Name Juliet Braddock
Where are you from
Originally, I hail from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but I’ve made New York City my home for the last two decades.
A little about yourself `ie your education Family life etc
Writing was always in me, so I don’t’ think it surprised anyone when I majored in journalism. I’ve always written over the years. I probably hold the record for most unfinished writing projects.
Although I grew up in Pittsburgh, I really do consider myself a New Yorker, and I love everything about the city – theater, restaurants, museums. I also adore 80s music, and I enjoy seeing all of my bands from my teenage years live, especially Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet.
And I’m a very proud cat mom to a sweet and smart Russian Blue rescue.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I actually just published the second book in my Manhattan Bound Trilogy, WRAPPED, on March 21. It’s an erotic romance that portrays the tender side of a budding relationship within the BDSM genre.
Set in New York against the backdrop of Broadway, WRAPPED continues the journey of Maxine Kirk, a young theatrical publicist, and her foray into a darker side of romance under the tutelage of a dashingly dark star of the stage, Drew McKenzie.
The third book, KNOTTED, will be out in the fall!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
My first efforts in creative writing came long before I learned to put crayon to paper. In fact, I began spinning stories in my head nearly as soon as I could form complete sentences. I was a dramatic kid, and I was always crafting sagas about imaginary friends, family members and pop culture icons. I kept everyone around me entertained with my witty—but often very tall—tales.
When I was six, my mom got me a toy typewriter for Christmas. After the ink ran dry, I quickly switched to ball point pens and notebooks. I haven’t stopped since.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think the first time I considered myself a writer was in seventh grade. My English teacher was very big on creative writing projects, and she always praised my work. It was the first time that someone outside my immediate family took notice of my writing, and to this day, I still consider her a huge mentor for me.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
With these particular books in my Manhattan Bound Series, I found a great inspiration in the two greatest loves of my life – New York City and the theater. I’ve been a Broadway fan since I was a small child, and I’ve always thought, “What could make a romantic hero possibly any more New York than a star on the Great White Way?”
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Absolutely. I think there’s been far too many myths about BDSM floating around in current fiction, and I want to dispel those stereotypes. A man can be tender, affectionate – and even romantic – in a relationship that involves Domination and submission. There’s still a capacity for true love within the lifestyle, and I want my readers to see how that can actually unfold on both ends of the relationship. The hero doesn’t need to be abusive and abrasive just to enjoy edgy play in fantasy.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Being from New York, I really try to make it as realistic as possible. Setting is very important to me – on par with what the characters are doing and saying to each other. I strive to put every detail of the surroundings in my books so that you can fully immerse yourself in every chapter. I use actual places that readers can visit and experience if they’d like.
I also think all writers borrow from their lives. I lost my own mother when I was in my early 20s, and in these books, my heroine Maxine is grieving the loss of her mom, too. I wouldn’t be able to convey her emotions realistically without having gone through them myself.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I used to sneak and read romances as a teenager, so I have to say that the women who wrote romance in the 80s really had an influence on what and how I write today. They created smart, independent heroines and wove together real plots. The story should always be the crux of the book – not the erotic scenes. And that’s what I’ve adopted into my writing today.
I actually do have a mentor who’s a well-established romance author. I was her publicist for a number of years, and we became very close friends. She always encouraged me to write – even though we write drastically different sub-genres – and she’s been a huge supporter of my work to this day.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Right now, I’m reading Annabel Joseph’s Club Mephisto Series. I love her heroes and her realistic portrayals of true BDSM relationships.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m working diligently on KNOTTED, which is the third book the Manhattan Bound Series, and sketching out some possible ideas for some stand-alones after I finish these books.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, I do see it as a career. I do have a full-time job in my field, but in order to take yourself seriously as a writer, you have to look at your work professionally and treat it as any other job.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Here’s a snippet from WRAPPED. Broadway star Drew McKenzie sets yes upon Maxine Kirk right before their first black tie gala…
“Excuse me, Kind Sir,” Maxine’s shy voice echoed softly as she poked just her head out of the bedroom door. “Would you please help a girl out with her dress?”
Drew had been fussing with his bowtie in the standing mirror in the hallway and straightening his cufflinks when she called. The sweetness of her expression resounded against his ears, as he pulled in a deep breath, anticipating this moment he’d been longing for all afternoon. At last his little one was ready for the ball…
On the other side of the door, Maxine had been in panic mode, carefully applying her make-up and struggling to make sure that every last hair was in place and perfectly pinned. Drew had offered to hire someone to do her hair and make-up to alleviate some of her stress, but Maxine insisted on handling every last brush stroke herself.
When Drew finally opened the door, he stopped—dead in his tracks as if trapped within the frame. His lips parted; his eyes softened as they cast upon Maxine.
Arms wrapped around her chest to hold the bodice in place while she waited for his assistance, Maxine couldn’t help but to do a bit of staring herself. He looked so stunningly handsome in his simple black tux and tie, his hair—for once—in perfect place as if he were on stage, she mused to herself. The last time she’d seen him in a tux was on television at the Tony Awards. How times had changed…
Yet self-doubts began to surface. So typically Maxine, she fretted, wondering against his scrutiny if she looked appropriate—if she could actually play the role of date to Drew McKenzie that evening, if she truly measured up to the standards required for being there at his side and on his arm.
However, his gaze upon her left her slightly trembling in its wake. She’d wound her shiny locks into a French twist with tiny auburn ringlets playing so delicately around her face. The teal silk of the gown silhouetted every last curve of her body that he knew so well. Dangling and sparkling, the emerald earrings truly did accentuate the beauty of her honest green eyes. She’d even gained some weight, which pleased him to no end. He was simply elated to see a happy—healthier—Maxine standing before him, with a timid confidence that he found so endearing.
By the time he smiled at long last, his silence had nearly killed her.
“Little one…oh, my sweet little one…” His stride was slow, closing the distance between them. “What the hell does a man say to the most beautiful woman in the world?”
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have far too many favorites to name here, but I will say that the one thing I need in a book is strong heroine and an engaging plot. I want to laugh and cry with those characters. I want to feel their emotions. Erotica is fun, but it must be delicately written with substance in the actual story to keep me entertained.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I use my own travels in my books. Every day in New York City is a journey, and I’ve drawn a great deal from living here. In my third book, KNOTTED, Maxine and Drew will travel extensively through France, and I’ve spent quite a bit of time there over the years. So I definitely like to draw upon my travels in my writing.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Make time, accept constructive criticism from people you trust, and be persistent.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you to each and every person who has read me. Your kind words and response to my work has been so thoroughly appreciated. And I love hearing from you! Keep the notes coming.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first book I actually read on my own was a Raggedy Anne and Andy Golden Book when I was four. My mom read to me every night, so I can’t tell you what the first book I actually experienced was.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I’ve had a lot of losses in my life, so I end to be very sentimental. The simple things in life make me tear up – like hearing my Goddaughter say, “I love you.”
As for sense of humor…I tend to be very dark – smart but snappy.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
Eva Peron. I developed a fascination with her when I was young after seeing the musical Evita, and I’ve been obsessed with her ever since. I think I’ve read every book written about her, and I remain so captivated by her myth because she’s such an enigma. I can’t figure out if she was all good, all bad…or somewhere in between.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
A friend of mine once told me that my epitaph will read, “She liked the B-side of Everything.” And that’s true. My tastes in music, art, food, culture are all so diverse, and I do stray outside the mainstream in most aspects of my life.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I love going to the theater, concerts, museums – anything that involves a high level of creativity. And I also love to travel. Seeing the world broadens your vision as a writer. Cats are also my passion. I believe that we can make this a much better world for all animals, though, one stray at a time.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
If I could sing and dance, I would have pursued a career in the theater. But you don’t want to hear me sing. And you certainly don’t’ want to see me dance!
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
WEAKENED: The Manhattan Bound Series Book One
WRAPPED: The Manhattan Bound Series, Book Two