Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Interview with Judith A. McDowell

Laurie:  Hello, Jude.  I am so happy to get this opportunity to find out more about you.  Thanks so much for taking time out to visit with me today.

Jude:  Thank you for the invitation to talk with you, Laurie. I always enjoy talking about myself and my books. They are both very close to my heart.  

Laurie:  I would like to talk briefly about your Paranormal Werewolf novel first, if that is OK?

RougarouJude: Yes, Rougarou is the third book I wrote. And I am happy to say the book is doing quite well, especially for having been on the market for only about five months now.

Laurie:  I read Rougarou right around Halloween and I loved it! You have such a beautiful, descriptive style of writing.  Does it just kind of flow from your mind easily or do you have to think about every phrase and sentence to get that?

Jude: First of all, Laurie, thank you for your kinds words. Now, to answer your question. In normal everyday life, I rarely stop and think about what I am going to say before I say it and the same goes for my writing. The thought hits my brain and shoots out of my mouth or through my fingers.

Laurie:  Where did you get the idea for Rougarou?

Jude:  The idea for Rougarou came from a poem I wrote around Halloween one year. I read the poem to my family. My son Dave Lobie,  a very gifted guitar player who has his own band put music to the words, we threw in a few sounds from Ozzie, put it on a loud speaker for the enjoyment of the people and quickly became the talk of the neighborhood. Later, my brother Dave McDowell, suggested I should write a book around the poem and the rest is history.

Laurie: That must have been lots of fun as it was brainstormed, then developed.  It is always amazing to me how a simple idea can evolve into something unexpected.

One of the first things anyone will notice when chatting with you is your irreverent and saucy sense of humor. It just seems such a natural part of who you are.  This humor carries over into Rougarou; especially in the by-play between the two detectives as they try to solve the crime.  How do you come up with the little one-line zingers?

Jude: I guess I am just a born zing slinger.  

Laurie:  Ha! Ha! Yes, I do believe that!

What process do you go through when you decide to write a new novel? 

Rougarou IIJude:  Since I have never been able to work with an outline, I simply sit down at the computer and depending on what genre I am writing in, I turn on the music that fits my mood. For instance, for my Indian love story, I use a lot of John Schneider. For Rougarou and Rougarou II, I use Phil Collins’ Mama. I turn the music up as high as it will go and then take a few deep breaths to relax my mind and write.

Laurie:  Glad you mentioned Rougarou II.  You just recently published that one. Can you tell us a bit about it?

Jude: Rougarou II tells the story of Rafael Hindel, the monarch of the Hindel Family who has vowed the destruction of Donavan Hays and Jack Olivier, the two detectives who, as he sees it, destroyed his world.

Laurie:  Before Rougarou, you published a historical fiction novel.  How did you get the idea for Fated Memories?

Jude: Fated Memories is actually the prequel to the first book I ever wrote titled Long Ago Memories. When I finished Long ago Memories I thought the story was done. I was wrong. More of the story kept bothering me until finally I sat down and wrote Fated Memories. 

Laurie:  I haven’t yet had the opportunity to read either of those books, but I have read the sample download of Fated Memories and I LOVE it.  Are there paranormal elements in that book, as well?  

Jude: The paranormal comes into play, in Fated Memories, when Two Spirits tells Jessie about what happened when he was seeking his vision quest. Then again when Pehta, the man who helped raise Two Spirits reveals the fact he is a seer.

Laurie: How about letting us hear your blurb of Fated Memories.

Jude:  Born into one of the richest most powerful families in the state of Montana, Jessie Thornton has never heard the word “NO” until she sets her sights on Two Spirits, a handsome Blackfoot Indian hired onto her father’s ranch to tame the wild mustangs brought down from the hills.

In her struggle to be with the man she loves, Jessie soon finds herself fighting an uphill battle against 1903 Montana morals and small-town bigotry. 

Laurie: I love that! Please share a short excerpt, too.

Fated MemoriesJude: Yes, I would be glad to share some of Fated Memories with you. This is the part of the book where Jessie and Two Spirits meet.

The big horse stepped back snorting his ears pinned flat against his head, his nostrils flaring. The Indian stopped a short distance away and holding out his hand, palm down, stood very still. Neither moved as each measured the other. Then to the disbelief of all who watched, the horse walked forward as far as his tether would allow to sniff the Indian’s hand. The man walked closer, loosened the reins and  lifted the halter from the horse’s face.
“You better get the hell outta there, you stupid bastard!” Eathen yelled, throwing his half-smoked cigar into the dust. “That big son-of-a-bitch knows he’s loose! He’s gonna charge!”
“Do not move,” the young man raised one hand, his black eyes never leaving those of the skittish horse. With ease he ran his hand down the horse’s back then up over his neck, all the while speaking in a calm, quiet voice.
The stallion remained still, his ears perked, no longer pinned against his broad head.
“I never saw anything to top this in all my born days.” Eathen stooped to retrieve his still smoldering cigar.
“How’s he doin’ that?” Charlott asked, as stunned at what she witnessed as the man who stood beside her.
“Damned if I know. It’s almost like he’s got him in a trance or somethin’.”
To the surprise of everyone present, the Indian reached up taking a fistful of the horse’s long mane, then in one fluid motion, swung himself onto his broad back. For a long moment no one moved as man and horse remained still. Then, as though wakening from a deep sleep, the big horse took off at a full gallop around the enclosure.
“Open the gate so he can run!” the Indian called out.
“Mister Eathen,” Tom ran forward, “none of us’ll ever lay eyes on that horse again if we open that gate!”
“Open it!” Eathen clamped the cigar between his teeth. “After what I just witnessed, he won’t be worth a shit to the rest of us anyway.”
“All right, but remember what I said. That redskin’ll be back in the hills fore you know what the hell’s happened. Only now,” Tom swung the gate wide before stepping back out of the way, “he’ll be ridin’ the best damn horse he’s ever laid eyes on!”
Seeing his escape, the horse ran towards the opening.
At a slight touch on her arm, Charlott turned to find Jessie standing beside her.
“Who is that?” Jessie breathed, her deep blue eyes staring after horse and rider as they tore across the prairie.
Without taking her eyes from the man in question, Charlott replied, “He’s a young Indian who came to the ranch lookin’ for work. Only now,” she laughed, brushing the long, dark red hair back from her daughter’s flushed face,  “I don’t think he needs our help anymore.”
“He’s beautiful,” Jessie whispered.
“Yeah, he would of sired some beautiful foals.” Eathen placed an arm around her slender waist, draping his other arm over Charlott’s shoulders as they walked towards the house. “But,” he glanced down, winking at Charlott, “I think that’s out of the question now.”
Not bothering to correct him, Jessie declared, “In other words, you think the Indian’s stolen him!”
“Hell yes, I think he’s stolen him!” Eathen growled. “He’s an Indian ain’t he?”
“If that’s how you feel,” Jessie squinted up at him, “why’d you let him get close to the stallion in the first place?”
“He said he could break him.” Eathen dropped his arm from Charlott’s shoulder and shading his eyes, tried to peer through the dust still hanging over the prairie. “I told him if he could break that wild bastard, I’d give him a job.”
“Do you mean to keep your word?” Jessie watched her father out of the corner of her eye, her heart pumping with anticipation.
“Jessie, he’s already back in the hills offerin’ that horse to the highest bidder.”
“But if by some chance he does come back, are you gonna give him a job workin’ here on the ranch like you said you would?”
“Why sure, Jessie,” Eathen pulled her against his hip.  “Just as soon as he sobers up.”
“Good! Because here he comes!” Jessie shouted.
“Well, I’ll be damned!” Eathen breathed, as the young man rode towards them.
The Indian gave Jessie but a brief glance, his surprise well-hidden, at seeing a girl dressed in jeans. He gave the man still staring at him, his full attention. “He will be a good horse now.” With fondness, he slapped the horse against the side of his long neck. “He should sire many fine ponies for you.”
“Do I still have a job?”
“I said if you could break him I’d give you a job,” Eathen growled. “I’m a man of my word.”
“What’s your name?” Jessie asked.
A slight smile touched his wide mouth at her boldness. “My name is Two Spirits.”
“I’m glad to meet you, Two Spirits. My name’s Jessie Thornton,” she stared up at the dark young man with his long black hair held at bay by a leather thong tied about his forehead, and holding out her hand. 
     ------------------------------------end of excerpt-----------------------------
Laurie: Do you see yourself sort of digging into the Paranormal genre niche going forward or do you think you will be less exclusive?

Jude: I think I will be staying with the paranormal and the horror genre for the time being. My new book is going to be about a mansion right here in my hometown that has gained some notoriety for being strange. One of the oddest things about the house is, although it has been gone for many years some people still see it just as it was when it was new and beautiful. 

Laurie: No kidding?? How very bizarre!! I think that will make a wonderful book! I know I will want to read it!

What advice can you share with us as far as promoting your books that you think will be beneficial to other newer authors who want to see increased sales?

Jude:  Keep promoting as much as you can. You have to keep your books before the public. I am not saying step on any toes. Always be polite when promoting in the different forums, and interact with the people. And if at all possible, meet someone who can give you an interview such as the one I am doing now with my wonderful hostess, Laurie Jenkins.

Laurie: Where can your fans find you hanging out?

Jude:  I am going to start my own web-site soon. I will give you, Laurie, a note when the site is up and then all who wish to visit are welcome. The more the merrier.

Laurie: Is there anything else you would like to mention today that I should have brought up and didn’t? 

Jude: Yes, Laurie there is. As soon as I have the book cover for Long Ago Memories, I will be putting the book on the kindle. Then before long, all my books will also be in print.   

Laurie:  I know you are looking forward to having all your books out in print format. It’s so fulfilling to see hard work pay off in such a tangible way.

Thank you again.  It’s been fun.  And I hope 2011 will be a better and more prosperous year for all of us

Jude:  You are echoing my nightly prayer, Laurie.
Thank you for this interview, I have enjoyed talking with you.


As mentioned earlier, I read Rougarou around Halloween and loved it.  Here is an excerpt from the review I wrote for it.     ---Laurie

Rougarou (Volume 1)ROUGAROU By Judith A McDowell
Atmospheric Paranormal Suspense Horror with Romantic Elements

Full of passion and unholy desire, this beautifully structured story of a twisted love that survives untold years through the application of black magic conveys just the right sense of the  heaviness of the thick, humid Louisiana air as it does the weighted, putrefying flesh of the tormented, insane villain. Read Full Review

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