This week we’re going to find out a little about author Judy Keim. May’s theme is ‘Heroines’ so Judy will be talking about heroines. She’ll also tell us a little about herself and her writing, and answer some fun questions.Judith Keim was born and raised in Elmira, New York, and now makes her home in Idaho with her husband and long-haired dachshund, Winston, and other members of her family.
Growing up, books were always present - being read, ready to go back to the library or about to be discovered. Information from the books was shared in general conversation, giving all of us in the family a wealth of knowledge and a lot of imagination. Perhaps that is why I was drawn to the idea of writing stories early on. I particularly love to write novels about women who face unexpected challenges with strength and find love along the way.
A hybrid author who both has a publisher and self-publishes, Ms. Keim writes heart-warming stories of strong women who face challenges and find love and happiness along the way. Her books are based, in part, on many of the places she’s lived or visited and on the interesting people she’s met along the way, creating believable characters and realistic settings her many, loyal readers love.
Beverley: What do you think makes a heroine, either in real life or in books?Judy: I like heroines who take chances even when they are afraid of failing. We women fill so many roles in life and guide so many others that it’s wonderful when one of us does something for herself.
Beverley: Is it important to have strong conflicts? If yes, inner or outer conflicts, or both?
Judy: Yes. Strong conflicts, both inner and outer, build suspense and keep the reader involved. And inner conflicts are affected by the outer conflicts we face.
Beverley: Who are your favorite heroines, and why?
Judy: I read a lot of women’s fiction and the characters I fall in love with are flawed, determined, and stronger than they think.
Beverley: Tell me about the heroines in your book/s.
Judy: In The Hartwell Women series, Marissa Cole learns she has a family she never knew about and bonds with her cousins Samantha and Allison Hartwell. They each have their own story to tell but support each other along In The Beach House Hotel series, after being dumped by their husbands, Ann Rutherford and Rhonda DelMonte decide to turn Rhonda’s Florida seaside estate into a small, boutique hotel. They face many challenges as they try for success and find love again.
In The Salty Key Inn series, three sisters inherit a small hotel on the west coast of Florida with the challenge of fixing it up and opening it within one year’s time.
In the Fat Fridays series, five women meet for lunch on Fridays—no calories counted and support each other as they face all kinds of challenges.
Beverley: How do you develop the characteristics for your heroine?
Judy: Each woman has a different story and thus is her own person, affected by their backgrounds, their hopes, their fears, their needs. By the time I’m through with the first novel in any series, I know these women very well. And they continue to grow and evolve in each story.
Beverley: How long have you been writing?
Judy: I’ve been writing all my life. I started out writing children’s stories, but then had too many other stories in my head to ignore. The first kids’ story I wrote sold immediately and I thought I was on my way to stardom! NOT!!! After selling a few more kids’ stories, I turned to women’s fiction which I’d also written for years and now have found the perfect niche.
Beverley: What genre do you write in and why?
Judy: I write women’s fiction with romantic elements. I love that people are referring to such stories as romantic women’s fiction. It’s the kind of story I love to read and write..
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Judy: Growing up, my mother read at least two books a week, even when she was working. I loved reading books and playing librarian as a young girl and have never stopped, due in large part, to my mother’s love of reading.
Beverley: What obstacles did you have to overcome to begin creating your work?
Judy: Like most authors, I’ve gone through years of rejections from New York, but always with the encouragement to keep writing. During that time, I continued to write, enter contests, and to take classes. In October 2014, I decided to try self-publishing by putting out a few of my middle-grade, fantasy novels for kids. Then in January of 2015, I put out the first of the Hartwell Women books and within months had three of out. Breakfast at the Beach House Hotel came next. That’s when things took off in a hurry. I am now a hybrid author, having sold to Lake Union Amazon Publishing and continuing to self-pub. I now have eleven adult stories out and will have two more out this year. Finding My Way, the second book in the Salty Key Inn series will be out June 7th.
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Judy: I have a lot of stories in my head. And even in the middle of writing a book, I’m thinking about my characters and what trouble they can get into. I love it when an idea comes to me. Then my creative juices really start to flow!
Beverley: What will stop your creative muse the quickest?
Judy: When things don’t seem true to character, I have to stop and think about the characters and how they affect the story. The writing comes to a stop until it’s fixed.
Beverley: What do you have for breakfast?
Judy: I usually have yogurt with a small amount of fresh fruit, black coffee and a cookie or something sweet. (For me, best time of day for something sweet)
Beverley: What do you wear when you are writing?
Judy: I start off at 7 in the morning in my pajamas and take a shower after feeding the dog a hour or so later, and wear jeans or whatever.
Beverley: Where do you do most of your writing?
Judy: I’m lucky enough to have an office of my own in my house.
Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Judy: I was watching Zootopia with my grandsons recently and discovered the bunny heroine is named Judy. So, for the moment, she’s my favorite one. LOL.
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Judy: I just saw a special on the Bronte sisters and would love to meet Charlotte and be able to talk to her about her drive to succeed and how publishing has changed today (though with the same drive to succeed)
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Judy: I’d love to meet a friend for lunch or to see a movie and wander around some of the stores I seldom visit.
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Judy: Shh! I’m working on the fourth book in The Beach House Hotel series, as a Christmas surprise for my readers!
Blurb for Finding MeFINDING ME – The Salty Key Inn Series – 1 was released on February 7, 2017. The second book in the series, FINDING MY WAY, will be released June 7, 2017.
Sheena Sullivan Morelli and her sisters, Darcy and Regan, receive the unexpected news that their Uncle Gavin Sullivan, the black sheep of the family, has left them a hotel on the Gulf coast of Florida. The gift comes with a twist. They must live together for one year at the hotel and prepare the hotel to receive guests within a year. Sheena, eager to escape her role of unappreciated wife and mother, can’t wait for the opportunity to find herself. Dreams of sitting on the beach sipping margaritas are shattered when they see the property in need of renovation. But they begin their work of meeting the challenge. If they succeed, the bulk of Gavin’s estate will be theirs. Facing the unexpected, working together, the three sisters learn a lot about each other and the gift of family love.Buy Links:
You can find Judy at:Website: http://www.judithkeim.com/
Twitter@judithkeim and she’s on LinkedIn
Don’t forget to check back next week for another author interview and we’ll be talking about Heroes.