Sunday, August 19, 2012

Interview: Julia Madeleine

Julia Madeleine is a force in the crime fiction world and writes some of the best short stories around, including a disturbing tale in Pulp Ink 2. She's here with us today talking madness, writing, research, and tattoos.

DBK: Many of your short stories are about crazy people. The characters may seem semi-normal at first, but by the end, it's obvious that they're batshit. What draws you to writing about the less-than-sane?

JM: I swear I could be in a room of fifty people and I’ll attract the one wack-job who’s there. But maybe that’s because I love crazy people. They’re so fascinating. I know quite a few of them, got a few in the family. They are an endless source of material for my writing. One of my crazy friends recognized herself in my novel—a brief reference to her showing up to lunch with her mother with a shaved head, wearing a tiara and a feather boa—and laughed out loud. I always feel a little guilty writing people into my stories but they seem to enjoy it when I do.

DBK: How much research do you do for your stories? How about novels?
JM: As much as necessary. I spent hours on research for my novel The Truth About Scarlet Rose, combing through newspaper archives on microfiche down at the Toronto reference library (it takes place in the 80s). But the research was fun. Short stories don’t seem to require too much in the way of research.

DBK: Your work alternates between crime and horror. Do you see yourself as a crime writer, a horror writer, a pulp writer, or just a writer?
JM: Oh, probably a crime writer with a love of noir.

DBK: Whose work are you into right now?
JM: I just finished Don Winslow’s Savages and went to the movie (both are brilliant) and picked up Kings Of Cool. Love his style. I recently read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. I’ve read all of her books and love the way she writes. I’m currently simultaneously reading Meagan Abbott’s Dare Me, and One Good Hustle by Canadian author Billie Livingston.

DBK: Are you working on a novel? Any new short stories coming our way?
JM: Yes to both questions. I’ve got a few short stories coming out this year including one in Noir Nation’s next issue, and in Shotgun Honey’s new anthology. I’m about 40K into my latest novel about a woman who murders her husband’s mistress and frames him for it.

DBK: Your "Tattoo and a Review" series is fabulous. How do you coax people into reading pulp who might not otherwise be interested?
JM: I pretty much trick them. I offer them the use of my lovely iPad and the invitation to distract themselves from the pain of their tattoo by indulging their mind in some dark little tales of crime and mayhem. What I’m really doing is subcontracting reviewers so I can feature some of my writer friend’s work on my blog. It’s a lot of fun for everyone I think.

DBK: How much does your work as a tattoo artist influence your writing?
JM: I don’t know if my tattooing influences my writing so much as competes with it for my time and creative energy. It’s always been that way with me between the two mediums; art and writing. Everything in my life suffers for my writing. It always will and I’m good with that.

Author's Bio: Julia Madeleine is a thriller writer and tattoo artist living in the Toronto area. For a year she lived in the country on a 30-acre property in the middle of nowhere which became the inspiration for her novel, No One To Hear You Scream. Find out more about her writing at


  1. Loved this interview and reading a little more about this talented writer.

    (Julia, I'd love to have a story at BEAT to a PULP.)

  2. Hey David, thanks for the invite. I will definitely send something your way soonish. Thank you Chris for the interview and for saying nice things about me :) XO

  3. I'll second that from David.

    Thanks for sharing Julia and Chris.