“As a novelist, I'm endlessly fascinated by human behavior and interactions.” – Juliet Marillier
A New Zealand native who now lives in Australia, Marillier was born on this date in 1948 and while she was a lifelong self-procliamed “lover of fantasy,” she didn’t start writing her own versions until 1999. Earlier, she focused on music, both on the performing side and in teaching and conducting.
She got into writing with the book Daughter of the Forest, loosely based on the legend of the Children of Lir and "The Six Swans” (a story that has many versions, including one by the Brothers Grimm). That book kicked off her “Sevenwaters Trilogy,” and the second in the series, Son of the Shadows, won Australia’s top fantasy fiction award.
Marillier’s novels combine historical fiction, folkloric fantasy, romance and family drama, and the strong elements of history and folklore in her work reflect her lifelong interest in both fields. However, her stories focus above all on human relationships and the personal journeys of the characters. “Each of my novels features a protagonist undertaking a difficult personal journey. On the way, each of these characters - mostly female - discovers something about herself and at the same time makes an impact on other people's lives,” she said.
Since 1999 she has written 20 novels and dozens of short stories, 5 which have won Aurealis Awards and 4 the Sir Julius Vogel Award. She’s also been named for the American Library Association’s Alex Award, and France’s Prix Imaginales.
Noted for her great characters, she said that to write convincing characters, “You must possess the ability to think yourself into someone else's skin.”
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