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The Aussie Author, Juliette Power, lives among the gumtrees in Brisbane, Australia. Her first book in Juliette’s World Memoir Trilogy, Juliette’s Angel: Death, Desire, Destiny, will be launched in October 2016 together with its companion book, Juliette Power’s Little Book of Angel Inspiration.

 

Let’s find out more about Juliette’s memoirs and her incredible life.

 

1/ What inspired you to write your memoir? Did you always aspire to become a writer?

Hell, no. Unlike other writers, I never dreamed of becoming an author. But I’ve always kept a journal and I love reading. Everest was the catalyst. Climbing on our own with a porter and guide was my idea. Everyone warned me that we should go with a group. I didn’t listen. People think all the drama happens above base camp—they’re wrong. Trekking towards the top of the world with my daughter Bonnie literally changed my life. Gasping for air in the most dangerous place on earth forced me to examine everything, and face my biggest fears.

2/ Juliette, your literary background is winning “25 Words or Less” competitions, yet you are writing a memoir trilogy?

Yes, I know. (laughs) I dropped out of high school, and by day I’m a factory worker, but at night I write my series of memoirs, beginning with Juliette’s Angel. It was just that incredible things kept happening to me. And, like many, I believe in angels, the power of intention, manifestations and the after-life. I consider the 25-words-or-less competitions as my ‘apprenticeship’, a lucrative apprenticeship. It was ridiculous. I won $40,000 in cash, holidays and prizes with just a few words.

Since climbing Everest, I’ve re-joined a local writers’ group and the Queensland Writers Centre, and I regularly attend workshops. Over the past year, I’ve spent my life-savings working with a talented, professional editor to bring my manuscript to industry standard and realise its potential.

3/ How did you come up with the title Juliette’s Angel: Death Desire Destiny?

The book was initially called Pushing against the Moon. I’d spent my whole life sending my wishes to the sky. Freakily, many came true. Eventually, on Everest, I learnt to accept what is, and I learnt that there’s no point pushing against the moon. I wasn’t searching for a great ending—I thought I already had one. But then the angel appeared, and everything changed.

4/ Your mother committed suicide when you were young. How did that event shape your life?

The short time I had growing up with my mother became even more graphic and poignant to me, I guess. Memories of her and what she said and believed became more precious. Mother told me I had an angel. I didn’t believe, I knew.

5/ How was your mother’s death explained at the time? Were you supported?

Back in the 70s when my mother died, the words death, die or died were rarely used. Death wasn’t really talked about, especially not to children. There’s an anecdote in the book about when my auntie died and they told her children that she’d just gone away on holiday. My younger brother and sisters weren’t allowed to go to our mother’s funeral. They had a party at home instead. We were expected to stay strong, forget about our mother, and get on with life. As an 11-year-old, I had little choice. I accepted it.

6/ How did you move on from her death and how did it affect your outlook on life?

Well, it’s hard to move on when death isn’t discussed. But, as a child, my mother’s death taught me eternal gratitude. On Everest grief finally hit me, time and time again. It was weird. It felt like I was facing purgatory in a way. I’ve made mistakes, big mistakes. As we climbed, regrets and recriminations that I’d spent a lifetime denying rose before me with the altitude. The mountain forced me to face myself.

7/ Why did you choose to trek Mount Everest with your daughter? What was it like?

I was showing off! (laughs) And I’d like to think I bonded with Bonnie; you might have to ask her about that. Although I was fit from working with a personal trainer for a year, and the weight-loss from a makeover I’d won, it was still challenging. The lack of oxygen sent me a bit delirious. There were some strange happenings up there that I can’t fully explain. Yet, trekking Nepal was epic.

8/ What specifically was so life changing about the Everest trek that made you want to write about it?

Everyone is searching for connections and answers. Many people’s lives become like the movie, Groundhog Day. We repeat the same ingrained patterns over and over, often without realising it—work, study, racing out for bread and milk, raising our families, sitting in traffic tapping the steering wheel, wishing we were somewhere, anywhere, else. 

What we truly desire, even if it’s unknown, seems perpetually out of reach. Climbing day after day with a Nepalese guide high in the Himalaya, high above the clouds, unravelled me. I forgot the time, the day, and anything that I needed to do apart from just put one foot in front of the other, and push against the mountain when a herd of yak passed us.

I also came to see those around me, like our guide Pratap, as what I call Earth Angels. Pratap helped me get through my darkest moments and survive.

Death is the last frontier. When you hike the same trails and cross the same swaying, high-wire bridges as legends like Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay—when you attempt something you’ve only seen on the telly, something so ambitious, so outrageous it could kill you—that’s when you know you’re living. It’s like, the more you risk your life, the more the universe has waiting for you.

9/ Running away as a teenager must have been difficult. What was that like? How did you find the strength to live independently? 

Yes, and it was difficult writing about it. Pain pushed my pen. I had to re-live my most gut-wrenching times, dealing with life after my mother’s sudden death. I felt ashamed. It’s a story I’ve never shared before. My life has been a long quest to stay strong. Running away seemed like the only answer. To avoid detection, I had changed my name to an actress off a soap opera.  At sixteen I was homeless and on the run. I cried bucket-loads. I missed my family desperately and I didn’t know if I’d see them again.

10/ What was the turning point?

A man on a motorcycle rode into my life! Johnny looked like James Dean, (laughs) and I thought he was the strong, silent type. I was wrong. My romance with Johnny provides some fun scenes. I had my hunk-of spunk, and I had my angel.  Somehow, I knew I’d be alright.

11/ And you’re still with your husband today?

Oh, yeah! We have three grown children and we’re still hot for each other. He does all the housework—mops, grills the chops, and pegs out my underwear… It’s fascinating to watch.

12/ How does travel add to your life?

For me, travelling is breathing. We’re so dominated by technology these days with devices glued to our fists. I prefer to step outside and look up. You’d be surprised. Whether it’s trekking Nepal, snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, dodging spewing volcanoes, or marvelling at the mystical Northern Lights, planet earth astounds me. You could travel every day of your life and still not experience it all. When you travel too, especially when things get hard, you connect more deeply with those you’re with.

13/ You’ve written Juliette’s Angel in three parts: Defined by Death, Driven by Desire, and Drawn to Destiny. Can you elaborate on the three sections?

In Part One, Defined by Death, each scene relates to my mother’s suicide and how it has affected me, or the scenes relate to us risking our lives as Bonnie and I trek Everest. Other scenes explain how our culture or the Nepalese people understand death.

Part Two, Driven by Desire, covers my running away from home after my father finds a new woman and she too leaves me. It’s about me desiring a better life, meeting my husband Johnny and my overwhelming desire for him, and my search for proof of my angel.

Part Three, Drawn to Destiny, is more at the pointy end of our Everest climb. I’ve taken my daughter to a place where we can’t breathe, which reflects how my mother died. We’re drawn higher as if by destiny, and ultimately to what I experience in Iceland.

14/ Have you always believed in heaven and angels?

Yes. I attended Sunday school. Mum had us Christened before she died, and my children have been Christened also.

Knowing I had an angel has helped me. It’s given me great comfort throughout my life. My memoir is the story behind my angel photo, and what led to that one sacred moment in time.

15/ Juliette, we need to talk about the angel photo. How did you take it? Are you surprised at the response?

Yes… I posted a Youtube video called Juliette’s Angel: Evidence of Heaven where I revealed my angel photo for the first time.  The video went nuts. People all around the globe are commenting and sharing it.

It happened like this:

I was outside my bungalow in Iceland in the early hours of the morning. I’d tried to take photos of the Northern Lights the night before. It was my son’s camera and I was unfamiliar with the settings. Without a tripod, it was impossible; every shot was dark and blurry. Anyway, without expectation, I pulled a small patio table out onto the grass; I changed the settings to manual, and hoped I’d got it right. With time-delay flashing, I laid the camera down with the lens to the sky, and I stepped back.

16/ What did you think when you saw the image?

It was incredible. ‘I’ve been blessed’, I whispered to the sky.

17/ Why do you think it manifested above you?

I didn’t know at the time, but gradually answers have unfolded. Time reveals everything.

I was writing my memoir at the time. I believe the angel appeared above me to be included in my story, and to be shared with the world. It’s nuts. I wasn’t searching for more. After Everest, I already had a great ending. Obviously, the universe had other ideas. Now I have an ending beyond belief.

They say “everything happens for a reason”. I’m so tired of that overused phrase, and I pay out on it in my book (laughs), but it’s true. What happened that night was no accident. Throughout my life, manifestations have astounded me. How would you feel if an angel appeared above you?

18/ Has your perspective on life and the way you live it changed?

Everything is the same, yet different.  The angel is validation. I have proof, proof of heaven, and I feel so honoured to have had this experience. And so honoured to be the messenger who shares it with the world.

19/ Why has it taken years to share your angel with the public? What’s different now?

Who am I to introduce an angel to the world? I’m a simple factory worker. A suburban wife and mother. For years, I locked the camera’s memory card in a safe, unsure what to do. I held my sacred secret tight. Others who’d shared celestial experiences had been ridiculed. Initially, I hid behind an avatar on social media. Now I’ve found my voice, it’s time to come out.

I knew I had a responsibility to share this angel.  This angel doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to all humanity.

20/ What is the message behind this experience?

Your Vision Board can come true! This photograph is validation.

I’ve learnt that death is a veil between life and another form of life that we don’t fully understand.

I hope my experience comforts those who are mourning, and deepens the faith of those who believe in angels and heaven. In today’s climate of fear and uncertainty, everyone needs hope. Everyone needs an angel. I think it’s a sign—a sign of comfort, hope, and eternal life. Not just for me, but for everyone who’s open to it. Faith has wings.

21/ That’s inspiring. What’s next in Juliette’s World?

I’m busy writing book 2: Castaway Great Barrier Reef. Castaway is about what happens when you return from bonding with your older daughter on Everest and find your younger daughter on the couch. Our modern world of social media and the internet has taken over our teenagers’ lives. Sometimes you need to disconnect to reconnect.

Like Juliette’s Angel, Castaway revisits the themes of angels, of death as a phase of life, and that you need to risk your life to truly live it.

After that I will focus on my third memoir, Honeymoon with My Sister. At this stage it’s a lighter story—a trip I took with my youngest sister, Katie. What if your husband said no, but your sister said yes? Honeymoon also explores the effect of our mother’s death on my siblings, and particularly Katie who was just a baby at the time.

I am releasing a companion book to Juliette’s Angel called Juliette Power’s Little Book of Angel Inspiration. It’s an Earth Angels Guide to Life. Or, or ‘What I wished I’d have known (so I wouldn’t have stuffed up so much).’ (laughs)  Little Book contains photographs from our expeditions to Everest, the Great Barrier Reef and Iceland. Also, for the first time, I’m revealing exclusive photographs of the angel manifesting.

Juliette’s World is like no other. Expect the unexpected!

So, there you have it. Juliette Power’s mantras: Death is a veil to eternity, sometimes you need to disconnect to reconnect, what if staying strong isn’t the answer?, expect the unexpected, and faith has wings.

For more information visit: www.juliettepower.com  #juliettesangel #faithhaswings

Author photo credits: Louise Williams

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Juliette’s World

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