Friday, June 12, 2020

An Interview with Judy Meadows

Hello Judy

Welcome to the garden interviews. Tell us about you and your books

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 

My first two books are set in the Middle East.  I hope they challenge stereotypes about people of that region.

How much of the book is realistic?

My books are extremely realistic compared to other romance novels set in the Middle East. It’s set in a fictional country, so the “world” is fictional, but it’s based pretty meticulously on a real world, the Iran and Afghanistan I knew when I lived and traveled there (for almost two years) in the 70’s. The characters are based on real people who have real interests, interactions, and passions. (In other words, they’re not just alpha sheiks and damsels in distress.)  I offer plenty of authentic details to give life to the scenes.

What did you edit out of this book? 

In Escape from Behruz, I pushed the sex scenes beyond my comfort level, thinking I needed to do that in order to get published.  But each time I edited, I found myself taming those scenes. I did that until I arrived at a level of explicitness I was comfortable with. For me, the yearning for sexual connection is more interesting than the actual “doing it.”  The “doing it” needs to be there--both the characters and the readers deserve resolution to the tension that’s been building—but my sex scenes are a little weighed more toward the emotional satisfaction aspect.

When did you first, without hesitation, call yourself a writer? 

When I was in Chiapas, in Mexico, researching my first book, a nonfiction work published under my married name, Judy Gabriel, I met two other writers. We talked often about writing and about our commitment to it.  One night (a little Tres Equis beer may have been involved) we decided that we needed to “own it.” We needed to start calling ourselves writers. So, gradually, with increasing conviction, I did.
But I was a little shy about “owning it” when I started writing romance novels. (I have a few friends who are snobby about their reading choices.) My attitude changed when I joined the Romance Writers of America and started going to their meetings.  Seeing the professionalism and seriousness of purpose of the other members helped me overcome the prejudices I’d apparently had. Now I can say (in most contexts), “Hi, My name is Judy; I write romance novels.”)

Do you write under a pen name?

I write under the pen name Judy Meadows, which is my maiden name.  My married name is Judy Gabriel.  I always loved my maiden name and would have kept it when I married, but my husband was old-fashioned about that and I wasn’t sufficiently new-fashioned to make waves. (This was 40-some years ago.) Anyway, I’m very pleased to have a place in my life where I’m once again Judy Meadows.

and for something fun...

What is your favorite drink? 

Chai.  I make it myself by the gallon and drink it all day. I can’t write without it.

Do you ever wish that you had an entirely uncreative job, like data entry or working in a factory?

I remember I did wish that once. So I got a job working for the census (2000).  It was fun.

Are you jealous of other writers?

Yes!  But not so much because of their writing. I’m inspired more than jealous when I see great writing.  What makes me jealous is the success others have by being good at marketing as well as writing.

Do you have any hobbies? 

I sew, embroider, and do beadwork on fabric, but right now I’m making face masks for healthcare workers.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would be the most essential for you?

Books, more books, and chocolate.

Where can we find you online?,

Facebook:Judy Meadows – Romance Writer

Twitter: @judymeadows44

Download Escape from Behruz and Midwife in Behruz from Amazon and other online retailers.


GiniRifkin said...

Hi Judy Meadows. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like you've had some wonderful adventures in life. Interesting setting for your stories, wishing you continued success with your writing.

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Sounds like an interesting setting for your books, and I like that there isn't a damsel in distress.