Thursday, 19 April 2012

Author Interview: Julia Madeleine

Tell us about your latest novel The Truth About Scarlet Rose.

Scarlet Rose is a washed up 1960s burlesque queen who forced her underage daughter into the sex trade to support the family. When her ex-husband is found tortured and murdered in a Toronto hotel room, her daughter has to help in the investigation while her mother fixates on getting her hands on other people's money.

What inspired the novel?

It was inspired by my fascination of the curious pseudo father-daughter relationship of a young dancer I knew (back in the 80s) and her wealthy middle-aged customer who was murdered. The characters of Charlie and Fiona in my book are a reflection of that relationship.

How much research goes into your novels?

It really depends on what I'm writing. For this novel in particular I did a ton of research just because it takes place in the 80s and the prequel, Scarlet Sins, goes back to the 1960s, so there was many long hours combing through newspaper archives on microficshe at the Toronto Reference Library.

Are you a planner or do you write more organically?

I work best when I plan a novel and lay out a detailed outline. To me it's like a map that shows me where I'm going, where I'll be stopping along the way, etc, otherwise I can feel a bit like I'm stumbling around in the dark trying to find my way.

What are your strengths as a writer? What do you feel you do well?

Probably my obsessiveness about writing is my strength.

What are your weaknesses. Where do you feel you could improve as a writer?

I'm sure some areas of my grammar could use help, but that's what editors are for write, I mean right?

If you were to write a soundtrack to accompany your novel what five songs do you feel you couldn’t leave out?

Actually I do make references to a number of songs from the 80s in my book. In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins, Jack and Diane by John Cougar Mellencamp, Loverboy, Tainted Love, Tiny Dancer by Elton John. so there's five right there but I'm sure I have a lot more.

Are you currently working on any other writing projects?

I've recently completed the manuscript for a thriller called The Refrigerator Girls and I'm about to start the sequel. It's the story of a teenage girl who witnesses the abduction of (yet another) neighbourhood girl off the street but can't go to the police because at the time she was in the commission of her own crime, so with the help of her once estranged mother, she decides to orchestrate her own abduction to find out where he's taking the girls.

Where can my readers find out more about you?

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