My guest author today is a writer who tackles some difficult issues within her stories in order to help others cope or understand them. Please welcome Judy Mollen Walters! Let’s take a look at her bio and then we’ll dive in.
Judy Walters is the author of eight novels. Her latest is The Lies You Want to Hear. She writes about strong women who are struggling either with their own or a family member’s medical or difficult life issue. She is also an essayist who writes about her family, parenting, and writing in publications such as The Washington Post, Huffington Post, theweek, SheKnows, and many others. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and enjoys when her adult children come for visits.
Betty: When did you become a writer?
Judy: I’ve always been a writer, since I was a young girl. I think it all solidified in fourth grade when I overheard a teacher telling my father I was gifted in this area.
Betty: How long did you work on your writing skills before you became published?
Judy: I wrote four crappy novels that I will never show ANYONE, which was my “practice”. The fifth time was the charm for me, and that became my “first” book.
Betty: What authors or stories do you feel influenced your writing style?
Judy: Jodi Picoult, Lisa Genova
Betty: What prompted you to start writing?
Judy: An idea came to me one day when my younger daughter was 3 and in preschool three days a week. I started using that time for writing. (That daughter is now 22.)
Betty: What type of writing did you start with?
Judy: Short stories and essays.
Betty: What do you most enjoy writing? Why?
Judy: Novels, because I never know where the character is going to lead me. 😊
Betty: How did you learn to write? A mentor, classes, conferences, craft books, or something else?
Judy: I had a really good editor who sat me down and said that my novel was only half finished and I needed to learn to write a different way. She walked me through the steps and finally, I had a good book!
Betty: What do you wish you knew before you started writing/publishing?
Judy: How hard it is to get published.
Betty: What other authors inspired you (either directly or through their writing) to try your hand at writing?
Judy: Really, it was just something I always did, so while I have authors whose work I really enjoy, none of them really were that inspiration because I was already doing it.
Betty: What inspired you to write the book you’re sharing with us today?
Judy: This novel is about a mother of a six-year-old who is struggling with anorexia and bulimia. While I don’t have an eating disorder, I do have disordered eating, which means I don’t eat properly for fear of gaining weight, or I eat too much or too little or in an odd way. I was wondering what it would be like to have an actual, serious eating disorder. Most people see eating disorders as something teenage girls have, and although of course the condition is prevalent in that age group, most people don’t realize that adults can have it, too. I want people to know about those adults who are struggling.
Busy wife and mom Dani Goldberg lives in a secret world that’s threatening to collapse around her.
In THE LIES YOU WANT TO HEAR, it’s the world of eating disorders, and as much as she doesn’t want to be there, she can’t force herself to run away from it.
She’s also a volunteer coping with her role as PTO President while she tries to become pregnant with her second child. With every stressful day, she falls more deeply into her disordered eating world.
Her sister Jess wants to save her, but she doesn’t quite know how. She’s busy, too – as a lawyer and single mother. And those things need to be priorities. But so does Dani. As she watches her sister die a little more each day, she wonders how she’s going to save Dani from herself.
But in the end, it will all be up to Dani. Can she do it? Or will she fall off the cliff altogether, leaving everything she loves – her husband, daughter, sister and nephew – behind.
Dani looked at the clock as the meeting wore on. School would be out in a few minutes, and Madison would be furious if Dani wasn’t there on time. She tried to listen to Mrs. Jennings.
“So you’ll be able to come set up Reading Night beforehand?” Mrs. Jennings asked. “I know that breaks into time with your family. I’m so sorry.” She looked genuinely concerned. The principal was like that. She cared about everyone, and she wanted them to be happy. Dani looked around the small office. There were a couple of plants and flowers on her desk and on the floor – gifts from parents trying to get in her good graces. Her desk was a mess of papers, her computer, and God knows what else. Dani was lucky that Mrs. Jennings let her be in here at all.
“Okay,” Dani said. “I’ll do it.” She smiled at Mrs. Jennings and took the last bite of her cupcake. It had started out delicious, but her stomach sort of roiled when she thought about the calories in it. She couldn’t not eat it, though. Mrs. Jennings had given it to her especially.
“I have to go,” she said, jumping up, feeling her hips jiggle. “The bell is going to ring.”
“Of course,” Mrs. Jennings said. “Give Madi a hug for me, and here let me give you one, too.” She came around from her side of the desk and hugged Dani, and that made everything better. She thought Mrs. Jennings might love her. That would be nice, she thought as she floated out of the office.
Buy link: Amazon
It can be difficult to know which authors influenced a writer because most writers I know read widely. It’s not a single voice so much as the collective expectations of specific genres that influences.
Thanks for stopping in today, Judy!
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