Juliet Dillon: Beltsville’s Homegrown, Born-and-Raised Science Fiction Author

By Jim Butcher
(from the March 2017 Beltsville Newspaper)

Local Author Juliet Dillon

Local Author Juliet Dillon

If you live in Beltsville, chances are you are a neighbor to Juliet Dillon, fast-rising, highly successful Beltsville science fiction author. To check out her books, search Google for Amazon.com Juliet Dillon. The behemoth Internet marketer will promptly return a webpage advising that the book A Sky with No Stars: Saving the Future: Part One: paperback June 22, 2016, by Juliet Dillon is available for purchase.

Amazon further informs that 17 customer reviewers have given the book 4.9 stars on a 5.0 star rating scale. In a teaser, Amazon reminds readers that A Sky with No Stars is part one of a three-part series that Dillon calls her Saving the Future series. Part Two, A Cage with No Bars, is scheduled for release later this year or early 2018.

In her own words, “Part One of the Saving the Future [series] is the story of a girl who is accidentally pulled into the future of our world. Everything as we know it is gone, replaced by a totalitarian regime and colossal destruction. On her mission to find a way back to her time, Kiri is sucked into an adventure with ramifications far greater than she could ever have imagined. I put a lot of effort into keeping the reader turning the pages. It is fast paced and unpredictable, with a few twists sure to shock.”

Dillon’s next big book project is a stand-alone fantasy novel. While the idea for her Saving the Future series has been with her for most of her life, the idea for her new book, King of the Horseless, is just a year old. Like the Saving the Future series, it is another young adult book but is set in a medieval world many years after the kingdom fell. The main character is a tenacious young woman trying to carve out her place in a world run by men and tradition. It is a humorous and light read with a good message for girls of all ages.

Thanks to marketing opportunities through Amazon, Dillon is as adept with the business end of self-publishing and promoting her books as she is creative with the writing process. There are many positives to publishing you own books, she says. For one, the author maintains complete creative control and never has to sell the rights to her story or characters. On the other side, self-publishing is a ton of work. Dillon had to teach herself jobs that publishing companies have multiple departments for. She became her own reviser and learned to rely on friends and family to help edit.

Dillon acknowledges she has been incredibly fortunate in her Beltsville friends and associates. Her best friend since the fifth grade, Leslie Orellana (formerly Leslie Bristow), has a Masters of Arts in Animation and she has created book covers and graphics for Dillon’s book promotions. Another class of 2005 graduate, Scott Yarmosky, tapped into his incredible artistic skills and drew the map for King of the Horseless. We are all lucky to have grown up here in Beltsville, to know each other, and to be able to support other artists as we chase our dreams, Dillon says.

A Beltsville resident all her life, Dillon passed through Beltsville Academy, then moved on to Martin Luther King, Jr., for middle school before graduating from High Point High, class of 2005. She has just a few credits to go to earn her degree from UMBC in political science and history. “I’ve always been a bookworm,” she says, “with an overactive imagination, but I didn’t truly begin writing until middle school. I remember being in one of the temporaries out back, Mr. Odell’s math class to be exact, when the idea for A Sky with No Stars hit me. Granted back then it was a juvenile Sci-Fi reminiscent of the anime I watched, but as I grew, the characters and the world I was creating grew with me. However, although I was always a reader, I never particularly liked English in school. It wasn’t until I took 10th grade English from Mr. Lippmann that I really started to appreciate quality literature. His belief in me as a writer bumped my causal hobby up to the next level: a passionate dream that one day I would be an author.”