USA Today bestselling author Judy Duarte has written more than sixty books and novellas for Harlequin Special Edition and Kensington, earned two Rita® finals, won two Maggies and received a National Reader’s Choice Award. She lives in Southern California with her personal hero.
When she’s not cooped up in her writing cave, Judy enjoys traveling with her husband and spending quality time with her grandchildren who refer to her as Memaw because she reminds them of Young Sheldon Cooper’s spunky grandma.
I have the pleasure today to be speaking with multi-published author Judy Duarte. Her romance novels always leave the reader wanting more!
Judy: The industry has certainly changed, and so has technology, but romance is eternal. And so is a happy ever after. Life can be rough and painful, and I believe a lot of readers want to be reminded that there’s always hope, that the night is always darkest before the dawn.
Judy: Yes, it gets easier, especially when you have an acquiring editor working with you to make a book stronger and more marketable. But I’m always open to learn more about the craft and to apply what I’ve learned to my books.
Judy: They’re all important to me. I grew up in a small town, where yards were big enough to have horses and pets, and where people tend to know each other. So I tend to gravitate to those settings. And I like creating real-life characters who could be your best friend or your neighbor. Take, for instance, a single mom or a single dad. Raising a child on one’s own implies that there’s been some grief of stress in the past. And who else deserves to fall in love and be happy?
Judy: Two years ago, my husband and I vacationed in Big Fork, Montana. We’d barely gotten into a rental car in Kalispell, and I was already swept away by the beautiful, big sky country. And I knew the setting of my next books. So I created the town of Fairbrook, Montana.
Judy: I create a flawed character. Then I ask myself, given that character’s fears and flaws, who would be the worst possible person for them to fall in love with. The built-in conflict will help both characters learn and grow—and earn their happy-ever-after.
Judy: A woman running from her entangled past finds herself attracted to a single father of twins, but when the by-the-book-lawman learns the truth about her, she fears their romance will be doomed before it ever begins.
Judy: That everyone deserves a second chance and that love is worth fighting for.
Judy: Yes, I’m working on book 4 now, and book 5 is simmering in my mind.
Judy: As an author, I can’t imagine a greater thrill than to be matched with Marie Ferrarella, the queen of Harlequin romances, and my very own daughter, Christy Jeffries!
Judy: I write or edit every day, even if it’s just a few pages. At the end of a writing day, I print out the scene/s I wrote and set them in the kitchen, next to the coffee pot. The next morning, I make a cup of coffee then pick up a red pen and edit those pages. Next, I sit down at the computer and input my changes. That’s usually all it takes to jump back into the story and write the next scene. I’ve also learned not to end my writing day at the end of a scene. I always push on and write a couple of paragraphs of the next one. That usually gives my muse a jumpstart.
Judy: My daughter, Christy Jeffries, gave me a plaque that sits next to my computer. It says: Oh that my words were written! Oh that they were written in a book! – Job 19:23
Judy: I’m writing the third book in the 2022 Fortunes of Texas series. I love working on continuities, especially this one. It’s the third romance in the series and will be released in March of 2022.
Judy: My books are available at online in print or e-format. You can find them at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the Harlequin website.
Thank you for spending time with us her on A Slice of Orange. Your novels have inspired so many readers. Good luck with the debut of Starting Over with the Sheriff on the 25th of this month!!
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