**AUTHOR PEEK** Interview with JUDE WILLHOFF
Before we get started talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you do for a living (if you’re not a full–time writer) what hobbies you have, etc. Whatever you’d like to share to introduce yourself.
Hi everyone, I‘m Jude Willhoff and I’ve been writing for several years. I grew up on a farm in the Ozarks of Missouri. After marrying my husband we came to Colorado on our honeymoon and fell in love with the mountains. My husband is from Ohio and I didn’t want to live in Ohio and I’m from Missouri and he didn’t want to live in Missouri. So for many reasons, we decided we wanted to make Colorado our home and raise our children in this beautiful state. We’ve done just that and have always been happy about making that decision.
By day I work as office manager at our real estate business, Bijou Property Management. We help clients buy, sell and manage their rental properties. Sometimes when I have some down time at work I’m able to sneak in a little writing, but most of my writing is done in the evenings and on weekends. But any time I can steal away for writing is always good.
As far as hobbies, I love to read and go to the movies. I love that feeling of being carried away to another world. Doesn’t everyone? And in the summer, I love planting and maintaining my flowers. Just looking at all those beautiful colors makes me feel good all summer.
1. What genre(s) do you write and why?
I like to write contemporary romance, romantic suspense and paranormal romance. These genres appeal to me because this is what I like to read. I had a blast writing Starseed, my latest release. My husband and I went to Roswell, New Mexico and I interviewed people and explored the town and the UFO museum. There’s some pretty fascinating information in that museum and the town is involved with the UFO history.
I also have a couple of nonfiction books out. I wrote Living Well With Chronic Pain to let people suffering with chronic pain know that there are things that they can do to help manage their chronic pain. You see, I have Arachnoiditis, which causes constant chronic pain and I also have a spinal cord implant to help control the pain so I know of what I speak. With the implant, people can’t tell I have anything going on unless I want to tell them and that works well for me.
And I wrote Writing Secrets of 33 Bestselling Romance Authors for purely selfish reasons. I wanted to find out how these bestselling authors made it to the USA Today and New York Times bestselling lists. I wanted to know everything I could find out about how they write, their schedules, how they handle marketing, editors, agents, social media and everything in between because I want to follow in their footsteps. Debbie Macomber wrote the foreword for this book and was the very first interview I ever did. She was very gracious and put me right at ease and she told me a great story about her life. She is a wonderful author who had to overcome many things to be where she is today. Her story is very inspiring and she’s first class all the way.
2. If you were to choose one superpower, what would it be?
One superpower, hmmm, that’s a tough one. Although, some days I’d like to be able to read people’s minds, most days I wouldn’t want that power. However, I think it would be very cool to be psychic. I guess I’ll have to settle for just being me. And that’s okay. I like who I am.
3. Do you ever get stuck when you’re writing a book? What do you do to get “unstuck”?
Of course, I get stuck. When writing a book, I think most of us get stuck at one time or another. When I come to that spot I usually realize I need an artist date or a good brainstorming session with my critique partners. Sometimes, you just need to step away from it for a while and then when you come back to your story, with any luck, the words will be flowing like a fine wine.
4. What is your least favorite part of writing?
I love the plotting out of my book but writing the first draft takes me the longest amount of time so it’s the least favorite. However, I love to go back through and add the meat to the story, making each paragraph, each scene just the way I want it.
5. If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
Well, today it’s snowy and cold so I would make chicken and dumplings, biscuits, salad and peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream for dessert.
6. What is your typical day like?
Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I start out my day with 90 minutes of pool therapy/exercise. This is the only form of exercise that I’ve found that I really like. After that, I go to the office and deal with whatever is going on there. I like to write in the evenings and all day after the pool on Fridays and any other time I can work in during the week. I follow the rule of three on Facebook and Twitter. Three times a day, scroll down three times, comment three times, and share three times then leave Facebook or Twitter and go to something else. It’s so easy to spend too much time on these things and let your writing suffer so I try to abide by this rule so social media doesn’t own me.
7. What is most difficult for you to write? Characters, conflict or emotions? Why?
Conflict has always given me fits because I hate conflict and confrontations in real life. Of course, nobody can avoid life’s conflicts but I do my best and I have to work really hard on my character’s conflict. I’ve found by plotting out my story on a storyboard that it’s easier for me to get all the conflict worked in where it needs to be before I start my story and that really helps me.
8. A penguin walks into your office, right now, wearing a sombrero. What does he say to you and why is he here?
Being in real estate for many years taking care of sales and rentals, not much surprises me. Believe me, I’ve met some pretty strange clients in this business. The penguin would say, “I need to buy a house with a pool. Do you have one?” And I would say, “I just happen to have a 3 bedroom, 3 bath home, with a 3 car garage and a pool. Would that work for you?” After prequalifying him, I’d take him out to see our home for sale. Because I have a small car, he’d have to put his sombrero in my backseat when we get into my car.
9. If you could wave a magic wand, what ill in the world would you solve and why?
World hunger. It hurts to see people starving in other countries and hearing about how little children have to go to sleep hungry even here in the United States. It’s just ridiculous that in this day and age that people have to go hungry.
10. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
I have a box set of my Sweet Home Colorado Series coming out in July and then my next book is the second in the Star Traveler Series, called Visitations and it will be released in the fall of 2014.
Visitations is a paranormal romantic suspense about having strange, uninvited visitors from another world arrive unexpectedly on your doorstep. It starts with a naked stranger dancing under the moonlight in the widow, Izzie Norris’s yard. Even stranger robotic phone calls keep her nerves stretched to the breaking point. Someone is trying to drive her crazy, but why? The things that keep happening to her can’t be real. Izzie’s life is turned upside down when she learns of her twin sister, who calls herself a Starseed. Her twin tells Izzie that she is an alien Starseed as well. Sure, the woman looks just like Izzie, but she’s got to be out of her ever loving mind.
Detective Johnny Rafferty answers Izzie’s 911 call to find the girl that got away. Childhood sweethearts, he had left her many years ago when he went into the army and thought it best to let her go because he wasn’t good enough for her. Even today, he is stricken by her unique beauty and her complex situation. Someone is messing with her and he wants to get to the bottom of who is causing her such problems. Her twin sister she never knew existed arrives and he is stunned. Together, he and Izzie must put the pieces of her past together to prove that this strange woman who claims to be her sister is out of her mind and figure out who is trying to harm Izzie. Things that go bump in the night aren’t always what they seem.
Links to Jude’s website, blog, books, etc.
All of my books can be found on my website at www.judewillhoff.com or www.amazon.com
Sweet Home Colorado Series:
Book One: No Direction Home (Link: http://amzn.com/B00G7HUW80)
Book Two: Fly Away Home (Link: http://amzn.com/B00G7HNCZU)
Book Three: Home Sweet Home (Link: http://amzn.com/B00G7REBGO)
Writing Secrets of 33 Bestselling Romance Authors (Link: http://amzn.com/B00G715A9K)
Living Well With Chronic Pain (Link: http://amzn.com/B00G714MQM)
BE SURE TO COME BACK to read more about Jude and her book, STARSEED, on Wednesday’s Karen’s Killer Book Bench. Happy Reading!
**SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Jude will give away an e-copy of her book, STARSEED, to one reader who comments on her Monday Interview or Wednesday Book Bench blogs. Don’t miss this chance to read this story. Thanks, Jude, for sharing your story with us!