Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Spotlight: Judy Nickles

Today, we have author Judy Nickles visiting Just Write!  And because she was my very first Follower, I thought it apropos that she should be my first Guest Blogger. Judy has two books coming out in June 2010 from The Wild Rose Press.
Welcome, Judy.  Let's begin . . .

AM:   What kind of stories/books do you write?
Judy:  According to my mother, I was born 100 years too late. I love anything historical, but the Depression Era and World War II are my favorite periods to write about. However, I do have some contemporary ideas “in the works”.

AM:   How long have you been writing?
Judy:   Was I born with a #2 pencil in my fat little fist? Maybe. The Big Chief writing tablet became my best friend in grade school. After that, I moved on to hunt-and-peck on my father’s ancient upright Underwood. When I was 14, “Santa” brought me my very own Remington Quietwriter. It made a trip across the Atlantic and back again before finally giving up the ghost. Two electrics, a word processor, and two computers followed. In short, I’m not sure when I didn’t write!

AM:  How long have you been writing and seriously pursuing publication?
Judy:  In 2007, I retired from teaching and determined to learn something about the business of getting published. I still have a lot to learn, but I’m getting there.

AM:  How many manuscripts did you complete before you sold?
Judy:  I wrote a couple of really bad novels that have gone to their reward (or not) in the trash and a couple of pretty-good ones for which I’m still looking for the right home.

AM:   Please tell us about receiving “The Call”—
Judy:  Discovering The Wild Rose Press has been a special blessing. They rejected the first novel I sent them—but the editor who reviewed it took great pains to explain that it was rejected because it didn’t fit TWRP’s standard of a romance—that it was a family saga. She encouraged me to send it to publishers who dealt with that genre and also to submit to TWRP again.  So I did, to the Vintage Rose line, and that manuscript plus a sequel were accepted and will be released within a week of each other in June.

AM:  To expand on your "Call Story"-- I'm assuming you got "The Email."  What did you do when you read it?  Scream?  Faint?
Judy:  Actually, I think I just smiled broadly. I screamed and shrieked when I won the editor's choice award for "A Very Kate Christmas" which was published in an anthology. In fact, I squealed so loudly and so long that the dog came into the study to see what was wrong with Mommy! But no, I think I just sat and smiled about the email from TWRP.

AM:   How did you feel when you found out you sold?
Judy:   I felt very gratified--and also wished that my mother had lived to see the day. She would have been very pleased and proud. (She died of breast cancer in 2003.)

AM:  Who was the first person you told?
Judy:   No idea--probably the house elf when she made the usual Murr call that night. By way of explanation, the house elf is a young lady who attached herself to me and adopted me as an extra grandmother.  Or I may have told the kids first when they came to pick up Hanna that evening if it was a Hanna day. I was still keeping my granddaughter Hanna then.  I'm sure I emailed my various online writing friends (not TWRP-related) very soon. I am very sure that I blogged about it, too.

AM:  How did you celebrate?
Judy:  I don't remember.  If it was a day that I kept Hanna, I was too tired to do any celebrating!

Thanks for a great interview, Judy!!!
And now for the blurbs . . . 

Where Is Papa’s Shining Star? is coming June 18, 2010, from The Wild Rose Press.

Wealthy Alan Ashley, blinded in World War I, returns home to face a challenge to his ability to run the family business. As the case goes to court, he is drawn to the cheerful, ever-optimistic Lenore Seldon, his defense attorney’s secretary. When he wins his case, he offers her employment, but she declines and disappears from his life.

Ten years later, frail and in desperate need of work, Lenore answers his ad for a personal assistant. He hires her with the agreement that she will live in, chaperoned by his housekeeper,
so that she can drive for him, and he can teach her to use the Braille writer. She is the perfect employee, but he senses that she is frightened of something—or someone.

When he finds himself falling in love with her, he must uncover her secrets in order to save their relationship---and to save her from herself.

Finding Papa’s Shining Star is coming June 25, 2010, from TWRP.

In the dark days of the Great Depression, when eleven-year-old Bobbie Rycroft
becomes Annie Ashley, cherished daughter of Alan and Lenore, she leaves behind a life of fear and deprivation. Or so she believes as she grows to womanhood, sheltered in an affluent home with every material possession and opportunity.
Graduating from Vassar just as America gears up for war, she enters into a hasty marriage with David Levinson only ten days before he goes overseas. When he returns, they are strangers.

David loves Annie deeply, but he realizes that she cannot live in the present until she has made peace with her past. When he urges her to find Bobbie, Albert Rycroft's shining star, she insists that Bobbie is dead. But David knows that Bobbie is very much alive and that his own tangled connection to her past could put Annie in danger of losing her life.

Judy, thank you for being with us today.  Good luck with your books!!!  May you have mega sales and awesome reviews!!!

Visit Judy at  and The Word Place.


P.L. Parker said...

Good morning ladies. I know how you feel Judy. When I got published, I was so excited and the first person I called (after I told my husband of course) was my mother. Wanted to share my joy with her. Wish you could have too. Feel sad for you.

Lynn Romaine said...

Thanks for touching story and interview with Judy Nickles - I envy you clutching a #2 in your fat fist - I didn't start writing until I was 55 - wish I had started young - as Malcolm Gladwell says in "The Outliers" - there is no such thing as talent - just practice - and it takes 10,000 hours (10 years) to get mastery of anything - I love that - you are obviously becoming a master - lynn

Skhye said...

Judy, Mom said I was born at least 400 years too late. I once took a psych personality test. It said I lived in the past. LOL. That explains the infatuation with geology and archaeology... and my innate need to conserve and preserve. Instead of boring you further, I'll just say wonderful interview. And hope the rain has almost passed. Kind of sunny here!

Beth Trissel said...

Hi Judy. Love your 'CALL' story. I enjoyed your excerpt and think your stories sound like something I would like very much.

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Great to get to know you Judy and congratulations on the two releases in 2010!

Anne Marie Novark said...

Hey P.L.,

I enjoy hearing about how people received "The Call."

I feel for Judy,too. My mother was the second person I called with the news.

So glad you stopped by.

Anne Marie Novark said...

Ten thousand hours, Lynn? Ack!!! I better get back to the keyboard . . .

Anne Marie Novark said...

That would explain a lot, Skhye!!! Hey!!! No hitting!!!

Anne Marie Novark said...

Hey Beth and Stacey!!! So glad to see you here!!!

Emma Lai said...

Judy, I loved your answer to "How long have you been writing?" Congrats on the upcoming releases.

Great questions, Anne Marie. I'm looking forward to your future interviews!

Kathye Quick said...

Congratulations on your "call" Judy. It's wonderfyul to know the books of your heart will soon be available for all to share with you.

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Great interview! Congrats, A.M. on the blog launch and Judy on the double sale. The stories sound wonderful. Happy sales when they come out!

Joanna Aislinn said...

Thoroughly enjoyed this interview--I love reading about other writers' journeys. Always encouraging :) Funny how I too, have trouble remembering who I told first when I received the contract e-mail from TWRP, but I do recall the "OMG I've arrived" feeling (even though it's still only the beginning!). I still love looking at my bookcover too!

Joanna Aislinn
The Wild Rose Press Jan 15, 2010

Judy said...

Thanks to Anne Marie for having me as a guest and to all of you who dropped by and left comments.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Judy,
Like you and Patsy, I wanted to share the joy of my first book with my mother but she had unfortunately passed away. I am a Vintage author too Judy, and like you, I love the era you write about, although World War 1 is my favorite background.

K9friend said...

Congratulatons, Judy, on your well deserved success. I'm looking forward to reading your books!

Anne Marie Novark said...

Thanks so much to Judy for a great interview!!!

And thanks to everyone who stopped by and left comments!!!

Pretty good first Guest Blogger, huh?

Happy Writing and Reading!!!

Mary Ricksen said...

Judy I was drawn in by your trip to publishing. I wish you the very best of luck in you career.
I think I probably told a friend when I got published. My husband is still waiting for them to bill me.
So I celebrated in my heart!

Cate Masters said...

Great interview, Judy and Anne Marie. I agree, Judy, TWRP editors are fantastic and thorough. Their detailed rejections and encouragement to resubmit makes them stand out among epubs. Congrats on your upcoming releases! Wishing you all the best.