If so, it's not the first time. And, it won't be the last. The spelling of my name has been a blessing and a curse my entire life.
According to family tradition, my name comes from my maternal grandmother and one of her sisters. Ju from Julia and dythe from her sister, Edythe. Put the parts together and you get Judythe.
Is that true? In a family with Irish roots, you can never be sure if a tale is accurate or simply a great story.
True or not, the spelling works because you don't forget it, which comes in very handy when you're an author among so many like I am.
With Irish genes from both sides of my family, voices danced in my head from an early age and becoming an author was a natural progression. My route to published author wasn't exactly a straight career path or fast ascent. However, the years weren't idle.
In the beginning, I wrote stories with pictures cut from magazines to create "worlds" and used paper dolls as characters. In fact, if you dig in my closet, you'll find a box filled with cardboard people and wardrobes I designed on notebook paper.
Born in Texas, I grew up traveling with my Air Force daddy before finally settling in my hometown of Austin.
Moving around started all over again when I married my real life hero. First, we traveled with his military career and then his corporate career. Currently, I live on a Colorado mountainside in the Rio Grande National Forest, with my multi-retired husband and our two four-legged boys, an Old English sheepdog and a Maltese.
I still travel. Going on the road, seeing new places, and meeting new and fascinating people refreshes my spirit and feeds my writer's imagination.
Over the years, and in spite of all the moves, I earned three college degrees—Associate of Science, Bachelor (Magna Cum Laude), and Masters. Believe me, being a student while my own three kids were in school offered fun challenges, adventures, and misadventures.
I worked in several states as a schoolteacher, public and private, and Children's Minister, paid and volunteer, for different churches. My writing time was devoted to non-fiction curriculum, lesson plans, and grading papers.
My fondness for history and antiques led to a business as a dealer. I still love the old things and dabble in antiques, but more as a collector than seller. My story settings are filled with historical details and characters lounge on Eastlake sofas or drink from Limoges teacups.
As the children left home, my focus on fiction writing returned. I began submitting completed manuscripts and quickly discovered writing for publication required more than a good story.
We won't talk about the stacks of rejection letters you'd also find in a box in my closet. Discouraging, but an integral part of the writing process.
My perseverance paid off. My manuscripts began to place and win fiction contests. Certificates and awards joined my diplomas. More importantly, my work sold!
Have I learned all there is to know about fiction writing? No way. I'll never stop learning because I want each book to be better than the last.
And, as long as those voices in my head keep sharing their stories of true love, second chances, forgiveness, and, most of all, happily-ever-after, I'll be writing books to encourage and entertain readers.
You can follow me on FB, Twitter, GR, and Shelfari.
Or, check out my award-winning blog, View from the Front Porch.
Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. Stay awhile. Browse the pages.
And come again.
The Pendant's Promise (2011) / Love in the Morning Calm (2012)
2003 1st Place Emily Award for Single Title Contemporary—West Houston RWA
2004 Honorable Mention Reading Writers First Chapter Fiction Contest
2004 Finalist The Dreaded Synopsis Contest sponsored - First Coast RWA
2009 Sourcebook Publishers Pitch Contest
Claiming Annie's Heart (2014)
2007 3rd Place Heart of the Rockies Contest Colorado Romance Writers
2007 3rd Place Lone Star Writing Competition NW Houston RWA
2007 5th Place Golden Acorn Contest Charter Oak Romance Writers Inc.
2007 Finalist Reading Writers First Chapter Fiction Contest
2010 6th Place Emily Contest West Houston RWA
Seeing Clearly (Unpublished manuscript)
2008 3rd Place TARA Contest for Superior Women's Fiction Tampa Area Romance Writers