Pen To Print

Click "Enter" to submit the form.

Write On! Interviews: Author Julia Wood

Write On! interviews author Julia Wood

Julia Wood is an accomplished author of non-fiction and fiction. Her short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and many have been shortlisted for international competitions. Her novella, Jenny Bean Calamity Queen, was shortlisted for the CWIP Prize (Comedy Women In Print) in February 2023 and is being published in the anthology The Book Of Witty Women, by Farrago Press in April 2024.

The prequel novel, The Adventures Of Jenny Bean, Aged 49 And An Awful Lot, was longlisted for the Fiction Factory First Chapter competition (September 2022).

Recently, she’s been involved in spoken word performance, creating her own unique blend of spoken word, song and voice effects to create comedic pieces that offer a satirical take on contemporary culture and society.

WO: How would you describe your writing to someone new to it?

JW: I mainly write comedy and Woman’s Fiction, in which I talk about aspects of contemporary culture in a satirical/critical way. I would describe my writing as a cross between Alan Bennett, Victoria Wood and, of course, Julia Wood.

My short stories explore darker themes and many are ghost stories or deal with POV characters that aren’t always human. For example, in my short story, The House Whisperer, I write from the POV of a house that’s up for demolition that takes it revenge on the developers in an unusual way.

WO: Can you tell us a bit about your latest book, The Adventures Of Jenny Bean, Aged 49 And An Awful Lot?

JW: I wrote this during Lockdown, and I describe it as, ‘A light-hearted take on a dark-hearted time.’ It’s a Womens’ Fiction/Comedy novel, a tale of menopausal mishaps and frustrated romance played out against the backdrop of Lockdown restrictions, a sort of ‘Victoria Wood-meets-Adrian Mole.’

I read the Adrian Mole books as a teen and have always like the idea of writing something similar but with the central protagonist as female and at the other end of the hormonal spectrum. When Lockdown happened, and everyone was on social media I saw my chance to create something that would resonate with the time in which we were living but also hopefully find some humour in what was really quite a dark situation.

So instead of writing a diary, Jenny – who is going through the menopause – blogs about life during this strange time. In updating the format to a blog, I saw the opportunity to create intriguing sub-plots through the comments left by her subscribers.

WO: What inspired you to write in the first place, and what inspires you now?

JW: I have written and been calling myself a writer for as long as I can remember. What inspires me to write is often when I think of a quirky or catchy title (one of my performance poetry pieces is called Apocalypse Meow, and is about people running away from the disturbing state of the world by scrolling cats on Instagram). I’m inspired by what I observe around me, by cultural phenomena and in particular by humour, through comedians such as Victoria Wood.

WO: A past theme of Write On! explored ‘Beginnings And Endings’. With that in mind, what do you find easier to write – the beginning or the end? And do you always write the beginning first and the ending last?

JW: Yes, because I never know what’s going to happen when I first start writing, so I let the story take me on a journey and see where it’s going to end. I get an idea and run with it, see where it leads.

WO: What one piece of advice would you give an aspiring writer?

JW: Never give up. Believe in yourself. And keep believing because persistence really does pay. The main difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is tenacity.

WO: Question from Instagram user: @farzanahakimauthor What is it about non-fiction writing you particularly enjoy?

JW: I ‘ve only ever written one work of non-fiction and that was The Resurrection Of Oscar Wilde: A Cultural Afterlife. What drove me to write it was passion for my subject. As an artist, I’ve been inspired by Oscar Wilde since I was a teen and, to this day, I retain a fascination with his writings and life.  

WO: Can you tell us anything about future projects?

JW: Ssh! It’s top secret. Actually, I’ll be returning to Jenny Bean. The sequel to my novel, Jenny Bean, Calamity Queen, was published in April and I’m planning to work with more multi-media ideas, as well as to write more in the novel series.

My spoken word performances developed from the desire to take Jenny Bean to the stage, as in the novel she composes comedic poems and songs to pass the time during Lockdown. I realised it would be a rather interesting way to achieve publicity for the novel as well as exploring different creative mediums.

I was a headliner at Big Difference, home of Leicester Comedy Festival, performing a half-hour set at LCB Depot in Leicester as part of that festival. Jenny was there!

WO: Lastly, if you could choose one fictional animal/creature to be a pet or companion, who would it be and why?

JW: Garfield, because I love cats.

You can find out more about Julia Wood here: where a selection of her short stories are available to buy. Connect with Julia at Instagram: @victorianscribe and X: @edwardianspice

To see Julia’s spoken word performance, check out her YouTube channel:


You can read issue 20 online here and find it in libraries and other outlets. Read previous editions of our magazines here.

You can hear great new ideas, creative work and writing tips on Write On! Audio. Find us on all major podcast platforms, including Apple and Google Podcasts and Spotify. Type Pen to Print into your browser and look for our logo, or find us on


If you or someone you know has been affected by issues covered in our pages, please see the relevant link below for ​information, advice and support​:

Persistence really does pay. The main difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is tenacity.