Saturday, November 01, 2008

Interview with an Author. And a giveaway.

So! As any one who has been to this blog in the last little while knows, I recently read a book that awed me; that rocked my reading world, that caused me to do strange and unusual things - even for me - to start A Quest! As a matter of fact, I still haven't been able to leave this book and I'm reading it for a unheard of fourth time almost in a row. It was so special that I knew I had to do all that I could to promote it. So with that in mind, I contacted the author to see if she would be willing to do an interview. She wrote back and said she would be delighted to. Since the book officially releases today, Though in Canada the official release day is November 8, we often get them early so I thought what better day to post the interview. I'm new at this, but I hope you enjoy!

I'm pleased to introduce Judith James the author of Broken Wing
(the book that's rocked my socks)

KJ: It doesn’t specify really in the book and it didn’t take one iota away from my enjoyment (and I hope many others) but it was never really made clear how old Gabriel was. I figured Sarah was about 21, but I could quite decide about Gabriel. How old was he?

Judith: Hi, Kristie. First thanks so much for inviting me! I love your blog and I certainly appreciate your enthusiastic support of Broken Wing. I think of you almost as a fairy godmother with exquisite taste in music and books, taking Gabriel and Sarah to the ball, LOL. I can’t thank you enough for taking an interest in this book, and I’m really looking forward to answering your questions.

Thanks also for allowing me to clear up any confusion about Gabriel’s age. Part of the problem is that it ISN’T clear. Gabriel can never be certain how old he really is. He was abandoned at a young age, and sold to a brothel. He had to make up a last name to sign a contract, and no one has ever marked, celebrated, or told him when his birthday is. No one knows, so he pretty much has to guess. He tells Sarah that the night on her balcony was the night his life began, and I think that’s how they’d celebrate his birthday together. That being said, there are clues to his age but they were given in separate scenes, which might be the cause of some confusion. Again, thanks for the opportunity to clear it up. In one of his early conversations with Sarah, in the music room, Gabriel tells her he thinks he was about fourteen when he was sent to de Sevigny’s, and was there for two years before returning to Madam’s. Jamie arrived shortly after that, as Sarah reminds him later in the story, and he took care of him for about five years, so at the time the story begins, he is about 21, and when it ends about 25, the same age as Sarah, give or take a year or two.

KJ: I am finding it very difficult to leave this book behind as a reader. As the writer – the creator – of these characters, how hard is it for you to say good bye to them?

Judith: Oh good question, Kristie! In some ways I haven’t really. It’s my first book, and I think that’s a bit like your first love, it will always hold a special place in heart. I really felt a sense of loss when I sent the final proofs off, as if something was over I didn’t want to end. I did put it all aside while I was writing A Time For Treason, and I found myself immersed in a different and utterly fascinating world, but then the author copies came and I was able to sit and read it as a book, and then the questions, LOL, which take me right back inside. This might sound a little strange, but I love my characters and think of them in a way as old friends. I can visit them whenever I want by going back to the book, and of course…I can always start writing and find out what happens to them next. I certainly expect to be revisiting from time to time.

KJ: And in a similar vein, I’m sure you will get asked this so I may as well be the first – the secondary characters are also so vividly written. Might there be a story for any of them? Ross maybe, or Davey or Charles? And if so, will you be revisiting Sarah and Gabriel?

Judith: Actually, the first person to ask that was my editor, Janet Bank . I think she was very curious about Ross. While I was writing Broken Wing, I kept jotting things down about all of them. Ross is a bit of an iceberg in more ways than one. He’s rather calm, cool, and collected, but all you see of him is the tip. I do have a storyline for him tucked away. He has quite a few secrets, some Davey knows, some are his alone, and some would be a great surprise to everyone. I also have a story in mind for Jacques, with help from Davey, Sarah and Gabriel. I think Jacque’s story would come first in an over all story arc, but any story about the characters from Broken Wing will have to wait for now.

KJ: I thought you did an excellent job of portraying the anguish, the loneliness of Gabriel. Was it hard to write something that dark?

Judith: You like the tough questions! I worked with male survivors for several years, and listening to their stories almost brought me to tears at times. That was hard, and believe me, the things that happened to Gabriel didn’t just spring from my imagination, I actually pulled a few punches. But they were such wonderful people; talented, funny, intelligent, and trying so hard to take back lives that had been stolen from them by the people who were supposed to love and protect them, they were all heroic in a way to me, so yes, it’s very dark, but inside that dark is this incredible light and courage. Writing Gabriel’s story was hard in that I wanted to be honest, and show how dark and terrible some peoples lives’ were, and how beautiful they were despite it. I was very worried that I might not do that justice, or that the darker aspects might turn people away. I’m sure it will for some.

KJ: What impressed me was for a first time published author, how well Broken Wing was written. How long have you been writing and how long has it taken to be published?

Judith: Thank you, Kristie! And thanks for asking this question. I’ve been writing for about three and a half years, but I’ve been a voracious and eclectic reader for years, and I’ve been telling stories in my head since childhood. Broken Wing was my first manuscript and took about 10 months to write, and another good year to find an agent and a publisher. Like everyone starting out, I received a lot of rejections, generally along the lines that it wasn’t really marketable or wouldn’t fit a given line. It was too dark, the main characters spent too much time apart, it had too much violence, romance readers weren’t ready for a character like Gabriel, there was too much history and adventure for a romance, and too much romance for an adventure. I couldn’t bring myself to make some of the changes people suggested and was about to put it aside when Medallion offered to buy it. They actually loved the things others wanted changed, and pretty much left the story intact. I’ll always be grateful to them for that. I was very lucky that they, and my agent Bob Diforio, were willing to take a risk on an unknown author with a book that didn’t quite fit the mold.

KJ: It seems you have done a lot of research for this book. It used to be that I learned a lot of interesting new things by reading historical romance but not so much anymore. How important do you think research into the time and setting in a historical is?

Judith: Another very interesting, but somewhat tricky question, LOL. I suppose it depends on the kind of historical you’re reading, when it takes place, and the kind of story you prefer. I love big involving historical adventures like Gary Jennings Aztec, the I Claudius series by Robert Graves, Dorothy Dunnett’s Francis Crawford series, or Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman. You expect rich juicy accurate details from those. I also think it depends on the time period and place you’re writing about. If it’s one people are less familiar with, I think you need to work a bit harder to make it realistic and reasonably accurate, to give the reader a sense of place and being there. On the other hand, the regency period has become so popular in story and in film, that most romance readers already have a very good sense of the time and place. In that case, I don’t think an author necessarily has to go to the same lengths to bring the reader into the story.

It also depends on your mood and what you want at any given time I think. If it’s light entertainment and escapism after a rough week, historical detail might just annoy you. If it’s to challenge and stimulate and go some place you’ve never been, then historical detail or world building, depending on the genre, is something you’re going to want an appreciate.. I actually enjoy the research, and I have to keep reminding myself that people might not be as excited by the details as I am. I have to say though, that I enjoy history woven into what I read, and I tend to check every thing I’m uncertain of in my own stories. I’ve missed the big historicals, (which is one of the reasons I tried to write my own). They seem to have fallen from favor somewhat over the years, but I think and hope there’s still room for all kinds of different stories.

KJ: I’m not going to ask who your favourite authors are – that’s always a tricky one – but are there any that have been an inspiration for you?

Judith: Now that’s a very good way to ask! I could never do justice to the favorite authors question as there are just too many, but there are also several who have been an inspiration for me and my writing. In regards to romance, Mary Jo Putney’s The Rake, with an alcoholic hero made me sit up and take notice. I think she was the first I read to dare that in a romance and pull it off. Laura Kinsale, Anne Stuart, Laura Leone, and Katherine Sutcliffe touch on heretofore forbidden topics. Dorothy Dunnet’s Francis Crawford series just blew me away with a genre bending intoxicating blend of history, adventure, and a fantastic love story with the hero as main character. Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander was genre bending, historically rich, and touched on some dark topics, and George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones turned the fantasy world on it’s head with a rule breaking gritty saga of morally ambiguous characters tested and challenged in a complex world. All of these stories convinced me you could write outside the box, though I was beginning to doubt it after a slew of rejections. Julianne MacLean really inspired me on a personal level, to trust my instincts, write the stories I wanted to write, and keep on going. She’s one of the most gracious and generous authors I know, a really lovely person, and to have an author of her stature offer such genuine encouragement and support at a time when I really needed it, made me actually believe, for the first time, that I could have a career as a writer.

KJ: Moving along – though *sigh* I’d love to stay with Gabriel and Sarah, I see on your website that you have two new books coming out. Do you have a time frame for their release? And will it be with Medallion too?

Judith: Although I have two other books in my library, only one of them has been sold. A Time For Treason was sold to Sourcebooks, and could be released as early as next fall. The Dark Within is a paranormal I’m just finishing now. I’ll be sending it out there soon, but it doesn’t have a home yet.

KJ: Your next book takes place in Cromwellian England – that is a rather unusual time period – and just, injecting my own thoughts for a moment – a book that sounds fascinating – what made you choose this unusual time frame?

Judith: So it was you that visited my website!!! Well, Jamie, the hero, was born during Cromwell’s rule, but it might be more accurate to call it Stuart England, as Jamie serves all three Stuart kings that followed, Charles II, his brother James II, and then William of Orange. He’s a cynic, a pragmatist, and a spy, who switches happily from Catholic to Protestant, depending on who he’s serving. I was actually researching the court poet Rochester (played by Johnny Depp in the Libertine), for a future story, and I fell in love with the time period. There was so much going on with politics, religion, philosophy, and thought. The court was incredibly hedonistic, woman had far more liberty than they would for centuries after, and it’s so rich with history, personalities and potential. Rochester’s real life story was just too dark and intense for me right after Broken Wing, but I fell in love with Cat and Jamie’s story, and it pretty much wrote itself. I do want to go back and do a story loosely based on Rochester sometime down the road.

KJ: The book after that seems unusual too – see I did do my homework. But it seems to be a time travel. Can you give us a bit more details – and again my own thoughts – I love a good time travel.

Judith: Boy did you ever! The Dark Within is another genre bender. It’s a modern day ghost story, kind of Phantom of the Opera meets Ghost Hunters, where the phantom gets the girl, but it does have elements of time travel, mainly as the ghostly hero/villian’s flash backs in book one, and as real events in book two. It seems whatever I do, I somehow end up back in time.

KJ: In our recent ‘chat’, Katie and I had fun picturing who would make a good Gabriel. Since he’s such a vividly written character, did you have anyone in mind while writing about him?

Judith: Oh my yes! Though keep in mind, my sister told me of her enjoyment of Outlander and was forever tarnished when she picked up a

version that had a redheaded cover of the hero that looked nothing like she’d imagined him. That being said, certainly several images that inspired me while I wrote were of Johnny Depp in The Libertine; dark

and tormented, long haired, dissipated, tall, androgynous, heartbreakingly beautiful both to men and women, yet something so lost about him. He’s whom I’d pick for a movie version LOL.

Judith also wanted to know about giving away a copy of this wonderful book. Ohhh yes, I said, that would be great. So, all you have to do is comment, ask a question (she said she would drop by and answer) let us know what's so attractive about a tortured hero ---- whatever----- and Judith has a copy to be won!!


Thanks so much to Judith for her wonderful interview and topping by with her wonderful answers!! In case you haven't checked, Dev is the lucky (and I really mean lucky, lucky) winner as picked by Judith.


Marg said...

I have been following the quest with some interest, but haven't managed to get hold of the book yet simply because I haven't seen it anywhere here in Australia yet.

For me the attraction of the tortured hero is about being able to reach through the defenses and see the good man that is lurking underneath all that hurt and anger!

Jace said...

Hi Kristie and Judith,

I'm not entering to win the book ... just wanted to say this is a great interview. :-)

Julia Phillips Smith said...

Wonderful interview! I can't believe I have to keep waiting until the 8th! (grr) Oh well - the pleasure of handing it to the cashier as I buy it will banish that for me.

Judith, as your lunch partner I've already asked you so many questions about your writing, but here's another one. Do you get stories coming to you set in a time period that is not often written about currently? You've broken the mold with 'Broken Wing' - perhaps more molds are ready to crack in the near future?

Kati said...


Hi Judith! I'm so pleased to see you here! As you know, I thought that Broken Wing was one of the most remarkable books I've read in a long time and that IMO it's the best historical published this year. Congratulations on your wonderful accomplishment! I'm thrilled to hear that we may have an opportunity to visit Sarah and Julian again. Have you contracted for those books too?

A Time for Treason sounds wonderful too! Is it a love story? I'm glad to hear Sourcebooks has picked it up!

Kristie - No need to enter me in the contest as I already own and treasure my copy of Broken Wing.

Kati said...

*SIGH* Except the hero's name is Gabriel for God's sake! Sheesh! The book I'm reading NOW has a hero named Julian.

*blushes* Sorry.

PeggyP said...

Good job with the interview Kristie!

Judith, I hope this sells and sells for you! Bought 2 copies myself, 1 to keep and 1 to lend.

Wow, 10 months to write this book is fast, isn't it? Do you write every day, all day? Was the original book much longer? Do you have deleted scenes that you might want us to read on your website, maybe, please, maybe?

Kristie - don't enter my name in the contest.

Anonymous said...

Great Interview, Kristie!

Judith--I loved Broken Wing, it's been while since a story has moved me in such an emotional way.


Anonymous said...

Just stopped by - don't need to be entered in the contest. Nice interview. Thanks for sharing!

Dev said...

Ooh pick me, pick me!!!

Excellent interview, Kristie! You did a wonderful job.

Judith, thank you so much for doing this interview. I've enjoyed reading your answers! I'm looking forward to reading this.

Annette Gallant said...

Great interview, Judith and Kristie! I have been stalking the Chapters website, waiting for Broken Wing to come in.

And since I'll be buying a copy the day it hits my local shelves, please leave my name out of the drawing.

Judith James said...

Good morning everyone!

It's such a pleasure to be here, and thanks again to Kristie and Kati for hosting me, and Kristie for asking such interesting questions! I'll be popping in over the day to answer any other questions that come up, and to respond to comments. I also wanted to say I love the blog, almost choked at the picture of Errol, and really appreciated the videos of SYTYCDC. Love Nico, and the Vampire routine was incredible. Wouldn't it be great if someone did a musical like that?

Marg- Thanks so much for visiting! I feel the same as you about the wounded hero, the attraction is the good man that lurks beneath. Truly bad men don't need emotional defences, just camouflage. As for the book, I think you can order it online somewhere, an Australian friend told me she found it there that way-or better yet-maybe you'll win it!

Jace- Thanks for taking the time to visit. Kristie came up with some great questions didn't she?

Julia- Princess of the Dark who turned me on to BBC Robin Hood! My favourite period in history is the 16th and 17th centuries, partly because of the incredible women of the time, and the explosion in freedom of thought. Unfortunately the women seem to have been tamed and diminished to ornaments to some degree in later centuries, though there were always exceptions.

My paranormal, as Kristie noted, does have some time travel elements to it. The hero has a story which finds him in the jungles of 1960's Vietnam, Warsaw during WWII, Spain during the Inquisition, etc. I found a great book with historical reports from war correspondents over the years, that was amazing.

Kati- I’m blushing- That's so kind of you to say, and don't worry about Julian- I know what you meant. Thank you for all your help and support. As for A Time For Treason, my agent likes to call it "a compelling love story with a glorious sense of history" It also has its dark elements and deals with some serious issues, but both Jamie and Catherine have a well developed sense of humour, though one is rather dry, and the other more teasing and ribald. Unlike Broken Wing, the story is evenly focussed on hero and heroine.

Peggy-WOW! Great question and you just gave me a wonderful idea! I do write full-time and I worked on Broken Wing pretty much 7 days a week, 16 hours a day. At times, I'd wake up in the middle of the night and start writing. I was actually living and breathing their world I think. For a time it felt more real to me than this one. Then of course, I crashed, and after sending it out, I didn't do a thing for two months but play online games and watch movies. The original was much longer, at 127,000 words. An agent I queried early on told me to drop it by 25,000 and explained that for a debut author that was just too long to sell. I dropped a number of scenes between Jamie and Gabriel, and a number from Gabriel and Jacque's adventures in North Africa and their interactions with Murad Reis, the mercenary captain. Your idea about putting some of that on my website is brilliant! I never thought of that before. Thank you

Barbara- Thanks so much! I’m so pleased you enjoyed and were moved by it!

Jessica- Thanks so much for taking the time to stop and comment. I’m guessing we’re going to be neighbours on the bookshelves!

Dev- You never know. I just might! Thanks so much! I loved Kristie’s questions too.

Annette- Hi there home girl- Lovely of you to drop by.

Amy C said...

Hi Judith,

Kristie mentioned she was going to have you guest blogging on her blog! What a wonderful interview. Kristie asked some fabulous questions.

I am very glad that you listened to your inner voice and didn't make any changes to Broken Wing so that it might fit with another publishing house! It was simply perfect just the way it was. And I ma very glad that Medallion Press saw that and accepted it that way.

I've read several MP books and they publish some really good stuff!

I look forward to more of your books! You are wonderful!

Anonymous said...

You've written a fabulous book with "Broken Wing," so it's no surprise to see that you've given an intelligent, cogent, thoughtful interview. Gabriel is a fragile, heart-breaking, wonderful hero, and Sarah is just the light of salvation needed to bring him back from the brink! I am looking forward to anything you care to write in the future because I'm definitely a fan. I also noticed that you and I seem to have had the same reaction from the big NY publishing houses about our debut novels being "too dark," and "not what a romance reader wants to read." I am certain the success of Broken Wing will prove them wrong! Congratulations on the release of this wonderful debut novel.

azteclady said...

Welcome, Judith!

Johnny Depp as Gabriel? Well, if I needed one reason to read Broken Wing, that would be it.

Flawed heroes--well, actually, flawed characters--appeal to me because I can become invested in their fate. When they are so ever perfect they never doubt themselves or their choices, when they never agonize over their feelings... well, I cannot relate, and it's difficult to care when you can't relate.

So here is to characters that come alive because of their flaws and foibles!

And best of luck with the book!

M. said...

hi kristy - yay adventure romance! and yay canuck bloggers!

hi judith - i feel like i've been 'prepared' for your book by another i probably not have picked up on my own but which also rocked my socks, to use kristy's terms. it was 'melusine' by sarah monette, a dark fantasy, with incredibly powerful writing, two heros who have stayed with me for months, and who are both coping with childhood damage in their own ways. trusting in the friend who recommended it, i read it and was enthralled. so, that being said, trusting in my lovely cyberfriend julia smith, and being a longtime christine monson fan (whose voice was likened to yours at 'dear author'), i've put 'broken wing' at the top of my TBB list.

so, my question: have you read sarah monette?

Kerry said...

Like Marg in Australia, I haven't seen any mention of your book here in New Zealand, but hope to track it down. (Do you know if there is or will be an ebook version as they conquer the country boundaries with ease?)

I love Francis Crawford. He's such a wonderful, broken, healing, complicated character. Knowing he's also a favourite of yours makes me even more interested in reading Broken Wing. Please do enter me in the drawing as I'd love to get a copy.

Kerry said...

Oops, I meant to say to Kristie, what a fantastic interview. You asked great questions and Judith's answers were all detailed and interesting. Thanks so much.

Leslie said...

Wonderful interview! Thanks so much Judith and Kristie.

Jamie sounds fascinating. I'll be watching for A Time for Treason. I can only imagine that Cat will be more than a match for Jamie and all his courtly intrigue.

And don't enter me ~ I have my own well read copy. Whomever wins this is a very lucky reader. Amazing book!

Judith James said...

Amy- Thanks so much Amy, and for your great review and blog on Romance BookWyrm. I’m looking forward to reading your Bound by Magic

Lisa- Thanks you! You know I like them dark and historical. Fire at Midnight is on my TBR list for next year

Azteclady- There’s just something about him, isn’t there? I know what you mean about flawed characters. It lets you relate, and watching them grow is part of what makes you care about them

M- I haven’t read Mesuline, but I went to Amazon to check it out, and will be adding it to my TBR pile as well. I will also be checking out Christine Monson. Thanks for the recommendations! I see you’re doing NANOWRIMO too. Good luck and bon voyage

Kerry- I read Francis Crawford years ago and he’s still with me. I take the series out and re read it every three years or so. I think Pawn in Frankincense is my favourite…but they are all so good. I know you can order Broken Wing through
but the price seems a little steep. Medallion does have plans to do e-books at some point I believe, but Broken Wing isn’t available in e-book format as of yet. If you or Marg win the draw, I have an image of the book traveling the world in the arms of a Travelocity gnome! New Zealand is so beautiful! I hope to go there someday.

Leslie- Thanks so much. Yes Cat is a definitely a bit more than Jamie bargained for, but they are pretty evenly matched!

Kerry said...

Judith - thanks for the Fishpond link; scary though it is, that's actually a good price here. I'll wait in see in case I win the draw, but now I know where I can go shopping.

Amy C said...

Judith!! You are not going to read my book, are you?? My eyes about popped out of my head when I read that!!
*clears throat* I am by no means any where near as talented as you.

Anonymous said...

my favorite type of hero: The Tortured Hero. He’s the one who’s been to hell and back and has the blisters, burns, and a pocket full of ashes to show for it.

Broken Wing sounds like a great book.

Kristie (J) said...

Kimmyl: if ever there has been a hero who's been to hell and back and back to hell and then returned once more - it's Gabriel!! *laughing* It IS a great book!!

AnimeJune said...

Wow, this sounds like a great book! I just finished reading Jo Goodman's "The Price of Desire," which had a heroine who'd undergone several years of severe sexual trauma. I guess my question's a little silly, but have you read any of Jo Goodman's books?

KT Grant said...

Hey Judith!
Congrats on the release of Broken Wing!
I too saw The Libertine with Johnny and he made that movie. His acting was so powerful and I could really see him playing Gabriel if he was 15 years younger. :D

Kristie (J) said...

Animejune: I'm not sure if you mean Judith or me *g* - but I've been reading and loving Jo Goodman's books for years.

Judith James said...

Leslie-didn't realize you were THAT Leslie. Thanks so much for the wonderful review!

Amy- Yes I'm looking forward to it though it may take a while before I can sit down with a good read

Kerry- EEK! Ithought Canadian prices were high

Kimmy- what Kristie said, LOL. Gabriel has had a rough life, but he's a good man despite it. I've met a few like that, and you never forget them.

Animejune- No such thing as a silly question. Yes I've read a few of Jo Goodman's books, but not The Prince of Desire. Do you recommend it. My TBR list has been expanding since I've been here.

Katiebabs- yes he was mesmerizing, he's also ageless, or at least I recoil from imagining him as old and balding

Bridget Locke said...

I haven't read the book yet, but do have a question. Exactly where does the book take place? I believe I've seen England, Paris and the Barbury (or however it's spelled) Coast. What made you decide on the locations you chose? And how did you research the time and locations? :)

Pam P said...

Great interview Judith, I had to put this on my TBB list after hearing so much about it, and liking what I read at your site.

I like a flawed, tortured hero, who has to struggle to find that innate goodness still there inside. Stories like this tend to be so much more emotional, and real. His heroine, and maybe others, see that goodness in him, and I like seeing his conflict in regaining his self-worth, that it's still possible.

The Rake is one of my favorite Putney's as well.

Anonymous said...

Great interview and questions! Thank you both.

No question/don't enter me in the contest. Broken Wing was in the mail yesterday (which really surprised me because I live in Europe). I just wanted to say thanks for the interview. And: A Time for Treason sounds good, too!

Judith James said...

Broken Wing Medallion November 2008
Judith James

My first novel BROKEN WING debuts Nov 1st the US. “The story of a complex man, bitterly wounded by life, who finds self-worth through love. Broken Wing enchants the reader with original characters and a compelling romance set against the colorful tapestry of England, France, and North Africa in the turbulent years of Napoleon's rise to power." –Laura Leone. Broken Wing receiveded a glowing Publishers Weekly review, is an editor’s pick for the November issue of Historical Novels Review , and was rated 4.5 stars from Romantic Times and Romance Junkies, and 6/5 stars from Kristie Jenner of Ramblings on Romance. To celebrate I’ll be doing a guest interview with her tomorrow at

Hope to see you there

Judith James

Broken Wing Medallion November 2008
Judith James

Well I really enjoyed answering everyone’s questions, and would like to thank you all for taking an interest and stopping by.

Kati- I realized I missed a question you asked. I would like to write two more books about characters from Broken Wing, namely Ross and Jacques, and I do have stories for both of them, but right now I owe another book to Sourcebooks, so I'll have to see what’s down the road.

Bridgit- interesting question! I closed my eyes and saw the first scene with Gabriel, and just knew it was in Paris. I started researching from there. The story moves from Paris to Cornwall, which I chose because of its coast and its long association with smuggling and privateering etc. As the story progressed and Gabriel's love of sailing provided him with a chance to grow and learn an honest trade (so to speak) it was natural to head for the Mediterranean, a place where privateering still flourished at the time. Also, I love to travel, and I love to read, visit and learn about new places that are somewhat exotic to me. One piece of research led to another, to another etc.

I did find some great books in second hand book stores about clothing, manners, people, and the time, that are now part of a research library I'll be able to use for other stories. Some simple things, re armor and weapons etc. as well as the use of words I looked up on line or in dictionaries and encyclopedias. I also found paintings drawings and pictures and was very lucky to be able to visit Paris and England. I have friends who took me ocean sailing and where I live there's a great Maritime museum and tall ships available to tour and sail on. It might seem like a lot of work, but most I did as I was writing. It was very interesting and a lot of fun, and it's all material I will be able to use in future. Did I mention I'm a history buff?

Pam- I couldn't agree more. It's easy to be a decent person when you've been loved and taken care of, and life has generally been kind. It's much harder when it's treated you harshly and given you little but pain. I think that says even more about a person’s character. The ones who remain decent under those circumstances are hidden gems.

Taja- I'm so glad to hear that! Do you mind if I ask where in Europe? I do hope you enjoy it!

Now for the draw....And the lucky winner is Dev! Congratulations Dev! If you send a mailing address to Kristie or me at
I'll get it in the mail to you ASAP

Thanks again to everyone for their questions, comments, and reading suggestions, to the questers for their much appreciated support, Kati and Kristie for hosting, and to Kristie for all her amazing help, great questions, and for inviting me. Please feel free to contact me at any time, to ask questions, let me know how you found the book, or just to keep in touch.

Judith James

Broken Wing Medallion November 2008
Judith James

Dev said...

Judith ~ Thank you so much!! I'm really looking forward to reading it. I just emailed you :-)

azteclady said...

Congrats, dev!!

Thank you, Ms James and Kristie!

Anonymous said...

Judith, I don't mind. I live in Germany. I pre-ordered your book after I read Kristie's first post about it. Pre-order normally means I'll get it a few days after the release date hence my surprise.

Now I look forward to reading Broken Wing!

Shaymless Aymless said...

Great interview. I really must move this up on the TBR!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Kristie for recommending this book. I got it last week and was able to finish it today. It was so nice to come back to check your site and find an interview with the author. Thank you very much! I loved the book! I can't wait until the next novel comes out...

LeighSavage said...

Loved the interview...I stopped in during the weekend and got kicked off the computer by my husband so I came back to today to finish...I love the fact that your book has a bit of darkness...blessed be Leigh Savage

Kristie (J) said...

Aymless: If you do, I hope you let me know what you think of it!! It's one of those rare books for me that doesn't come around very often - only every few years.

Maija: I'm SO glad you loved it. I don't normally make this much of a (I'm trying to think of just the right work here *g*) 'Cause' over a book - 'cause I know so many of us have different tastes. But when I read Broken Wing, I couldn't help it - it IS that good! So as more readers are discovering and reading and loving it - it makes me feel great that others are seeing the specialness of it too :-)

Leigh: LOL - I'm glad you made it back!! Judith gave such wonderful answers didn't she?

Judith James said...

Thanks very much Aymless and Maija!
Leigh, thanks for coming, you were one of my first facebook friends. I still love your cover. It's instantly recognizable.
Taja, thanks for the feedback. Nice to know Gabriel and Sarah are traveling so far! I really hope you enjoy it.