Debut Author of Eden’s Garden
1.) Can you tell us a little about your debut novel EDEN’S GARDEN?
In the present day, 34 year old Carys returns home to look after her ailing mother and finds herself drawn once more to Plas Eden, home of her lost love, David Meredith.
In late Victorian London, a woman wracked with loss and guilt stands on Westminster Bridge, preparing to end her life in the dark waters of the Thames. At the last moment she turns, making her way instead to the nearby Meredith Charity Hospital.
Slowly, the long-buried secrets of the Meredith family are revealed, while Carys begins to uncover unexpected secrets of her own. And as she and David pursue the trail to the coast of Cornwall, Carys begins to realise that it is not only the fate of a long-ago love story, but her own future, that is at stake.
2.) When is your release date?
I’m proud to be published by Honno and to join such an awesome group of women who really believe in women’s writing.
4.) How did you come up with the concept for EDEN’S GARDEN?
The story has always fascinated me, especially as I’ve grown older. It seemed to symbolise the way we as women are valued when we are young and wish to please others, but this changes as we gain life experience and develop minds of our own. While men are venerated and rewarded as they show signs of growing older, our society still sidelines older women, and our life experience is still not recognised and celebrated, let alone respected. I feel passionately that it’s time we women claimed our right to wrinkles as a badge of honour! For, if you look really look, an owl is a creature of the most exquisite beauty. So the story of Eden’s Garden is about women growing older and wiser, and the true beauty that they gain.
And the garden? I love gardens, large and small. When I was beginning Eden’s Garden I had just read a book about the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall and how Heligan was brought back to life after being abandoned when the gardeners went off to fight in the First World War. There was no way that was going to stay out of my book!
5.) Favorite character?
6.) When, where and how did you get into writing?
Going from a fit person who climbed mountains to being scarcely able to walk to the end of my garden was a life-changing experience. It made me look at my life and what I wanted to really do. When you only have enough energy to do anything for a couple of hours each day, it doesn’t half concentrate the mind! So, strangely, the thing that broke me, was the thing that made me. Without M.E I would never have found the courage to attempt to become a writer.
It took me a while to get my energy back and find part-time work. I started writing slowly, entering short story competitions and getting feedback. Some of it swingeing, and deservedly so. Gradually I built up to selling stories to magazines, then novelettes and a short novel. I had lots of false starts, and I’ve plenty of novels stashed away that will never, ever see the light of day. It’s been a long, gradual process. But I’ve learnt so much along the way, met so many wonderful and supportive writers and had so much fun I wouldn’t change a thing (Well a few million in the bank and a housekeeper, maybe).
7.) On your website, you’ve have some absolutely gorgeous photos of the landscape of Wales.
Thank you! I think it’s influenced my writing mainly by giving me the mental space to write. I loved living in London, and I still enjoy going back there and the buzz of city life. But to be creative I find I need stillness and a lack of distraction. Because I am still building up my fitness after my illness, I walk for miles with my dog through the landscape, and it’s this that is my thinking time.
Plus living amongst mountains and ruined castles just has to bring out the romantic in you! It’s probably why I haven’t concentrated on crime!
Jane Eyre. I love following the inner life of such a passionate, independently minded woman struggling against her society’s pre-conceived ideas of what a woman should be.
I was nearly wicked and claimed it was the name of a nearby village, which is: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. Only we call it Llanfair PG. And that’s not quite the same!
Thank you so much, Juliet, for coming to share a little of yourself and your experiences! It has been lovely getting to meet you and I wish you all the best!
P.S. If you meet Prince William at any point, do me a favor and say "HI" for me. :D
If you'd like to know more about Juliet and her works please feel free to visit her site here.