*** Join the chat below, and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a copy of Quimby Pond or both Katia and For Maria. Winner’s choice! Winner announced here on Tuesday, Nov. 1.***
*** Woo Hoo! GIVE-AWAY RESULTS! Bruce has graciously offered two give-aways! Congratulations to Lora D and Carlene H who participated in this interesting chat.
Stay tuned, folks, for another interview with another interesting author coming up tomorrow on this same station.
~ ~ ~
Bruce Judisch, Our Guest of Honor
Thank you, Bruce, for your willingness to be the center of attention this week. We’d love to know a bit about your pre-author life and your debut experience. Tell us about your books and a little something about what you’ve learned along the way. Any advice for aspiring authors?
Pre-Author Life of Bruce Judisch
However, I left the Buckeye State when I enlisted in the Air Force at the shiftless age of 18. I married my high-school sweetheart, Jeannie, at the more mature age of 19. She has busied herself keeping me out of trouble ever since—well, mostly out of trouble.
Now, after nearly 44 years of marriage, 23 household moves, 3 children, 14 grandchildren, and 2.5 careers, we’ve settled in Universal City, Texas with our two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Charlie and Raleigh.
Becoming a writer
I believe I’ve made about every mistake possible in developing the craft and approaching the industry. In fact, if there are any pitfalls I’ve missed—which is doubtful—I’d really rather not hear about them because I’d probably manage to backtrack and stumble into them too. Yes, I’m that thorough. However, despite a naïve plunge into the murky waters of vanity publishing—I know, I know! I told you I’ve done it all—and bumbling pitches to agents and editors, I’ve still quite enjoyed the ride. And I hope I’ve managed to push out at least a few decent chapters of prose along the way.
It Began as an Idea
Looking back the notion of writing fiction came to me rather late in life. More accurately, it came to Jeannie, one of her ideas for keeping me out of trouble. Let me explain.
About 14 years ago, I was teaching a Sunday School series through the Minor Prophets. As I researched Jonah, it struck me how unique a character he was and how little we really know about him and his journey. During the introduction to that block of lessons, I made the mistake of saying, “If I were ever to write a novel, it would be about Jonah.” After class, Jeannie elbowed me in the ribs, looked at me in that way she does, and said, “Well…?” I shrugged and replied, “Okay.”
And so was born A Prophet’s Tale, currently in two parts, The Journey Begun and The Word Fulfilled, with a final volume, The Promise Kept, underway. A Prophet’s Tale retains the Scriptural integrity of Jonah’s ministry, but fills in fictional characters and settings to propel the story along. It’s not so much a novelization of the Book of Jonah as it is Jonah-the-person’s story. (Tweet That!)
Interrupting “Tale” between the second and third volumes were Katia (so far, the easiest and most fun to write) and its rather unexpected sequel For Maria (so far, the most research intensive and emotionally exhausting to write). Both employ a favorite technique of dual contemporary and historical storylines. The historical focus of Katia is the Cold War in East Germany. For Maria recounts the Kindertransport during WWII. (Tweet That!)
The Latest from Bruce Judisch
The most recent escapee from my keyboard is Quimby Pond, a mystery-suspense set in the mountains of northern Maine. Quimby Pond has a true historical seed. Its sequel (with the innovative working title of QP2) is also on the assembly line.
Bruce Judisch’s Quimby Photo Album
Setting of a crux scene in Quimby Pond. This is the pond in May (still mostly frozen). The story takes place in October. Try to imagine autumn leaves.
What rural murder mystery is complete without an old cemetery scene? Notice the name on the headstone and epitaph, “Respected in life, lamented in death.” Some of the old markers held poetry about the deceased. There’s something about old graveyards with stones that speak of a passed loved one. Has anyone else seen a memorable gravestone you’d like to share?
Another scene from Quimby Pond takes place at the Rangeley Lakes Historical Society, a must-visit if you make it to Rangeley. A friend I made on my trip is standing at the left of this panoramic shot. His first name is Jim. Can you guess his surname? (Quimby, of course.)
This was freaky, but in a neat sort of way. One of the Quimby Pond scenes I wrote is at the IGA grocery store in Rangeley. My heroine goes into the store with the sky clear. She comes out, and it’s raining. When I visited Rangeley for research, of course I had to go to the IGA. I went in when the sky was clear. I came out, and it was like this:
Who says writing novels isn’t dangerous? (Tweet That!)
Encouragement and Advice
If I were to offer any advice to aspiring writers, it would probably be this: You may have heard the old adage, “Write what you know.” Okay, but what if what you know is really boring? Instead, write what you would want to read, and write it in a way that you would want to read it. If you don’t know it, learn it along the way.
~ ~ ~
Dear Lord, how amazing are Your ways. Little did Bruce know as he was preparing for his lesson on the Minor Prophets that You would place a Jonah call on him. We’re thankful he has been faithful to the call. We pray You’ll continue to use Bruce to tell of Your goodness by blessing his writing and publishing efforts. For Jesus’ sake ~