Another Author of the Month at MyShelf.Com
Author of the Month
Judi Strider Fadeley[January 2004]
Chosen by Faith Smith, Reviewer for MyShelf.Com
Judi is a gifted author who has published one contemporary and several pieces of poetry. She is a native West Virginian who has earned advanced degrees in English, Library Science and Communications. I became acquainted with Ms. Strider when she became a member of a writing feedback board, I co-host. I have also had the pleasure of reading and doing a review of Hold On To My Heart, her first book, for another publication. Her zeal for helping others does not exceed her wonderful and innovative talent.
Faith: Please tell
us a bit about yourself.
Faith: Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Judi: I am a native of West Virginia and have been teaching for over 24 years. I live with my supportive husband. I have been writing since I was 12 but was not published until July of 2002 with my mainstream contemporary, Hold On to My Heart, a romantic suspense set in WV and Hawaii.
Faith: Oh that is wonderful. What did you write at the age of twelve and did you submit?
Judi: I wrote a 'fairy tale' about how Mother Goose came to be. It is called The Magic Cup. I have yet to submit it anywhere, but somewhere in the future I would like to do that. The strange part about it is that it is only 5 pages long. So much different from the historical I am working on now which is over 400 pages.
Faith: I bet it would make a wonderful children's book. Please tell us about your historical.
Judi: The manuscript, I am working on now is the first part of a medieval historical about the Rothirforde family. The hero is a widower who is in need of a caretaker for his one year old daughter. Unbeknownst to him, his brother has found someone, but it is the daughter of his English enemy.
Faith: Oh wow, that is conflict right off, please tell us more.
Judi: They work together for the daughter's care, but many trials test their relationship.
Faith: What makes your historical different than your run of the mill historicals? Do you have a key formula?
Judi: All romances have a certain formula.
Faith: but yours is a bit different, can you expand on that?
Judi: The Rothirforde family in my historical is based on my husband's family name. Many of the characters mentioned were real people in history who fought with William Wallace and Robert Bruce for the independence of Scotland.
Faith: Now that is interesting. You could actually say you are knowledgeable with the times back then.
Judi: I hope so, although I have had to do much research on that time period.
Faith: Can you tell us why you chose the genre you write now? I know that your first book was a contemporary, which by the way was a wonderful book.
Judi: I love this time period. I was influenced by so many great writers like Jude Devereaux, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Catherine Coulter, and Johanna Lindsey, to name a few.
Faith: all worthy and highly entertaining authors, some of my favs by the way. So do you just write by the seat of your pants or do you use an outline. Also, do you ever act out your characters?
Judi: I may be one of the few, but I use an outline. With all the different twists and turns in my novels, I don't think I could write by the seat of my pants. Any evil doings by my antagonist must be carefully plotted and clues planted throughout the story, I don't think it would work out for me any other way. And no, I have never acted out my characters. I try to see everything in my mind.
Faith: I like the idea of an outline myself. I use them in my own work. Do you have any props you might use and do your characters talk to you?
Judi: I have a few swords if I would need to act out a fight scene, and I'm sure my husband would be glad to spar with me. As for characters 'talking' to me, I guess the closest I come to that is when ideas invade my imagination until I write them down. Maybe they are character inspired. But to write, the author must be the characters to get into their heads.
Faith: How do you set the scene for love scenes?
Judi: I don't know how I set the scene for love scenes. I just write them. I try not to make them too vulgar that would offend most readers.
Faith: Well, since I have been privileged to read some of your love scenes, I have to tell you they are hot but in very good taste. Never vulgar. Do you have plans for a sequel or a series based on your first Highland novel?
Judi: Yes, Aidan's Chance has a sequel called Kylee's Revenge. Aidan's young daughter has grown up and now must fight her own battles and find her own true love, although she feels she is NOT the marrying kind.
Faith: sounds great, why is she not the marrying kind? Is there something about her that makes her a bit different than the heroine in the first one?
Judi: She is a woman ahead of her times. She would rather fight for Scotland's independence than sit at home and learn to do needlework. Although the heroine in the first novel has a temper, Kylee has an attitude to go along with that temper
Faith: Wow, I will look forward to reading it!How do you manage to find the time to write? I believe you work out of your home also.
Judi: I work whenever I can. Usually it is not in a block of time, maybe 20 minutes here when dinner is cooking or 30 minutes there as my husband watches tv.
Faith: What type of research techniques do you use?
Judi: I do most of my research on the internet, but have a college library within 3 miles of my house, which has a wide variety of books on historical subjects.
One has to be careful with the internet. Not all of the information is accurate. It is best to work with people you know. I have the two best critique partners who will catch many of my errors and one who has direct contact with the Society of Creative Anachronism, and she has gladly supplied me with much information.
Faith: that is great, I know from experience that critique partners are most important, and I am blessed with two that are totally awesome in keeping me straight. I believe you are also an English teacher and a librarian. Does that play a part in your writing as well?
Judi: Being an English teacher plays a big part. I know that at least the grammar and sentence style and structure are usually okay.
Faith: What tips would you give new writers struggling to get a toehold in the literary world?
Judi: The best advice I can give new writers is to keep writing, but also read. Know in what genre you want to write and read as many books from that era that she can. But don't emulate those writers. Find your own style. Join a critique group and the RWA, both are very supportive of new writers.
Faith: Thank you that is very sound advice. Now anything you would like to say to readers and your fans?
Judi: That if they enjoy my work, they can contact me at www.authorsden.com/judilstrider I'd be glad to answer any of their questions.
Faith: I want to thank you for taking the time our of your busy schedule to do this interview for MYSHELF.COM
Judi: You are so very welcome. I have enjoyed it. And thank you for choosing me to include at MyShelf.com.
2004's Honorary List