Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Interview: Joss Stirling (author of the Benedict Series)

Julia Golding publishes under two pen names: Joss Stirling and Eve Edwards.  

My journey to becoming an author has been a roundabout one, taking in many other careers. I grew up on the edge of Epping Forest and was that dreamy kind of child who was always writing stories. After reading English at Cambridge, I decided to find out as much as I could about the wider world so joined the Foreign Office and served in Poland. My work as a diplomat took me from the high point of town twinning in the Tatra Mountains to the low of inspecting the bottom of a Silesian coal mine.

On leaving Poland, I exchanged diplomacy for academia and took a doctorate in the literature of the English Romantic Period at Oxford. I then joined Oxfam as a lobbyist on conflict issues, campaigning at the UN and with governments to lessen the impact of conflict on civilians living in war zones - a cause I still feel very passionate about and about which you can learn more if you follow the links on this page.
Married with three children, I now live in Oxford between two rivers, surrounded by gargoyles, beautiful sandstone buildings and ancient trees.

After reading Stealing Phoenix (Benedict #2), I just wanted to get to know the author of this amazing series. So I asked her a few simple questions and I'm posting them here in an interview format. So here goes:

Hello Joss, welcome to Bookcase to Heaven™ today! 

I think we all love having Savant powers. Imagine being able to move things with your mind :) So, if you were a character in Harry Potter, who would you be?

In Harry Potter I'd be the one with the happiest life-- possibly Hermione as she didn't lose a family member and gets Ron (ah sweet). She's also a strong magician so that's fun.

The love story between Yves and Phoenix was perfect! I just love it when the two of them are together, so this question is a must! Do you believe in true love, soul mates and happily-ever-afters?   

I've been happily married for a long time now so maybe I do believe in soulmates. Though I think there is a big factor in a successful soulmating of committing to a relationship and not being blown about by the winds of feeling-- those change over the years and you need to stick through thick and thin. Romance has to mature. It is fun to think about my characters doing so-- in twenty years time how will they be? Mr and Mrs Benedict give a kind of answer on that.

That's true, though I really can't imagine Yves as a middle-aged man. I love it that Yves and Phoenix are each other's one and only. Do you like books with love triangles?   

I find love triangles a bit tiresome but OK I suppose if earned by the plot. I wasn't keen on the way the Twilight one resolves (the Jacob to baby linkage was a bit creepy).

Oh well, I found it creepy too... Anyway, it's great that there was a happy ending for Stealing Phoenix. I was grinning like mad. So I'm really curious, do you prefer books that make you smile or books that make you cry?  

I like to cry and smile-- don't you? A very clever writer can manage both in the same book.

You managed to do that for me, I'll have to say. Yves and Phoenix's journey to be together always made me smile, yet there was a tinge of sadness to their happiness until the perfect ending. So, as a rather successful Young Adult author, what kind of books do you think will appeal to teenagers the most?

I think teen readers are like everyone else-- attracted by good plot and characters they care about. I think there is an added interest in growing up to adult stories as this is what is happening in their lives so it is good to look to other experiences and learn or laugh that way.

That's true. We all love a good book like any adult ;) 

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Joss (or Julia)! I positively can't wait to read Seeking Crystal :)

To get to know more about Joss Stirling and her Benedict series, click here

To get to know more about her works as author Julia Golding, click here

To get to know more about Eve Edwards and The Lacey Chronicles, click here

To read my review on Stealing Phoenix, click here ;) 



  1. Really great interview! I need to get my hands on these books and check them out! :)

    1. Thanks :) They are really worth checking out! You might just feel the urge to talk to the author too, after reading!

  2. an awesome interview and those books sound like something i'd read....very informative

    1. Glad that it told you a lot of stuff! Hope it's enough to convince you to read them asap! :)


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