Jun 24, 2015

Australia Week: An Interview with Juliet Madison

I know Juliet Madison from her Tarrin's Bay books. I love this series because the stories are hopeful and romantic. They are filled with unexpected twists and turns and they are also realistic. I'm very happy that I've been able to interview the author of these wonderful books.
1) Could you tell a bit about yourself?

I’m a writer of books for adults and teens, some are funny, some are emotional, some are magical, some are suspenseful. I have an overactive imagination and love being creative, so making up stories is how I express this! I’m also passionate about healthy living, fitness, self-empowerment, and making the most of the gift of life.

2) How/Where did you get the idea for the Tarrin's Bay series?

The first book in this series, The January Wish, was the second book I’d ever written (I’ve written 12 all up), and I started writing it just after I’d moved to a beautiful new town. I decided to base this series on the town but give it a fictional name, and as I was having my own new beginning, I also decided to nickname Tarrin’s Bay the Town of New Beginnings!

3) There's a new book for each month of the year, I love the idea, what's the thought behind it?

I was trying to think up a way to link a series of books together into a series of stand-alone novels united by a common theme or setting. I’d seen numbers, colours, and seasons used by other authors, but wasn’t aware of anyone using months of the year. So that’s how the series idea came about; I’d write one book for each month of the year, all set in the same small town! I'm up to the 4th book, but have all the 12 titles planned out. :)

4) Your books are about people who haven't had it easy and who find themselves again in Tarrin's Bay, what's so magical about the place?

It’s got the best of both worlds; all the modern conveniences of a larger town but small enough to have that community charm and relaxed atmosphere. It has quaint shops, beautiful beaches, and magnificent headlands and walking tracks to get lost in nature, and a natural phenomenon – Tarrin, the rock formation that resembles a man’s face. There is also Miracle Park where the wishing fountain resides, and legend says it has been responsible for producing miracles for people on the anniversary of its construction each year. It’s a place where people come to visit and never want to leave. J

5) You write about two difficult subjects in Miracle In March, having a child with autism and not being able to have children, how do you approach sensitive topics, do you do a lot of research?

I do research anything I need more information on, but in this case I drew a lot on personal experience, having raised a child on the autism spectrum myself, and in the past having worked with women with fertility problems in the health field.

I’m currently working on the ‘April’ book which deals with two very challenging issues of which I have no experience in, so I am conscious of doing enough research to make sure I do it justice and write it realistically and with sensitivity.

6) Your stories show that there's always hope, that's a beautiful message. Is that something you deliberately tell your readers?

Yes. When I started writing I wanted to make sure that no matter what I wrote about, or what genre, there would always be an overall positive message to leave readers feeling empowered in some way. I think fiction can play an important role in not only entertaining people through stories, but helping people to think about their own situations and choices and how they can make the most of their life.

7) What's your favourite place in Australia (or Tarrin's Bay) and why?

There are so many beautiful places in Australia for varying reasons, but I love where I live on the south coast of New South Wales. I’ve lived here for four years and still feel like I’m on holidays!

As for Tarrin’s Bay, I like Lookout Point where you can see for miles and watch the waves tumble onto the rocks below, maybe see a shooting star, have a moonlit picnic, and think about life.

8) Emma is such a strong heroine who has made an enormous sacrifice. What do you like most about her?

She always thinks how her choices will affect other people. She has a heart of gold and wants to make sure everyone else will be okay, and when someone needs her to help them out, she is there no matter what. This desire to help people, however, is also what created the conflict in the story between her and James, her ex boyfriend. Without giving away a spoiler, she was looking at the long term, the big picture, which required her to make a short term sacrifice that would hurt the man she loved.

9) Are your characters inspired by real people?

Some of them are! (If people I know are reading this they might be freaking out a little!) ;)

I never create an exact copy of a person, but sometimes I take traits from various people and blend them together to create a character. Sometimes I will use things people have said or done, in a scene, especially if it is something funny!

10) Where do you find inspiration?

Anywhere and everywhere. I find that the more ideas and inspiration I get, the more ideas and inspiration I get! Most just appear out of nowhere in my mind, and other times I might see a photo that gives me an idea, or read an article, or talk to someone and find out something interesting and story-worthy. I’ve always had an interest in knowing the stories that make up our world and the lives of people.

11) What are your plans for the future?

I plan to keep writing as long as I keep enjoying it, which I can’t imagine not. I have plenty of book ideas to keep me going forever! Thankfully I also have three great publishers and several projects on the go. As well as my Tarrin’s Bay series and my romantic comedies with Escape Publishing, I have a 5-book young adult supernatural series (The Delta Girls) launching soon with Diversion Books in print, ebook, and audio which will keep me busy for a while. And I have recently signed with Sourcebooks for an adults colouring book which I’m currently creating! So my plans are all sorted for the next few years, though one thing I’ve learned is to stay open and flexible as sometimes plans change and new opportunities present themselves. Overall, my main plan is to live a happy, healthy, positive and inspiring life! 


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