Welcome to Tea with Mrs B, an author interview series. Here to share a pot of tea and to chat about her brand new book, Home for June, is Juliet Madison.
Juliet Madison is a bestselling and award-nominated author of 17 books in fiction and self-help, an inspirational colouring book artist, and a self-empowerment and writing coach/tutor.
With her background as a naturopath and a dancer, Juliet is passionate about health, fitness, and living a positive life. She likes to combine her love of words, art, and inspiration to create books that entertain and empower readers to love, laugh, and live.
Juliet lives on the picturesque south coast of NSW, Australia, where she spends as much time as possible writing books and as little time as possible doing housework.
Hello Juliet. It is my pleasure to warmly welcome you to my blog, Mrs B’s Book Reviews. Thank you for joining me for Tea with Mrs B, an author interview series. To set the mood for our tea infused interview, what is your preferred beverage, tea, coffee or other? And side accompaniment, scone, cake or other?
Thanks Mrs B! My preferred beverage is an almond hot chocolate, but I also love various herbal teas including lemongrass and ginger, and any with spearmint or peppermint. To go perfectly with the beverage would have to be one of my mum’s homemade nut and seed cookies, or some gluten free cake!
Can you tell us what genres you write for and how many books you have had published?
I have eighteen books published in a variety of genres, including; contemporary small town romance with a women’s fiction feel, magical romantic comedy, young adult supernatural mystery, and also self-help!
Can you describe your latest book, Home For June, in just a sentence?
Chicken farmer Hannah has never moved out of home, and when she finally decides to sell up and move out of town, the guy she had a crush on in high school twenty years ago returns to town and wants to buy her family farm, stirring up long forgotten feelings and turning her decision into a dilemma. (That was a loonng sentence 😉 )
How long did it take you to write Home For June?
Hmm, I usually have a very specific timeframe for the books I write, and I’ve done most books in an average of 2-3 months, but with this one there were a lot of stops and starts when some big things were happening in my life, so more like six months overall.
How different was the experience of writing Home For June, compared to your other novels?
Because of the stops and starts in my schedule I found it more difficult to get into the flow of writing this one, but once I got to know the characters better it was easier. And I love returning to the familiarity of the town of Tarrin’s Bay, so these books are a joy for me to write. The main difference with this one was that I had to learn a few new things… I knew nothing about chicken farming, but it is my partner’s specialty so he helped with the details!
Where did the inspiration for your characters come from?
I did base the character of Luca a lot on my partner, he’s a chef too and has always wanted the farm life. I also wanted to bring out the playfulness of his personality, and the family aspects of the story which are important to him.
As for Hannah, I just plucked her out of nowhere! In a way she is symbolic of all those hard working women in the country who never get a day off and have to keep going no matter what.
Can you tell us more about the setting of your novel?
Tarrin’s Bay is known as the ‘Town of New Beginnings’. It is fictional but based a lot on my own area, on the south coast of NSW in Australia. It is a small town, with the best of both worlds – coastal and country.
What was the most challenging and rewarding aspects of writing Home For June?
Most challenging aspect was not being able to write this one as quickly as my others, with life getting in the way, meaning that it wasn’t able to be released in the year I had hoped. So of course the most rewarding aspect was finally finishing it and having it approved by my publisher. But apart from this, the most rewarding aspect of the story itself was getting close to the end and realising I had built up such a strong connection to these characters and felt like a real part of their emotional journey.
What ingredients do you feel are necessary to compose a successful romance narrative?
Authentic characters that grow and transform by the end of the story.
A reason why these two characters MUST be together.
A story concept that is believable but also has that extra something special.
Conflict and obstacles that make it difficult for the characters to be together.
A setting that enhances the romantic storyline and becomes part of it.
Tension and chemistry that sizzles on the page!
What do you hope readers will take away from reading Home for June?
That home is not only a place, but a feeling. That it is never too late for anything. And that it is okay to make decisions and then change them when they are no longer what’s best for us.
Home For June is volume six of the Tarrin’s Bay series. Can the books be read as standalones? Are there future volumes of the series planned?
Yes, the books can be read as stand-alones as they are each individual storylines and new characters, although there are some linked elements with the town setting and recurring characters that do make it more rewarding to read in order, but it is not essential. Many readers have started the series at one of the later books.
There are six more books planned, right through to December! I have titles for each and a basic plot idea or characters already formed. The next one I’m writing is The July Holiday, about a woman who has been living overseas who returns to Tarrin’s Bay for her annual two week family reunion, along with a secret she is determined to keep!
How did you make the transition from a naturopath to a published author?
Oh wow, I could write pages on this, haha! It has been quite a journey. To keep it short, I was running a busy clinic as a naturopath and single mother, when due to some issues I took my son out of school at the end of Year 6 and got him accepted into distance education schooling. To do this I needed to leave work and take care of him full time, so we moved to the south coast near the beach and made a fresh start. Over the four years of high school from home, I would spend the evenings (and sometimes late into the night) writing stories. It was ‘me time’ and a great creative outlet, something I had always wanted to do. As soon as I finished my first book I started looking for a publisher, joined RWA, went to conferences, and three years after starting my writing journey, my novel Fast Forward was accepted for publication by Harlequin Australia’s ‘Escape Publishing’, and almost seven years and seventeen more books later I can’t seem to stop!
How do you balance life with writing?
The only way is to see writing as part of life, rather than something that has to be balanced. There are periods of time when I don’t write much, and periods where I spend a huge amount of time writing, but it is always something I do just like any other part of my life, and I do my best to make it a priority.
Aside from writing, do you have any interesting hobbies?
I’ve been blessed that a lot of my hobbies have found their way into my career… I draw and paint, make things, run a pop-up-shop, bake and cook, run courses and workshops, and do intuitive card readings for people.
What is next on the horizon for Juliet Madison? Do you have any writing projects you would like to share with us?
Apart from my continuing Tarrin’s Bay series, I’m working on a women’s fiction book about an anonymous gift giver who changes three people’s lives, and I have a non-fiction book about crystals releasing in 2020.
What 2019 book releases are you most excited to read?
After meeting Paige Toon I’m looking forward to reading her new release, If You Could Go Anywhere, and I’m also interested in reading Cecelia Ahern’s sequel to P.S. I Love You, Postscript.
If you could slip back in time, what era would you travel to and why?
I think the culture of the 1920’s would be fun, but I’d also love to go back not too far in time to spend some more precious moments with my grandparents when they were still around.
Finally, wrapping up our tea themed interview, who would you most like to share a pot of tea with?
Oh gosh, this is tough! I love nothing more than sharing a pot of tea with my beloved other, but I think I would really love to chat with J.K. Rowling, and also Robin Williams if he was still here.
Thank you for taking the time to visit Mrs B’s Book Reviews for Tea with Mrs B Juliet. Congratulations on the publication of Home For June!
Thank you for having me!
A second chance at love set in the beautiful coastal town of Tarrin’s Bay – after twenty years, will two old school friends finally find home?
Practical and hard-working event planner Hannah Delaney has only ever known life on her family’s chicken farm in Tarrin’s Bay. Needing a fresh start, she has finally made the decision to move to the city. But just when her mind’s made up, her past comes back to town – Luca Antonescu, her secret high school crush.
Grieving the loss of his mother, Luca is back in Tarrin’s Bay after years away working as a chef. He’s finally ready to settle down and open his own restaurant in his parents’ honour. When he runs into his old friend, Hannah’s event management skills seem like the perfect fit for his restaurant’s launch.
But as they work together to set up the new business, secrets are uncovered and long ago feelings resurface. Luca soon realises that he wants more with Hannah. But the woman he wants to share it with has other plans. Will Hannah follow through with her move to the city, or will she realise that everything she’s ever wanted is back home in the town of new beginnings?
Connect with Juliet here: