Interview with Judi Fennell
When did you first start writing?
I have always written, for as long as I can remember. I even have a story from first grade, written on the large, lined yellow paper with a big space for illustrations. The story is about a raindrop falling from the sky with all her friends. I have my journal books from fourth grade that contain my stories, many with paranormal elements. I even won honorable mention in a Caldecott Award in elementary school for my book, Cotton The Lonely Rabbit.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I’m working on the next book in the BeefCake, Inc. series, Beefcake & Big Fakes. Someone isn’t who they say they are…
The series centers around the men of BeefCake, Inc. Take a taste!
If this is part of a series, how did you come up with the idea for the series?
The BeefCake, Inc. series started at the same time the first Magic Mike movie was being made. Interesting thing is, though, I hadn’t heard anything about the movie until I was getting ready to release the first book, Beefcake & Cupcakes. How the story came about was that some friends were talking about going to see The Chippendales and someone said something about beefcake, and cheesecake came up, and then cupcakes… The title Beefcake & Cupcakes just popped into my head and all of a sudden, I could see the story. Sometime it happens like that—something will spark an idea and all of a sudden, I have characters talking to me. And dancing for me too… Let me tell you, research for this series has NOT been a hardship…
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The ability to put out the stories my readers have been asking for in a timely manner, and to have a say over every aspect of the books.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Hearing from readers that my stories helped get them through some tough times. Or that they totally escaped reality for a few hours and laughed while doing so.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Favorite is Bewitching by Jill Barnett. It’s right up my alley—wonky magic, in the vein of the TV show, humor, and all around great feels. You will want to be Joyous and have your own Alec.
When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn. OMG, the emotion on this one. And of course, Julia’s wonderful humor.
Cardinal Rules by Barbara Delinsky. It’s an all-around feel-good book.
A Blast to the Past by Virginia Farmer. The hands-down, absolute best epilogue EVER!
A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Devereaux. If you love time-travel romance, I can’t see anyone not liking this book. Love love love it.
Which other authors have most influenced or inspired your writing?
Katie MacAlister is an inspiration. I remember when I was just starting to write for publication, I wanted to put a pop culture reference in my book, but wasn’t sure that “was done.” And then I read one of hers where she had a character reference Frau Blucher and that was it. My pop culture references made it in to my books.
Influenced… my critique partner, Stephanie Julian. She’s an amazing writer with fabulous feel-good sexy romances, and she tells you like it is. I’m a better writer because of her.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
A book by Lauren Rowe, who is known for her sexy series. She wrote Countdown to Killing Kurtis, and it is hands-down THE best psychological thriller I’ve ever read. Just brilliant. I would love for all her readers (and every reader) to pick it up as much as they have her other books. It’s one hell of a ride.
What is the first book that made you cry?
Mine. In Over Her Head. Twice. There’s a scene when Reel has a big revelation that made me sit back and look at my computer and think, “Oh, so that’s why he is the way he is.” It’s a poignant moment for me as a writer.
I also cried when I wrote The End.
Do you have a muse or a “constant reader”?
No muse. Just the characters when they start talking to me.
Who’s your book boyfriend or secret book crush?
I’m going to have to go with Alec in Bewitching. He’s so vulnerable under his tough façade that, now that I know his story, my heart aches for him every time.
What do you read for pleasure?
These days, I’m reading psychological thrillers.
Describe your desk
Neat. I’m not one of those writers with papers scattered all over the place. If my desk isn’t clean and neat, I can’t write because the mess is calling for me to straighten it. I sit in an office most of the time that has a big front window that looks at a meadow and my bird feeder. My desk faces my foyer and I have four high-hat lights on when I write. I need lots of light. The dogs are typically scattered on the various beds and ottomans (though my office is only 11’x11’), and I have a fairy fountain I created to provide the sound of water when I’m writing. I can’t have music that I can sing to or the TV on when I write. I have to immerse myself in my story.
Be certain to find a few moments to yourself this month where you can reflect on the past year’s events and set goals for the new year. Seek out friends and celebrate community and family. If you have no close friends or family, get out to a social event such as a solstice march, a tree lighting, a Midnight Mass, a Holiday craft market, a concert or other gathering. You never know who you might meet in the magic of the season. Burn your regrets in a safe deep pot outside (with a jug of water on hand just in case) on December 31. Happy Solstice!
Watch the overview horoscope for more details and then click on your sign to see what’s in store for your own sign this month!
Check out my brand new book, Taurus: A Hearse of a Different Color available in both eBook and print for your enjoyment!