INTERVIEW: Juliet Marillier, Part 1

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingInternationally acclaimed Australian author Juliet Marillier writes epic fantasy novels with true-to-life characters, singular plots, vivid weavings of myth and magic, and buttery prose. Her meticulous research of unique settings–Norse Orkney, ancient Ireland and Pictish Scotland–put her on the cutting edge of historical fiction as well.

But don’t believe me. Here’s what the reviewers have to say:

Marillier is a fine folklorist and a gifted narrator who has created a wholly appealing and powerful character.”
—Publishers Weekly on Daughter of the Forest

Australian new voice Juliet Marillier provides a beautifully wrought answer to the legend of the swans in this sequel to her debut novel, Daughter of the Forest…The exquisite poetry of the story is carefully balanced with strong characterizations and more than a nod to Irish mythology.”
—Romantic Times (Gold Top Pick) on Son of the Shadows

The clash of cultures and the limits of loyalty form the thematic framework of Marillier’s compelling new stand-alone fantasy….A multilayered plot, intriguing characters and lyrical prose distinguish a novel that, long as it is, never feels padded.”
— Publishers Weekly on Wolfskin

Another great story full of well developed characters from this fine fantasist.”
— Booklist starred review on Foxmask

Writer Unboxed is truly honored to have her with us for this in-depth three-part interview.

Part 1: Interview with Juliet Marillier

Q: Where do the seeds for these epic stories come from? Are they all based on bits of old tales?

JM: The seeds often come from real history – for instance, the story for Wolfskin was inspired by my interest in the history of Orkney and what might have happened when the first Norse settlers (0r invaders) clashed with the indigenous Pictish population. I like unanswered questions: why did the Picts vanish from the north of Britain so quickly, after being such a strong military and political presence? The basis for The Bridei Chronicles is real history. I was fascinated by the story of the young Bridei being groomed for kingship by an influential mage or druid, which has some parallels with Arthur and Merlin. Because I love myth, legend and folklore and have been reading it all my life, many motifs and themes from traditional stories work their way into my books almost despite me. I also gain inspiration from what I see, hear and experience in my daily life. There are elements in the Bridei books that relate strongly to the fact that I was writing in the early days of the Iraq war.

Q: The stakes are always exceedingly high in your stories, whether characters are out to save a race of people, win peace, or in some other way combat evil. How important are high stakes in the fantasy genre and why?

JM: I find it hard to generalize about the fantasy genre because it is now so diverse, spanning everything from gritty urban fantasy to the traditional invented-world epic to outright comedy and covering a wide range of writing approaches from the highly literary to the unabashedly commercial. Many fantasy stories do tap into the archetypal themes of mythology, which involve the highest stakes – defeating evil, saving the world, being happy ever after … It is traditional for a fantasy story to be about the struggle between good and evil, although that can be portrayed in a thousand different ways and need not be a grand epic story. Readers tend to expect a quest of some kind. Again, that need not involve slaying a dragon or saving the whole of Middle Earth, it can be an individual, personal journey to enlightenment.

In my novels, although often there are high stakes involved on a political or family level, I try to balance that with the personal journey of my protagonist. As a reader, I like to be involved in the characters’ struggle to become wiser or better, so that’s what us most important in my stories. That touches me more than a quest to save the world.

Q: What is your writing process, and has it differed from book to book? How long do you work on each of your novels?

JM: I generally write one novel a year. Mine are quite long books and involve substantial research, so I will often be researching one novel while writing another and editing a third. I work most days of the year. When I am not doing new writing I will be performing related tasks such as research reading, updating my website, responding to letters and emails, editing or proof-reading, doing my accounts, giving talks and workshops and so on. It’s hard to put a number on the hours I work each day, as this varies hugely depending on what stage of a book I’ve reached, and I am good at interrupting myself to make cups of tea, play with the dogs etc. Sometimes it’s as little as two hours, sometimes as much as ten. I think I would average about five or six hours a day. This hasn’t varied much since I wrote my first novel, which took much longer because I had no deadline to meet, and was also working fulltime in another job.

I am a planner. I do research even before the book outline is written, finding out about the history and culture of the setting I’m considering, immersing myself in it to get a good ‘feel’ for it. Then I write a longish outline of the story (that’s partly for my agent and publisher and partly for myself, although the finished book often departs from that outline.) Next step is to flesh out the outline into a chapter plan, with the overall shape of the book more or less known before I start writing the first chapter. Then I begin on chapter one and write scenes in sequential order.

As I go, I refine the chapter plan for the remainder of the book, so it gets more and more detailed the further through the novel I get. By the time I am on the last few chapters, reaching the climax, tying up the loose ends, my remaining plan is very detailed. I revise as I go, so by the time the first draft of Chapters 19-20 is being written, Chapters 1-10 may be on their third draft.

OK, I am a bit of a control freak! That doesn’t mean I am not prepared to deviate from the plan. Sometimes characters take over and push the narrative in unexpected directions. I let that happen when I think it will make the story better. Sometimes I get bright ideas late in the piece and incorporate them. But I don’t do masses of revision – I am not a ‘ten drafts’ kind of writer.

Q: Do you give yourself mini-deadlines (e.g. must have chapters 1-3 written by July 1st) or do you progress with an ultimate deadline in mind?

JM: Generally, I progress with the final deadline in mind. If I am worried about finishing, I do sometimes divide the remaining time into weeks or fortnights and set deadlines for each to ensure I will deliver the book on time. I belong to a critique group and that leads to the setting of deadlines too – if we have all agreed to produce a certain number of pages to be discussed at our next meeting, we feel duty bound to write them! Quite mundane processes like that can lead to remarkably good writing.

Q: When you first think about story, what are the bare elements you must first consider? Where do you go from there? (Do you follow a blueprint such as the Hero’s Journey or one you’ve fashioned yourself?)

JM: I don’t follow a blueprint, so when archetypal patterns emerge in my stories it is through a subconscious process, brought about by my familiarity with traditional storytelling. I do a lot of my structuring instinctively, which makes it hard to set the process down coherently. There are two elements I think about together – they’re indivisible in the planning process:

1. The personal journey of the main protagonist(s) – what is its shape, what does the person learn, what challenges must he or she face, where does he or she end up?

2. The thematic, political, historical story – the ‘big’ story – what is its overall shape, how does it affect the time line of the book, how can it be interwoven with (1) to make a satisfying whole?

While writing the outline, I do consider where the dramatic points of the story will occur, where the main climax will be, placement of the conclusions of both (1) and (2) so the ending is satisfactory. Ideally the resolution of both personal and thematic stories will mesh together at the end. One element I find very challenging is the very start of a book – I am criticized sometimes for slow starts to my stories. I’ve made a conscious effort to improve that! It can be especially difficult in an epic series like The Bridei Chronicles, where there is quite a bit of ‘back story’ that must be included for the benefit of readers who may not have read the earlier books.

I may have particular themes I want to work into the story, so I’ll consider how to do that. For example, in Wolfskin there is the theme of sworn oaths versus personal conscience. Foxmask has something to say about faith, and also about leadership and identity.

Q: What do you take into consideration when weaving storylines together?

JM: I try not to have a chunk of this followed by a chunk of that; I try to include subtle parallels and contrasts between the various storylines. It was certainly a more complex task to write a book like Blade of Fortriu, with its several sets of characters and its contrasting settings, than my first novel, Daughter of the Forest, which had a single, first person point of view. Of course, first person presents its own set of plotting challenges.

With multiple storylines, each of them needs to be kept fresh and memorable so the reader is happy to return to it when it’s time. Ideally, the reader would be hanging out for the next installment of each of the storylines. Cliffhangers are good for that, though they can be over-used, as in The Da Vinci Code! Maintaining links of some kind between the separate threads is helpful, even if it’s only in the form of having character A muse a little about Character Z, who went off elsewhere five chapters ago. If the reader can see that the threads are eventually going to link up into the same tapestry, that helps him or her find a comprehensible way through.

Q: One of the things I enjoy about your work is that you don’t back away from tackling dark themes; in fact the darkness in your stories adds to the realism. When you first sit down to write, do you make a conscious choice to leave all doors open, whether those doors lead to rape or mutilation or the slaying of a sibling? Do you think these choices make storytelling more compelling for both the writer and reader? How do you handle these scenes and these choices?

JM: I hope I never use gratuitous violence. The periods and cultures I write about did see a lot of violence and hardship in daily life, and it’s realistic that the stories reflect that – deaths in battle, deaths in childbirth, assaults and nasty accidents. I do leave most doors open, but there are some limits to what I would include, and definite limits to what I would ‘show’ in a graphic way. If dark themes help me tell the story better, so be it.

It is compelling to read about human beings facing extreme hardship and extreme choices. Without giving away any plot secrets, I should say that in Blade of Fortriu the back story of the male protagonist, Faolan, includes a truly terrible moment of choice, and that although the details are darkly gothic, his situation is based on a true story.

I like to open a window on human behaviour, to show strength and weakness, to examine how individuals, when challenged, either grow more resilient and wiser or crumble under the pressure. That was one of my major motivations for making the fairytale of The Six Swans into a fully fledged novel with Daughter of the Forest – I wanted to look at how each of Sorcha’s brothers would cope with the shocking experience of undergoing an animal transformation and losing three years from their lives. Some cope with it well, others fall apart to varying degrees.

Certain scenes are painfully hard to write, and remain very hard to read afterwards. A character whom I really loved dies in Blade of Fortriu. I know the death scene is well written but I find it wrenching to revisit. Even though I knew killing this character was the right choice for the story, I fought a battle with myself over it. The rape scene in Daughter of the Forest was distressing to write. I imagine all writers find it challenging when they have to do cruel things to well-loved characters.

Q: How much research do you invest in your stories, and at what stage of crafting a story do you conduct the research?

JM: I do masses of research and I start it well before I am due to start writing the book. I am building up a good library of reference books and I use the Internet to point me in the direction of valuable sources of information. (The Internet is unreliable as a direct source of information but is worth its weight in gold for speeding up the process of finding the right reference tools.) Where possible I travel to the locations of planned books so I can learn about physical settings and culture. I try to stay there for a while, taking photos of locations, talking to locals, visiting ethnographic / cultural museums, retracing the journeys of book characters and so on. This year I visited Turkey to gather background for Kybele’s Gift, a novel for young adult readers set in Ottoman times. I came home loaded with reference material I would never have found without going there. One great advantage of having a number of books in print is that I can actually afford to travel now.

Q: You mentioned Kybele’s Gift. Can you tell us more about it and its sister story, Wildwood Dancing, including how these tales differ from your other stories? And would you mind sharing some of the insights you gleaned while in Turkey to more vividly craft the story?

JM: Wildwood Dancing and Kybele’s Gift are the first books I’ve written especially for a young adult readership. Readers tell me that Wildwood Dancing, which is already out in Australia, is a great read for adults too! I did intend these to be cross-over novels.

The settings are far removed from the Celtic culture of my earlier books. Wildwood Dancing is very loosely based on a fairytale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and has a bit of Frog Prince in it as well. It’s set in a crumbling old castle in Transylvania. I had a great time with Romanian folklore, including vampires under another name, but it’s essentially a story about sisters, family loyalty and growing up.

Kybele’s Gift takes one of the sisters on a merchant voyage to Ottoman Turkey in search of a rare artefact. During my trip to Turkey, as well as visiting mosques, churches and museums, I was fascinated to observe what a melting pot of cultures the country still is (in Ottoman times Istanbul was a great trading hub where east met west.) I gained insights into Islamic religious observance and associated customs such as the wearing of the headscarf, which was frowned on until quite recently in this secularised Muslim country, but is now coming back, especially among younger women. I found a great bookshop in Istanbul, Galeri Kayseri, which specialises in books on Turkey in English. After spending hours in their upstairs reading room drinking Turkish tea while staff brought me interesting titles to look at, I came home with enough research material for several novels.

[WU Note: Wildwood Dancing will come out in the US from Knopf in January 2007 and Kybele’s Gift will be published a year later.]

Q: Why choose to blend real world with fantasy when you might create worlds completely from your imagination? What are the advantages and disadvantages to this approach?
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JM: I love real history and culture and have no strong personal desire to go beyond it for great story inspiration. Where the fantasy aspect is concerned, the magical elements in my books are based on the likely beliefs of the people of that time and culture, for instance, the devotion to Thor by the warrior cult in Wolfskin, the superstitions about mer-people and selkies (common to many island dwellers) in Foxmask, the embracing of earth and sky deities by the Pictish race in the Bridei series, and the belief in an Otherworld peopled by various fairy folk, which appears in both my Irish and Pictish cultures.

Advantages: There’s an existing framework to build on, which is believable because it is real. The supernatural elements fit effectively into the real world elements as they are firmly based on the same culture and national identity. The mythical, fairytale part of the story strikes a chord with people of Celtic (or Norse, depending on the book) descent.

Disadvantages: A different kind of work to do – while there’s no need to invent a world from scratch, there’s a lot of research required to keep all the details as authentic as possible, from the variety of languages that were spoken at the time (can character A actually communicate with character B?) to the workings of church and state in various different cultures, to the geographical features, to who was king and who was bishop in the year 850. The fictitious, invented parts of the story must blend convincingly with the historical parts. Making the setting ‘imagined history’ means there are certain directions that cannot be followed in the story, as what occurs must be at least possible in the context of known historical fact, unless one is writing alternative history. Blade of Fortriu and The Well of Shades include information about St Columba and his journey up the Great Glen to King Bridei’s court. I had to read historical accounts of what happened (complete with details of miracles performed on the way) and make decisions on how to weave that into the book, what to leave out, what to alter. Because, of course, the historical accounts are not always an accurate representation of fact.

Click below for part 2 of WU’s interview with Juliet Marillier, where we’ll learn all about her new release, Blade of Fortriu.

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About Therese Walsh

Therese Walsh co-founded Writer Unboxed in 2006. Her second novel, The Moon Sisters, was named a Best Book of 2014 by Library Journal and BookRiot. Her debut, The Last Will of Moira Leahy, sold to Random House in a two-book deal in 2008, was named one of January Magazine’s Best Books, and was a Target Breakout Book. She's never been published with a lit magazine, but LOST's Carlton Cuse liked her Twitter haiku best and that made her pretty happy.

Comments

  1. Angela says

    That is one of the most detailed (and longest) interviews with Juliet that I’ve ever read. And it’s recent as well. Thanks.

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  2. Janelle says

    What a wonderful, inspiring interview! Could you maybe ask her if she ever plans on writing anything based on the sleeping beauty fairy tale?

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  3. says

    Hi Janelle, sorry I have been so slow to respond. I would certainly consider that for the future, provided I was convinced I could add something new to the story. It has been quite well retold by several other fantasy authors! But that’s the great thing about classic fairy tales, they are full of layers of meaning and rich with possibilities for storytellers. I am currently working on something with a Beauty and the Beast framework.

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  4. says

    Great interview, very interesting to read how Juliet researches her stories and set’s about writing them. Love the books, have read all so far, finding it very hard to wait for more to be written. Cheers Shirley

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  5. Tiffany says

    I’ve been a fan ever since Sevenwaters Trilogy. I had many questions, and many were asked here, thank you! To me, when reading Juliet’s answers it almost sounded as if she were a character in a story all of her own. I could hear the mind’s voice that gave life to so many characters and stories.

    In regards to the Sleeping Beauty story, you may want to read Jane Yolen’s “Briar Rose”. One of the first books I ever read, it too blends legend with factual events- in this case, the Holocaust.

    Thank you Juliet for your continued excellence!

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  6. Constance says

    Hi. I have read your SevenWaters Trilogy. I love your way of the six swans tale. I will look up different books in stores and libraries. Thank you for the inspiration.

    Sincerely a new fan.

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  7. sarah says

    I read the Sevenwaters trilogy, Wildwood Dancing, Wolfskin and it’s sequel and I love Marillier’s books. Wouldn’t it be great is some great motion picture company decided to make the Sevenwater’s trilogy into a movie?

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  8. Kat says

    Are you writting anymore books on the sisters in the wildwood dancing and cybele’s secret?

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  9. says

    Sarah, yes, a film would be great as long as it was well done – some of my favourite books, such as Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon, have been spoiled by less than great movie treatments. We’ve had some interest in the film rights for Sevenwaters, but no sale so far!

    Kat, it is quite likely I will write one more book in the Wildwood series, but it would be a couple of years before it got published (I have an adult novel to finish first, and it takes nearly two years from starting to write a new book to seeing it for sale in the shops.) I would like to write a book with Stela as the narrator.

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  10. Becca H says

    It would be awesome if they made Sevenwaters into a movie! But like Juliet said only if it was tastefully done. I’ve read The Mists of Avalon and I’ve seen the movie but have noticed that the movie and the book don’t quite mesh as well as I would have liked. Is there anyway to be notified if the trilogy is going to be made into a movie for sure?

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  11. Breanna W says

    Dear Juliet,

    My name is Breanna and I love your book Wildwood Dancing. Unfortuneately it’s the only book I’ve read of yours but it really is fantastic. I love it and it was really the thing that inspired me to write romance for it was the first romantic novel that I read. Since then, I’ve read the Twilight Saga and much more but thank you forever for being the first romantic writer that I’ve read.

    Your Sincere Fan,

    Breanna

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  12. says

    Breanna, I’m very happy that Wildwood Dancing started you on the path to writing romance. I’ve always loved reading romantic stories, I guess that is why I write them …

    I see I missed answering Becca’s question back in July – sorry, Becca! If there were a definite decision to make a movie of any of my books, I would post the news on my website.

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  13. Mary S. says

    Ms. Marillier,

    I have been fan of your books for about five and a half years now, and with each new book my love for and appreciation of your writing grows, as my well-worn collection of the books shows. I feel as though each woman tells me something about myself, and the trials they go through and lessons they learn develop my understanding of life and the nature of pure and strong love. I cannot describe in words how much each character means to me. I am generally one who reads a book, appreciates it, and moves on. However with your books I find it impossible to do so. With each rereading comes a new discovery, a missed detail, a fresh insight.

    But I ramble. The point is, thank you. Thank you for bringing to me women who are wholly themselves and strong, each in their own way.

    Mary

    P.S. I live in the US, and the wait between the AU publication and the US publication always kills me. Any way to push it here a bit faster?

    P.P.S. I strongly recommend to you the indie-folk band The Decemberists, particularly the album “The Crane Wife,” based on the Japanese folktale quite similar to Hugh’s tale of Toby.

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  14. says

    Thank you, Mary – very perceptive comments! I will look up the band you mention, it sounds like my kind of music.

    Re publication dates, now that I’m with Penguin in the US, the US editions of the adult books are more likely to come out at the same time as the Aussie ones, as with Heir to Sevenwaters. I appreciate how frustrating it is to have months to wait. It does take a bit of cooperation between the various publishers to have simultaneous release of all English language editions.

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  15. Tam says

    Hi Juliet.

    I’ve just read Heir to Sevenwaters.
    Are you planning on doing more with this series, or revisiting earlier characters, such as Sorcha’s mother in a prequel?

    Regards,
    Tam.

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  16. says

    Hi Tam,

    I think it’s very likely I will do more with the Sevenwaters series, yes – I left certain plot strands open at the end of Heir to Sevenwaters. I’m less likely to write a prequel. When I’m reading, I prefer not to know what’s going to happen in the story, and with prequels (unless they’re set a long time before the main story) one does tend to know what lies in the future for characters (for instance, it would diminish my enjoyment of a happily resolved love story if I knew one of the couple was going to die in childbirth.) Still, there are ways around that.

    all the best

    Juliet

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  17. Henrike says

    Hi Juliet,
    I’ve just finished the Well of Shades and feel as if I’ve lost touch with a couple of good friends. I just love the depth of your characters! As you didn’t call the Bridei Chronicles a trilogy I wonder if you plan to write a fourth book some time?
    Since the books haven’t yet been published here in Germany, is that decision also dependent on sale numbers?

    Thank you so much for your books

    Henrike

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  18. says

    Hi Henrike,

    Thank you for this nice comment! I would love to write a fourth book in the Bridei Chronicles – it all depends on my publisher. Yes, it is related to sales numbers. The series was less popular in some parts of the world than some of my other books.

    There is some news about the German editions of the Bridei Chronicles on my website – all three books will be out this year in new mass market editions.

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  19. sam says

    hi juliet love your books ive read them all except cybeles and wildwood but i will soon i think.just finished reading the 3 bridei books as brilliant as your others .thank for your magical storys cant wait for more

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  20. says

    Thank you, Sam, I’m delighted that you enjoyed the Bridei Chronicles. Having my stories called magical encourages me to get right back to work!

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  21. Tia says

    Fabulous interview – I just finished rereading Son of the Shadows and know I will have to read the whole series again. I hope you know how appreciated the hard work, the research, and the respect you put into your novels is. When I found your Daughter of the Forest (probably when I was about 13 – I’m 19 now), it really raised the bar for fantasy. Which, sadly, made finding other good fantasy harder *grin*.

    I’d be interested to learn more of how your higher education influenced your writing – I read somewhere (probably Wikipedia, knowing my love for that flawed source of information) that you credit it for honing your writing. I’m in my second year at college, and, quite frankly, grasping for any motivation that will entice me to stay. So, if you find time between researching/writing/editing, and don’t find it too intrusive, I’d love to hear about how your education helped you.

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  22. says

    Hi Juliet!

    First of all I have to tell you that I discovered you quite by accident in a way I never expected. I ordered some clothes from a Delia’s catalog and it came with an advertisement for Wildwood Dancing when my purchase came in the mail. It was the first and only time I have seen a book advertised in such a way and so, I thought, ‘what the heck, I’ll give it a try.’ I am so glad I did! I enjoyed Wildwood and Cybele, but then I read Foxmask and I was addicted :)

    I am so impressed with your amazing talent. Thank you so much for your insightful answers in the interview above- I love hearing about the writing processes of talented authors and your answers were particularly thoughtful and articulate.

    I was wondering though, you mentioned working on a book in the Beauty and Beast framework and I was wondering if that was still something you were working on or would be published soon? I read many years ago Robin Mckinley’s ‘Beauty’ and loved it, but I would be so interested to see what you could bring to the story! Thanks

    Nicole

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  23. says

    Tia, thanks for these great comments. My higher education, including the study of languages and music, has definitely helped me to become a better writer. The in-depth study of musical structure and shape was almost directly transferable to the structures of storytelling. The more intuitive abilities picked up through musical performance gave me a sense of balance, flow, musicality in the text. I tend to read passages back to myself, and will know by sound what works and what doesn’t.

    Studying languages other than one’s own is extremely helpful for anyone writing fantasy or historical fiction. It improves our use of the English language, since the knowledge of French, for instance, will provide keys to the meanings of English words. Without a knowledge of other languages it’s possible for a fantasy writer to blunder badly when naming characters and places, for instance. This applies whether it’s the real world or an invented world.

    No matter what you are studying at college, anything that expands your knowledge and helps you to think in new ways will be good for your writing in the long run!

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  24. says

    Nicole, I’m sure my American publisher would be pleased to hear this particular piece of advertising worked so well! Thanks for your lovely comments on my writing.

    Heart’s Blood (to be published Nov 09) is loosely based on Beauty and the Beast. Very loosely!

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  25. Kate says

    Hey juliet i am sure you have heard i love your books before but i can’t refrian from saying it because it is the truth i love your books they mean so much to me ! whenever i am out of reading material or not drouwning in schoolwork i always choose one of your books to read!!! I am doing a research assignment for school on you at the moment! I love how your charecters arn’t two dimentional they they are deep. your books are so …. i don’t have a word …unforgetable i don’t put it down and forget about it i think about them alot… its not usful when in class doing chemistry!! My Fault!!I love your idea of beauty and the beast it’s my favourite fairy tale! I am looking forward to it!
    Thanks for writting your books Kate…

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  26. Libby says

    Hi!! I just wanted to tell you that I love your books so much!! You have really helped me in the last few weeks- I’m bipolar and getting ready to move back into my dorm, which is very stressful. Usually this triggers all sorts of bad things to happen- but I recently bought the last three books of the Sevenwaters Trilogy and read them all as fast as I could (because they’re amazing)!! Reading them and seeing how strong the protagonists were really helped me to feel like I would be able to handle school starting back up again. It really really meant a lot to me- last fall I did all sorts of bad things and almost lost all of my friends, my family and my savings. It might seem over the top to attribute this to your books, but you would be surprised how something as small as being fully engaged in something for a few hours can change a bipolar person’s life.
    Thank you so much!!
    Libby

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  27. says

    Thank you, Libby. I’m thrilled that my writing has made such a difference to you. I wish you Sorcha’s goodness, Liadan’s courage and Clodagh’s warmth of heart.

    Juliet

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  28. Daisy Mules says

    I ‘discovered’ your books a couple of years ago, to my delight! I’ve been reading sci-fi since 1974 when I started reading Ursula le Guin’s books for children to my class of 10 year olds….I especially enjoy women writers who create alternate societies and also links with the natural world….I am Irish and live in Ireland, but also lived in Scotland for 9 years so I’ve especially enjoyed your Bridei Chronicles. I’ve just finished the Well of Shades and feel there is more to come….! The development of Faolan’s character was wonderful. Here’s hoping you continue with these Chronicles..please!
    Daisy

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