Interview with western romance author Juliette DouglasPosted: May 13, 2019 | |
I’m pleased to be chatting today with a prolific author who has burst onto the western scene in a relatively short amount of time. Her debut novel, Freckled Venom, was a Laramie award winner, and she recently signed on with Delilah‘s publisher, Dusty Saddle Publishing. The amazing part is she manages churn out all of her many books, while still holding down a traditional job outside the home, as well. Let’s see if she has any secrets to share. Please welcome western author Juliette Douglas.
Kaye: Your website says you are a new voice in the western genre, but it seems like you have written a lot of books. How long have you been writing western?
Juliette: I was a new voice 5 years ago, as I tend to have more grit in my novels then most women western writers.
I was 1st published in 2013, but the publisher was awful so ditched them and became indie and re-issued my books with new covers and re-edited interiors in 2014. So that’s when I like to say I’ve been published.
Kaye: What did you write before westerns?
Juliette: I have never written a thing before in my life. So I guess you could say I’m a late bloomer.
Kaye: Do you think it is more difficult for a woman to author a western novel and make a success of it?
Juliette: No I don’t. When I began to promote my novels at local events, I sold more to men then women. Since then I have all ages who read my books.
I personally feel it’s easy for me to write strong female characters in an old western setting then to write a contemporary western.
I love history, so it’s a good match for me. I’ve been blessed with my success. I know I am up against many good male western writers who have been around much longer then I have, but I’m making strides.
Kaye: What’s the biggest challenge in writing westerns for you?
Juliette: Making sure the things I want to happen are in the right time frame, I use the weapons for that era etc. For example: smokeless gunpowder did not appear until the 1890s.
Kaye: Your female characters are bold and brassy in a genre where women are typically portrayed as damsels in distress needing rescued by a big strong man. How do you write your heroines in a way that makes them believable, yet allows them to remain independent?
Juliette: I try to put myself into the situation. How would I feel, behave, emotions I might hide or display. Would I be angry or decide these are the cards I was dealt and how would I go about living my life with these secrets or circumstances thrown at me. Women who carved out a future for themselves in the old west had to be some of the strongest I have ever read about and I try to portray that with my characters.
Kaye: What can you share about your Freckled Venom Series?
Juliette: It was a great experience for me as a writer. I loved how my characters took over and I was just the messenger typing out their words and feelings.
The Freckled Venom Series is very different then most western novels out there because it has a gun toting rugged female who bounty hunts instead of the usual male filled westerns. I’ve reversed the roles you might say.
In Freckled Venom Skeletons I tried something different. I had two points of view going on. One from the children’s POV and then the adults and it worked very well.
There will be many more stories in the FV Series. This summer I will have Freckled Venom Vixen The Early Years and for Christmas, Plum Dickens of a Christmas. A reunion of sorts with all the characters brought together in this book.
Kaye: What do you consider to be the single most important element in a western?
Juliette: Good storylines & plots. Plenty of action and hair-raising adventures.
Kaye: Would you talk a little about Perfume, Powder and Lead: Holy Sisters?
Juliette: Hahaha…This was one of the most fun books I have written. The idea is so absurd that this would have happened, but a possibility in those days.
Three soiled doves are tired of that life and set out to the gold fields, but they need money to get there. They stumble across nuns killed by raiders, and the girls change their habits, so to speak and make plans to rob a bank dressed as nuns.
But there are deeper elements also allowing the reader to form a bond with these girls.
It’s raw, it’s gritty and it’s not for everyone to read.
Kaye: Are there any of your books which you’d classify as western romances?
Juliette: I have the teasing potential of romance in most of my novels and my readers seem to like that.
Kaye: One of your most recent releases, Bed of Conspiracy, sounds to me like an
historic thriller involving political conspiracy, assassination plots and cloak
and dagger action, all set during the Grant administration? Was it difficult for
you to stray outside of the western genre?
Juliette: Oh man, I had wanted to do this story for 3 years before I finally found time to write it.
Loved writing this one! Set in 1876 it wasn’t hard for me at all. I loved weaving actual events into the story. Looking at maps of Washington DC from 1876 to learn the layout of the city to include actual street names and places scattered about in the fictional story. It has ended up being one of my most popular novels and due to the high interest has spawned a series. Next one titled: Death Deals the Hand, A Ross & Sam Adventure.
Kaye: Where do you find inspiration for your stories?
Juliette: Every where. Everyday stories and situations that can be transported back in time to the old west!
Kaye: What’s the most fun about writing westerns?
Kaye: The first book in your Freckled Venom series was also your debut novel, Copperhead, which you won a Laramie Award. What is the Laramie Award and how does one receive it?
Juliette: The Laramie Award is the western division of the Chanticleer awards. I submitted Copperhead on a whim and won over very stiff competition.
For 2019 I will be entering Bed of Conspiracy in the Laramie Awards Adventure & Caper category. Will see what happens!
They also have a category for children’s books and I will be entering my 1st Children’s book: We Are Awesome Possums.
Kaye: Would you recommend aspiring authors attempt the western genre? Why or why not?
Juliette: You need to know the history of the old west for sure. There are still many untold stories out there to share, but it takes hard work to come up with a fresh idea with the old tales that would be marketable.
The American Old West is our history, no one else can claim it. It speaks to the hearts of men, women and children across the world. It is America’s claim.
Kaye: If you could have lunch with any author, alive or dead, who would it be? Why?
Juliette: Louie L’Amore. A fascinating man. His stories are based on a lot of his own actual experiences. It would be neat to visit and talk with him.
I want to thank Juliette for sharing with us today. It has been an absolute pleasure. You can learn more about Juliette Douglas and her work on her Facebook Author page or her Amazon Author page. I’m proud to share a publisher with Juliette. I hope you will join me next week on “Chatting with the Pros”, when my author guest will be another Dusty Saddle author, Scott Harris. I hope to see you then.
Like this post? Let me know in the comments. You can be sure not to miss any of Writing to be Read’s great content by subscribe to e-mail or following on WordPress.