Friday, September 14, 2012

Spend the Day with Judy Alter

Good Morning Judy, thank you for stopping by today! Grab a cup of coffee or tea and join us!

Tell us about your self.

If someone asks me what I’ve accomplished with my life, I have my answer ready—listed by priority. I am the mother of four wonderful grown children, who I mostly raised as a single parent, and I am the grandmother of seven. I’m proud of my family and they are the world to me.
Almost as important, I’m the author of nine novels for adults—ranging from western historical romance to cozy mystery—and about the same number for young adults, along with forty or so nonfiction books for readers from fourth to sixth grade, a cookbook, a nonfiction study of Texas author Elmer Kelton, countless articles and book reviews. In other words, I’m a writer—have been since I was ten years old (and that’s a long time ago).
And last but not least, I was the director of a small academic press for twenty years (and editor almost ten years before that). It was work that I loved, and it went hand in glove with my writing career. I worked with wonderful authors, met a few famous ones, and had a great time.
Beyond that I live in Fort Worth, Texas, with my hyperactive 15-mouth Bordoodle, go to church regularly, love my 1922 house and its garden. I’m a happy camper.

What kind of research did you have to do for this book?

 Research for Trouble in a Big Box was sort of on the spot. Like the two previous Kelly O’Connell Mysteries, it’s set in the inner city neighborhood right next to mine, and I’m familiar with streets, houses, and restaurants. Still, I drove around a lot getting streets set in my mind, spotting houses that appealed. I did some research on the title business, zoning restrictions, historic preservation, etc., much of it by talking to people I know with a special interest in those fields. For the first Kelly O’Connell Mystery, Skeleton in a Dead Space, I did a lot of research on Craftsman architecture because it plays a big part in the series.

what is the best and worst thing about writing? 

 Sometimes I feel like Mark Twain: I like having written. Writing can be the hardest part of being a writer, when the words don’t come easily and the plot seems awkward and hopeless. But other days I can bat out 2,000 words and feel pretty proud of myself. I love re-reading and thinking, “Hey, that’s not so bad after all.” And I love holding my books, knowing that my work is in print. And, yes, I enjoy that local spotlight that shines on me. Plus I continue to meet a lot of interesting people because of my writing, although sometimes mostly on Facebook and email.

What book are you reading right now and why did you chose it?

Right now, I’m reading Nancy Martin’s No Way to Kill a Lady because I’ve read all the Blackbird sisters mysteries and thoroughly enjoyed them. I read mostly cozy mysteries because I enjoy them and because I learn from the writing of others.

Judy Alter
check out Judy's blog at
Kelly O'Connell Mysteries: Skeleton in a Dead Space
No Neighborhood for Old Women
Trouble in a Big Box

Thank you for visiting today Judy,, look forward to reading your book and getting to know you.

Leave a comment for Judy here today!



  1. What a pleasure it was to have you hear today! Im am looking forward to your book.

  2. Thanks, Shelley. YOur interview was fun!


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