Today I welcome the lovely Juliet Madison to the chair. Her recent novel Fast Forward put a smile on my face and made me lough aloud, as well as exploring some deeper societal issues in a lighthearted way. I really must get that review up, Juliet!
How I Became A Writer
Thank you, Annie, for hosting me on your blog today!
I’ve been writing seriously for three years and four months now. I do remember writing before that, but I never thought I’d try making a career of it. I’ve always loved stories and grew up with a vivid imagination and daydreaming tendencies, so it’s no wonder the desire to write fiction was born.
Several years ago, I was working as a naturopath and running my own business. It was a lot of hard work. I really enjoyed it, it was rewarding and interesting, but I barely had any time to read, and I was too tired by the time I got to bed late at night. I think I went a couple of years without reading a single novel! Eventually I read a book, and then another, and I started to get a funny feeling whenever I’d walk into a bookshop. Something was telling me - you need to write!
I went through a very stressful period in my life and some pretty big changes occurred, resulting in my son leaving school at the end of Year Six and me leaving my health clinic. I enrolled my son in distance education and agreed to being his full time supervisor/teacher. I could barely handle helping him with his homework before, so I had no idea how I would cope with schoolwork every day! But it’s amazing what you can do when you set your mind to something and when a certain pathway is the best option for your child. So as I prepared for this new phase of my life, I decided that when it came to the desire to write a novel, it was now or never. Sure, I’d be busy in my new role, but because I would be at home full time I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to make time to work on a book.
And so it began. I started my first foray into novel writing and a year later had a completed novel. The euphoric feeling was so rewarding, and addictive. I haven’t stopped writing since! It was even more exciting when this novel got a ‘revise and resubmit’ request from a major publisher (I’m still revising!). I knew I was on the right track, and it spurred me on to write more stories. When I moved to a beachside town on the south coast of New South Wales, I started writing my second novel and based it on my new town, and I decided to turn it into a series. I’ll be working on the second book in the series later this year. And at the start of 2012, I began my third full length book (I’d written a few short stories and a novella also during those three years). This book was Fast Forward. Nine months after starting the book I received my first offer of publication from Harlequin’s Escape Publishing, and now it has just been released! It’s great to be able to finally say - ‘I’m a published author’.
Some things I’ve learned are to write what’s in your heart, write the story you want to read, and believe in yourself. It’s easy to doubt yourself as a writer, and we all do it now and then, but if you write - you’re a writer, it’s as simple as that. Not everyone picks up that pen or opens that word document, so celebrate the fact that you started and that you’re having a go. I’d also encourage aspiring writers to get their work critiqued or assessed, as it can help pinpoint areas that need improving, and you can learn a lot in the process. And something that’s been a big help to me is joining RWA (Romance Writers of Australia). The support and professional development is fantastic, and the wonderful writers I’ve met have become cherished friends. It’s amazing to look back and see where I was three and a half years ago compared to now - it’s so different! But I’m enjoying my new life, and now that I’ve become part of the writing world - I’m here to stay. :)
Here’s the blurb for my debut release, FAST FORWARD, out now from Escape Publishing:
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?
Buy FAST FORWARD via...
Escape Publishing, Amazon, Amazon UK, iTunes/iBookstore, Kobo.
GIVEAWAY #1: To go in the draw for a $25 Amazon gift card, forward your purchase receipt to fastforwardbook (at) gmail (dot) com - replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .
GIVEAWAY #2: To go in the draw for a $50 Amazon gift card or the runner up prize of a $25 gift card, leave a comment on this post. Comment on other blogs during Juliet’s February blog tour for more entries into the draw! Winners drawn 1st March.
Connect with Juliet online:
Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter.
Annie loves sharing her writing chair with special guests! If you'd like a turn...please email her! firstname.lastname@example.org