Julian Stockwin

 © Allan House

Julian Stockwin is the author of the acclaimed Captain Kydd series. His latest work, TYGER will be published in hardback and ebook format in October 2015.

We caught up with Julian to discuss the secrets of his success…


Q: What is your typical day as an author like?

A: I am pretty disciplined. I start my working day in the shower thinking about the work in progress in a general sense. Then, after a coffee, it's to work at 8am.

I have a purpose-designed study in which I write. Reference books line two walls; sea paintings and 18th-century artefacts hang on one other. My literary partner and wife, Kathy, has her own study (upstairs), and we communicate via intercom.

I generally take a short break at around 11am to stretch the legs, then work until lunch at 1pm. After this, I take a 40-minute power nap and then it's back to work until dinner at 8pm. Usually I write in the morning and attend to research and emails etc in the afternoon. I enjoy interacting with readers via Twitter and Facebook, and log into these accounts several times a day.


Q: How did you first get published?

A: I was very fortunate to be taken on by one of the UK's top agents, Carole Blake, with my very first submission to an agent. I know this is unusual, and I was prepared to have to work my way down a long list of possible agents. However, Carole liked what she read, and soon had auctions on both sides of the Atlantic.

Actually, I hadn't planned on a writing career; it was my wife, Kathy, who suggested I try my hand – and it took off from there. She’s a former magazine editor, and somehow felt that I had a book inside me – something I didn’t quite see at the time. But the notion took root, and of all the careers I’ve had over the years, being an author feels the most ‘me’.


Q: What is the secret to good writing?

A: Passion and dedication. Writing is hard work, and you may not reap financial rewards for many years, but it is hugely satisfying. I also firmly believe in planning – in detail – before starting a book. This gives you the ability to introduce little twists and turns in the plot, and means you don’t have to do huge re-writes. I also feel that editing is nearly as important as the actual writing – something many starting writers do not take on board enough.


Q: What advice would you give people trying to get published?

A: Read widely, and believe in yourself. If your book is good it will be published eventually. And try to get an agent. This is not easy these days, but do your homework and find which agencies might be interested in your work. Submit your proposal to them in a professional manner and address an agent by name. (You can check out exactly what they want in a first approach on their websites).


Q: Which writers do you most admire and why?

A: Goodness – a difficult question! However, given my penchant for history (and the sea) the list would have to include Joseph Conrad, C S Forester, Patrick O'Brian, Shakespeare and Umberto Eco.


To find out more about Julian Stockwin, visit julianstockwin.com


Are you a budding historical writer? Then enter our Inspiring History Writing competition

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