JP: First off, thanks, Marianne, for inviting me to visit with you. It's great to be here.
MR: It was wonderful seeing you again last month! Sounds like all is going well in New Mexico. Let's talk shop now. How long does it take you to write a book?
JP: A long time. I'm a slow writer. It takes me nearly a year to write a novel, and half of that for a novella. But my first draft is usually my final and ready for my critique partners to look at. When they're done with all the colorful red ink they add, I consider their suggestions (and make most of them). Then it's on to my editor for a final pass.
MR: What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
JP: I am one of those annoying people who wake up wide awake. And I wake up early. Before six, on my own, without an alarm. So, I get up, make an espresso (the Nespresso machine is a gift from my kids), feed and walk the dogs and then sit down to write. Some days, I have a hard time keeping my butt in the chair when I'm writing at home. So, if I want to focus, I head out to my favorite Starbucks for an hour or two. I'm a gold member. What can I say?
MR: Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
JP: Well, since I've had stories in my head forever, there are always ideas tumbling around. In a folder on my computer for possible projects there are 26 files. And that's just the ones I've remembered to write down. The idea for the Heart to Heart series started when I was visiting my parents in Maine, and we were at their house in Machias. We were pulling into the driveway when Dad commented in this offhand way that one of the lobstermen had been shooting at another lobsterman because he had been messing with the first guy's bait box. That's the idea behind the story in Secrets, Book 1. Whispers, Book 3, takes place a dozen years later. And Fears, which is Book 2 is started but isn't finished.
MR: I love reading books set in New England. So, what inspired you to write this book?
JP: After finishing Secrets, where Nikki's secret was revealed, I moved on to another story, finished that, wrote another one, and wrote some erotica as Pepper Goodrich. But, Nikki kept nagging me to write her story. Not exactly the one she wanted though. The one where she is forced to work with the father of her daughter. Yes, it's a secret baby book <hangs head because I swore I'd never write one> And I'll never write an amnesia story. But, maybe …
MR: Ha! Maybe you'll forget you said that about the amnesia story. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
JP: I've written quite a few. I have 8 currently published in varying lengths and from sweet to spicy to very hot. Five are by Judi and three are by Pepper. In addition, both Judi and Pepper have three more books to be published this year. And there's the Campfire Circle stories that I hope to publish this year. Just need to finish the novella for that series.
Night of Turmoil is my favorite. It's set in Tunisia at the beginning of the Arab Spring. My daughter-in-law is Tunisian and I was in Morocco when it started.
MR: Sounds like you have some writing to do...and I have some reading! Tell us about Whispers.
Nikki Cushman is newly promoted to acting President of a small credit union in Portland, Maine. She knows there's trouble when she discovers Tony D'Angelo is assigned to handle the transition audit. He does not know he is the father of her twelve-year old daughter, Angie. When they're forced to work together to investigate issues with fraudulent accounts and threats against Nikki and Angie, can they listen to the whispers in their hearts?
You can find Whispers and other books by Judi Phillips here:
Amazon Kindle: Amazon
Apple iBooks: iBooks
The door opened and Nikki stood to greet Gino Bernini, the credit union's auditor. Reaching out to shake his hand, she looked over his shoulder and realized someone had followed him into the room. For a second, her heart stopped. After what seemed forever, it began a pounding rhythm against her ribs.
What is he doing here?
As her knees weakened, Nikki schooled her features into a cool mask.
He didn't look all that different from the last time she'd seen him, almost a dozen years ago. The same ebony hair slicked back in an attempt to control the curl. The same eyes the color of dark chocolate, framed with eyelashes every girl had sighed over in high school. The same chiseled features. Only his nose, broken in some long-forgotten fight in junior high, kept him from being too handsome. His strut had turned into a confident stride, but a hint of the old swagger remained.
His bad boy uniform of jeans and black leather motorcycle jacket had been exchanged for casual business. One button, open at the neck of his shirt, tempted her.
She remembered unbuttoning his shirt the last time they'd been together. It seemed like yesterday although it had been almost twelve years.
Judi has had stories in her head as far back as she can remember. However, being lazy (her friends like to point out that she’s efficient), and being a legal assistant, she knew she could never complete a manuscript if she had to write it on a typewriter. Then, along came word processors, and those magic cut and paste and delete icons. There was no stopping her after that. Within a few weeks of her first job with a computer, she started her first story, a house-beautiful, vogue thing about lawyers. Needless to say, it will never be published — but she honed her description skills on that project, so nothing is ever wasted.
Judi has recently relocated to New Mexico and is living in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains. No more Februarys in Maine for her. She lives with two dogs, a Yorkie, Mishka, and a MinPin, Gizmo, who have acclimated easily. Despite their small size, they rule the house.
You can find Judi on the web at: http://judiphillips.com/
and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/judi.phillips.50
follow her on Twitter: @judiphil
and read her random blog posts at: http://sugarspice-judi.blogspot.com/
or e-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org