Today I’d like to welcome Australian Author Juliet Madison to The Never Ending Bookshelf!
Later this week Juliet Madison celebrates her first anniversary as a published author, and while this alone would be a huge achievement for many, in that small space of time Juliet has published not one, but FIVE novels including: Fast Forward; I Dream of Johnny, Starstruck in Seattle, The January Wish and February of Forever (the later is due for release on the same day that marks this amazing milestone!). So without further ado, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Juliet!
Could you tell us a bit about your novel “January Wish”?
Sure, The January Wish is the first in my new small coastal town ‘Tarrin’s Bay’ series. It’s romantic women’s fiction, and is told from three different points of view. Here is the blurb:
When Dr Sylvia Greene makes an impromptu wish at the Tarrin’s Bay Wishing Festival, it’s the most out of character action she can think of. Hers is not a life of wishes. Hers is a controlled life of order, plans and preparation…of science and research and diagnosis and treatment. But her past has been weighing on her mind, and decisions made long ago have far-reaching consequences.
A week later, the daughter she secretly gave up for adoption at sixteen arrives in Sylvia’s small coastal town with secrets that can’t be shared. Between feelings of guilt, gossip, and a growing attraction to an emotionally unavailable colleague, Sylvia’s well-ordered life is soon thrown into chaos. She is no longer alone, and for the first time she feels as if her world is open to possibilities.
They say be careful what you wish for, but, for Sylvia, the unexpected consequences may be just what the doctor ordered.
Did you always want to be a writer?
I always loved making up stories, whether on the page or with my Barbie dolls as a kid! I even narrated one and recorded it on cassette tape (does anyone remember what they are?). As I got older I knew I wanted to write a novel one day, but I thought of it more as something I’d do much later in life, and never imagined I’d start a career as an author.
Tell us a bit about your writing practises: Are you a plotter or a pantser? When and how often do you write? How long did it take to write your book?
I’m a plotter. I like to map everything out and write a timeline for the story. When I sit down to type I like to know what’s going to happen so I’m not staring blankly at the screen waiting for ideas. I write whenever I can, as often as I can, for as long as I can! There is no set time or routine, but now that I’m getting more books out there, I make it one of my top priorities each day. The January Wish took about nine months all up, but I’m a lot faster now. This was only my second manuscript (but fourth to get published), so I was learning as I went along. I can write a book in a couple of months now that I’ve got the hang of it.
Do you have a writing system in place? Like a certain word limit you must reach each day/week? Or are you more relaxed in your writing process?
It depends on what I’m working on. At the moment my goal is 2000 words per day which I calculated would allow me to finish my book by the time I need it finished! Sometimes I go weeks without writing anything new, then I’ll write a whole heap in a short amount of time. I’m a bit sporadic and spontaneous sometimes. When I sit down to write, I set the timer for a half hour at a time and don’t let any distractions get in the way. I’ve found I write more words per hour this way.
Can you tell us a bit about your publishing experience?
I’ve had a wonderful experience with my publisher, Escape Publishing. They are part of Harlequin Australia, and have been professional, efficient, and a great support to me and my career. They published my debut novel, Fast Forward, in February 2013, and come this February (twelve months later), I’ll have five books with them. The great thing about digital publishing is that stories can get out into the world more quickly, and avid readers have so much choice.
Writing a novel and getting it ready to be published is a long and complex process. What are your favourite and most hated parts of that?
Favourite parts: writing the book, getting it accepted, reading through the finished edited product, seeing a new book cover, and readers telling me they’ve enjoyed it.
Least favourite parts: the waiting! Waiting for acceptance of the book for publication, waiting for the contract so you can tell everyone officially, and waiting for it to be published!
Do you have any advice for other writers out there who are thinking about getting their work published?
Don’t send it off until you’ve had two or three (or more) objective people read through it and give you feedback. They could pick up on a fixable issue that might be an obstacle to getting published. They may also help you with the editing process, or you could hire an editor if this is not your strong point. It will be worth it. Also, have some other ideas or a work-in-progress at the ready in case a publisher asks what else you’ve got. And another tip – work on a few marketing strategies before your book is published, to save time down the track! (eg: you could write some guest blog posts on different topics relating to your book, so you can use them in a blog tour later on).
When you first decide to sit down and write a new story, is it the characters, the setting or the situation that comes to you first?
In most cases, it’s the premise. I like to have a clear, succinct story idea that I can explain in a sentence or two. The characters and setting then develop from that, except in the case of my Tarrin’s Bay series which obviously revolves around the same setting, but I still try to come up with a unique plot to build on. In addition, the title often comes to me at the same time (or before) the premise!
Are there any new writing projects you are currently undertaking?
Yes, I’m currently working on my next ‘romagic comedy’, tentatively titled Haunted Housewives. It’s a fun rom-com about a bride-to-be who is haunted by the ghost of her fiance’s ex-girlfriend. After this, I’ll work on a novella (haven’t decided which one yet), and then I’ll write Miracle in March, the third book in my Tarrin’s Bay series.
Can you recall the first novel that you read?
I’m not sure, but I remember reading The Faraway Tree and The Wishing Tree when I was a kid and they got me hooked on the magic of fiction. I also remember reading The Babysitters Club too.
Your latest release is titled January Wish, what is it that you wish (or hope) most for this January?
I wish that readers who would enjoy my books find them through some way or another, and I wish for a book deal (ideally in print) for both my YA supernatural series, and my women’s fiction book!
What can we expect from you next?
The second book in my Tarrin’s Bay series, February or Forever, releases very soon, on 1st February. After that there’ll be a bit of a break between releases, and then hopefully another romagic comedy novel later in the year, a novella, and Miracle in March in 2015. I’m also hoping to get two other books published – a women’s fiction, and a Young Adult supernatural romance/mystery. Basically, I’m just going to keep writing!
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thanks for buying my books, reading them, and reviewing them. Thanks for sending me messages via email, twitter, or facebook telling me what you enjoyed about the book (authors love that!), and for telling your friends about the books as word of mouth is the best way to help your favourite authors.
Buy THE JANUARY WISH from all good ebook retailers:
WIN STUFF! Throughout the month of January, Juliet is running a giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card and a beautiful coastal photographic print (see photo). All you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter form here: