I am delighted to have the lovely and gracious Juliet Madison as my first author guest. She has answered questions about her new book Fast Forward and shared some wonderful writerly experiences.
Q. First of all I'm so thrilled you agreed to join us, Juliet! Could you tell us a little about your debut novel 'Fast Forward'?
A. Thanks for inviting me! Fast Forward is a romantic comedy with a magical twist. Here is the blurb:
Aspiring supermodel, Kelli Crawford seems destined to marry her hotshot boyfriend, but on her twenty-fifth birthday she wakes in the future as a fifty-year-old suburban housewife married to the now middle-aged high school nerd.
Trapped in the opposite life of the one she wanted, Kelli is forced to re-evaluate her life and discover what is really important to her. Will she overcome the hilarious and heartbreaking challenges presented to her and get back to the body of her younger self? Or will she be stuck in the nightmare of hot flushes, demanding children, raunchy advances from her husband and hideous support underwear forever?
Q. Were there any challenges in writing a time travel?
A. I wanted to have a story that wasn’t too far into the future so that it still resembled the world we know, but with a few cool additions! It was somewhat challenging trying to get my head around what the world might be like in twenty five years. I wanted it to be realistic but still innovative and surprising. I first had a think about the technology that’s been introduced in the last twenty five years and it is amazing how far it has come, yet there are still things that haven’t changed much, or at all (like shopping trolleys! Why can’t they make fancy new ones that go where you want them to and don’t get wobbly and don’t veer off on their own down the car park when you’ve packed it with too much food?).
Because my story was a romantic comedy and not a sci-fi, I didn’t have to get bogged down into the actual process of time travel, so that was easier. In these sorts of books and movies, the time travel just sort of ‘happens’.
Q. So I hear you are working on a YA? How are you finding the transition from Adult Fiction?
A. Yes, I am! I’ve had this Young Adult idea for quite a while and have only recently been working on it seriously. It’s a romantic paranormal... There aren’t any vampires or werewolves or creatures of any kind, it’s very much a ‘real world’ human story with a paranormal twist that is integral to the plot. So far I’m finding it fun to write, it is a slightly different process to writing a book for adults, as I have to think ‘what would a teenager say here?’, and ‘what would they do?’. I find I have to draw on the memory of my own experiences and emotions at that age to try and make it authentic. Sometimes that’s fun, sometimes not so much! I never planned to write YA, but a story idea came to me in a moment of inspiration and I knew I had to write it.
Q. Can you tell us a little about your writing process?
A. It evolves with each book, but generally I start with an idea or story premise, and usually a title too, and then I write the first scene to get an idea of the voice of the story and character. Then I work out the ending, and then jot down notes on how to get the characters from A to B. I like plotting and knowing where things are headed, though I don’t mind getting pleasantly surprised along the way too. I try to remain flexible and adjust the story as needed. I don’t usually get long periods of time to write, so I have to work in bits and pieces of time, but if a story is urging me to tell it I sometimes stay up really late to get as much down as I can! (This happened with Fast Forward). I like to write on my Alphasmart NEO which is a portable word processor, because it is light, has no internet or distractions, and has an everlasting battery. At the end of the day I plug it into my computer and it transfers the words to a word document for me.
Q. What is it you love most about being an author?
A. Seeing what started out as a little spark of an idea become a finished book. I love creating something from nothing, and bringing a fictional world and characters to life. Apart from this, I love interacting with other writers - I’ve made so many good friends in this industry, it’s great!
Q. Please tell us a little about your journey to first getting published. The highs, lows and how you made it!
A. It took me three years from when I started writing seriously to when I first got a publishing offer. I feel very lucky, it can be a long road for many, but it’s a road that’s worth travelling on if writing is your passion. It’s been both exhausting and exhilarating, and now that I’ve started there’s no going back. Fast Forward was my third completed manuscript but my first to get published. I had good feedback on my first (plus a few rejections) and an offer to resubmit, my second racked up some rejections too (but later got a publishing offer), and my third, good ol’ Fast Forward, got twenty rejections before being accepted for publication by Harlequin Australia’s Escape Publishing. Joining RWA (Romance Writers of Australia) has played a big role in helping me get published, as I have learned so much through them and they provide many great opportunities for writers to get into the industry. One thing I’ve loved is meeting other authors, it’s great to know there are other people around who think making stuff up is completely normal! And one thing I’ve learned is that you have to keep working, keep writing, and keep improving. Published authors still have to wait on submissions, stress about rejection, and manage both writing and marketing in their busy lives. But I wouldn’t change a thing!
Q. Finally, what is the one thing you would like the prospective readers out there to know about your stories?
A. I aim to write both humorous and heartwarming fiction, so if you like a story that can have you laughing-out-loud one minute and tearing up the next, you might enjoy my stories. I guarantee a happy ending too (though there may be sad moments -see above mention of tears!), and always try to put some kind of uplifting message or idea in the book that readers can hopefully take away with them and feel good about themselves and their lives - hence my tagline: Experience the magic of life and love. :)
Buy FAST FORWARD via...Escape Publishing, Amazon, Amazon UK, iTunes/iBookstore, Kobo, Google Play, B&N/Nook.
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