Hi Judith, welcome to Inheritance Books. Please, tell us a bit about yourself.
As a child, I loved being read to. But sometimes no one was available to read to me, so I made up my own stories to entertain myself. It’s no wonder I wound up becoming a writer! After spending time as a playwright, an English teacher, a guitar teacher, a tax preparer and a few other jobs I’d just as soon forget, I started writing full-time, and within a year I’d sold my first novel. My newest release, The April Tree, is my 90th published novel. (I try not to count all the never-to-see-the-light-of-day novels crammed into my file cabinets.) My husband and I live in a charming old colonial town not far from Boston, and we’re the proud parents of two wonderful sons. When I’m not writing or doing family stuff, I can be found jogging, listening to music, munching on dark chocolate…and reading, of course.
Which book have you inherited from the generation above? Why is it special?
Grimm’s Fairy Tales. I know, they’re aptly named—terribly grim. But I loved this old book, which I’m sure my grandmother read to my mother when she was a child, and which my parents read to me until I was old enough to read the stories myself. Some of them frightened me. Some made me cry. They were full of death and shadows and chilling evil. Yet I devoured them. They allowed me to explore dark, scary places in my imagination. And the heroes and heroines were usually children like me. I wanted to believe I could be as heroic as the children in the stories were, strong enough to confront those evil forces and triumph over them.
Which book would you leave to future generations? Why?
Lewis Carroll’s Alice books: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Through the Looking Glass. These stories also feed the imagination and expand a child’s mind—but unlike the Grimm’s Fairy Tales, they do it with wit and humor and a keen understanding of human nature. I write adult novels—romances and women’s fiction—but I think a writer’s imagination develops in childhood. Children need to believe that anything is possible. And I love that the protagonist of the Alice books is a girl. She’s tough. She’s petulant. She’s demanding. She tells it like it is. Nothing fazes her—not a hideous duchess, not talking chess pieces, not a frumious bandersnatch. I read the Alice books to my sons when they were young. I hope someday I’ll have grandchildren to read them to.
That’s a great choice. Alice’s adventures also give you an insight into the absurd, which allows you to think differently. I think that’s a massive boon to help widen imaginations.
Thank you so much for sharing your Inheritance Books with us, Judith. Good luck with the writing. I hope you get to 100 books really soon.