How did you come up with the idea for your Christmas book?
A group of us authors met at a conference and thought we’d like to write a Christmas story together. We knew we wanted a family and a strong woman involved because we write about families and strong women. We thought of Maddie, a mother who has suffered a severe loss of husband and child who was facing Christmas and wanted to do something meaningful. From there, we decided she’d take in four young girls who would become sisters. As our logo says – “Random Circumstances brought them together; love made them a family.”
Could you give a short synopsis on the book for my readers?
In Christmas Kisses, Hailey Kirby, the youngest of the children brought into the Kirby home at eight had learned to keep words in her head for fear of being punished. Fifteen years later, she’s a grown, educated woman who is head of the children’s program at the local library and who writes and illustrates children’s books under a pseudonym.
A lot of our traditions include food. On Christmas Day we like to gather the family and have a traditional English dinner of prime rib roast of beef, Yorkshire pudding, and all the trimmings including Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert. If my husband and I are alone on Christmas Eve or another holiday during that time period, we like to share Cheese Fondue.
What’s next for you?
The first book in my next trilogy is coming out in February. It’s an exciting new series that takes place in Palm Desert, California, and of course includes strong women, a little romance, and journeys of discovery.
What’s the best writing tip you’ve learned or been given you’d like to share?
It’s really important to let a finished work sit before sending it out or even sending it to an editor to review. When looking it over after time, you more easily see the changes you need to make so the book will be better.
What do you know now about writing and publishing you wish you had learned sooner?
I always knew publishing a book was all about running a business, but I had no idea how important the social media aspect of running the business is. Changes in programs are made and it’s hard to keep up with everything that’s new and different and necessary for you to know.
Write from your heart. There is no correct way for anyone to write a story. We all have different styles and different methods of getting through the arduous task of sitting down and writing the story. When you understand the story and characters in your mind and heart, let it flow.
Are there any other books that you’d like to tell my readers about?
I love writing about strong women facing challenges and finding love and happiness along the way. I have several series out and a group of stand-alone books that take place at a Seashell Cottage on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
The Beach House Hotel Books, The Hartwell Women, The Salty Key Inn series each contain 4 books, The Chandler Hill Inn series (3 books) takes place in Oregon wine country. Most of my others take place in Florida, but the Fat Fridays series is centered around five women’s lives outside Atlanta, Georgia. This series now has 3 books, but I will be adding more when I get the first two back from my publisher sometime next fall. All of my books are placed in areas which I’ve either visited or where I’ve lived, which makes it more fun.
I’ve either lived in or visited each of the locales Judith uses as a backdrop for her stories, so her books piqued my interest. I hope it piqued yours, too. If you want to learn more about her writing, her are ways to do that.