Judy Ferrell is my guest author for January 2023.
Welcome Judy, to By the Letter. It’s a pleasure to have you here to talk about your writing, which is varied and prolific.
Tell us where you live and what a typical day might look like for you
I live in a middle-sized town in Virginia, USA, called Abingdon. I am the founder of Washington County Habitat for Humanity. I spend my days reading, reviewing, and writing books and checking on my neighbors.
What kind of writing do you do and what led you to that?
I write just about anything. I’ve been writing all my life. At this point, I have four books of poetry, two books of short stories, and the beginnings of a mystery/spy series out. But I also have a space opera I work on when everything else is driving me crazy. You just never know what I’m doing.
How does writing begin for you?
I usually start off with someone saying “what if…” if I’m doing a story. For poetry, a word or phrase will catch my eye and then away I go.
What is the most essential aspect of the story?
For me it’s characters. Although my Cora Lee series contains a fair bit of background in the second book that was necessary for series development and character building.
What is your most recent book about? What inspired this particular story?
Cora Lee Bennett is a corker. She’s a retired librarian turned spy, sort of, and this is what she gets into. As for my inspiration, my sister and I were going somewhere talking and she asked that now famous question “what if…”
The Adventures of Cora Lee was released in January 2023. Find it here.
Writers draw constantly on their imaginations. How do you keep your well of creativity full?
I have never really had a problem. What many people don’t know about me is I see and talk to ghosts. Always have. So I have material always or I can just go talk them into telling me things. [Ed note: Please can I have some useful ghosts too?]
What do you do to relax?
I read, sing, and review books. I used to crochet until my hands got bad.
What do you want your readers to feel when they have closed the last page of your book?
I think I’d like them to want more, to remember who I am.
What’s the best thing someone has said about your writing?
That some of my short stories gave them thrills. That they couldn’t tell which were real. That my poems touched their heart and soul.
If you could tell your younger writer (no matter how recently that might be) anything, what would it be?
Don’t give up. Keep writing. Take more word and typing classes, they’re important later!
Judy Ferrell is a long-time resident of Abingdon, Virginia. Her earliest memories are listening to her grandfather play guitar and spin stories on the front porch of the family farm.
And so a writer was born. Ms. Ferrell, a lonely child, taught herself to read early and began to write. She found a love of words and how they sounded. She asks her fans to join her in each new discovery as she continues her fascination with words and how they can change the world.
With five books written and hundreds of reviews done, Ms. Ferrell hopes that she can in some way help other indie authors achieve their goals.
Her one life goal is to be recognized in her home state as the poet and author she is.
Follow Judy on Twitter @JudyDFerrell
Find all of Judy’s books here.