Why I decided to write a book

So with all of the craziness that ensued as a result of moving my blog over from Blogger to WordPress, I never really had a chance to talk about the book I wrote. While I’ve mentioned it in passing here and there (and certainly pimped it out on my various social media channels), I haven’t given you the background on it which I’m excited to do now!

Full Circle by Julie Tulba

Last summer (around the month of August to be exact) I decided I wanted to finally write a book. No, not some epic 600 page novel or even some 300 page chick lit piece. I wanted to write about what I was most comfortable and familiar with, travel. Early on in my blogging days, I actually wrote many narratives. But then over time my narratives turned more into travel “non-fiction” pieces (i.e. reviews of hotels and restaurants, my thoughts on attractions etc). I always missed this style of writing and always was thinking of ways to return to it.

Self-publishing has been around for some years now and I figured it was the only way I would get my foot in the publishing world’s door. I’ve actually submitted a children’s book I penned to a couple of different publishing houses but was always rejected. I’ve done the same for some travel pieces I wrote for periodicals and encountered the same results. While one of my favorite authors, the great Chris Bohjalian, said that he himself incurred hundreds of rejections before finally getting that “one” I didn’t want to go through that for my little collection of short stories. I would like to actually try my hand at writing a historical fiction work next and that I probably will try to submit to actual publishers.

I first became hooked on short stories as a freshman in college after having read Jhumpa Lahiri’s incredible collection, The Interpreter of Maladies. I had always “looked down” on short stories, considering them inferior to actual novels until I read Lahiri’s work. The creative writing skill and ingenuity of the author is obviously heavily dependent on this, but short stories can be amazing, especially since they can have so much “packed” into such a small page allotment.

While plenty of people write about places they’ve never been, I wanted my stories to all be set in locations where I have been. I just felt that it adds more of a personal connection to my writing. Full Circle consists of 11 stories that take place on four continents and all of the stories speak on the theme of self-discovery, which I think everyone experiences when they travel somewhere regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, financial status, etc.

While I was happy from the get go with some of my stories in Full Circle, others required drastic revisions to. It’s amazing though how much I felt my characters (their personal stories, their relationships, the settings) come to life through my writing. By the end of the writing and editing process, they almost seemed “real” to me.


I will say this-even though I know self-publishing a collection of short stories through Amazon is going to bring me neither fame nor riches, I’m truly glad that I did it. It’s an amazing feeling to hold in your hands something that you wrote. Blogging is great, don’t get me wrong, but in a sense, anyone can truly do that. Not everyone has the skills and more importantly, the drive to do something as significant as write a book. What I think I improved upon the most with writing Full Circle? I’ve become extremely savvy with writing dialogue. Now THAT is a skill to have!

In closing, whether you’re someone who reads my blog on a regular basis or someone who just happened to stop by today, I hope that you will do me the honor of reading Full Circle. If you like to travel and/or  enjoy short stories, I really think you’ll enjoy my collection.

Full Circle by Julie Tulba

Full Circle is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.



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  • Reply
    Jo Ann M. (@JoAnn0924)
    May 23, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Julie, I was excited to get my copy of “Full Circle” from Amazon earlier this month. Although I have been reading your blog for a while I didn’t know what to expect from this collection of stories. I was pleasantly surprised!

    Although it is difficult to choose, my favorite stories in this collection are The Look, Pretending, Irreplaceable Fences, Eternal Shadows, Full Circle, Lost in Everything, & The Eyes That Watch, for different reasons.

    As I was reading Full Circle I tried to pick out the events in the stories that I believe “really did happen” as you mentioned in the Author’s Note. I’m not sure I want to know, but there are some I wish really happened.

    I can imagine you having a “chocolat chaud” at a Parisian café, visiting a “milonga” and maybe even dancing the tango in Buenos Aires, traveling on the Road to Hana, or having tea and biscuits at The Ritz in London. I can see you wandering off the beaten path in Córdoba or Bruges and even getting lost among ancient Mayan ruins.

    I truly believe you had some negative experiences somewhere in Korea and that you experience positive feelings on returning to Pittsburgh after your travels.

    Your love of travel comes across loud and clear in “Full Circle”. Sometimes a book like yours can inspire or bring a bit of the world to those who do not have the opportunity to travel.

    Writing this book is a major accomplishment that you will never forget. I’m glad I had a chance to read it!

    • Reply
      May 26, 2014 at 8:39 pm

      I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the stories! I know they were definitely different than what I post on my blog but I was ready for a change and challenge 🙂

      I really didn’t have any negative experiences in Korea-more along the lines of mildly frustrating at times due to the language barriers and my appearance. Coming “home” though is always a wonderful feeling!

      I do hope that Full Circle will inspire others to travel, even if it’s somewhere domestic/not “too” hardcore. It’s just such a wonderful experience overall.

      I’m doubly glad that I had your support with reading it too!

  • Reply
    Bridget @ A Traveling B
    May 29, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Congratulations! What a great accomplishment. You should be really proud! Looking forward to reading it to get some travel and writing inspiration!
    Bridget @ A Traveling B recently posted…Summer in Napa ValleyMy Profile

    • Reply
      May 30, 2014 at 11:57 am

      Thanks Bridget! At times it seemed like it would never be finished, especially in the editing stages but now being able to actually hold a copy of it in my hands is a pretty cool feeling 🙂 Hope you get to read it sometime 🙂 It’s pretty short, it’s no Gone With the Wind!

  • Reply
    Becca Niederkrom
    June 22, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    This is a really big accomplishment Julie! Love the subtitle, travel and self discovery go hand in hand; I believe travel is our best education.

    • Reply
      June 23, 2014 at 9:17 pm

      I could not agree more about travel being our best education. The moment you step outside of your comfort zone you will always learn something about yourself is my belief! And many thanks!

  • Reply
    Jenn T.
    June 23, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Hey Julie, loved hearing about why you decided to write a book. Totally agree with you that there is nothing like holding something you wrote in your hand. It’s also so nice to write in narrative form for a change- blogging is fun too, but you said, lacks the same creative vibe. I try to sneak in some more narrative-style posts once in a while without changing the tone of our blog and it seems to work…You still have to get the details about what it’s like to visit a place of course but can be more whimsical in tone.

    I can’t wait to read Full Circle- especially for the chapters on Costa Rica! I’ll be eagerly awaiting the e-book version because if I tried to get the paperback to CR through the mail, I might never see it. Cheers!

    • Reply
      June 23, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      I know that I will never get rich or famous from it, but yes, holding something that I wrote in my hand is just the coolest feeling ever! And definitely gives me motivation to try and do more!

      Ha ha, ahh Costa Rican mail. I had many things successfully sent to me while living there but yes, they took a long, long time to make their way 🙂 Also love the Ticos directions since there are no street signs and numbers 🙂 The good ‘ol days!

  • Reply
    Kelly @ tastingpage
    June 25, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Bravo to you! It feels like such a daunting task to write a book and I love that you grabbed the bull by the horns and made it happen. It must be so satisfying to have gone through the process and now have a beautiful book as a result. Kudos again!

    • Reply
      June 25, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      Thank you! I am already eying up what I would like to work on next (historical fiction) so I know my first book will seem like a walk in the park in comparison 🙂 But yes, it was definitely one of those things that I just wanted to finally “do” instead of keeping talking about it. It is so awesome just to look at and know that you did it.

  • Reply
    September 18, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    To be honest, I am really curious to read your book. I have also written a book, which is still unpublished. It’s a fiction novel. I wrote it even before I started blogging. I agree, writing a book is far tougher a task than blogging.

    I wish you all the best for your book! Hope your book receives the kind of success it deserves. 🙂
    Renuka recently posted…The Street Buzz In India – A Photo EssayMy Profile

    • Reply
      September 20, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      Thanks Renuka! It is available on Kindle on Amazon India’s site 🙂 I hope you’ll be able to read it, and more importantly, let me know what you think of it! That’s awesome that you’ve written a book!

      And thank you for your kind words. It definitely has been tough trying to market and get the word out about it!

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