Jude's new book isn't out until this fall, but she's thrilled to giveaway to one winner his/her choice of a copy of her, I Can't Remember Me or if they want: A Joy Restored (again, available this fall) . Leave a comment and email address for a chance to win it!
Now for her interview . . .
How long have you known that you were a writer? Did you receive a clear “call?” Or have you just loved writing all your life?
Carole, I did not feel a ‘call’ to write, but have loved reading ever since I can remember. I had read nearly every book in the library by the time I finished elementary. The desire to write was probably born in that school library and I scribbled in diaries, wrote poems, prayers and articles for many years. Even won a contest or two.
I can say my real passion to write hinges on two historical events in my life.
The first. My adult daughter was driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, had a car wreck in which her little six- year-old son was killed and she suffered a life-threatening traumatic brain injury. After a long, dark period of time, the Lord led us to tell her story in book form as a means of healing and testimony of God’s mercy and redemption and the absolute miracle of her recovery. Writing that book was one of the hardest things I have done, yet one of the most rewarding.
Of course, that book was nonfiction, but from there I continued my fiction efforts, but, to be honest, with minimum success. I thought I had forever to perfect my writing, when my second hinge of history occurred. After a routine exam, I received the diagnosis of thyroid cancer. The lab report had to be pushed in front of my nose and my doctor’s nose to make us believers.
From there, I rearranged my life to include writing fiction.
Oh, my. You are a brave woman, Jude. What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?
I continue to write inspirational nonfiction. That is just a part of me. For the past year I have written an inspirational column for Maximum Living, a magazine with focus on spirituality and wellness. But most of my time is spent writing fiction. I like to say I write women’s fiction with inspirational romance elements. Women’s fiction to me is the story of a woman’s journey, which may or may not include romance. I just like to include romance. What’s life without romance?
Too true! How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?
Ugh! Some days not as well as I’d like. My laptop is on my dining room table (sigh, can I covet Deb Raney’s fabulous office?) and the beautiful scene of nature outside my windows pulls me astray far too often. BUT, my goal is to reach my ergonomic chair in front of my laptop by 9:00 am. I’m a fairly early riser and get everything done first, even dinner planned. From there I GO! If I get 2-3 hours of pure writing in, I am satisfied. As you know, there’s a lot more to this business than making words. Liz Curtis Higgs has certain days she does administration, marketing and writing. I wanna be like her! But we all have the same 24 hours in a day. It’s just how we use them.
My second novel took about a year interspersed with work, volunteering, church, and family. You know the drill don’t you? My third one must be done quicker. I have a deadline of eight months. We do get better and faster. But I’ll never be real fast.
I love days when I get lots of writing done! Tell us about your new book. What is the spiritual message in it? What can readers expect to get from reading it? How and where can readers buy your book?
The title is Joy Restored. It is about a young, widowed mother who is healed in broken places. She blames God for the death of her disturbed, Vietnam vet husband and in the process almost misses the incredible love offered by a rich, Christian widower.
The message is timeless. God is still there through our darkest times. My heroine finds that with God tragedy can turn to triumph. Readers can expect delightful characters and a wonderful love story.
Joy Restored is being published by Desert Breeze Publishing and will be available in electronic form in November. It will be carried by Desert Breeze, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other electronic venues. It is book one of the Chanute Crossings Chronicles and book two will be out June 2012. My mother's 1930's sweet love story with the same setting will be a free bonus download with my book.
The link to Desert Breeze is http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/
Carole, I have emotionally quit several times, but never literally. Once, the rejections from my so-desired Christian Publishers were so not forthcoming, I decided to take the Christian out of my story. At my next agent meeting (with an agent I really, really wanted) she asked, “Where’s the faith element?” I was terribly humbled and had no cogent reply. A strong faith element has been there since and always will be. No matter the number of rejections.
Who’s inspired you the most?
This is not hard to answer. I think real heroes are missing today, but I’m always on the look out. In short and in hindsight, I’d say my mother was and has been my biggest inspiration by far. Simply by her life.
Would you explain how you “chose” (or were chosen by) a publisher? Do you just go “inny, minny, miny, moe?”
I called my first publisher because author submission guidelines were missing from their web site. One thing let to another and she asked for a proposal. A God thing.
The second publisher had a request for submissions on our ACFW Loop and I answered. And she answered. It's very important though to study publishers to whom you submit. Make sure the house fits your genre and subject.
Now, that you’re published, can you sit back and relax from the success you’ve experienced?
Come on, Carole! Though that does happen (think JK Rowling), it isn’t often. I’m just thankful for what small success I have had. It means a lot to me for many reasons.
LOL. Well, I have to ask, don't I? Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could?
I hardly dislike anything and have far too many likes! That’s why I get distracted from writing.
- I love nature and love to travel.
- Biking and walking suit me just fine.
- Love jazz and classical music.
- Have just learned to knit and am learning to play the piano.
- Am fascinated with genealogy.
- After God, my passions are people and places.
- My college minor was anthropology and I’ve always enjoyed other cultures.
- I’ve been blessed, in my nursing career and otherwise, to travel to quite a few places in the world and this has given me a broader understanding of mankind. I’ve always wanted to see Siberia. Instead, God gave me a wonderful Russian neighbor and I read The Long Walk. Now I don’t want to see Siberia so much.
Don’t write a book unless you are willing to market it and plan to spend about 2 years doing that. Create a local, state and national marketing plan. Be brazen.