Riding the Waves Conference Spotlight ~ Juliet Marillier

Welcome to a conference spotlight from the

Riding the Waves conference!

Today we have Juliet Marillier who will be presenting the workshop THE SELKIE SONG.


MARILLIER - 179 smaller


Juliet Marillier was born and brought up in Dunedin, New Zealand, and now lives in Western Australia. Her historical fantasy novels for adults and young adults, including the popular Sevenwaters series, have been translated into many languages and have won a number of awards including the Aurealis, the American Library Association’s Alex Award, the Sir Julius Vogel Award and the Prix Imaginales. Her lifelong love of folklore, fairy tales and mythology is a major influence on her writing. Juliet is currently working on the Shadowfell series, a story of tyranny and rebellion set in a magical version of ancient Scotland. When  not busy writing, she tends to a small pack of waifs and strays. She blogs monthly on http://www.writerunboxed.com and her website is at http://www.julietmarillier.com

Have you presented sessions at previous conferences, for RWA or other organisations? 

This will be my first session at RWA, however I have presented at work related (evil day job *grin*) conferences presented two workshops at the RWA mini-conference, Romancing the West, in 2010. I’ve also presented writing workshops for the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre and at speculative fiction conventions such as Swancon in Perth and Au Contraire in Wellington. I delivered the keynote address for the Women’s Fiction Chapter of Romance Writers of America at their annual conference in New York in 2011, and presented a fairy tale workshop in Santa Barbara, California for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) in the same year.


What prompted you to put together this workshop for “Riding The Waves”?

I’m currently working on the Shadowfell series for young adults, which includes a cast of uncanny characters based on Scottish folklore. In addition, there’s a strong thread of elemental magic in the books, as the protagonist has to seek the wisdom of earth, water, air and fire to complete her training. When the call for workshops came out from RWA the obvious choice was to combine those two and offer a session on using elemental lore in your fantasy-romance or paranormal romance writing. Because the theme of the conference is so sea-based, I’ll be emphasizing water beings such as selkies, naiads and mermaids.

Will there be hands-on exercises or audience participation?

I hate ‘talking heads’-style workshops so I will welcome audience participation! I’ll be including small group exercises in the session, both brainstorming and writing, and if there’s time I’ll include an individual writing exercise. I hope this will be a fun session that produces waves of creativity once participants get home!

Do you use examples (from your own books, other books, movies etc?)

I’ll use plenty of examples, some from my own work, some from other writers’ work, and lots from traditional folklore, which is a rich source of material for anyone writing stories with supernatural elements. Expect me to include some storytelling.


What is the best part/aspect of conference for you?

The warm and supportive atmosphere that characterises all romance writers’ conferences, which never fails to hearten me.

FOS Aus high res

What is your latest/current/upcoming book release and where can members find out more about you?

My latest book release is Flame of Sevenwaters, a romantic historical fantasy set in early medieval Ireland. It was published in November 2012 by Pan Macmillan Australia and by Penguin in the USA. Just before ‘Riding the Waves’ I have another novel, Raven Flight, coming out (July 2013.)  That’s the second book in the Shadowfell series, and a great read for both adults and young adults, with a pair of strong female leads.

Raven Flight cover draft (424x640) - Copy

Members can find out more about me at my website, or visit my Facebook Fan Page.



Thank you, Juliet!

Our next conference spotlight will be next Tuesday.

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