Category: A Writier’s Life

Judy’s answers to the 20 questions survey

 

Here, as promised, here are my answers to the 20 Questions Survey:

Can you see me in this picture?

1/ Where do you live? On Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

2/ Which social media platform do you use most often? facebook and pinterest

3/ What is your age range? 50 – 65

4/ What are your two favourite drinks? coffee and red wine

5/ What makes an evening special for you?  Getting together with one of my groups of women friends, the book club or the painters group or some old friends, for wine and food and talk at someone’s house.

6/ I am married.

7/ How do you feel about children? Have some (2, a boy/man and a girl/woman, whom I love.)

8/ I live in the country near an in-between sized town.

9/ What do you like to do with your women friends? See question 5.

10/ All time best gift from a man? I usually either get nothing at all or an amazing gift. LOL Once, my husband bought me a huge, gorgeous pair of antique Russian Amber earrings he bought at auction. Almost too big to wear! (They are pears.)

11/ What was your favorite book you read last year? Hard to say. Maybe A Discover of Witches, by Deborah Harkness, a romance of sorts.  (I’m looking forward to my trip to England this summer when I’ll read the second book in the series and visit some of the locations, like Oxford.)

12/ Do you buy books of  – any price

13/ Do you work outside the home? Early on, I did too many jobs to list, but particularly liked working in the library. Since then, I have worked with my husband on our small business at home, which gave me the opportunity to write.

14/ What part sticks in your mind. Various parts. The darkroom seduction in Summer of Fortune, the dancing on the dock in Lake of Dreams, Augusta’s interference in The Good Neighbor, when Blue thinks, “I built it for you,” in Home for  Christmas.

My big backyard.

15/ Favorite Fortune Bay character or couple? The one I’m writing now!

16/ What are your hobbies?  I do a lot of photography, particularly  when I’m travelling, biking on the local section of the Trans-Canada Trail, puttering in my (too-large but lovely) garden.

17/ What other small town authors do you read? Lots of them! I’m always reading a new one, but I particularly like Kristan Higgins and Susan Wiggs.

18/ What do you enjoy reading in an author newsletter? I like to see links to lifestyle blogs and of course new books.

19/  What TV shows are you watching this year? Always The  Voice! My one reality show. Currently I’m watching Bull, Madam Secretary and Elementary, as well as Halt and Catch Fire and The Crown on netflix.

20/ My email address. Judy@JudithHudsonAuthor.com I always love hearing from readers!

It’s been lovely getting to know you through the survey. If you want to receive email notice of new web posts, just click HERE.

 

Judy

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Join the party, take the survey, enter the contest

It’s that easy.

I write about my life in my books, on my blog and facebook page, and in my newsletter. Now I want to get to know you, my readers, better!

So, Come to my facebook party!

(Not on facebook? See below for how to enter the draw for the books.)

On Thursday June 7th I’ll be posting and chatting with readers for an hour from 10 – 11 am PDT (1 – 2 am EDT) and again at 6 – 7 pm PDT (9 – 10 pm EDT), but you can drop in any time Thursday June 7th and add your comments to have your name entered in draws for:

  • 1 autographed bundle of all 4  Fortune Bay paperbacks
  • 5 draws for autographed single books
  • and the 10 ebooks I’ll be giving away to participants.

Not on facebook?

You can also participate by answering some or all of the 20 Questions Survey any time before midnight, June 7.

You can find the survey at –

https://goo.gl/forms/Y0KIPT3V6prU0y2n1

I’ll be answering all the survey question too, here on my blog on June  4. Watch for it.

I’m so happy for this chance to get to know my newsletter readers better! This information will not be shared, but will help me figure out who my friends and readers are, what they like to read and how to keep them happy!
You don’t have to answer all the questions, just what information you are comfortable sharing.
To enter the draw for all of the prizes listed above, enter your email address in question #20 (not required.) I only ask for your email address on the survey to enter you in the draw of an autographed set of all 4  Fortune Bay books. 🙂

Or do both –

Come to the party – take the  survey – and you’ll automatically be entered in the draws for the prizes.

Hope you can make it. It’s going to be fun.

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What covers reveal – and a cover reveal

Exciting news! I’ve received the cover from my designer for my current novella, Family Matters, a sequel to The Good Neighbor and Home for Christmas.

I’ll let you in on a secret—my designer is my daughter, Rosey Hudson.  Feel lucky to have such a talented graphic The Good Neighbor book coverartist for a daughter because it allows me to maintain a lot of control over the look of my covers, as well as getting her invaluable feedback.

And don’t forget The Good Neighbor is still 99¢ – until the end of February.

If you already have a copy of The Good Neighbor, make sure the Automatic Book Updates for your kindle are turned on. (See how HERE.). I’ve made a few small changes, a few—ahem—typos and commas that I just couldn’t stand for and I want everyone to get them.

I’m not planning to release Family Matters for quite a few months, but I’ll be sending free Advanced Reader Copies to everyone who lets me know they’ve reviewed The Good Neighbor on Amazon or GoodReads. Just email me at judy@judithhudsonauthor.com .

I have definite ideas about what I want my on my covers . If you’ve read my books you’ll know that I don’t write a lot of graphic sex, and I didn’t want my covers to promise something the books didn’t deliver. (No naked male torsos on the covers, although there are a few shirtless firemen scenes.)

Seriously though, I feel the cover is a contract between me and my readers, and to me these books are first and foremost a story about a woman. Sure, she has people in her life and one of them is probably a man who (spoiler alert!) she falls in love with, but I feel like the stories are more than just the love story. (And yes, a few of the men’s struggles have featured strongly too.)

Right now, I’m reading a book that really spelled out my feelings about the value of romance books, Cleaning Nabokov’s House, by Leslie Daniels. The quirky protagonist Barb thinks she’s found an unpublished novel by the late Vladimir Nabokov and so acquires an agent to try to sell it. The agent gives her a stack of romance novels and suggests, with her journalism background, that she try writing one. So Barb settles down to read them.

She says in the quote in my opening:

“I read the romances. They played me as if I were a piano, my grandmother’s black baby grand. I could feel it happening, like a drug taking effect. The drug was tenderness. It didn’t come from the sex scenes but from right before, right after. The narcotic was not lust but the tenderness between people, the love in spite of their unlovableness.”

That’s what I want people to feel when they read my books, that inspite of our unlovableness, there’s someone out there that can love each one of us.

Now, I can relate to this protagonist because I didn’t read a romance novel until I was in my mid-thirties. My mother didn’t read them and I didn’t have an aunt who passed them on to me. I read mysteries. Then I stumbled on a Norah Roberts book (Tears of the Moon, the Irish Jewels Trilogy) at the library and Oh my God!

I’d never heard of Dame Norah (I know – deprived!) and gobbled up every book I could get my hands on. I tried other authors, enjoyed some, was disappointed with others, so when I read Barb’s comments on romance today in the Nabokov book, it struck a chord.

Barb also goes on to say, “Lust is like a robin attacking his reflection in a pane of glass again and again.” I don’t think I’d go quite that far. (grin)

Thanks for reading Fortune Bay books.

Judy

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Have a Ferry Merry Christmas

I wrote this post a few years ago, but it seemed apropos again this year.

Merry Christmas to all and I wish you a happy New Year.

One snowy night before Christmas, I waited with an expectant crowd in the parking lot of the Nanaimo ferry terminal on eastern Vancouver Island. The crowd was buzzing with excitement. An entire family in Santa hats arrived, adding to the festive air.

Lights spilled out the open terminal doorways highlighting the falling snow. We don’t usually get snow on Vancouver Island, maybe a couple of days each winter, but in this particular Christmas season we, like most of Canada, had been battered by wave after wave of snowstorms.

Taking ferries to and from the mainland is a fact of life for islanders everywhere. As I waited in the dark parking lot for my daughter, I thought back to the first time I spotted her, blurry through my tears, among the hundreds of students pouring out into the parking lot on her first Thanksgiving weekend home from university. Now, years later, she lives in Vancouver and once again the ferry was bringing her home for the holidays.

But what about my husband? I’d taken him to the tiny Nanaimo Airport two weeks before in the middle of our first, blinding snowstorm to catch a flight east to attend a family emergency. When we got to the airport we discovered nothing was flying out that day – but if he could get the ferry to Vancouver,  he might still catch his connecting flight. In almost white-out conditions, we made a run for the ferry and he did just make his flight that day.

Now, two weeks later, as I slogged through the snow to pick up my daughter, I wondered if he’d get home the following night in time for Christmas. My trusty Rav 4 made it to the ferry, the windshield wipers barely clearing the window before the sticky snow covered it again, the headlights showing only the swirling snow ahead.

My daughter and I stopped at the airport on our drive home to see what the chances were of my husband’s flight making it in the next night, Christmas Eve.

Apparently zero to none.

In the empty, echoing airport, we heard an attendant tell a traveler that the bags he’d last seen two days before in Vancouver might be in the truck of lost luggage that had just rolled off the ferry. And that they might get the trucks unpacked in the next few days.

“But tomorrow is Christmas eve,” he wailed. “All of our presents are in those bags.”

“Sorry,” the attendant said.

Although we here on the coast love to complain about holiday ferry sailing waits, the fact remains that, barring gale force winds, the ferries will make it through. They’re our stalwart link to the mainland and, for me, on this unusually snowy Christmas, the ghostly white ship was the envoy responsible for pulling our family together.

It kept on snowing right through Christmas Eve, but finally, at noon on Christmas day, my husband made it home, with his bags, on the ferry.

It’s the same story for families up and down the coast, from Saltspring to the Queen Charlotte Islands. In good times and bad, and when all else fails, we count on the ferries to keep our families together.

 

I hope you made it together with you and yours this Christmas.

See you in the new year.

Judy's signature

 

 

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Is it Romance or Women’s Fiction?

Romance and Women’s Fiction are genre classifications that matter to publishers and book marketers, but if you ask most readers and many writers to explain the difference, they will look at you in confusion.

The difference confused me for years too, and the only reason I’m bringing it up at all is that I just saw a multi-book giveaway that was called Women’s Fiction, but many of the covers looked like Romance to me. I think it doesn’t matter what you call it, as long as the reader can get a good idea from the cover what kind of story s/he’s getting.

To me, the difference between the two genres has to do with what writers call the main character’s story arc – from low to high, lonely to happy, unfulfilled to fulfilled, confused to working [something] out. In a longer book, there can be more than one arc, and Women’s Fiction (when using the phrase to specify a genre, I’ll capitalize it) are often longer books with more complicated plots. And they often have a significant romance plot, although not always – think Jodi Picoult.

wf-arc

But to qualify in the publishing industry as Women’s Fiction, the [something] the main character is struggling with has to be the main story line, starting on page one and ending on the last page, and the romance and other sub-plots are shorter.

In a Romance, the the romance plot line should be front and centre, almost on the first page,

romance-arc

definitely in the first chapter.  Other plots are definite subplots. shorter and less intense.

I call my books romantic women’s fiction because like a lot of other authors, the stories fall somewhere in-between. The issues usually involve family, alcoholic parents, lost pregnancy, and they are the stumbling blocks that the characters have to overcome before they can accept the happily-ever-after that’s staring them in the face.

Kind of like the struggles many of us have faced. Kind of a lot like life.

Thanks for reading Fortune Bay.

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