Author, Author, Tell Us More
September 13, 2007 | Interviews
ST: Hi Everyone, we’re back with Judith and her infamous peach iced tea! Judith, are there any quirks you have or do before or while you’re writing?
JR: Don’t pick on my tea, Sloane. I need it! Now to answer your question, I don’t know if you’d call them quirks, but I set up a manuscript chapter outline so I can keep count of pages, and I do an outline of the characters so I don’t forget hair and eye color and who’s in what book. I started doing this when a character from WHERE DANGER HIDES popped up in NIGHT HEAT, and I thought to myself, what the heck is SHE doing here? Otherwise it’s just me and my peach iced tea.
ST: Who or what encouraged you to write erotica?
JR: I really admire Delilah Devlin who is in my RWA chapter and has helped me so much. Last year when Ellora’s Cave sent out their Call for Submissions for Quickies she encouraged me to write something, and my husband said, I dare you. Well, who can resist a dare! Since then it’s been like an explosion. Who knew!
ST: Just how hot are your books, Judith?
JR: My contemporaries are rated Sensual but my erotic romances are E-rotic, almost the highest rating EC gives, and the reviewers rate it top of the heat. My editor says she has to ice down her computer! Oh, and I just sold my first novella to EC’s Exotika line, which is the top of the thermostat. Definitely not for the shy readers.
ST: Where do you get the ideas for your novels?
JR: I have an overactive, vivid imagination, plus I gather ideas everywhere – the newspaper, television, conversations I overhear. And my kids have really gotten into it, coming up with ideas for me. Plus I like to play the What If game – what if this happened instead of that? What if my neighbor’s husband really left her because their child is the product iof an affair and not because he has a new girl friend? What if the rancher down the road who is very antisocial really has bodies buried in his north pasture? Give me a sentence and I’ll give you a plot. My mind is always working overtime.
ST: How do you research your books?
JR: For one thing, almost all my books are set in the Texas Hill Country and my other settings are Maine and Florida, where I live and have lived, so geography isn’t a problem. I use the Internet a lot. You can find out almost anything there. And I find people are very willing to share info with you, also. For REDEMPTION I interviewed a sergeant in our Sheriff’s dept who was former Army Counter Intelligence and for ALWAYS ON MY MIND, due out this fall, I interviewed a former Green beret who was my concealed handgun class instructor. And the ranchers around here are great about letting me visit and explaining their operations to me.
ST: Who is your support group?
JR: My RWA chapter. These women are wonderful. Next to them, my kids.
ST: Please describe your writing space.
JR: OH, my. Well, can you spell JUNK? I have a setup in our great room that is a built-in computer station. I have shelves for my books and folders and notebooks, and plenty of drawers for storage. I have my favorite mugs that hold my pens and pencils, a plush cow to clean my screen with, and a stack of papers and notes that one of my cats is always sitting on. I work a lot out of notebooks so there are always two or three lying open. And of course a stack of whatever CDs I’m listening to at the moment. Love to write with music on.
ST: What’s your favorite part of writing?
JR: MY personal involvement with my characters. They become like part of my family. After that, hearing from my readers. I LOVE my readers.
ST: What do you absolutely hate about being an author?
JR: Editing, editing, editing. After that, editing.
ST: In your opinion what’s the most important thing for a new writer to learn?
JR: As far as mechanics are concerned, have a good story to tell and learn to show, not tell. Don’t be a narrator. Let your characters tell the story in dialogue and action. Beyond that, never, ever, ever give up. The rewards are tremendous.
ST: Your website is lovely. I recommend everyone cruise over to www.judithrochelle.com and check it out. How did you decide on the content and design?
JR: I give full credit to my son-in-law. I told him what I wanted, he went out and researched dozens of other web sites and then designed mine.
ST: Thank you, Judith, for another interesting day. We’ll see you in the morning?
JR: I’ll be here!
ST: Until then…