Friday, September 27, 2013

Author Spotlight: Judy Goodwin

1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Well, I'm a single mom, work as a technical writer by day, and aspire to one day support my family off my fiction writing and not have to drive to an office. I was born in Arizona and grew up there, can't stand the cold, and can tell you all kind of tales of growing up with farm animals, in particular the chickens, which I used to dress up. I was always a creative child. Nowadays I spend my free time watching movies, playing video games, volunteering for local fundraising efforts, and watching my daughter's soccer games.

2. When did you start writing, and why?

I wrote my first book at six--no really. I've been writing for as long as I can remember; it's just part of who I am. Even if another soul never saw any of it, I'd still be writing.

3. What do you write, and why? What do you enjoy about what you write?

I write mostly fantasy, with some science fiction and humor thrown in. I enjoy history and world building, which goes along with the fantasy genre. I also like to come up with magic systems that contain a hint of realism, whether it is mystical or scientific.

4. What is your latest book or series? Any forthcoming books?

My first novel came out in December 2012 entitled "Heart of the Witch." This is an epic fantasy about a young man with magical powers in a civilization that burns witches like him at the stake.

My next novel will be the first in a five book series, and will be coming out Spring 2014. This book is called "Journey to Landaran," about Aidah and her twin brother Tavish. Aidah has the gift or curse of Spirit Talent, a gift so rare that nations fight wars over control of people like her. Her brother also has a powerful gift to affect light and heat, a firestarter. Together, they must race for the safety of family in the great city of Landaran before the enemy can capture them.

I also have a few novellas and short story collections out, including the adventures of Cathy Pembroke, Fae Enforcement Division of the Oakland police.

5. "Welcome To My Worlds": Tell us a little about the world of your latest book or series.

In "Heart of the Witch" the world is a mirror image of our one in many ways--the setting is a colonial town where religious fanatics hold tight control over the people. They look like the Puritans. But magic is real.

One of the differences is that beyond the walls of the town lies a vast jungle, and beyond that, mountains and deserts. I based the continent of Argessa on Australia, complete with aborigine-based tribes. And there are monsters unique to Argessa, including a singing possum with blue scales and a flying kangaroo.

Picture 6. Introduce us to some of your characters. What do you like about them?
Zerrick Dhur is the main character, and while he is intelligent and creative, he sees only his faults. He can't read, even though his family has tried to teach him. He doesn't believe in the God that his father, Reverend, preaches about. And he loves magic, which is heresy. Most of all, he wants to explore the jungle and see beyond the tiny town of Harrow.

I like having characters with flaws. Zerrick has a lot of personal baggage that he must deal with later on, with the help of friends that he meets along the way. Among these are two of my favorites, Mira, a fiery redhead who also wants to leave the confinements of her over-protective family, and Mok, a Put-na scout of a local tribe who enjoys smoking the colonists' tobacco. He brings a lighter tone with his rough humor and easy going ways.

7. A fun fact you would like your readers to know about you or your book.

I did the illustrations inside the book. There was a time when I thought about becoming an artist as well as a writer. But I decided art was going to take too much time away from my first love of writing. You can find illustrations for Zerrick, Mira, and Mok posted at my blog.

8. Blog/site link, and where your book is available.

Book available at:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble

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