Juliet Madison is one of Escape Publishing’s launch authors and her debut novel Fast Forward was released February 1st. I was thrilled to be approached by Juliet to take part in her blog tour promoting the release of Fast Forward and am excited to be sharing her answers with you today.
If you are interested in finding out more about Fast Forward I reviewed the book earlier this month and the review can be found HERE.
Thanks for taking the time out to talk to us Juliet and congratulations on the publication of Fast Forward.
Thank you Michelle, I’m very happy to be visiting Beauty and Lace today!
Can you tell us a little about your journey to writing as a career?
I remember making up stories when I was a kid and always enjoyed writing, but as I grew up I never really thought it would be a career for me. When I worked in the health industry I wrote a non-fiction book and self-published it, and that satisfied my need to get words down on paper while also helping others, but something inside me wanted to explore the endless possibilities of fiction. I found myself eyeing books in bookstores and wondering how those authors got their novels published, and whenever I’d finish reading one I’d think ‘I wonder if I can do that?’ Eventually, when I left my business to home-school my son, I decided it was now or never.
I got to work and a year later had a finished novel. It felt great! It would need multiple revisions, but I’d done it. And just like a person can get the travel bug once they get a taste for it, there was no going back to a life without writing for me. I joined Romance Writers of Australia, such a fantastic and supportive organisation, and wrote a second book, and then a third. The third book was Fast Forward.
You have just signed your first contract with Escape Publishing. Can you tell us a little about the process?
I first heard about Escape Publishing when they launched and opened up to submissions at the Romance Writers of Australia conference in August 2012. I had already been submitting Fast Forward to other publishers and agents, but decided to investigate digital publishing. The more I read, the more it seemed like a great way to go – reach more readers around the world, get published faster (yes, I’m a tad impatient!). So I submitted a few chapters. A couple of weeks later I got a request for the full manuscript, and three weeks later I was thrilled to find an offer of publication in my inbox! Because they had only just opened, I was invited to their official launch in Sydney overlooking the harbour which was a fantastic night and I felt very lucky to be a part of the Harlequin family. Just under four months after I received that email offer, Fast Forward was released into the big wide world of the internet!
What can you tell us about your release, Fast Forward?
It’s a bit of a blend of genres; a romantic comedy, romance, chick lit, paranormal mish-mash. I like to call it a romantic comedy with a twist! The twist is time travel – the character is transported to the future. Here’s 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?
Where did the inspiration for Fast Forward come from?
I’ve always loved those movies where the character goes back in time or into the future and is able to correct mistakes, see how things might have been different, and change the course of their lives. Movies like Suddenly 30 with Jennifer Garner, 17 Again, Big, and Peggy Sue Got Married.
Fast Forward came about when I wondered what it would be like if a character aged suddenly overnight. If they woke up one day to find themselves at an age they didn’t want to be, in a life that seemed to be their worst nightmare. I thought age fifty would be the perfect milestone, so I created an image-conscious young model as the main character, because I wanted her to see what it was like to live a life where things didn’t revolve around her looks. Young Kelli has a lot to learn, so I took a risk in making her a little conceited at first so the jump to the future would be a bigger disaster for her and so she had plenty of room for growth throughout the story.
In the lead up to publication date how important do you think a social media presence is to the popularity of your book?
I think it helps build anticipation and excitement around your book if it’s done the right way. What’s important is to establish a connection with people, and social media is one of several ways of doing that. People are more likely to buy your book if they find you friendly and approachable. If you’re just online promoting non-stop and not interacting, it is a turn-off. I’m a big user of social media, mostly because I enjoy interacting with readers and writers – it’s fun! And of course if it helps get your story out to readers then that’s even better, but it shouldn’t be your one and only purpose for being there.
Having said that, the most important thing is to A: write a good story, and B: keep writing good stories! But marketing is important, otherwise those great stories will have trouble getting exposure in the beginning.
Do you have a process you follow when you write?
Nothing too specific, and it depends how much time I have available. If I have a decent chunk of time at my disposal (rare), I’ll read the previous day’s work, maybe edit a few bits and pieces – get warmed up. Then I’ll look at my outline and get clear in my mind what I need to write, and then I’ll type as fast as I can for as long as I can!
If I only have snippets of time, I’ll either grab pen and paper and jot down scene points or dialogue for later insertion into my typed manuscript, or I’ll snatch a few moments at the computer and write either what I’m up to or a later scene in the book if it’s playing on my mind. I usually, though not always, write in order. If I’m stuck, I try and go back to basics – what is the character’s goal? What is getting in their way? How does this scene move the story forward?
At the end of the day I always email a copy of the day’s work to myself and back it up on a USB.
Is there a favourite time or place for you to write?
I love writing on a Sunday afternoon either lying on the couch, in bed, or on my balcony deck chair (weather permitting!). When I’m not at my desk, I write on a portable word processor called an Alphasmart NEO which has a small screen with only four lines of text visible, so it allows me to type fast without getting distracted by editing-on-the-go or internet. It’s really light and has a (seemingly) never-ending battery and saves everything as you type it – I love it!
Have you any superstitions or lucky objects when it comes to your writing, any must do actions or must have objects?
The one thing I find I must do is visualise the story or the current scene in my mind as though it’s a movie. I’m a visual learner and have a vivid imagination – seriously, it’s like full-colour high-definition 3D inside my head! If I can clearly see the story unfold and keep that in mind as I write, the words flow and my fingers have trouble keeping up with the typing!
As for objects, not really, apart from the obvious computer or writing machine of choice, but next to my desk I do have a couple of aromatherapy candles I like to burn while I’m writing or editing. One is called Passion and the other is called Awakening (from Dusk – my favourite store!). I like to think they help to awaken the passion for writing!
Is there anything new you are working on that you can tell us about?
I’m in the middle of a short romantic comedy novella, I Dream of Johnny, about a wish on a magic lamp that goes hilariously wrong, and am about to get back into a manuscript I started before Christmas and aim to finish in a few months, called Haunted Housewives. Think Bridesmaids meets Ghost Whisperer with a little Magic Mike thrown in. It’s about a bride-to-be who, on her hens/bachelorette weekend away, becomes haunted by the ghost of her fiance’s ex-girlfriend who seems adamant on stopping the wedding.
What does being a woman mean to you?
It means embracing your unique identity and celebrating your multifaceted nature – daughter, sister, friend, partner, mother, and woman. Being true to yourself, following your passion, and believing that you’re worthy of success and happiness.
Thanks Juliet, I am certainly intrigued to discover more about your works in progress, they sound extremely original.
And now, because we are part of Juliet’s Blog Tour, I have some very important information for you about entering her giveaway.
GIVEAWAY: To go in the draw for a $25 Amazon gift card, purchase FAST FORWARD and then forward your receipt to fastforwardbook (at) gmail (dot) com – replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .
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:
My blurb went missing… so now I have to bring you a new one. One that is a little broader too.
I devour books, vampires and supernatural creatures are my genre of choice but over the past couple of years I have broadened my horizons considerably.
I inhale music, hair metal that satisfies my inner bogan is where my musical passion lies, but again I’ve been exposed to lots of different music I wouldn’t normally listen to and have broadened those horizons also.
In a nutshell – I love to write! I love interacting with a diverse range of artists to bring you interviews.
Perhaps we were perfect before – I LOVE WORDS! Reading, writing, speaking, listening – if it’s got words I’m there!