Author Spotlight: Juliet Nordeen
Posted by Debbie Mumford
This week I’m pleased to introduce you to one of my favorite indie writers…who also happens to be one of my very best *real life* friends: Juliet Nordeen. Julie is a wonderful writer, a fabulous friend, and all-around awesome person. Take it away, Julie!
I am a child of the 80s who misses big hair, anthemic rock’n’roll songs, and The Muppets. I have been blessed with a kind father, a high-school sweetheart worth marrying, and more good friends than I ever hoped for. For fun I hang out with canines, design and make quilts, and I bake anything with a recipe containing flour and sugar…and then run my butt off at the gym so I don’t wind up carrying the calories around for the rest of my life. My writing has been published in a couple of obscure websites and anthologies to some very kind words from both readers and professional “book-tearer-aparters,” also known as critics. I’ve decided on the self-publishing route for my work because I don’t fit so well into the established paths of life. And I’m impatient.
Why did you become an author? Was it a childhood dream?
In grade school I did dream of becoming an author. In Mrs. Hepler’s fifth grade class I won a Young Authors classroom contest. I wrote “the best short story” for which I was to be awarded a day in the city with real writers, learning about the whole process of writing and publishing books. Unfortunately, for reasons probably having to do with inadequate parental support, I got bumped from that excursion and that was the beginning of being derailed from my dream.
My detour widened when the teachers at my middle school decided that I had great talents in math and science and challenged me to accelerated classes in those subjects. That lead to many tears and lots of teeth gnashing before my brain decided to get on board and make sense of things like “story problems” and “letters used inside math equations.” Though I do not regret earning a degree in Mechanical Engineering, I did whine and complain a lot during my engineering career about how I wanted to be a writer. About once a year I would vomit out the first few chapters of a book and naively (and stupidly) send those off to the biggest publishers I’d ever heard of. They were each nice enough to acknowledge me with a rejection.
Thankfully, about twelve years ago, the universe offered me an amazing opportunity to stop working for pay and learn the craft of writing. I was smart enough to see the gift and seize it. I’ve learned amazing things, met wonderful people, and made progress toward my dream.
Oh, wait…you asked why I’m an author. Silly me. That’s an easy answer. I’m an author because there’s this voice in my head, her name is ArtChi, and she keeps telling me stories…she absolutely will not shut up. And I’m so very glad about that. Also because I believe books are the best escape from reality, ever.
What’s your greatest obstacle in writing?
I would chock it up to lack of confidence. Every once in a while I get negative thoughts in my head that interfere with my ability to create work that I’d be willing to share with others. I think it happens when my Internal Editor gets too strong and muzzles ArtChi. I have to be very careful when I provide/accept critique of fiction or do actual editing-for-pay because it’s very easy for me to get caught up in “knowing the right thing,” which is very different from taking the kinds of chances that lead to the creation of stories.
I find that there’s a fine line between “Affect the Reader” which is my goal when conveying the stories ArtChi tells me, and “Don’t Throw the Reader Out of the Story” which is what my Internal Editor is trying to prevent. Some days it works out, some days it doesn’t. But on great days, the ones where someone I’ve never met says something nice about my work, I do my best to use those compliments to build the virtual cinder block walls of a small, comfy office with an imaginary locking steel door to throw my Internal Editor into…until I need to let it out to write a synopsis or marketing blurb.
What makes the world of your novel different from ours?
My novel is an Urban Fantasy, so it has an aspect of realistic magic involved. I’m not saying that there isn’t magic in our world, because I believe there is, though my story’s magic is that Faeries are real and they like to mess about in the lives of human beings. And I’m not talking about little flitty things that come and tend to the garden when you’re distracted, perhaps talking to the mailman. My Faeries are full-sized, cunning, smart, deadly, and highly addictive for any human lucky (or unlucky) enough to discover their sexual side.
What was the most exciting thing happening when you wrote your novel?
In my novel world? Okay, that’d be when my main character, Bailey Faye Michaels, discovers that she has a Faery mother and as a result, the power to speak telepathically with anyone she chooses. Lots of people at once, even, if that’s what the situation calls for. A telepathic conference call, if you will. The exciting turn for me in drafting the novel was when I realized that Bailey can use those telepathic skills to do more than communicate; she is capable of defending herself by invading and influencing the mind of dangerous folks. Telepathy as defense, pretty exciting.
If we’re talking about the real world…I’m oblivious, I was buried in the writing. *grin*
Who is your favorite Indie author?
I gotta have two here. I’m a recent fan of Rob Cornell’s and have been a long-term fan of Debbie Mumford/Deb Logan’s.
Who is your favorite traditionally published author?
I tend to go in phases. Right now I’d have to say Robert J. Sawyer. That man is a frickin’ genius. He writes hard Science Fiction novels based on fantastic premises. I just finished “Triggers” in which he explores the possibility of sharing a whole life’s memories with another human being and what that might mean if the memories you’re sharing come from the leader of the free world. I wouldn’t have gone to the same places he did with a premise like that, but that’s why I read. To take my mind places it wouldn’t go on its own.
If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?
I would live someplace with warmer weather. And I will, someday, but for now the Pacific Northwest is home. Heck, if I wait long enough the warmer weather might just come to me. Though I suppose Global Warming won’t do anything for the tilt of the Earth’s axis, so we’ll be warmer here but still lacking daylight a few months a year.
Thanks, Julie. And thanks for the plug *grin*
And now…what you’ve all been waiting for: a look at Julie’s work!
Juliet Nordeen’s Current books:
For Bailey Faye Michaels — Rockabilly drummer, fierce friend, and bedpost-notch collector — making a life-saving deal with a Faery could not have gone more sideways. Ignoring the usual Faery Godmother playbook, hauntingly beautiful Laume “rescues” the other four members of Bailey’s band, holding them hostage until Bailey completes her end of the bargain: reuniting a foster child, Hannah, with her addict father. Faeries and Faery magic complicate everything as Bailey uncovers her own ties to Faery, the destructive force of Faery-addiction, and the unyielding power of Mab, Queen of the Winter Faeries. With help from the queen’s own Winter Knight and an unexpected new human love-interest, Bailey fights a battle to rescue her best friends, her phamily, that no one but her intends for her to win…
When Lara Guthrie gets the opportunity to drive one race in the top tier of stock car racing, she thinks she’s reached the pole position of her life: a great job, a wonderful fiancé in Nate Rickert, and a real chance for a car of her own to drive. But when Lara passes out during the post-race celebration, and finds out she’s pregnant, it’s like her whole world is spinning out of control.
Mom is a Dirty Word is available from:
Short Story: Canine Agent Rocky Arnold vs. The Evil Alliance in Fiction River 9: Fantastic Detectives (edited by Kristine Kathryn Rusch)
Moon Crowned Darlin’ (Bailey Michaels, Book 2), coming through all e-distributors in electronic and paperback in July 2014