Join Our Author Chat with Bruce Judisch

Welcome, Readers!

quimbypondfrontfinalToday we’re chatting with Bruce Judisch, author of Quimby Pond, Katia, and For Maria, among other novels. You can find Bruce on Facebook at

*** 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.

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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

Although I’ve lived in Texas longer than I have anywhere else, I confess to being a transplanted Yankee (gasp!). bruce-and-jennie_judischIt’s true. Northeast Ohio has the dubious honor of claiming me as a native son. 

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.

cavalierkcsNow, 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.

journeybegunAbout 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.”

Debut Experience

wordfulfilledAnd so was born A Prophet’s Tale, currently in two parts, The Journey Begun and The Word Fulfilledwith 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!)

Other novels

final-front-covermaria-high-resInterrupting “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

quimbypondfrontfinalThe 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

quimbypond-the-pondOn a research trip to the setting of Quimby Pond, the Rangeley Lakes region of NW Maine, I snapped these photos.  

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 judisch_bruce-and-holl_kristiwould 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.

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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 ~


9 thoughts on “Join Our Author Chat with Bruce Judisch

  1. Lora D

    This was such a fun interview! I especially appreciate Bruce’s wise advice: “write what you would want to read.” I can’t wait for the sequel to Quimby Pond, too. 🙂

  2. Quimby Pond was a great read. I’m looking forward to the sequel!

    1. Bruce C Judisch

      Thanks so much, Kelly. That’s high praise coming from you. 🙂

      Cheers! Bruce

  3. I loved reading this interview!

    1. Bruce’s perspective on things is cool, isn’t it, Carlen? I enjoyed interviewing him.

    2. Bruce C Judisch

      Thanks, Carlene! It was a lot of fun to write.

      Cheers! Bruce

  4. Linda, you’ll never run out of interesting characters to interview in Texas–Bruce Judisch, being the latest. I love it when authors speak about their path to publication with such transparency. Sometimes we think we’re alone in all our mistakes. I love Bruce’s sense of humor! I suspect I’d get along with his wife because I’ve nudged my husband into writing, too.

    1. You and Bruce would get along, Clarice. Not only is he interesting, but he’s a great writer with a humorous take and unusual ideas for stories. I lived in West Germany during the Cold War and visited East Germany, so his Katia brought back a bunch of memories. Fascinating.

    2. Bruce C Judisch

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Clarice. And I’m absolutely certain you’d get along with Jeannie. I often say that, when I want to make a good impression, I take Jeannie along. Otherwise, it can be pretty iffy… 🙂

      Cheers! Bruce


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Author Chat: Pepper Basham

A Chat With Author Pepper Basham

Welcome! Today we’re chatting with award-winning author Pepper Basham. Jesus has given Pepper a part in the telling of His own story. He made her a character who tells of His goodness through writing.

Award-Winning Author14463775_10210620358245844_604034621_n

Pepper’s The Thorn Bearer received the Reader’s Favorite Book Award and placed as one of three finalist for ACFW‘s 2016 Carol Award in the Debut Category Gather ’round as Pepper gives us a peek into who she is, where she’s been, and what she’s learned along the way.



Add your own comments or questions in the Comments section below, and your name will be entered into a drawing for an autographed copy of The Thorn Keeper, Pepper’s second novel in her Penned in Time series.

Update: Winner of drawing was Brenda Murphree! Congratulations, Brenda!

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Thanks so much for having me on, Linda!! It’s an honor to be with ACFW’s Carol Award winning author

Pepper’s Journey to Publication

I am a southern Appalachia girl, born and bred in Andy Griffith country. In fact, he was my fourth cousin. The accents and stories on the Andy Griffith show remind me so much of meandgranny1forwebthe world I grew up knowing, especially as seen through the eyes of my granny, who dreamed BIG for me.

Not surprisingly, Granny recognized my love for writing early on. When I was 10 years old she bought me a second-hand typewriter and said, “A writer needs one of these.” She was the first person to ever call me a ‘writer’ and the dream stuck. ☺ (Tweet That!)

Long in Coming

14445392_10210620359085865_1293459682_nBut it took a LOOOOONNNGGG time for the dream to turn into ink and bindings. I graduated high school, got married, received my master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology.

Along the way I birthed 5 kids, and eleven years after I started pursuing publication – I signed a contract for my first book. It was a long journey. I wrote bits and pieces of stories in between working full time and raising my awesome kids, but I’m so thankful for the opportunity to bring stories to life.

Pepper Basham’s Debut Experience: The Thorn Bearer with Vinspire Publishing.

14429280_10210620360245894_6294622_nAs you read in the first answer, it had taken a long time to get ‘the call’. I’d given up on this book I’d pitched for over a decade. But then…the right fit and God’s timing merged to create the perfect moment. I love this story – in fact I love the whole series, and enjoy hearing how the ‘heart’ of this book touches people’s lives. 

Advice from Pepper Basham

~Walk in your calling and focus on His stories. It’s so easy to light-pathway_1345753_960_720get bogged down in the ‘performance’ and numbers of writing and publishing. But God has a bigger Story in mind for us. He wants to celebrate who we are, where we are, how He’s made us, for His glory.

That means we can find peace in the ‘rat race’ of a profession fraught with comparison and self-doubt because we’re writing for Him…and He’ll take care of the rest. Of course, we should market as we can, write quality stories, and spread the word, but we shouldn’t be driven by that. We should be driven by His call in us to be storytellers.

writing-tablet-png~Write, write, write. An empty page does not a novel make ☺ If you want to be a writer, then the first thing that as to happen is get your words on the page. Daydreaming and brainstorming both have their places, but they rarely become a paper-and-ink reality until their on the page.

~Seek out Community. Lots of people say writing is a solitary journey, but it doesn’t have to be.

I’ve found that I’m a better and happier writer when basham_pepper-communityI surround myself with other writers, reader, and encouragers along the way. Truly, community breeds inspiration. I have found some of the dearest friends through reaching out in the writing world.

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Thank you, Pepper Basham, for this peek into who you are, where you’ve been, and a bit about what you’ve learned along the way. I love how you describe a writer’s journey as “walking in your calling.” Nothing’s more precious than being called by Jesus to write His stories and accept the role of a character yourself.

Readers, what a privilege to know more about delightful Pepper Basham. It doesn’t get much better than knowing you’re a 4th cousin to Andy Griffith. Get to know Pepper better and check out her books at the following links:

Twitter: @pepperbasham

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Dear Lord, we stand amazed at Your goodness. You’ve stooped to bless us with partnership in the telling of Your story. Thank you. Keep us ever mindful and faithful in our calling, whether as writers, readers, or neighbors. For Jesus ‘ sake.


8 thoughts on “Author Chat: Pepper Basham

  1. Brenda Murphree

    I really enjoyed reading about you. I’ve been wanting to read one of your books. This one looks very interesting!
    Thanks for the opportunity to win one!

    1. Brenda,
      Good luck in the contest!!

  2. I always enjoy reading about fellow authors–this time Pepper Basham, whose journey to publication would make a great novel in itself! I, too, get more out of my craft when I share my journey with other writers. We hold each other accountable while encouraging each other in the process. As a Christian, God has given us all the same command: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matt 28:19-20 NIV) How we do that is to use the gifts he’s given us. Thanks for sharing your gift, Pepper. And you, too, Linda. 🙂

    1. Amen, Clarice. Folks who haven’t read Christian fiction might not realize what a fertile field it is for the seeds of the Gospel. We’ve been blessed with a sacred privilege.

    2. Thanks so much, Clarice. Your encouragement means so much!

  3. Pepper, you and I share more than a calling to write. We’re both Speech & Language Pathologists–or I was once upon a time. The field has changed in the past half-century. My years as an SLP from 1968-1983 looked a bit different from yours in 2016, but at the core they’re the same: kids. I can’t imagine how you’ve tended your marriage, 5 kids, and full-time SLP–and write. Wow. That’s some dedication to writing. I pray God’s sweet hand of blessing will rest on you, your family, and your writing.

    1. I think it’s great to know you were a speech pathologist too, Linda. THank you for those prayers -and THANKS for having me on your beautiful blog!

      Sometimes I have to remember my own writing advice because the world on the other side of publication can be a tough place. Thankfully the One who has called us to write will also equip us for the journey!! THANK YOU!

      1. You’re so right, Pepper. We must support one another at every opportunity. Life in the publishing world isn’t easy–from our secluded writing locales to the public arena where our innermost thoughts are exposed. Our pastor, a very well known author, was gracious as always in congratulating me a few months ago on the Operation First Novel win. The first words out of my mouth were I feel so vulnerable. He reminded me what his wife always says when he begins to stew over some project: The Lord’s always helped you before, hasn’t He? Why wouldn’t He now? So I’ve tried to remember those words of wisdom when I feel vulnerable. If the Lord took my incompetence and turned it into an award-winning novel, He can surely handle my feelings of vulnerability. ~ I so admire you, Pepper, for finding writing time with all your life entails. Bravo!


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