Name Judith Keim
Where are you from –
I grew up in Elmira, New York, a small town in the upstate area with my parents and a brother and sister. Books were a big part of our lives and obviously still are.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc.
My husband’s work had us moving around quite a bit. I presently live in Boise, Idaho with my husband and our long-haired dachshund, Winston. We moved here from Florida to be with family. It’s a big change in lifestyle, but we love it.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I put out my first women’s fiction novel in February 2015. To date, I have seven novels out, with more on the way. Five of them were already written before being available on Amazon and other sites, but because readers keep asking for more, I’m working hard to put out more books. The Hartwell Women Trilogy is now 4 books and I’ve planned two more for that series. I’m presently working on Sassy Saturdays, a follow-up to Fat Fridays and early next year I’ll begin work on Lunch at the Beach House Hotel, a follow-up to Breakfast at the Beach House Hotel. I’m so grateful that readers are loving my stories and keep asking for more, but it does keep busy!! Love my readers!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I think I’ve always written – little stories as a young girl and then throughout school and then about twenty some years ago, I began writing seriously – both children’s stories and women’s fiction.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably not until I joined RWA and began learning the business as well as the craft of writing.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve got a gajillion stories in my head…
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I wish I was a plotter but I’m not. So my writing style is to have a general idea of where I’m going, what the basis of the story will be, and go from there.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I love coming up with Titles. In the Hartwell Women Series – The Talking Tree came to me early on. Then I loved the idea of Sweet Talk (which is also a chocolate and wine bar), Straight Talk (fits Samantha and her consulting business). Baby Talk was appropriate for Marissa’s story and now I have in mind two more books for that series – Crazy Talk and Tough Talk.
Breakfast at the Beach House Hotel is a book I wrote several years ago. I still love it and the title.
Fat Fridays is such fun. Five women meet for lunch on Fridays—no calories counted.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novels that you want readers to grasp?
While there are no overt messages in most of my novels, I think the stories contain enough realism about different life situations that readers can relate to the characters and find their own message through them.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?
I think I write pretty honest, realistic characters. Breakfast at the Beach House Hotel probably takes the most liberty with that. My husband’s career has always been in the hotel industry and it’s a tough business.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Baby Talk is definitely connected to my volunteer service as a judge on a Foster Care review panel. When those thoughts and memories kept coming back to me, I knew what Marissa’s journey would be.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Growing up, I read a lot of books. I remember sitting on my family’s front porch years ago reading Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton and feeling as if my whole word had opened up. I’d never been to such a country and I learned so much from reading about it. Looking back, I think what impressed me most about that book was realizing the power of any book that takes you to different places and prompts you to see the world and yourself differently.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m not because I’m writing one! LOL
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
It’s amazing to me that there are so many new good books and new authors out there. My TBR pile is staggering.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I hope to have the first draft of Sassy Saturdays done by year-end.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Romance Writers of America (RWA) has most definitely made a huge difference in learning the craft and business of writing. It’s members, me included, support and encourage others, no matter what their level of writing is. It’s very rare to have that kind of unconditional support but it exists.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
It’s more than a full-time job, but I love it!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No book is ever perfect, so I’m learning not to even think along these lines.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I’ve always been interested in reading and writing. My mother was an avid reader.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure. Here’s the first two pages of SASSY SATURDAYS, the book I’m working on now:
Who knew a pregnant torch singer would be in such demand?
Standing behind the stage curtain, Tiffany Wright hoped she could get in a couple more Saturday night performances before her baby girl arrived. Then she could get on with her life, away from the monster who’d once been the sweet young guy she’d married.
Her thoughts drifted to Beau. Coming from a wealthy, well-known family, his childhood had been anything but normal. He’d been spoiled, then reprimanded unreasonably for not behaving the way his parents thought suitable for someone of his background.
Beau had once told her it made him angry that he could never satisfy his parents. When they continued to eat away at the very same self-confidence she encouraged in him, his frustration grew. Then, when things began to fall apart for him at work, he started using drugs. His anger at her and everyone exploded. At that point, Tiffany decided she wasn’t going to be the one he abused.
As she recalled those horrible times, she paced the small backstage area of The Glass Slipper, a newly-opened, upscale lounge in the town of Williston, Georgia, outside of Atlanta.
Ignoring the chatter of customers and the clinking sound of glasses, Tiffany cradled her stomach. She knew she’d never have had the courage to leave Beau if it hadn’t been for the women in the Fat Fridays group. They met every Friday for lunch—no calories counted, and though they were of different ages and backgrounds, they’d become best friends. The friendship of the women meant so much more to her than having fun lunches. It provided the opportunity to support each other as they faced their individual problems.
She took a peek at them, sitting in the audience, waiting for the show to begin. They were gathered at one of the round tables, and they were laughing–probably over one of Betsy Wilson’s silly sayings.
Filled with affection, Tiffany studied the group. Betsy was the oldest member and the one who’d brought them all together. Karen McEvoy, her partner, was a computer geek and sweet as pie, as Carol Ann would say. Taking a sip of white wine, Carol Ann Mobley was two years older than Tiffany. At just thirty, Carol Ann had a lot to learn about men. Beside her, recovering from a tragic shooting, Grace Jamison sat watching the empty stage, her arm in a cast. Tiffany’s gaze rested on Sukie Skidmore, her favorite. A new young grandmother in her mid-forties, Sukie was, in many ways, the leader of the group. She’d recently landed the hottest guy in town, six years her junior. Tiffany couldn’t help smiling at the whole romantic idea.
“Ready to go?” asked Sly Malone, coming up behind her. He was the manager of the Glass Slipper, and if Tiffany wasn’t mistaken, he was a little bit in love with her.
She gave him a thumbs-up. She was as ready as she’d ever be. Tucking her long blond hair behind her ears, she grabbed the portable mic and walked out onto the stage. Sassy Saturdays is what she called these nights.
The crowd quieted and waited for her to begin.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Those sagging middles are hard to overcome but when I can see the end, it begins to come together.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
There are too many favorite authors name, but in any book I like a connection to the main characters and a satisfying end.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I’d love to be able to do that. We’re returning to Florida for a visit and I’ll use some of that time to research information for the next Beach House Hotel book.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Be willing to work hard to make you book the best that it can be. When someone offers suggestions to a work in progress, listen and take a second look. And never give up, even when you don’t think you’re going to succeed. Keep writing and keep learning because your day will come!
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Yes! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your enthusiasm! You cannot know what it means to me. I’m working hard to respond to your requests for more books.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
A Dick and Jane early reading book.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
A lot of things–I love a good laugh and I’ve become very sentimental.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Gone into Family Law…
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Here are my links: