An Interview with Judith Glynn: Author & Travel Writer
Sylvia: Hi Judith, it is such a pleasure to interview you. Please give our readers a brief introduction of yourself and a little about your book.
Judith: Hi Sylvia. My name is Judith Glynn and I currently write travel articles for the Web and select publications after many years of writing for newspaper travel sections nationwide. My first novel, “A Collector of Affections: Tales from Woman’s Heart,” entwines cherished travel experiences with fiction and travelers’ secrets. I divide my time between New York City, Rhode Island and the latest travel-writing destination. I am currently writing a memoir about my encounter with a homeless woman on a New York City street and the journey that returned the woman to her family in Italy. I’m a mother to four adults and grandmother to six grandchildren.
Sylvia: Wow, great life! Sound like lots of travel. Also, your upcoming memoir sound very interesting. What inspired you to write your first book?
Judith: After decades of writing freelance travel articles, I finally accepted a personal truth — write a book! At the time, I was renting a short-term apartment in Madrid and listening to a canary chirp on a nearby terrace. I’d met a seatmate on the flight over, an affair began when we landed and he’d just returned to the States. Romance, travel, a middle-aged woman with no regrets and my novel, “A Collector of Affections: Tales from a Woman’s Heart,” had its first paragraph. The chapters would draw upon my chance encounter, entwined with fiction, and backed-up by my travel-writing skills. Four years later, the finished book was in my hands.
Sylvia: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Judith: During the countless hours it took to write my novel, my focus was to craft a voice that would connect with the seasoned, middle-aged woman or one who wants to be. Men could also read it to understand women like Leah Lynch, my protagonist. I wanted my reader to experience a sensual life and learn to live on the edge, if only for a brief moment or through my written word. Of equal importance was to take my reader to Spain to visualize its beauty, which is layered throughout some chapters. Another aspect of the novel is my best travel-writing talents were brought to highlight Portugal, New York and Rhode Island as part of the story.
Sylvia: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Judith: My advice is simple: Believe in yourself and keep writing. Since isolation stimulates the craft, to offset loneliness, writers need writing classes, conferences or Meet-Up writers’ groups. Mingling with other writers is vital but rejects mean-spirited critiques. Serious writers love the end result of their work but struggle daily facing a blank screen waiting for the word flow. I’m a writer who prefers to write for long hours at a time, which cuts down on my reading time. Other writers read to learn the craft. Writing helps me decipher and create clear thinking. It continually takes me on journeys, one being self-love. But don’t forget the editing part. A writer (self-published or otherwise) must – and I mean must – find an editor to review and fix their work, whether it’s for structure or a line-by-line edit, especially for a book. Another must is a quality Web site, either for the book or for the author, done by a professional. Homemade is amateurish.
Sylvia: Great advice! What marketing techniques have you used to sell your books and which ones have been most successful?
Judith: I’m all over the map with this one. Since I self-published and knew fiction was a hard sell, I hired Smith Publicity to do the heavy lifting. A six-week campaign cost $4,700. My niche was specialized – a middle-aged woman’s romance, travel and self-published. My publicist said, “Book marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.” Today, I await two excellent mentions; one being in a major inflight magazine where my novel is part of the “Editor’s Pick” section. My novel’s seatmate theme was the hook. I enrolled in Amazon’s KDP program and had 9,000 free downloads over two days. That shocked me and showed the power of Kindle. I also contact Web sites that offer reviews and plan to build on them (good ones only!) when promoting elsewhere.
Sylvia: Why should we buy your book?
Judith:Buy my book because it’s a challenging read with substance, humor and a woman’s journey. One
reader said, “I had to put aside all my feminine biases in order to relate to Leah Lynch, the protagonist.”
Another said, “It’s like talking to an old friend about life.” My book deals with an older woman’s perspective on an affair. It wasn’t a fly-by-night creation. It took years to write and rewrite, plus it was edited twice. I had a professional cover made, in addition to a Web site. Hopefully, once a reader likes my style, my second book will be easier to market and sell.
Sylvia: Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?
Judith: I began a writer’s life at my kitchen table on an old IBM electric typewriter with four young children running around. Today, I’m a grandmother and write on computers. One is stationary in my NYC apartment and perfect for late-night writing accompanied by a glass of red wine and music. The other is a small laptop and used on trains, buses, planes, on the run or on my lap. I’m a prolific writer and can do it anywhere and at any time, in a quiet environment or surrounded with noise. The need to write overpowers all.
Sylvia: Wow, not a bad obsession to have. What projects are you currently working on?
Judith: Next book is non-fiction, a memoir, and somewhat finished. I once helped a drunk, NYC homeless woman in my neighborhood for two years and brought her home to her loving family in Italy. I wrote the experience while I lived it, mainly as relief from the pressure of our intense lives together. It’s about an ordinary woman – me – accomplishing an extraordinary deed. An agent is interested but she suggested a deeper edit was needed, which I agreed to have done. This time I’m hoping for a traditional publishing experience. I lose more control, maybe make less money, but the marketing reach is better. Plus, the story is perfect for a TV movie, and an agent has more input there. In the end, I don’t write for money; I write because I have to. I also run a Web-based business for short-term rentals in NYC, plus I own and manage property in Rhode Island, have a family life and all of that takes up non-writing time.
Sylvia: What is your POWER WORD? Why this word?
Judith: My power word is RISK. Taking risks is a lifestyle for me. And it pays off, big time.
Sylvia: I like that word. And yes, life is about taking risk. Well Judith, it’s been great! Thank you for sharing your time with us. Please share your social media and book contact information.
Judith: You are very welcome. See below.
- Website: www.judithglynn.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/judglynn
- Order Book: www.amazon.com/author/judithglynn/
- Order Book: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/collector-of-affections-judith-glynn/1100332065?ean=2940012853561
- Order Book: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/70053