I met author Jude Johnson as a result of our collaboration on Seven Dress Sizes. Over the course of the past year, I’ve learned that not only is she a talented author, but she’s a hoot with a wicked sense of humor. . I present Jude, please give her a warm welcome.
Jude, tell us a little about yourself, how long have you been writing and how did you get started?
I’ve always written, just never shared with anyone until 2002 when a group of friends encouraged me (actually, they double-dog dared me!) to write a novel. I independently published my first, Dragon & Hawk — about a Welsh immigrant who falls for a Mexican healer in 1880s Arizona — and when it did pretty well, I expanded the story into a trilogy. It was quite exciting to have the series picked up by Canadian publisher Champagne Book Group and re-published.
What types of stories do you write?
I love history and the interpersonal relationships that made little events into big deals, so my favorite storytelling involves historical fiction, adventure, and romance woven into a tapestry. I can get a little steamy, and I like to challenge myself with short stories because they’re so hard to get beginning, middle, and end in less than 5000 words.
What’s your favorite story you’ve written?
Wow, that’s like asking, “Who’s your favorite child?” The first is always a labor of love and determination but the latest project is always fresh in your mind. Dian Monroe’s story of being a size twenty in a size zero culture in Seven Dress Sizes is one I’m very proud to have written. I’ve had a few people tell me it brought them close to tears, so I’m glad I managed to evoke strong emotions.
And in a similar vein, who’s your fav story or character in all of literary history?
Boy, you really like to make me pull a Sophie’s Choice, don’t you? I guess the Hornblower series by C.S. Forester ekes it out on top (Horatio is such a self-doubting reluctant hero), but I also love Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Master and Commander, and the Temeraire series as well.
“The Well-Rounded Woman” tells Dian Monroe’s tale of what it’s like to grow up as a Fat Girl–not only in school but as the only large person in her immediate family. How hard it is to feel accepted and fit in, how she has so much inner strength that she undervalues, and how she blossoms into her own when she gains the confidence to be herself. Based on personal experience, it was quite difficult to write at times, but I wanted other women–and especially young girls–to see there is far more to living a joyful life than fitting into a certain number.
What’s next for you? What are you working on now?
I have a contemporary romance trilogy of novellas involving ballroom dancing coming out from Champagne Books, starting in September 2013 with A Dangerous Dance, then A Wicked Waltz and A Torrid Tango. Works in progress at the moment are a children’s book about a dyslexic dragon and the little girl who helps him, and –ooh, drum roll–I just finished research in Boston for a Revolutionary War novel about a fellow who jumps ship during the Boston Tea Party. Based on a true story, you won’t know if he’s a patriot or a Loyalist spy until the end…maybe!
Thanks for visiting with me today Jude and telling us a little a more about yourself. Before you leave, can you tell us where we can find you next?
I’m speaking to a local Rotary group May 23, then laying low during the summer heat to work on my projects. I’ll have an update on my website once I start lining up events for the fall.
Ok readers, Jude has hinted that she has a goodie for a lucky commentor, so ask Jude anything about her latest release, Seven Dress Sizes, her writing, or leave a general comment. Good luck!