Topic: Author Interview
Judith Laura, the person:
1. What three words do you think describe you as a human being?
Alive, female, curious
2. How do you think others would describe you?
Creative, intelligent, humble (One person said to me, “You’re humble for a writer,” and others in the group agreed.)
3. Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.
Heh. OK. Sex, (well, you said passionate, what did you expect?), pre-Romantic classical music, good (usually literary) fiction, folk dancing, subjects related to my books.
4. Do you have any pets?
No. I had a dog when I was a child. I loved him, his floppy ears, his pleading eyes. One day I came home from school and my parents said they had “put him to sleep” because he had worms. I understand, happily, this is no longer a reason for killing dogs.
5. What is your most precious memory?
Not the one in question 4! There are many precious memories, but since I’m writing this in the holiday season:My father was a musician. Every Christmas Eve he had a gig playing violin at Midnight Mass in a Roman Catholic cathedral. I thought it strange that a Jewish man would be participating in a Catholic mass, but he explained that Christian violinists didn’t like to work Christmas eve. Beginning in my early teens, he took me along, a ticket he got as part of his payment providing me with a seat in the pews. I loved the music and pageantry, but not the heavy incense.
I remember one time in particular after the Mass, as we drove home along streets glittering with Christmas decorations, a recording of Handel’s Messiah came on the radio. This was before every choir in creation sang the piece and it may have been the first time I had heard parts of this masterwork other than the Hallelujah Chorus. As we neared our house I was wishing we weren’t there yet. I wanted to hear more of the music and I knew that my father wouldn’t be able to turn on the radio in the house because it was late and would wake up my mother and sisters. But I didn’t say anything because I figured my father must be tired and would want to get home and to bed. Nevertheless, when we got about a block from our house Dad pulled the car over and stopped. “I want to hear the rest of this,” he said, turning up the radio. Parked near a wooded area where holiday glitz gave way to the more subtle shimmer of stars, we listened together until the piece ended. Then Dad started up the car again and we drove the one block home in silence.
6. What is your most embarrassing memory?
Me get embarrassed? Never happens. I am one kewl chick ;-)
7. If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing with your life?
Frittering it away in exotic places as a gazillionaire.
8. In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.
She came. She wrote. She published.
Judith Laura, the writer:
9. Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a “real” writer?
My first intimation that I was a writer came when I started writing plays for my dolls when I was about 7 years old. By the time I was 10 I had moved on to scripting movie scenes for the occupants of my doll house, complete with what passed for sex scenes in the parents’ bedroom. But it was an incident at the end of 6th grade that for me confirmed I had what it took to be a writer. The “valedictorian” for graduation had already been determined (no, it wasn’t me!). The teacher decided that instead of having a “salutatorian,” by tradition the second highest ranking in the class (which also wouldn’t have been me), she would select the second speaker by having a writing contest. I won! And after that my career goal was set.
10. What is going on with your writing these days?
I am completing work on a second edition of my second book. I am also trying to gather my poems together and persuade someone to publish them in a book, but I keep getting sidetracked.
11. What are your future goals for your writing?
To keep my four books in print. And if something else comes along, we’ll see....
12. Can you describe a typical writing day for you?
Not without giving away trade secrets.Pretty snarky, huh?
Actually I have no typical “writing day.” If I’m writing fiction, I like that to be the first thing I do, while my mind is flexible from sleep. Poems come to me when they’re ready: during the day, in middle of the night. I try to scribble them down on table napkins, paper towels, margins of junk mail, etc., then I usually rewrite later at the computer. I write non-fiction whenever it’s needed. BTW, I am fortunate in that I have never had writer’s block. Writing either just comes to me, or I do it when I decide to do it. Nothing in my mind prevents or blocks me from writing if I’ve decided to write. I do admit that sometimes I come to a sentence that’s not exactly what I want. When that happens, I just type something in or put in [WRITE THIS LATER...SOMETHING ABOUT BLAH BLAH] and then continue on. I do lots of rewriting. I think computers have been great in freeing up writers to let words flow out more easily without feeling you have to get it perfect the first time.
13. Why do you write?
Because it’s what I do and who I am. (Besides the books and poems, I made my living full time for oh about 30 years as a writer and editor, mostly in health and medicine.)
14. What writer most inspires you? Why?
Can’t select only one writer, the others would feel left out. Also, it’s different writers at different times and different writers for different genres. Historically, I feel I was greatly influenced by James Joyce and T.S. Eliot.
15. How do you define your writing?
I don’t. I leave that to others.
16. In one sentence—what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?
She was ahead of her time.
Judith Laura, the details:
17. Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website? Blog?
18. Is there a place where readers can reach you?
19. Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?
Beyond All Desiring, a novel (2005), winner in 3 contests, www.judithlaura.com/beyond.html
Three Part Invention, a novel (2002), www.judithlaura.com/3PI.html
Goddess Spirituality for the 21st Century: From Kabbalah to Quantum Physics (1997)
She Lives! The Return of Our Great Mother (1989, 1999)) www.judithlaura.com/slgm.html
20. For new readers—what can they expect when they read your book(s)?
To be challenged and maybe even inspired.
21. Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers—what would you like them to know about you and your writing?
I think the best way to find out about me and my writing is to read my books, poems, and other stuff I’ve written. But if it’s “facts” you’re after, a good start is www.judithlaura.com/about.html