Interview: Juliette Wade

Juliette Wade grew up in the Monterey Bay area of California, but says her family “always maintained close relationships overseas as well as locally, so I had the chance to travel around Europe and learn French at an early age.”

Proving once again that authors come from all areas of work and life, Juliette Wade has a love of science and language. I know you’re going to enjoy her interview.

You first started writing fiction when you were studying for your Ph.D. That’s an unusual way to get started! What sparked the interest in the fictional world?

Well, I’ve always been interested in the fictional world. I was a voracious reader of fairy tales as a child, and I remember getting punished for reading up too late at night. I wrote little things as a kid but never figured I had an idea that was “big enough” until I was about 13. I tried writing it then, but couldn’t write what I wanted to read, so I put it off. I finally got serious about that same idea in 1999 while I was in my Ph.D. program. Oddly enough, the things i had learned as a linguist and anthropologist during my studies gave me a lot of the skills I needed to write a book I might actually like to read!

What’s been your proudest writing moment to date?

My proudest moment was when my novelette, “At Cross Purposes,” appeared on the cover of Analog magazine with an absolutely amazing painting by Bob Eggleton. The “moment” was rather stretched out, in fact. It started when Analog editor Dr. Stan Schmidt told me he’d asked for a cover (back in about May 2010), and ended with a bang (and not a few joyous tears) on Christmas Eve when my family presented me with the original Bob Eggleton painting as a gift. The whole experience was just mind-blowing.

How do you balance writing with other obligations?

This is definitely challenging for me, since I’m a full-time mother with two kids 8 and under. I write when my kids are at school, for the most part. I’ve also developed my ability to write and plan in my head when other things are going on. It’s important to me, though, not to let writing distract me from being a good mother at the same time that I don’t want motherhood to keep me from being a good writer. I’ve been working at this balance since they were born, and I’ll continue to work at it going forward.

Please share some of your writing goals. What’s next for you?

My two major goals for this year are finishing another short story to send to Analog, and finishing a novel. The novel is a very important project for me because it establishes a world that I’m hoping to continue to write several novels in. I’m hoping to pass it on to my agent toward the end of this year.

What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?

This is a tricky question, since there are many books I love, but I have to say I have enormous admiration for Ursula K. LeGuin’s novel The Left Hand of Darkness. There’s such a sense of realism there, in addition to the thought-provoking core story. It was clear to me that knowledge of anthropology could really change the way a book felt for readers.

Book you’re currently reading?

I’m currently reading Changeless (The Parasol Protectorate)by Gail Carriger. I really enjoy the way she’s integrated vampires and werewolves into Victorian society. It’s playful and steam-punky and she makes it work.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

All sorts of things, mostly with my family. I like to ice skate, and work out, and go out with the family to the local historic farm or to museums. We also love to drink tea.

Where can we learn more about you?

At my author website,, you can learn about my fantasy and science fiction worlds and follow my writing updates. At my blog, TalkToYoUniverse, you can discuss issues of language and culture in science fiction and fantasy with me, as well as writing. I have a fan page on Facebook, and you can also find me on Twitter.

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