Thank you for taking the time to interview with us. Juliet Waldron’s newest release is an old-fashioned romance/family saga. Hand-me-Down Bride is available in paperback and in Kindle format as of April, 2009.
This book is available in Kindle format @ Amazon.com
When did you know you wanted to write?
I had my first play produced in the 4th grade—for the other 4th grades. I loved to read, and so it just seemed to naturally follow that I loved to write, too.
How long did it take you to become published?
I’m still working toward the big time NYC goal, but I’ve been published in e-book and small press format since 2000. It’s been good to receive validation from readers!
How long does it take you to research and to write a book?
Depends on the book. A big semi-biographical historical takes a long time, at least for me, because I like to study the characters carefully and really do the primary source digging that it takes to find the real story. I'll tell the truth as I see it, even if it isn't pretty. Romances take me about 14 months. I’m not a fast writer, and I always do a lot of chopping and changing, especially after the characters stand up, begin to walk around--and start arguing with me!
What advice would you give to those who are trying to become published?
Learn the craft before you go public. Work is involved, not just desire.
Where do your story ideas come from? Do you use people you know as characters?
Always. Fortunately, I’ve known a lot of really off-the-wall people!
You were recently published. How does this feel?
It’s always good to get another “baby” out of the drawer! It makes me anxious, too, though, because I hope readers will like my story.
Getting back to your new book. Tell us a little about what to expect.
I wanted to write a traditional romance, and had a true story—of my immigrant great-grandmother--upon which to base it. Hand-me-Down Bride is set in Dutch country, quite near where I now live. More than sixty percent of Americans have German ancestors, but because of two terrible world wars, this heritage has been swept under the rug. Germans might not seem, on the face of it, to offer as much sexy fun as those hot-blooded Celts, but their traditions are a strong influence upon today’s American. And even these stolid, stern farming volk had story-worthy family problems—and romance!
When and where can we purchase your books?
Now! At Amazon.com
and at Second Wind Publishing
What are you reading right now?
Audrey Braver’s Helluva Guy, Badeaux Knights by Suzette Vaughn, and Firefly Beach by Meira Pentermann, and The Free Negress, Elizabeth," which is based on a remarkable true story from 18th Century Suriname.
What was the book that most influenced your life?
Many, but I’d have to single out The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. Although this is ostensibly a mystery, it started me on the path to a deep study of history, and to look further than mass market biographies for true story. I’m a huge fan of primary source.
If you had a book club, what would it be reading?
Well, my books, of course! These are Mozart’s Wife, Independent Heart (A Revolutionary Romance set in the Hudson Valley), and Hand-me-Down Bride, all available through Amazon, as print and as e books. Genesee, winner of the 2003 EPIC Best Historical, is set in Leatherstocking Country in N.Y. State.
Give us some “good to know” facts about you.
I’ve lived in Barbados and in England, in fact went to school there. My Dad disappeared in my early teens and my Mother took off for “more exciting” parts. We didn’t live as wealthy travelers, either, but as ex-pats, scraping by. I learned a lot in those days about how “the other half” lived, and in the W.I. saw the Third World up close. The experience has served me well as a writer. I was always an edge of the playground kid, so this “exile” was an extension of being outside looking in. It reinforced my tendency to listen and watch others.
Favorite ways to unwind?
Music, from Classical to Rock, Folk and World. I like to dig in the dirt. Gardening sounds a bit too organized for what I do. Every year I get tomatoes and salad, at least, and I’ve planted 25 trees on our small property. I’m definitely a tree hugger. Everyone ought to hug a tree once in a while, just to feel it “being.” I’ve got grandkids, but they are at a distance, so we’re into presents, phone-calls, and emails to keep up. I ride my bike and I walk, but I’m sightseeing, not speeding. My husband and I ride his Hyabusa, but for both of us this is more enjoying the countryside than zooming. Fortunately, we live in a little motorcycle heaven, here in Pennsylvania, with lots of scenic back roads and old time diners. The other fun thing is cats. I’ve got four, and they are all huge characters, and they require a lot of my time, because I’m their resident doorman, groomer, and housekeeper. As my lonely, now deceased neighbor lady used to declare: “Kitties are a whole lotta company.”
What role will the Internet play in the future of publishing?
It’s already playing it, by providing niches for writers who don’t fit into the NYC molds, writers who have talent and something to say. I look forward to the break down of these traditional monopolies, who really haven’t served readers particularly well.
What’s your next project?
Wish I had time for some new creation, but at this point, I’ll probably be re-working some of my 13 “drawer babies.” (They should be called “file babies” or something now, shouldn’t they?) I am the re-write Queen!
Have you ever got to the point where a story won’t come?
Never, not once I write that first chapter.
What is the most important characteristic of the prolific writer?
As Jimi Hendrix said, “Get Experience!” The stories will come.
How do you come up with original story lines?
Ever heard that old joke about “stranger than life?” Look around. Stories are next to you in that line at the supermarket.
Some authors start with plot, some with characters. What works best for you?
If I’m writing historical, the plot naturally comes first. It isn’t always clear, even with the big fat biography in hand, who the characters really are. That takes time to understand.
Many writers have success switching genres. Do you think it is difficult to switch?
Well, I have no inclination to write chick lit, (I’m too darned old) but I could go to paranormal, fantasy or S/F without difficulty . I love messing with Time and building worlds.
I believe in ‘em. I’ve belonged to some wonderful writer’s groups, too, and received a lot of constructive criticism there. No group or partner at the moment, and I miss it. However, if there is a lack of sincerity and helpfulness in the group—run like mad. Negativity, cruelty, and one-upmanship are poison, and can easily kill a budding writer.
Are you a full time writer?
Yes, for years now, thanks to increasing age and my husband, generous patron of his own starving artist.
Yes, I go to a few as they are the only way I know to get a face-to-face with an editor or agent. They are expensive and can be demoralizing, but they can also give you lots of information on publishing, and you can meet some terrific people at conferences, too. Some huge ones, like RWA Nationals, are mostly marketing extravaganzas for the multi-published. Stick to regional conferences, if you’re interested in that market. You can still talk to editors and agents, go to informative presentations, and come home with both your ego and your pocketbook intact.
Rich in detail amidst the charm of Pennsylvania Dutch country, HAND ME DOWN BRIDE is a tender love story set among family rivalries and powerful enemies. This is a book that will grab you by the heart strings from the very first sentence—and never let go.
--Jacqueline Lepore: A HANDFUL OF DUST
From the first page of Juliet Waldron’s tender romance, the reader will be rooting for beautiful, mail-order bride, Sophie. Far from home, newly married and even more newly widowed, she is left virtually penniless and adrift in post Civil-War Pennsylvania. Unfamiliar with the language and resented by her dead husband’s family, the last thing she expects is to be is attracted to another member of the haughty Wildbach tribe. Karl Joseph is still trying to forget his wartime experiences, and the painful relationship he had with his late father.
The author has a way of blending all the special elements which make an engaging romance, from the old time country setting to the twists and turns of the love story, as Karl and Sophie rebuild their lives and discover a surprising new love.
Author of Amish Country Mysteries