has written nearly all her life in some fashion, but only with retirement a few
years ago, has she been able to indulge her passion. Since then, Jude has
produced a non-fiction book (in both print and eBook format), magazine and
newspaper articles, and two inspirational romance novels in eBook format. She
has been a columnist for four years with Maximum
Living magazine and currently has her third novel with a publisher for review.
Jude, you’ve published a
co-authored non-fiction book, short stories and articles. How long did it take
you to get a full-length fiction contract?
2005, I scoured long and hard for a publisher of the true story my daughter and
I had written about our family’s journey through her traumatic brain injury.
The way I hooked that publisher surprised, to say the least. I had called
because they had left the submission guidelines off their web site. One thing
lead to another and the publisher asked for a proposal! The book was published
to write fiction after that first book, but did not receive a contract until
January, 2011. A lot of rejections filled that time. It was a time of honing my
craft, taking classes, going to conferences. And rewriting. And rewriting.
Was there a specific ‘what if’
moment to spark this story?
The Chronicles of Chanute
focuses on spinning tragedy into triumph, which is an evergreen and universal
phenomenon, I believe. The stories start in the post-Vietnam era, which will
always remain in my memory for several reasons. The other ‘what if’ moment
relates to the fact my mother wrote sweet, love stories in the 1930s with this
same setting (that ‘center of the universe’ in Tennessee where we both were
born). So it was fun to take off from this vantage point, too.
Do you have a full or part time
day job? If so, how do you balance your writing time with family and work?
“retired” but nearly as busy as when I worked, just don’t get paid! One would think it would be a cinch
compared to young motherhood and, while it isn’t as all-consuming, a balancing
act is still required. I volunteer at church, in the community, still do an
occasional day of paid work, and have a huge family, including a good husband,
to love and cherish. All of which takes considerable time.
usually in the mornings and whenever Conrad, my husband, is gone! Sometimes I
just quit and run those ‘errands’ with him.
Did anything unusual or funny
happen while researching or writing this book?
much unusual or funny, but I sure enjoyed visiting the setting in Tennessee and
meeting and befriending folks. I even lapsed into southern dialect at times! On
one visit, we tried to reach “Bald Rock” (a mountain in the story), but became so
concerned about our car getting stuck we abandoned the adventure.
Are you a plotter, a pantster,
or somewhere in between?
started out as a plotter and an outliner. I don’t have the oomph or daring to
be a pure pantster, so accept I am somewhere in between. My characters
sometimes take over
and give me word
upon word, which is pure joy for a writer. Once in a while, I must place them
back on the page where they belong and let them know I am the author.
Have you discovered some secret
that has helped your process for writing?
Ane, would that I had! I’d certainly share, but my notion is this is different
for each of us. The music I play, the little rubber frog (FROG=forever relying
on God) I keep close by, the candle I burn and the pin-covered baseball hat I
wear all help, but none are magic.
said, relationships with other writers help tremendously in our solitary world.
What are your thoughts on
best writing tools in our toolbox. The partnerships take time to develop, but
are worth the effort. I’ve also found it best to critique with writers of like
Do you ever pound your computer over
writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it?
figuratively! I let things ‘stew’ and do something else for a while. Or use
someone for a brainstorming session.
What’s the most difficult part
of writing for you?
creating conflict takes me the most time to thoroughly develop. I’m a pacifist
kind of gal (hangover from the 60s maybe) and I have a hard time taking my
beautiful characters through hardship. I also write women’s fiction, combined
with inspirational romance, where the journey traveled becomes a slower-moving conflict.
What’s your strength in writing?
contests entries, I’ve been told ‘voice’ and character development are
strengths. I feel that honing our craft is an ongoing process and all areas can
always be strengthened.
Did this book give you any
problems? If not, how did you avoid them?
first two novels have been eBooks, but will be in print next year. Marketing
has been more challenging than with a print book. Not everyone, especially
older readers, is on board with an electronic reader or even a computer. It has
taken more creativity, but has also been fun to be part of the cutting edge of
electronic publishing. Through Kindlegraph, eBooks can also be autographed.
Where do you write: In a cave, a
coffeehouse, or a cozy attic nook?
condo! We have a great room and this is where I write. At one end of our big,
dining table. I have an extra book table to my side, holding my most important
items. Everyone knows all the action happens in a great room and sometimes that
is distracting. The magical feature though is I look out patio doors at a
beautiful and secluded yard where woodland creatures, flowers, and tall cedars
speak to me.
really need a break or want to exercise, I take the nearby ‘river walk’ for a
time of regrouping.
What’s the best writing advice
only write, we must rewrite.
Do you have any parting words of
because you want to and know being published doesn’t necessarily validate you
as a writer. Know it takes discipline and perseverance to accomplish goals.
Nurtured in Purple, Book Two in The Chronicles of Chanute Crossing, continues the now-married love story of Seth Orbin and Kate Davidson of Joy Restored, Book One, but nemesis’ Willard Wittenberg and Elizabeth Koger come center stage still pursuing personal vendettas against Seth and Kate.
Seth again faces potential loss of wife and child with Kate’s life-threatening pregnancy complication, while Willard maneuvers to ruin Seth’s business. Willard and Elizabeth, once lovers, engage and marry, but her flame for Seth has never died. Married life proves ragged. Late-blooming love comes to Ninville Cornelius and Margie Craig and new characters of Ruby Moody, alcoholic wife of a deceased Vietnam vet, and her small son Bobo are introduced.
Can Seth and Kate, modeling God’s grace and forgiveness, bring hope and light to Willard and Elizabeth and Ruby and Bobo, all so needy of God’s redeeming love?