Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I have mystery/suspense author and brand new grandma Judy DuCharme as my guest. Her latest release sounds FASCINATING – I love the idea behind it. Check out how you can enter to win yourself a copy!
Tell us about yourself. I live in northeastern Wisconsin on the Door Peninsula with my husband and son. Our daughter and her husband are near Washington DC and have recently given us our first grandbaby, a beautiful boy with whom I’m totally smitten. We are active in our church and community. I’m a retired 5th grade teacher and love to jet ski, hike, worship, teach Bible Studies, and cheer on the Green Bay Packers. We winter for three months in Florida.
Six of my books have been published and I’ve won numerous awards. The Cheesehead Devotional: Kickoff Edition (LPC 2012) won Best New Writer 2013 at the prestigious Write to Publish Conference. In 2018, The Cheesehead Devotional: Hall of Fame Edition (LPC September 2017) took Second Place Nonfiction in the Serious Writer Awards, also at Write to Publish. That same book took Third Place Nonfiction in the 2018 Wright Awards and was a Finalist in Sports in the 2018 National Indie Excellence Awards. The NIEA had over a thousand entries. In 2014 I was one of twelve winners of the Guideposts Magazine Workshop Contest, which had 3000-4000 entries, and have had seven pieces published in their magazines and two more are contracted to be in one of their books due out in the next year.
My short story, Christmas Ivy (Prism/Pelican BookGroup 2016), was a winner in the 2018 National Indie Excellence Awards and took First Place Short Story at the 2016 Florida Christian Writers Conference. At that conference in 2018, my novel Blood Moon Redemption, was awarded Honorable Mention Mystery/Suspense.
My first novel,Society of the L.A.M.B., was published by Prism/Pelican BookGroup in 2016, as was my novella, Run With the Wind.
Tell us about your current release Blood Moon Redemption is a riveting novel following suspenseful and gripping journeys the characters must travel to find their true destinies. An ancient relic, a puzzling prophecy, and a young woman tied together through the ages . . . It was only a relic, and hers just a name, but who knew what time it really was? Blood Moon Redemption is an end-times thriller that will keep you riveted until the very last moonrise.
My sixth book was released October 31, 2018. A few years in the making, the novel is, in the words of the publisher, Ambassador International, ‘gripping and suspenseful from start to finish’.
Tassie, named for a lost religious relic, has her sights set on her career and love, and she doesn’t have time for silly children’s stories. Dismissing the blood moons as circumstance, her unbelief threatens to keep her from her destiny. When Tassie finds herself in the center of worldwide turmoil and a terrorist plot, can she accept her family history and fulfill her place in the future of Israel? Or will the country of her heritage finally fall to its many enemies?
My husband encouraged me to write the book and gave me the idea for the relic and Hector. We both love Israel and Biblical prophecy. We were intrigued by the information surrounding the Blood Moons and the end-times. My husband reads nonfiction exclusively whereas I love fiction. I wanted to draw the reader into their own research concerning all these events by weaving them into a fictional story with historical background, current events, and end-time prophecy. That started Blood Moon Redemption and then the characters took over and I felt God’s hand in the writing. Our son is also in the book doing just what he would do.
For those interested, I’ve also put together a 7 week Bible Study entitled Blood Covenant, Israel, and the End-times. It’s on my website.
With all those characters in your head screaming to get out, how do you write fast enough to get it all down? It’s tricky, but fun. Sometimes it’s like watching a movie and I’m just transcribing and I pray I’m fast enough and don’t forget anything.
How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher or agent? As my friend once told me when I was so nervous to have her read the manuscript I was working on: “Judy, isn’t the idea for people to read it.” So, you just go for it. BUT, take the time to learn some things at conferences, workshops, books, etc. Be open to suggestions and critiques – it’s so hard at first but it will improve your writing. Pray!!! AND, don’t quit when someone is critical of your writing. Imitate other styles as you search for your own and practice by writing, writing, writing.
What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I always wanted to write but thought to be a writer, I’d have to cloister myself away for 8 hours a day and I’m much too social for that. I wrote short stories and poetry in high-school and college, took a writing correspondence course when my children were babies, then went into teaching and loved it. As I neared retirement, the desire to write again began to stir in my heart and I felt it was a calling from the Lord. I rarely spend hours writing – unless I have a deadline. I write here and there for 45 minutes to a few hours. I’m what you’d call a panster. I try to make myself adhere to a schedule but it doesn’t work.
How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? Even though a teacher and a good grammarian, I didn’t trust myself to put together a book ready to self-publish. I just felt being published by a traditional publisher was better vetting for me. I have considered it from time to time, but I’m just happier with the ‘approval’ of a traditional publisher.
Do you have your plot line and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? I have ideas, a direction, but often no idea where it will continue and end. Sometimes the characters take over and I just follow their lead. I certainly pray and feel the Lord gives me direction and ideas as I go. It’s a little crazy at times and sometimes it just flows. I have ideas and scenarios swirling in my head all the time. My friends laugh at me as they can almost see the gears of my imagination taking off when we encounter different situations.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Go to a writers conference. That’s where you meet publishers, agents, editors, and other writers who are serious about writing. There are so many workshops on every aspect of writing and opportunities to be critiqued, learn to pitch, and network with other writers. And pray about your writing. Let God speak to you and trust Him. Realize that just because you have a calling doesn’t mean you don’t need to hone your craft. And we all need editors.
Judy is giving away a signed copy of her book to a reader! See below how you can enter to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway