Today I have author Judy DuCharme answering some questions for us. Welcome, Judy!
When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or full-time profession?
I always wanted to write. I don’t know if I considered it a career possibility, but I saw myself writing a book. In high school I wrote short stories and poetry. However, I never thought I could tuck myself away for eight hours a day and write – I was too social, so I didn’t pursue it until later in life.
Have you ever won any awards for your writing?
Yes, for my first book The Cheesehead Devotional Kickoff Edition I won my first award: Best New Writer 2013 at the Write-to-Publish Conference. A year later I entered the Guideposts Workshop Contest. This is every other year and has three or four thousand entries. Twelve winners are selected and sent to New York for a week of training. I was one of the winners in 2014. My first novel and first novella did not win awards, but my next Cheesehead Devotional . . . the Hall of Fame Edition has won six awards. My latest novel, Blood Moon Redemption, has won five awards. Christmas Ivy, my short story, has won two awards.
Have you ever received a rejection?
Oh my, yes. I’ve received several. It’s part of the writing and publishing journey. It’s tough, but you have to develop thick skin and trust God for placing you exactly where you should be.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to an unpublished writer?
Get to a conference. This is the place you meet publishers, agents, and acquisition editors. It is also where you can hone your craft and learn to fix the areas where you’re weak. It’s where you meet authors right where you are, those ahead of you that can offer advice, and those behind you that you can assist.
Do you take time to plot and outline your books? Or do like to write by the seat of your pants?
I am a pantster. In many ways, I feel very undisciplined. When deadlines hit, I can be pretty disciplined, but I’ve found that much of my writing occurs in 45 minute sections of time. I do pray for inspiration and often find I write longer than 45 minutes once I get going and if the characters take over the story which does occasionally happen. I do need to plot out some transitions and events at certain times.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love the outdoors, so I love to walk in the woods, walk the beach, and just be outside. I love to be on the water – on a jetski or a boat. Our daughter gave us our first grandchild, a beautiful boy, a year ago, so I spend as much time as I can with him. We are very involved in our church and prayer group, and we’re part of an organization that works with international students that come here for summer employment. And we have a fairly large extended family and there are many family events.
Is there a message in your book you hope readers will relate to?
My passion is that my readers will become strong in the Lord. All my books have this heart embedded in them.
Do you have a mentor author or a particular author whose work inspires you?
I think the main author that inspired me incredibly, and I sought to follow her style, is Bodie Thoene. I just love all her books with history and inspiration combined, not to mention such engaging, insightful writing. My next favorite author is Joel Rosenberg. I love his suspense along with such Biblical truths in history and prophecy. My book Blood Moon Redemption was greatly influenced by his style. I also enjoy Colleen Coble’s mysteries and wish I could craft a story with so many twists and turns. Lynn Austin is another I enjoy reading – she writes inspirational historical stories so well.
What kinds of research do you do for your books?
Whatever is needed. You need to make research your friend. I’ve spent a great deal of time in non-fiction books getting background information, newspapers and google searches for current events, videos and youtube snippets, boat tours and lighthouse tours (for my current WIP). In doing all my research for Blood Moon Redemption, I had to look up distances between Syria and Israel, ISIS information, Muslim and Jewish practices and backgrounds. Our daughter lives in the Washington DC area, so all my friends were sure I’d never make it through security when I flew out to visit.
It was just a relic, and hers, just a name. Who knew what time it really was?
The blood moons were always surrounded by great persecution and great provision, great trial and great triumph.
When the Jews were expelled from Spain and traveled with Columbus, only a tassel from a prayer shawl remained with them to signify their faith. That tassel, handed down, stolen, and hidden, became a marker of God’s protection and now is the focus of a terrorist scheme and a young woman’s destiny.
Blood Moon Redemption is an end-times thriller that will keep you riveted until the very last moonrise.
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