weekend too – I’m so pleased Daniel will be home to have a stir. I’ll put the recipe on here next week.
I did manage to get about a thousand words of the final part of the Liberty Sands trilogy written while I was in Swansea but nothing since as I have been concentrating on the kindle publication of If He Really Loved Me… yesterday. Both my book babies are currently in the top 200 romance kindle chart so thank you very much if you’ve ordered and I hope you will enjoy the read.
Catch up again next week
My Week 3. (Archive)
After the excitement of If He Really Loved Me.. coming out on kindle last Wednesday I thought that maybe the rest of my week might be a little quieter, but that was not to be. Because Dan was driving home for the evening of his birthday I had made him a chocolate birthday cake - a tradition in my family. His drive was two hours longer than it should have been due to a section of the M4 being closed so, although it was almost 11pm by the time we got round to birthday cake we still sang Happy Birthday with just an hour to go... maybe I should have taken a picture of the cake before Daniel blew the candles out!
On Saturday Daniel and Sophie went to watch my team, Crystal Palace, play Newcastle United courtesy of some complimentary tickets from my friend and former Palace player, John Salako. I was working at QVC so missed seeing my team score five goals in a match in the Premier League for the very first time, a real birthday treat for Daniel. We got back around the same time on Saturday evening and while my other half went to pick up a curry takeaway I made the Christmas cake. All of us had a stir and made a wish before popping it in the oven and enjoying the wonderful aromas of it baking all evening.
Daniel left early on Sunday morning to get to his U11's game in Bristol (another victory) and I headed in to QVC again. You can read all about my QVC shows on my weekly blog on Q Community.
On Monday I went in to work a little early as I was filming an interview with online local TV channel, Chiswick Buzz. We filmed in Waterstone's in Chiswick as, I'm delighted to say, they are stocking the new book so do pop in there if you live in the area. I'll do a link to the interview at some point this week.
Tuesday was a day off but I was recording an interview for Heart Radio with an old friend of mine, Stuart Miles, baking a second Christmas cake for the backstage crew at QVC and doing a phone interview for the South Wales Evening Post - I think it's in the paper next week.
Talking of South Wales, I'm back in Swansea this weekend. Morgan's Hotel have very kindly offered to host my book signing event on Sunday from 2.30 - 5pm. It would be lovely to meet you if you live in the area. If you don't, you can buy signed copies of the new book from Chapter One book shop by ringing the Hotline number 0118 944 8883.(shop times)
The paperback is now officially out and showing as 'in stock' on Amazon if you're not fussed about it being signed. I'm delighted that the book has already had seven 5 star reviews - it is so gratifying to receive such positive feedback.
It may be a little late to make Christmas cake for this year but here is the recipe as promised:-
1. Double line a 18cm (7″) round cake tin with greaseproof paper and tie a double thickness of brown paper around the outside of the tin, making sure both lots of paper rise 7.5cm (3″) above the rim of the tin.
2. Put the dried fruit, glace cherries, lemon rind and brandy in a large bowl and mix together well (you can even leave the mixture to stand overnight).
3. Sift the flour and mixed spice into another large bowl. Add the ground almonds, sugar, margarine, black treacle and eggs and beat together for 2 – 3 minutes until the mixture is smooth and glossy. It shouldn’t be too runny, if it is you can add another 30g (1oz) of flour to thicken it up a little.
4. Using a large metal spoon, add the fruit to the flour mixture and fold until the fruit is evenly distributed.
5. Let everyone in the family have a stir and make a wish!
6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top over with the back of the spoon. Bake in the centre of a preheated cool oven (140C/275F/gas mark 1)for two and a half hours. If the cake is evenly risen and starting to shrink from the sides of the tin, then it’s cooked. If not, pop it back into the oven for another 15 – 20 minutes.
7. When the cake is cold remove it from the tin but leave the greaseproof paper in place. Using a thin, sharp bladed knife, make about a dozen holes in the cake and spoon over 4 – 6 tablespoons of brandy. Cover the top of the cake with a disc of greaseproof paper and fold sides over it to complete the wrapping. Then wrap in tin foil and store upside down in a cool place.
I usually make my cake on the first weekend of December, then marzipan and ice it on Christmas Eve and let the children loose on the decorations! Do let me know how your versions turn out.
Firstly, thanks so much to those of you who came to meet me at Morgan's Hotel on the 6th December, I was made to feel very welcome. One of the first people to arrive was a lady called Emma with her mum. We had barely said hello before she produced her iPhone and asked not for a 'selfie' with me but an interview. It turns out that Emma is a journalist for Swansea Sound and in fact congratulations are in order as yesterday she was voted UTV Broadcast Journalist of the Year... WOW!
If you'd like to listen to our interview, click on the link below in the Media section.
It was lovely to spend time with Emma and her mum Carol who not only brought her copy of Life's a Beach and Then... for me to sign but also One Hundred Lengths of the Pool - it's a long time since I signed one of those, mind you, I had my fill signing five thousand of them over the course of two days back in February 2013.
I had a couple of days off from QVC once we were back from Swansea and it really was just as well as I am so behind with my Christmas preparations. On the Tuesday I made my first batch of mince pies this year (very tasty even if I do say so myself) and then on the Wednesday we put up our outdoor Christmas lights and I planted up my reindeer and penguin plant holders with cyclamen. We'll wait until this coming weekend to get our tree so that it won't drop too much..... non-drop trees are never really non-drop are they, no matter how much you water them!
I have been feeling a bit under the weather for the last four or five days and only just managed my shift on QVC on Sunday. I really didn't want to miss it as it was Beauty Day, one of my favourite things to present. Yesterday, however, I simply couldn't make it in. I felt dizzy and nauseous along with my cold and sore throat. Roll on the cold weather I say to get rid of all the germs, it's just been too mild so far this winter and all that rain. My heart goes out to those of you who have been flooded out of your homes so close to Christmas.
I've just been wrapping some Christmas presents - these have to be sent to FairIsle where my nephew and his family live so I try to get them posted early (ish).
I haven't done any writing this week because I've felt so rough but I've just read the latest review for If He Really Loved Me... everyone wants to know what happens next so I'd better get a wiggle on. By the way, thanks so much if you've left a review on Amazon, I can't tell you how much reviews mean to authors, and yes, I think I can finally call myself that now that I've had three books published - still feels weird though!
Catch up next week