A debut novel from 61-year-old Julie Owen-Moylan


Writer Julie Owen-Moylan has just posted her very first e-book, That Eco-friendly-Eyed Lady, at 61. She’s been writing all her daily life but only in her 50s did she look at it may possibly grow to be a profession last but not least securing a reserve offer with Penguin Michael Joseph in 2020. ‘Most of it happened through lockdown. I did not meet up with the publishing group right up until lately,’ she tells me about the cell phone, ‘It hasn’t rather sunk in yet, but I’m officially an author!’ When we communicate, Julie is travelling back to her household in Cardiff immediately after the London book launch, past 7 days, ‘We experienced a fantastic bash with lovely guests and sort words. I cried at the speeches  – and liked each and every moment.’

On leaving college, Julie worked in a chip shop and then properly trained as a hairdresser, ‘ I went to a awful college and it was the nearest I was likely to get to a profession in the innovative arts!’ she jokes. ‘Coming from a working class background you know your spot, you receive a information about what you must be performing as a younger woman. “This is not for the likes of you. Do the job is to be endured, cash is challenging received.”

Conquering ingrained attitudes is not simple. And this is a little something I can thoroughly empathise with, acquiring had a comparable schooling and upbringing. But, perseverance, expertise and resilience do spend off. Numerous a long time down the line, right after travelling abroad and getting on many bar work, Julie went to faculty and then onto college. ‘ I generally loved textbooks and could produce – I experienced likely but there was no way of articulating or knowledge it. There is a paucity of ambition. Reinforced by the messages. It’s been a very long previous journey – but I obtained there in the close.’


Immediately after performing in even more instruction (lecturing in organization administration) and running her possess schooling corporation, on her 50th birthday, Julie gave herself the reward of a component time Master’s Degree in Innovative Creating. ‘When my tutor marked my dissertation, he declared the portion of a novel I’d submitted as publishable high-quality and I was ecstatic believing it was just a matter of time in advance of the literary environment fell at my toes. Then I failed…again…and once again.’

Getting her manuscript turned down by 70 publishers, Julie started to doubt herself, ‘ I’d carried all-around a committee of individuals in my head telling me “this isn’t for the likes of you”. They popped up yet again. I was as well previous, not fantastic enough… But then I realised that the only factor holding me again was me. It took me a while to change the committee with a superior message. There is no reason why age or history ought to get in the way.’

To enhance her prospects of getting published, fulfill other authors and literary brokers, she signed up for an on line course at the Faber Academy. Then at last, right after completing the system, Julie Owen-Moylan’s guide deal arrived about. That Environmentally friendly-Eyed Girl is historical fiction. The story spans the 1950s to 1970s, and options two lecturers, a lesbian few residing collectively in New York, ‘ At a time when it was illegal, they could’ve been locked up, supplied electrical shock therapy,’ carries on Julie, ‘I like to shine a highlight on these things, to compose from a feminist angle. To get people to believe “what would I do?”‘

With her second novel in the modifying stages, Julie is at the moment exploring guide number three. ‘I like writing tales, producing people, sophisticated ladies. I like to position out all the limitations girls confronted – factors have modified so a lot in my life span: it was unlawful to go into a bar on my have till I was 22, you couldn’t get contraception or a credit score card, it was lawful to get raped within just your relationship. When I glimpse again, I think “Fucking hell, how ridiculous.” I like exhibiting individuals what it was like – it took a lengthy time to transform those people attitudes, there is a large amount we take for granted now.’

Success may perhaps not have appear uncomplicated but now Julie Owen-Moylan has been recognised and posted, this is the begin of a assured new chapter. She’s about to embark on a limited e-book tour and various publicity activities, such as Hay Pageant. ‘This is the commencing of my occupation as an writer. I want to be as superior as I can be, to make a system of function I’m happy of. And I know there is likely to be a very good abide by-up mainly because I’ve created it.’



Qualified information to potential authors from Julie Owen-Moylan:


If you definitely want to do it, produce anything for you. Some thing that would make you joyful. Anything you want to go through.

Make your possess style, really do not try to follow trends. Make your individual path.

Really do not post as well early. Adhere it in a drawer for a thirty day period and occur back to it. Enhance your work somewhat than sending in an early draft.

You will possibly get turned down. I did. But when you get knocked back, pick yourself up
again and maintain heading. At the time you start off, you have to hold likely – specifically if you didn’t get a deal till you ended up 60!


Julie Owen-Moylan will be signing publications in Cambridge and Swansea, as nicely as showing at the Hay Pageant and other functions. Additional aspects Right here.



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