Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Hello, everyone! My name is Judy Howard. I am a young 71 years old. I call Sun City, Arizona my home although I live full time in my motor home now. So, my address is where I park it.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Springfield, Illinois where many of my stories take place.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I attended University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana . Two years ago I reunited with my daughter whom I had been estranged from for sixteen years. We found each other the day after my sister passed away. Now I have a wonderful daughter whom I couldn’t be more proud, a granddaughter and two great grandsons. I also am blessed with the love of my late husband’s granddaughter and her huge, crazy and amazing family.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news
My latest news? I just sold all of my 70 years of belongings except for what I could cram in my motorhome and rented my house out and went full time living in my motorhome.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing in 2010 only because I thought it would be fun. But I rarely do anything half way. I’m a let her rip, give it all you got kind of gal. I have five books out with two more coming out in 2018.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After my second book, GOING HOME WITH A CAT AND A GHOST. My first book , COAST TO COAST WITH A CAT AND A GHOST, was a memoir but I shrugged off the accomplishment , because I figured anyone can write their own story. But I wondered if I could make something up? So, I wrote, a mystery romance, GOING HOME WITH A CAT AND A GHOST. It was fun to write and it convinced me I was on my way down the writing path. I wanted to write about serious issues an tackled a story about a dog named Masada who became a service dog for a veteran with PTSD. MASADA’S MARINE
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
It was a trick of the universe. I took a writing class and became addicted to writing , now I am addicted to writing.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I won’t say I was lucky. I don’t believe in luck. Everything happens as it should and at exactly at the right time. There are no mistakes. In that very first writing class a member named Denver Howard ( no relation) suggested “ How about , COAST TO COAST WITH A CAT AND A GHOST?” I knew that was it! The book has been my best seller I am sure for one reason because of the title.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging? My books always seem to carry a them about overcoming obstacles, believing in second chances and rising above diversity.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
One of the rules of writing is “Write what you know.” So, maybe a lot, but I will never tell!
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel?
Before or during the process? I have to travel because it is inspiring, exciting and challenging. The experiences fstir my creative juices.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I designed the last two books, MASADA’S MISSION and ACTIVATE LION MODE.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My message is that if we keep on keeping on, the rewards are more than You can ever imagine.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
There are so many new writers I would hate to slight others by only mentioning one.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
If I had to mention one person it would be Jim Hitt and the many great writers in his writers critique group, all who nursed me along. I owe him so much to Jim. My good friend, Vickie Andreotti , saw something in me from the beginning. She believed in me, and in turn I was able to trust that I was on the right path for me.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. It is my career.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I rarely have regrets. I always do the best I can. Of course my first book, if I wrote it today , there would be many changes. But I try to be focused on the now …not the past.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
My biggest fear is writing the same book twice. I am always studying the craft of writing . So I am always learning to be better than I was yesterday.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Oh My!! So much to know.
The basic key to writing is just do the work. Get up, pour a cup of coffee and go to work. Everyday.
Doubt if you must, but do the work. And suffer if you must, and you will, but out of all of that suffering and doubt know that your words will inspire others, because no will say it like you. Your passion is unique and contagious.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished a novel, “Our Souls At Night “ by Kent Haruf. I am always reading books on the craft . One of my favorite authors is K M. Weiland . I’m reading , “Outlining Your Novel,” and “Creating Character Arcs.”
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Not sure but probably , The “Black Stallion.” I was crazy about horses.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I want to meet Steve Harvey. I love his positivity. He “Sees” people and their struggles. He shines like a bright light. And all of that makes people believe in themselves. Meeting him is on my bucket list.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Traveling and sightseeing. An artist friend of mine, Suzi Marquez Long , who lives in the water tower in Mendocino, California gave me a lesson on painting with watercolor and a small watercolor painting kit. I love it !when I need a break from writing I sit in the grass at one of the many beautiful vistas I have discovered and paint. The hobby takes me away!
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Bull, Blue Bloods, Grace and Frankie, Pretty Woman, K-9 Cop, …..and many more.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Mexican , blue, Country
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
The link above will take you to my blog, The WritngsOf A Wandering Widow and Sportster’s blog, The Cat’s Perspective On Writing, Reading And Life