Raising Kids and Writing Romance Novels – Local Author Julie Farley on Life and Her Newest Book!

Julie Farley and daughters Gigi and Eva
Julie Farley and daughters Gigi and Eva

Wife, mother of four, and author, Julie Farley, loves romance novels, it’s something that stems from her junior high years, when she first borrowed her mom’s Danielle Steele books. However, it wasn’t just reading the stories, it was creating them, that would help define Julie’s life going forward. She wrote her first book when she was in her ninth grade English class and hasn’t stopped writing since. “It’s important to me to show my four children that you can make your dreams a reality,” she said. “Writing books helps me do that.”

Julie grew up on Long Island, then headed to the Midwest, where she attended the University of Notre Dame for her bachelor’s degree and DePaul University for her master’s in Education. After she met her husband, they moved to Richmond, Virginia, where her four children were born. For the next 17 years, Julie raised her kids and taught writing classes, “I’ve been fortunate to learn from great writing teachers and also had the privilege of teaching kids from first grade to 12th grade, in classrooms, museums, and juvenile correctional centers, that writing isn’t scary and no matter our situation we can find commonality in words.”

The New Ever After book series covers by Julie FarleyHer first published book, Tripped Up Love is set in Richmond, and revolves around a recently widowed mother of three, who finds a second chance at romance. The book is fast paced and steamy and delves into the heartbreak and devastation of losing the love of your life, keeping your family together and putting your shattered world back on track. The book was originally self-published, but shortly after its release, Julie received an offer from a small press publisher, who went on to publish the second two books in the series, The New Ever After: A Steamy Second Chance Romance and Another Tomorrow: A Steamy Second Chance Romance (The New Ever After Book 3). Through that publishing house, Julie was able to find an agent from Italy, who helped get the books published in both Italy and Denmark. Unfortunately, the publisher eventually closed up shop and Julie re-released the series under Amazon’s self-publishing model.

Although she intended to get right back to writing a new series, life got in the way, specifically a move across the country for her husband’s job in Seattle in 2016, which landed them on Bainbridge Island. After arriving here, Julie was smitten with the Pacific Northwest and life on a small island. She immediately immersed herself in getting her children settled, jumping into volunteer work, and for the most part putting her own writing interests aside for the time being.

However, writing was and still is her passion, and through rom-com writer, Georgia Clark’s virtual writer’s workshop, Julie meets monthly with writers across the country to work through pieces and talk to authors, editors, and agents. Julie is also part of a local writing group and considers herself extremely fortunate to be mentored by local USA Today bestselling author, Serena Bell. “Serena has been pivotal in helping me understand the industry and what it takes to make writing a career,” Julie says.

Love Songs and Ferry Tales book cover by Julie FarleyHer new book, Love Songs and Ferry Tales, is the first in a four-book series. “The series takes place on a fictional island in the PNW, Greensea Island, and follows the four Sherman Family siblings and their luck with love,” she explained. Although her first series is steamy, she took the romantic comedy approach with Love Songs. “I take a lot of inspiration from my life; my kids will tell you some of my stories hit too close to home. But during the pandemic my family and I spent a lot of time rewatching Gilmore Girls, and I wanted to create a series that captured the small-town magic of Stars Hollow. I also watched a lot of Bridgerton and Gossip Girl and became fascinated with the idea of having an anonymous gossip reporter in my books,” she says. “The Greensea Gazette, or GG as they’re called in the book, has columns spread throughout Love Songs and Ferry Tales. The columns serve as part of the plot but also take an interesting look at island life and the way news travels. The first book is about the only girl in the Sherman family, Jac, and her relationship with a rockstar hiding on Greensea. I think Bainbridge Islanders will see many similarities between Greensea and Bainbridge but I decided to make it a fictional island to give myself some creative license.”

Julie worked with an editor, proofreader, beta readers and advanced readers to perfect the manuscript before shopping it around. Once Love Songs and Ferry Tales was finished, Julie embarked upon the arduous task of querying agents, but as of yet, hasn’t found one. She did however send the manuscript to a publishing company that had a call for submissions and received a publishing contract proposal. “Ultimately, I decided not to accept their offer and have created my own imprint, Fog House Press. I have a very specific vision for this series and I want to have the flexibility to do it that way,” she shared.

“I’m also very fortunate to be able to work with local designer, Jen Colburn, who has created all of the artwork for this series,” Julie continued. “Jen designed the popular missed the ferry mugs, you can find at Wildernest, and other ferry products at shops all over the island. This series celebrates all the quirks and loveliness of living on an island and I hope others will find a little bit of joy in the ferry tales I’ve written.”

As if writing romance novels and keeping four kids in check isn’t a full-time job, Julie also manages the website, registration and social media for the Bainbridge Boy’s Lacrosse program, as well as her duties as the president for the BHS Parent Teacher Student Organization. However, she does find time to knit and enjoy our great outdoors, hiking and running in the Grand Forest, and paddle boarding in our serene waters.

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Love Songs and Ferry Tales will be released this month on Amazon, you can pre-order here. To keep up with Julie, follow her on Instagram or visit her website here: https://www.instagram.com/julfarley and Julie Farley (byjuliefarley.com)

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