20 August 2010

Getting to Know you Thursdays with Bruce Judisch

Today we welcome Bruce Judisch to my blog. I meet him on one of the book forums for historical fiction readers and am happy to have him on my blog and get to know him more.

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

            I was born and raised in Canton, Ohio. I enlisted in the US Air Force in 1971 and retired in 1993. I now live in San Antonio, Texas as a transplanted Yankee. I married my high-school sweetheart, Jeannie, 38 years ago, and refuse to end the honeymoon. We have 3 children and 13 grandchildren. The names of all my grandchildren appear in my latest novel.

2. When you were a child did you have a favourite book or books?

            My favorite books as a child were “The Hardy Boys” series by FW Dixon—those and, of course, the usual assortment of comic books and Mad magazines no balanced child is without.

3. Do you have a favourite Genre to both read and right write?

            I love historical fiction, but I read and review other genres of Christian fiction as well on my blog, “It Is To Write.” Novels should teach as well as entertain. Historical novels provide a wonderful opportunity to do that.

4. Did you have favourite authors growing up who have influenced you?

            My interest in writing came late in life, at age 48, so the authors who have influenced me are not from my childhood. Current authors who have been an inspiration include Liz Curtis Higgs, Sibella Giorello, and Rene Gutteridge—mostly for their writing voices, styles and ability to develop and tell a great story.

5. When did you know you wanted to be an author?

            I didn’t know I wanted to be an author until I started writing. In fact, I still have a hard time thinking of myself as an author, because, in my mind, authors know what they’re doing. I think of myself more as a writer. It’s like the difference between being a student and being a scholar.

6. How did you go about becoming an author?

            I developed and teach a course through the Minor Prophets of the Old Testament. When I was researching Jonah ben Amittai, it struck me how unique he was, yet how little we knew about him, his motivation and his story as related in Scripture. I made the comment to my class, “If I were ever to write a novel, it would be about Jonah.” I had no intention of writing a novel; however, my wife, who was sitting in the class, elbowed me later that day and said, “Well...?” So I started punching keys on my laptop on an airplane returning from a business trip in the summer of 2002 on what became the prologue to Ben Amittai: First Call. Over the ensuing eight years, Ben Amittai became the prequel to a two-part series on Jonah, “A Prophet’s Tale.” Part 1, The Journey Begun, was released in 2009 by OakTara Publishing, and Part 2, The Word Fulfilled, came out this year.

7. If you were not a writer what would you like to be?

            I’m not a fulltime writer, so I’m already other things that I’d like to be. Life is good; I have no overriding ambition to be anything other than what I am: Christian, husband, father, grandfather and general nuisance to my co-workers. (Jenny here I have the general nuisance down pat!)

8. Outside reading and writing what do you like to do?

            I love to teach, camp in the rough, and play the guitar—mostly 12-string. Answering interview questions is also a hoot.

9. Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit?

            I lived in England, Germany and Greece during my military career. There is much more of Europe I would still like to see. Australia is also on the list, so I may drop in on you, Jenny. (Jenny here not a problem I see you like to camp rough! there isn't a spare room as such here but we would always find room for friends)

10. If you could have a meal with 3 living people who would you choose and why?

            Jesus Christ. It would be neat to say “thank you” across the table instead of saying grace before the meal. There would be no end to the conversation. And yes, I consider Him a living person. If He were not, I would have no desire for this meal.

            You. That would mean I’ve made it to Australia (see previous question). (that would be cool)

            Ramona Tucker, my editor. I owe her a Starbucks and I hate being in debt.

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.

            I’ve described “A Prophet’s Tale” above. My next novel, due out this fall, is entitled Katia and it’s based upon a scene I witnessed on 10 November 1989 in Berlin, Germany, at the fall of the Berlin Wall. If I may, I’ll insert a brief synopsis:

Spunky Madeline “Maddy” McAllister is a twenty-one year-old journalism major completing her year as an exchange student at the Freie Universtit├Ąt, in Berlin, Germany. She has a career to launch.
Stalwart Katia Mahler is a sixty year-old German invalid who grew up in post-World War II East Berlin. She has a story to tell.
Enigmatic Oskar Schultmann brings together the journalist and the storyteller. Maddy’s task: to chronicle Katia Mahler’s life.
All three of them discover more to Katia’s story than they bargained for.
Cultures and generations clash, as the young American and the German matron strive to understand each other’s present and past. Maddy learns more than a personal history; Katia receives more than a memoir. And always in the background is Oskar, who gets drawn into the story in ways he never intended.
Peek behind the Iron Curtain and over the Berlin Wall as Katia’s story—the story of a lost generation from a failed state—comes to life through the scribbled notes of a girl struggling to grasp the significance of what she has written for her own life as well as for future generations.
            Information on “A Prophet’s Tale” and Katia is on my Web site at www.brucejudisch.com. I also review Christian fiction as well as provide updates on my writing via my blog at www.brucejudisch.blogspot.com.


Sibella Giorello said...

Bruce is a great writer. Anyone looking for a thrilling historical should read his books. And he's also very funny!

Bruce Judisch said...

Thanks for the chance to appear on your blog, Jenny.

Oh, and I'm sure Sibella meant funny 'haha' and not funny 'peculiar.' I'm just sure that's what she meant...really...

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