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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, author Judith Leary-Joyce shares what inspired her to write her new book, Beginner’s Guide To Eco Renovation: Understand The Basics And The Best Questions To Ask.

the best creativity magazine in the UK, the best book magazine in the UK, the best arts magazine in the UK, the best entertainment magazine in the UK, the best celebrity magazine in the UK, book marketing UK, book promotion UK, music marketing UK, music promotion UK, film marketing UK, film promotion UK, arts and entertainment magazine, online magazine uk, creativity magazineWritten by JJ Barnes

www.jjbarnes.co.uk

I interviewed Judith Leary-Joyce about her life and career, the inspiration behind her new book, Beginner’s Guide To Eco Renovation, and how she hopes to help her readers.

Tell me a bit about who you are.

I’m a retired granny who cares passionately about the environment and I want to leave every grandchild with a decent world to live in. After a long career helping people develop their potential (Gestalt psychotherapy and executive coach) I became inspired by insulation. So I’m also an unpredictable granny!

When did you first WANT to write a book?

Judith Leary-Joyce on The Table Read Magazine
Judith Leary-Joyce

I wrote my first book in 2001. The idea of writing had never occurred to me, but I saw an opportunity for someone of my skills and I knew if I didn’t write it someone else would. And then I’d be kicking myself!

When did you take a step to start writing?

It all happened in the flash. I found myself saying that I was going to write the book – news to me as well as the listener – and having done that, I had to keep going or lose face. So I contacted businesses that could help with my research and I was off.

How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?

For the first book I did the research and writing in about 18 months, alongside setting up a new business and being Mum. The other two business books took one year each because I’d learned to do the research while working, then take one month off to write the book itself.

How long did it take you to complete your latest book from the first idea to release?

Beginner’s Guide to Eco Renovation took about nine months to write. Self-publishing took another three months and was the toughest part for me. But it taught me a lot, not least how to find my way around the internet.

Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write Beginner’s Guide To Eco Renovation?

It started because we retrofitted our Victorian house (120 years old) and discovered we were saving 75% of our energy usage. We had quietly hoped for a 50% reduction, so were completely blown away by the end result. We’d done it to reduce our carbon footprint as well as cost, so to find that we could make such a difference in an old leaky house was a revelation.

Initially just building an extension, we had soon realised that the whole house needed attention if we were to achieve our goal. This required me to learn about retrofit while working with the builder on project management. I longed for an ‘Idiot’s Guide’ but it just didn’t exist. So once we were finished and comfortable, I wrote it to support others in creating a warm and environmentally friendly home.

What were your biggest challenges with writing Beginner’s Guide To Eco Renovation?

I had to be sure I was providing the correct information, so I found an eco-inspired architect to act as my mentor. Julia read every word, correcting me when needed and adding in the information I had missed. When we moved outside her comfort zone – like with the air source heat pump and solar – I found other generous experts to help.

Then came the publishing. My previous books were traditionally published, so doing it myself was new territory. Never has a book felt like such an achievement. And I certainly enjoyed the autonomy – especially when it came to the cover!

the best creativity magazine in the UK, the best book magazine in the UK, the best arts magazine in the UK, the best entertainment magazine in the UK, the best celebrity magazine in the UK, book marketing UK, book promotion UK, music marketing UK, music promotion UK, film marketing UK, film promotion UK, arts and entertainment magazine, online magazine uk, creativity magazine

What was your research process for Beginner’s Guide To Eco Renovation?

The biggest part of the research was the retrofit itself. Thereafter I used the internet and my mentors/experts to help me. Some aspects came easily, others were more of a challenge – breathability instantly comes to mind! There was a lot of technical detail and sometimes it was a challenge to keep going. Netflix had a whole new appeal on those days!

My main aim with the book was to simplify and make retrofit as interesting and entertaining as possible. So I listened, read and learned, then searched for the most straightforward way to explain it. Adding in stories from our experience – successes and mistakes – helps the reader identify with what we’d done. When I talk with people who have read the book, it’s these stories they remember with a smile.

How did you plan the structure of Beginner’s Guide To Eco Renovation?

I worked around the retrofit process itself, writing a chapter for each step. It lent itself very easily, so structuring wasn’t a big challenge in this instance.

Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did Beginner’s Guide To Eco Renovation need?

I certainly did get editing support. My previous experiences of an editor had been very good, so I knew the value it could bring. I found Suzanne Arnold via the Alliance of Independent Authors and she was brilliant. She also helped me find a copy editor and an indexer.

I always dread that first view of the edited copy, but this time most of it was minor I’m pleased to say.

The #1 Writing Tool

What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?

Give yourself deadlines with some contact at the end. Writing is a solitary occupation so finding time to chat with someone else during the day is a real help. Especially if they are also writing.

Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?

Updating this book is moving up the list – the eco build world moves fast.

Since this book took me by surprise, I’m as interested as you are to see what might come next.

And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?

I am proud of it. Feedback indicates that people are finding it useful. Having enough knowledge without being overloaded clearly helps to stiffen the backbone, so every new retrofit that results from the book makes me very proud.

Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:

Beginner’s Guide to Eco Renovation

Kindle: https://amzn.to/46z8NOO

Paperback: https://amzn.to/3sQrjo2

EcoRenovationHome Blog: https://ecorenovationhome.com

TEDx Talk: How you and your builder can help save the planet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbN7sUauhWM&t=653s

Stay warm for less – free energy hacks booklet: https://ecorenovationhome.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Stay-warm-for-less-Print-2023.pdf

Instagram: @ecorenovationhome

Facebook: @ecorenovationhome

Linkedin: Judith Leary-Joyce

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