Julia Golding Interview
Julia Golding is the award-winning author of the Cat Royal books, and the Companions Quartet series, but her career began in the much-more-serious offices of Oxfam, where she lobbied for change in international war zones. Here's what Julia has to say about fact, fiction, and that darn Cat.
Sindy: Can you give a brief of the Cat Royal series for those who don't know what it's all about?
Julia Golding: Picture yourself in London during the 1790s at the time of the French Revolution. Feisty red-headed orphan, Cat Royal, brought up behind the scenes in Drury Lane Theatre, is your guide to the high and low life of that era, taking you to boxing matches, select tea parties, seedy backstreets, up in balloons and on stage. In the first adventure, she is on the trail of a missing diamond; in the second, assisting her friend Pedro to escape his old slave master; in the third, she goes to Paris to see the revolution for herself.
Sindy: Your books are sometimes released just a few months apart - how do you keep up such a high production level?
Julia Golding: It doesn't feel that way to me! I tell my stories to my family and their appetite sets the pace.
Sindy: Do you plan a series before you start writing it or do you let it evolve as you write?
Julia Golding: A series usually starts as a single book. This was the case with Cat Royal. I only started on a second after positive response from my audience and then the idea of making it into a longer series gradually emerged. There were so many interesting places/people to visit in the period that I wanted to keep going, making each book distinctly different in theme and location. 'How many?' was the next question. Well, cats have nine lives, don't they...?
Sindy: You have three kids. Do they have any influence on your work?
Julia Golding: They are where it all starts. I write the books I think they want to hear. My daughter's current favorite is Ringmaster, a contemporary spy thriller set in Kenya. My older son likes the fantasy books, the Companions Quartet and The Ship Between the Worlds. My littlest is a bit young for them at the moment but no doubt I'll start writing for him soon too.
Sindy: What books did you like growing up?
Julia Golding: I read voraciously. Susan Cooper, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis all held me captive at different times. A Little Princess was a great favorite when I was around nine. I recommend it as a beautiful riches-to-rags tale with Indian exoticism and the power of the imagination thrown in.