Thursday, October 23, 2014

Interview with Author Judith Douglas

 Judith Victoria Douglas
Eastern part of Texas

Good morning, Judith, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors.  Tell us a little about yourself.

Judith Victoria Douglas is a pseudonym combining my first name with my children’s first names.

 This  picture was taken from my porch toward the creek when my last two horses were still alive.  The top photo is the street I live on.

What have you written?
Ariel’s Cottage; One Unicorn Wish; Within the Sacred Circle, A Native American Connection; Painted Tree, Two Novellas; Where the Horses Run, Book I, Mass Extinction, and Book II, Sacred Hills; Twisted Vine, An Anthology, with Miracle Belle, A Horse with a Secret published separately, and two booklets of 4 of the  short stories each, one of the romances and one of the fantasies; Tree & Sky, The Secrets of Meshyah’s World, with each of the three stories published separately; Little Duke and the Rat Princess in Kindle only; There’s a Tree on My House; and The Carousel Pony.  I have two-thirds of Where the Horses Run, Book III, Ciphers and most of Realms of the Earth, the series’ prequel, completed, but stopped working on them a few months ago.  I reached a point of total burn out and the pressure I felt to keeping going just died.  Maybe it will start up again if there is interest.  I’ve had a few of the second book sell lately.  We’ll see.
Don't give up.  Take a little break.  You'll know when you are ready to get back to writing.

What is your favorite genre to write? 
As you can see, I like to dabble in all of them, but my goal is to complete a true Sci Fi adventure someday.  I have a title and idea, but each time I work on it the whole thing starts changing, so it’s going be to hard work to keep within the theme.  It is harder and harder to find good Sci-fi.  Few have visions of a positive future for man.  It’s all war, apocalyptic, and/or social upheaval.  And most is dark and horror.  That’s not my kind of Sci-fi as you’ll find with the description of some of my books.

Favorite food.
Eggplant Parmesan                                                  

Tea or coffee?

Pizza or ice cream?

Where would you like to visit?
New Zealand, but in this country the Black Hills Horse Sanctuary and the Lakhota Reservations.

Favorite musical artist.
Hard to say, I majored in music my first year of college and love classical music, but I have diverse tastes.  I like Rock and Roll, Rhythm and Blues, Ethnic like Celtic, Scottich and Native American, and Piano Mood music, or almost anything except Rap.

Do you listen to music when you write?

Whatever I think will put me in the mood for the scene I writing.

What makes you laugh?

How old were you when you started writing?
I’m not sure during childhood, or school, but I had an interest enough to want to pursue it in college.  In my early twenties I started reading books on writing and still have my notes.  I started a lot of stories, but didn’t know how to end them.  I don’t think I wanted them to end.  I kept practicing off and on until my late 50s when I wrote several stories.  I finally decided I had to get serious and took some of those stories and published them.

Describe your perfect evening.
Quiet, reading or watching a movie in a reclining position, with a glass of wine, which I rarely allow myself to indulge in.

Favorite work of art or sculpture.  
I like John William Waterhouse’s painting (pictured at the right), and use one for an avatar, The Crystal Ball.  And I like any art, sculpture or artistic photo, especially of horses.

Where do you get your inspiration?
Sometime it comes to me after I’ve decided I’d like to try a certain type of story, or get an idea from another story where it wasn’t explored.  My extensive knowledge of horses and possible future events spurred me to start Where the Horses Run, but few are interested, so I haven’t continued it.            
However, I have found recent scientific information that matches what I predicted in the book.  The cover photo and one inside for One Unicorn Wish inspired that whole story.

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
I’ve never had a writer’s block, though I have a block of wood on my bookshelf that I got from my dad (he did some woodwork) and call it my writer’s block.  Even now, not writing, I have ideas and always think about how a story could go, or how a movie I’m watching could be better. I think I’ve always done that, but I no longer follow up or jot down notes.  I have so many of those I couldn’t finish them all in my lifetime… wait, I think Neil Gaiman said that, also.

Who is your favorite author?
I enjoy any author who has written a good story in fine style.  I am not so much a fan of an author as I am of one of their books.

Best book you ever read.
Surprisingly, a non-fiction titled Spiritwalker, by Hank Wesselman, Ph.D.  Part of it comes across as fiction, which I love, but it was the author’s true experience.  I think I like it most because it’s the only source I have found where the author had an experience similar to one I had when I was between 4-5 years old, which has stayed with me.

Last book you read.
Visionseeker, the third of Wesselman’s Spiritwalker trilogy.

What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer?
Teach at a junior college.

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
My dad.  I miss him very much.  He was one of only two males in my life I could carry on an intelligent conversation with.  The other is my son, but he’s very busy these days.  My dad and I talked about things I can only read about now, and some of that is so inadequate.  Many of his beliefs have become mine, and though he’s gone, as I get older I have come to understand why he discussed some things with.  I think I was the only one he found he could discuss these things with, also.  He was the one to introduce me to science fiction when I was in high school.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?  
My dad.  See above.

What advice would you give someone who aspires to be a writer? 
Just keep writing.  Publishing is nice, but if you’re writing to enjoy a type of story you like and want to share it, you can publish it yourself and give it away free to friends and family who will always have it as part of a memory of you.  That is what writing is really about, creating something to share with others.  Many classic authors started out self-published.

Do you have any links for us to follow you?

Twitter - @booksbyjvd

Tumblr - Menagerie,

And I can also be found on LinkedIn, LibraryThing, Shelfari, and Goodreads. 

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