Jules Lampshire, winner of the BPA First Novel Award 2018, has signed a two-book deal with Orion Dash. She will be releasing her debut psychological suspense novel, provisionally titled The Therapy Game, this summer, using the pen name Julia Stone. Everyone at BPA was delighted to hear the news, and it’s clear this novel is going to captivate audiences in the same way we were captivated by her submission. Rhea Kurien, Editorial Director at Orion Dash, picked up the novel shortly after moving to the newly launched imprint.
‘There’s something so compulsive when it comes to stories about obsessive love and forbidden attraction, and Jules’ writing pulled me in from the very first page. I read The Therapy Game in one breathless sitting. I’m delighted that Orion Dash will be publishing this fabulous psychological thriller this summer.’ – Rhea Kurien.
On winning the Blue Pencil First Novel Award, Jules signed with 2018’s literary agent judge Madeleine Milburn. Jules also worked on The Therapy Game with associate agent Olivia Maidment before going out on submission.
‘I’ve been thrilled to represent Jules ever since I read her opening pitch for the Blue Pencil competition, when I knew right away that hers was a voice I was desperate to champion! I am over the moon that her writing has found such a brilliant home with Orion Dash.The Therapy Game is a terrifyingly real therapists’ tale that will have you tangled up in a spiderweb of deception from beginning to end. It is about the risk that comes with doubting your own instincts, and the danger of ignoring red flags in pursuit of love. I simply cannot wait for readers to get their hands on it!’ – Madeleine Milburn
(L–R: Literary agent Madeleine Milburn, BPA First Novel Award winner Jules Lampshire, runner-up Mandy Robotham, author and judge Fiona Mitchell)
Jules has been on a remarkable journey, from studying creative writing for the first time in 2017 to winning the BPA First Novel Award to signing this deal with her third novel. Here she shares a little about the process:
‘Having written several non-fiction publications I wanted to learn more about creative writing, so I applied for the Faber Academy Writing a Novel programme in 2017. During the six month course I produced a draft novel based on a script treatment I’d written some years before. It sparked some interest from agents with three manuscript requests, but sadly no one offered representation. So, in 2018 I started again on a new story, My Poor Deluded Girl, which I then summoned up the courage to enter into the Blue Pencil First Novel Award. On the day I heard it had been short-listed I was celebrating my birthday on holiday in Pompeii, so it was a double celebration! And my excitement reached fever pitch when Emma phoned me to say the novel had won – and Madeleine Milburn wanted to offer me representation. During lockdown last year I wrote and edited a third book, provisionally titled The Therapy Game, and was thrilled to receive the offer of a two-book deal from Orion Dash earlier this year, with a target publication date of this summer.’
Between writing sessions, Jules continues to work as a psychotherapist and coach and offers a specialised service to writers and creatives:
‘Having gone through the ups and downs of the journey to publication, I know first-hand what it’s like for the self-doubt to creep in. It’s almost a given that at some point we lose faith in our story, misplace our mojo, or question what we were thinking when we started out on this path! As a psychotherapist and coach I’ve called on the tools and techniques of my profession many times over the past few years and have also offered professional support to many other writers, including novelists, poets and memoirists. If you’d like to work on your own emotional challenges or any limiting beliefs that are getting in the way of your writing ambitions, more information can be found at www.julialampshire.com.’