It’s a right of passage with any website, right? To do an ‘about me’ blog post. When you’re looking at hiring a ghostwriter, editor or content writer, you might want to know a little bit about their background and their likes and dislikes, amongst other things. It’s not nosy of you, it’s incredibly important to know what kind of person you’re going to potentially work with. Okay, maybe it’s a little nosy, but we all like to dip our toes into other people’s lives. It allows you to see the person behind the screen. Anyway, I just think it’s nice to know a bit about who you’re working with. I’ll keep this brief, I promise! We’ll stick with a question and answer format to keep me on track.
Where do I live?
I live in the wonderful town of Barnsley, in sunny-old South Yorkshire. As I’m writing this it is, of course, pouring down with rain. Barnsley is an ex-mining town with a very proud history (coming from a long line of miners, I too am very proud of our little town). For those of you who have no idea where South Yorkshire is, it’s situated in England, in the UK. Those of us from Barnsley would tell you that it’s ‘up North’, but it is actually more central.
What was your education like?
I think I had a pretty standard education particularly through primary school and high school. At college, I took four A-Levels but dropped Chemistry after the first year (it turned out I wasn’t a natural chemist). I left Barnsley Sixth Form college with two As and a B, which meant that I had the grades to get accepted onto of the best teaching courses in the country. Although I have to admit that at the time I was required to choose my degree, at the age of 17, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. The teaching course was rigorous, to say the least, but I definitely learnt a hell of a lot, not just about teaching but about myself too. I left as a far more confident person. I achieved a high first-class BA degree, in Teaching, and managed to bag myself a Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement, which meant that I graduated in the top 0.5% of students that year. Fun fact, the University of Huddersfield’s chancellor was none other than Sir Patrick Stewart. Yes, Professor X!
So, how did you start writing for a living?
After finishing my BA, I started a part-time MA while bouncing around a few different jobs. I taught for a while but never seemed to find my fit. After working with some incredible young people, who suffered from behavioural issues, I decided to try my hand at something new. Throughout my education, my teachers and professors had always commented that my style of writing was impressive (not to toot my own horn or anything). This wasn’t simply through only academic writing but across the board. As somebody who has ALWAYS loved books, and usually has one glued in her hand, it seemed to make sense to try to make something out of my interests, especially as I had just completed my MA. I started a Fiverr account ( https://www.fiverr.com/sarahjules/ ) and a few different other accounts and got down to business learning the trade. I started off writing mostly blog posts and editing people’s books for them. I slowly began to navigate my way around the world of self-employment and writing. It was a pretty steep learning curve for me but I found my way in the end.
What’s next for you?
I want to continue doing what I love, writing and reading. I love all aspects of my job – ghostwriting, content writing and editing and it is my absolute dream to continue doing this forever and ever! My next step is to continue to reach a wider audience, hence the creation of this website (shout out to my amazing friend James for designing it for me). I may even write my own book, who knows!
As much as I love my work, it isn’t the only priority for me. My partner and I moved house at the beginning of 2020, just before the infamous COVID-19 locked us all down. The house we bought requires quite a bit of renovating which we plan to do throughout 2021 – I’m both dreading it and excited about it. I’m sure it will be incredible when we’re done but for the moment the prospect of starting renovations gives me major anxiety.
Other than reading, what do you like to do?
My favourite thing to do in the world is to take mini-breaks with my partner and our dog (Buster, the craziest rescue pup that ever lived). We love our little caravan holidays around the UK and tend to veer towards quieter places. The last holiday we went on was in a remote spot with only sheep for miles, it was bliss! If we’re not on holiday, then you’ll find me with my family (although that has been put on hold, for now, thanks to everything going on). My family are all super close and even though I moved out years ago, I still speak to my mum and dad every single day.
If I’m not reading, I’m usually curled up on the sofa watching TV (usually horror films and sometimes with a glass of merlot in hand). Other than that, I like yoga, swimming, and coffee (not simultaneously of course, although that would be hilarious). I love learning new things and one of my favourite things in the world is researching for books that I’m writing. Currently, I have an open tab that reads, ‘How to keep vampires away,’ it’s for a book, I swear!
Let’s end with some quick-fire ones. Ready, set, go!
1. What is your middle name?
Julie, hence the alias, Sarah Jules.
2. What was your favourite subject at school?
History. I absolutely loved my teacher! I know, not English surprisingly.
3. What is your favourite drink?
4. What is your favourite song at the moment?
Never in my Wildest Dreams by Dan Auerbach.
5. What is your favourite food?
6. What is the last thing you bought?
Mini paint brushes for decorating, these old dado rails are the bane of my life at the moment!
7. Favourite book of all time?
This is impossible! I have so many favourites, it’s like asking a person to choose their favourite child. If I had to choose the one that I think resonated with me the most, and that I’ve read the most times, I’d choose The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.
9. Do you have any pets?
Yes, my beautiful nervous, weird rescue boy, Buster.
10. Favourite Perfume?
Chloe, that one was easy.
11. Favourite Holiday?
Christmas – is it too early to put the tree up yet?
12. Are you married?
Nope, I am engaged though. We were supposed to get married on the 5th December this year but decided it wasn’t for us.
13. Have you ever been out of the country?
Yes, although only to Spain and Greece. I’m not much of a traveller.
14. Do you speak any other language?
A tiny, tiny bit of high school Spanish.
15. How many siblings do you have?
One, a brother called Joseph. He’s a few years younger than me.
16. What is your favourite shop?
I love charity shopping, does that count? Mainly for books, I have to admit. But you sometimes find super cool clothes and furniture too.
17. Favourite restaurant?
Any Italian restaurant. We have a couple of really nice ones in Barnsley.
18. When was the last time you cried?
Last week, watching Hamilton, ‘The Story of Tonight’ gets me every single time.
19. Favourite Blog?
Ironically, I don’t really read blogs because all my time is taken up reading from a computer screen all day. I do, however, love the bookstagram community – check out my page @literary.booked, if you want to be bombarded with bookish posts.
20. Favourite Movie?
It has to be Dirty Dancing. However, I do love anything with Melissa McCarthy in it too.
21. Favourite TV show?
Again, it’s impossible to just choose one. I love Cougar Town, Hart of Dixie, Criminal Minds, Ghost Whisperer, and so many others!
22. PC or Mac?
23. What phone do you have?
Google Pixel 3xl. I used my career change as an excuse to buy a new phone!
24. How tall are you?
5ft 6 – pretty average.
25. Can you cook?
I hope this post has been somewhat enlightening and not too boring (I can’t help that I’m not a super exciting person)!
As always, wishing you love and books that make your heart skip a beat,
Sarah Jules x
P.S I’m also a crazy plant lady too! I’m not sure how that didn’t come up in the blog post. I have 36 indoor plants and counting, including a 40-year-old peace lily named Bertha.