Judy Howard interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: Mar 16, 2017 11:53:44 PM
Judy Howard interview with David Alan Binder
Bio from her website: In Judy Howard’s real life, the death of her husband gave the soon to be author a wake-up call, reminding her that life is short. After discovering her gift for writing, Howard sold her pet grooming business, which she had operated since the age of eleven, and engaged full throttle into her new passions of writing and traveling.
Today Judy Howard’s writing career expands across many genres, including memoir, romantic mystery, reality fiction, travel and young adult, but the theme is always the same - overcoming life’s difficulties.
Sportster the Cat accompanies the author in their Winnebago motor-home as she travels across the country writing, lecturing and presenting seminars.
Missing the excitement of working at the pet salon, Sportster has pounced onto his own new career as a talented ghostwriter with his first book, ACTIVATE LION MODE. He is busy scratching out the second book in his Feline Fury Series.
Howard took a creative writing class in Hemet through the Mt. San Jacinto College, and after a 10-minute writing exercise about the color red, she was hooked. “Words just kept coming out – I couldn’t stop the flow” says Howard, “I continued the class because I discovered I liked it and it seemed I had a natural talent for writing”.
Three books later with two more in the making, Judy Howard knows who she is and what she wants to do for the rest of her life – “I am a writer… I need to write!”. The crazy thing is she never ever thought about writing before she took the creative writing class and certainly never thought that she would write a book. All her years living through adversities she felt as if she had something to express “and now I have found the outlet” Howard said gratefully.
Last December Judy was honored as the Arts Council Menifee’s “Artist of the Month”. She has been chosen for her body of work, support of the organization and her involvement with the local community.
1. Where are you currently living? My mailing address is San Bernardino, California but I travel full-time across the country in my Winnebago motorhome with my cat.
Home is where I park it!
2. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?
Writing is hard! I am what they call in the writing profession, a “Pantser.” I write like I live – By the seat of my pants. Seven years ago I took a creative writing class for fun and became astounded by the world it opened up for me. It was like opening a wonderful book of adventure.
What I have discovered is, that writing is a love affair. It began as a whim and turned into a passion I cannot give up. By the time I realized how difficult writing can be, I was already addicted. And now, I cannot NOT write.
3. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?
I began writing when self-publishing was just taking off. I choose that route for several reasons.
I have always been self-employed so I could not imagine partnering with any entity.
I am impatient and a control freak. I talk to a lot of authors who went with traditional publishers. Some were happy and some were not. But what I discovered is their income was not much different than mine. As a business person, that is the bottom line. These days with the downfall of bookstores we as authors, published or self-published, all have to do the same work when it comes to marketing
a. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they?
I chose to publish through Createspace because it was a division of Amazon and in my opinion, Amazon is IT.
4. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
eBooks are a must. I know authors who have done very well with only eBooks. Personally I travel the country as a motivational speaker and present seminars about writing. I sell a lot of books during these venues. So of course I do both.
5. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?
Write the best book you can.
6. How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?
I have queried top agents at conferences but I have to admit my attitude was not humble. I didn’t really want one, for the reasons I stated earlier. I only wanted them to want me.
Querying agents is a talent all of itself.
7. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new?
I always emphasize during my seminars that I knew absolutely nothing about writing when I began seven years ago. I had been a dog groomer since I was eleven years old. I know that 80% of folks have thought about writing a book, but I was not in that group. Since I began, I have remained in the top 10% of Amazon’s author ranking.
I am self-taught and have spent very little. I have just a dozen books on the craft. But don’t let that deceive you. When I am not writing or thinking about writing I am READING about how to write. There are many authors, who, like me, who are willing to share their expertise with others
It helps to become a workaholic.
8. What was one of the most surprising things you learned with your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?
The most surprising, amazing, and rewarding thing I have discovered is the fact that through my writing, I have changed people’s lives! My book COAST TO COAST WITH A CAT AND A GHOST, has instilled courage in others to overcome their grief or difficulty they have experienced and begin in a new and exciting direction. My book, MASADA’S MARINE, has allowed the public and military families to walk in a veteran’s shoes, to see and experience his or her life through their tearful eyes. A writer can change lives. A writer can make a difference.
9. How many books have you written?
COAST TO COAST WITH A CAT AND A GHOST
GOING HOME WITH A CAT AND A GHOST
ACTIVATE LION MODE
10. Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be as specific and information as you possibly can)? A good critique group is priceless. They must be loving, encouraging but they must also give constructive criticism for a writer to grow. Again study, study, study.
11. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?
I believe the more I discover about myself, and the deeper I delve into the devious and surprising twists of my own personality, the more I am able to allow my characters to do the same.
12. What makes yours or any book stand out from the crowd? My story or any other must allow the reader to discover an aspect of life and their possibilities that they never imagined could exist. That is the magic!!
13. What are some ways in which you promote your work?
I do most all of the social media, Facebook, Twitter, Blog – even the cat, Sportster, Blogs. I present seminars about the craft and about inspiration.
14. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?
When I am a third or half-way through a book, I always say I wish I had done an outline
15. What saying or mantra do you live by?
“How vain is it to sit down and write, when you have not stood up and lived,” Henry Thoreau
16. Anything else you would like to say?
I believe we should all discover and follow our passion, no matter how frightening and steep that path may be. No matter what your friends or others or most of all, that inner voice inside that says, “ARE YOU CRAZY?”
Since I began my writing career, I had always thought my goal was to become a New York Times Best Selling Author. But like the characters in my stories, I have evolved, too. Today I want to change people’s lives and thus, the world. I am sure a bestselling book will be a by- product of my achievement, but really, my goal is simple, I want to make the world a better place.
My mantra, “Thank God for the good, AND the seemingly bad.”