19 February 2010

Getting to Know you Thursday with Judy Christie

Please welcome Judy Christie to Getting to know you Thursdays. Its been good getting to know Judy more.

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I'm a new novelist who committed at age 50 to write the story that I'd been thinking about for 10 or 20 years.  I'm a former newspaper reporter and editor who grew up in the Southern U.S. and loves the quirks (and food!) of that region. The first newspaper I ever edited was The Barret Banner in elementary school, and I grew up to edit my hometown paper. I've had lunch at the White House, seen John Glen go back into space and gotten a black eye playing miniature golf. I like to have fun and think we all should slow down and enjoy life more. I  enjoy hearing from readers, and my website is www.judychristie.com.

2. When you were a child did you have a favourite book or books?
Oh my! I loved "The Boxcar Children" series and a book called "Me and Caleb." I checked out all the biographies for children in my neighborhood library. The first place I ever drove when I got my  drivers license as a teenager was the public library.

3. Do you have a favourite Genre to both read and right write? 
 I'm have such a great time writing fiction. Making up characters and watching what happens to them is such a hoot!   I love to read contemporary fiction. I read a bit of everything -- including lots of books on how to write.

4. Did you have favourite authors growing up who have influenced you?
Growing up, I think I was more focused on the story than the author, but I did come to love southern authors. Among the first authors I can recall who "influenced" me were Carson McCullers ("The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" and "Member of the Wedding" are awesome) and Eudora Welty (just thinking about "Why I Live at the P.O." makes me smile.). These writers made me long to be a great Southern novelist.

5. When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I knew from the time I was about age nine that I had to put words on paper. I started keeping a journal then and still have all of them. I have always loved reading and writing. I started -- but never finished -- my first novel when I was about 11.

6. How did you go about becoming an author?
As a journalist for many years, I learned about writing and editing from newspapers. Ideas for books starting coming into my mind, and I began to keep notes. I carry a notebook with me everywhere and am always jotting down ideas. My road to getting published started with a nonfiction book about my own journey to slow down and enjoy life more. That started my nonfiction "Hurry Less Worry Less" series. I was greatly blessed when my pastor read the manuscript, liked it and brought it to the attention of Abingdon Press.  What a great surprise when I wrote my first novel just as Abingdon decided to launch a fiction line -- and chose "Gone to Green" to be part of that endeavor. I very much enjoy working with the Abingdon fiction and nonfiction teams.

7. If you were not a writer what would you like to be?
I'd own a cozy antiques shop that also sold books. I'd sit around and drink coffee with customers and talk about books, travel and great meals.

8. Outside reading and writing what do you like to do?
I love to go to flea markets and look for primitive antiques, walk in the park and sit in the porch swing. My husband and enjoy movies of all sorts and eating great food. I have a great family and lots of fun friends who I spend time with -- including getting together once a year with a group of fantastic college friends and visiting with a group of  girlfriends from elementary school.

9. Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit?
My husband and I have such a great time traveling together, and we would like to go everywhere!  High on our list of to-go places are Australia  (!!), Ireland and Tonga. One of our favorite spots is Nova Scotia, and we love the state of Maine. (I'd like to write novels set in both of those places.) One of our challenges is choosing between returning to places we love or trying new spots.

10. If you could have a meal with 3 living people who would you choose and why?
I had such a great time with this question.  I thought of many people I'd love to sit down and break bread with. My list:

Bruce Springsteen because I love his music and think he'd be a fun person to visit with. His concert at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival after Hurricane Katrina was the best concert I've ever been to -- very moving and very fun.

    President Barack Obama because he has one of the most powerful and difficult jobs in the world and still seems to have a good time with his wife and daughters and because he will always have a special place in history as the first African-American president of the U.S.

Southern author Sue Monk Kidd because I loved "The Secret Life of Bees" and would love to hear about her writing journey.

11. Finally can you tell us about your current books and/or any that will be coming out soon. Also where we can find you on the web.
"Gone to Green" is my debut novel, released in Fall 2009. It is about an ambitious big-city journalist, Lois Barker, who winds up running a tiny newspaper in the town of Green, La.  Lois changes the town, and the town changes her.  This is the first in a series of books about Green, part of the launch of the inspirational fiction line from Abingdon Press. "Goodness Gracious Green" will be released in Fall 2010, and "Green Through and Through" in Spring 2011.  I am crazy about these characters and the fictional town of Green and hope readers will have a great time going to Green.

I also have a series of nonfiction books called "Hurry Less Worry Less," encouraging people to slow down and enjoy each day more.  "Hurry Less Worry Less at Work" was released in Fall 2009, and "Hurry Less Worry Less For Families" will be out in Spring 2010.  These books are also published by Abingdon Press.


Wyn said...

Very interesting, thanks for the reminder

patti said...

Jenny, always love your blog! I am so excited about this series! Like Judy, I loved "The Secret Life of Bees."

Julie J. said...

What a great interview Jenny! I've not heard of Judy before so it's great to "meet" a new-to-me author!

Anonymous said...

Jenny, so happy you have discovered my dear friend Judy and her wonderful book Gone to Green. I love your blog because through my 30-year friendship with Judy I have now made the discovery of a wonderful new author - you!

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