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Julie Hearn used to be a tabloid journalist but much prefers writing novels because she is less likely to be sued nowadays for making things up. After her daughter, Tilly, was born she began a degree in Education but switched to English after suffering a panic attack while attempting to teach maths to year six. She went on to complete a Masters Degree in Women's Studies at Oxford University, where an idea for her thesis became the inspiration for her first novel, Follow Me Down. Julie lives in Oxfordshire where she writes full time (most mornings anyway) in a pink and green office in her garden.
Julie Hearn Q&A:
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Ever since I can remember. When I was five I wrote stories about elves and rabbits on scraps of paper and sewed them up the middle to make little books. I wrote diaries too - pages and pages every day - and if nothing exciting had happened I made stuff up. My teenage diaries are shocking, but a pack of lies from start to finish.
I still wanted to write when I left school so I became a journalist. And that was great fun, for a long time, although when it came to making things up, there was only so far I could go!
Why did you decide to write children's books rather than books for adults?
I suppose I'd had enough of writing for adults - first as a journalist, then as a student of English and women's studies. I wanted to give my imagination free rein in a way that didn't have to be clever, or cynical, or have a great wodge of footnotes at the bottom of every page to explain things!
Julie Hearn’s gripping historical story balances romance and violence dextrously as good and evil play out in tandem. Born in adverse circumstances and abandoned as a baby, Jack grows up as foster sister to Janet whom he adores. But while Janet is all sweetness and light there is something dark within Jack, even as a tiniest baby. When Jack is separated from Janet he vows that they will be reunited. Jack will stop at nothing as he pursues his passion despite the high cost, including betrayal, of his obsessive love. Julie Hearn commands the complex and conflicting good and evil emotions of Jack brilliantly. ~ Julia Eccleshare In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Dance of the Dark Heart a small number of readers were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster... ''This tragic story of unrequited love and a brilliant anti hero is fantastic!' Sarah Murray. Scroll down to read more reviews...
Sweet but dull - that's how life has always been for Hazel Louise Mull-Dare. But on the day of the Epsom Derby, June 4th, 1913, everything changes. A suffragette in a dark coat steps out in front of the King's horse, dying days later from her injuries. Who was she and why did she do it? Hazel is determined to find out. But finding out leads her into worse trouble than she could ever have imagined. It leads to banishment. To secrets that have festered, and a shame that lingers on. To madness and misunderstanding in the place where sugar cane grows. Sweet but dull - that's how life used to be for Hazel Louise Mull-Dare. Not any more.
In a remote west-country village, all is not as it seems. The minister's daughters have taken to their bed, howling and spitting pins. Rumours of bad magic and witchcraft are spreading fast, the piskies are whispering in the orchard and an ill wind is blowing. Nell, the cunning woman's granddaughter, finds the fingers of blame are all pointing towards her. With Matthew Hopkins, the Witch-Finder General, on his way, Nell is alone, trapped and in mortal danger. Who can she trust? Who will save her? In years to come, Patience Madden, the minister's youngest daughter, has a confession to make. A confession that shows another side to what happened to her sister, Grace, and to Nell, half a century before . . .
Conceived on a May Morning, Nell is claimed by the piskies and faeries as a merrybegot, one of their own. She is a wild child: herb gatherer and healer, spell-weaver and midwife . . . and, some say, a witch.Grace is everything Nell is not. She is the Puritan ministers daughter: beautiful and refined, innocent and sweet-natured . . . to those who think they know her. But she is hiding a secreta secret that will bring everlasting shame to her family should it ever come to light.A merrybegot and a ministers daughtertwo girls who could not have less in common. Yet their fates collide when Grace and her younger sister, Patience, are suddenly spitting pins, struck with fits, and speaking in fevered tongues. The minister is convinced his daughters are the victims of witchcraft. And all signs point to Nell as the source of the trouble. . . .Set during the tumultuous era of the English Civil War, The Ministers Daughter is a spellbinding page-turnerstunning historical fiction that captures the superstition, passion, madness, and magic of a vanished age.From the Compact Disc edition.
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