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Hi, Judy. Welcome to the Writers4Higher family!
Like many authors, I wear more than one hat. I began grooming dogs and cats at the age of eleven and still own and operate my shop, THE CANINE BEAUTY SALON in Sun City, Calif. At this time in my life, I am semi-retired in order to satisfy my new passion. Writing. I am 67 and a widow with a cat named, Sportster.
In 2010, just for fun I enrolled in college creative writing course. It roped me in, hog-tied me, put me on the rotisserie, and now, three books later, I am still not done.
In 2011 I published my first book, COAST TO COAST WITH A CAT AND A GHOST. It is a memoir of my adventure driving across the country alone in my motor home after the death of my husband accompanied by a stuffed doll and my cat. The reviews praised the story as inspiring and fed my attraction – my compulsion - the writing monkey on my back, until now I cannot stop.
I wrote my second book, GOING HOME WITH A CAT AND A GHOST (2012) as an experiment. I pooh-poohed the success of my first book. Anyone can write their own story, but can they make one up? That is the proof of a good writer, I said. The mystery-romance, GOING HOME WITH A CAT AND A GHOST portrays a widowed woman seeking a second chance for love as she travels, again, cross country in her RV to attend her 40th high school reunion and reunite with her high school boyfriend. I tell my readers if I cannot meet a man, I will just make one up.
The reviews of these two books continue to spur me on as I struggle with my third novel, INVISIBLE HEROES, to be released in 2014. I weave the story of a dog that becomes a service dog for an Iraq veteran struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Based on reality, I hope to bring attention to this serious issue facing our veterans today. Over twenty veterans a day commit suicide because of this disorder.
Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?
People struggling with their hardships inspire me. I hope to tell their stories and demonstrate that their conflicts and strife were not for naught. When my husband was diagnosed with cancer, I did not know how I would get through it. I told my friend of my agony. My friend said, “You will get through it, and then some day you will be able to tell someone else what it was like.”
I want my readers to close my book and say, “I can do it too.”
How do you use your talents /time to help others?
I love to give workshops on writing. I also love to travel in my RV with my cat. And I love to write. I combine my three passions by going to RV rallies and offering my seminars which are well attended. RVers are an adventurous lot with many stories to tell. 20% percent of the population has thought about writing a book. I know I did.
I travel, I teach, I write. What a life
I hope you know me a little better. Thank you for listening. Sportster and I hope to meet you somewhere along the road to writing.
Judy Howard and Sportster
Judy's Coauthor Sportster
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Fiction with a Southern Twist