Judy C. Harvey is the debut author of Angel Wings, a story of hope and friendship in a new season of life. She is also my First and Forever friend. (She shows up in all my novels. Especially in that line from The Marvel House.)

We have been friends since before we could read. She says I corrected her grammar on the first day of school. I have conveniently forgotten that story. But I remember she came to visit on my fifth birthday and posed with me for a picture. Decades later, when the picture was destroyed in a fire, she made me a copy from hers.

Judy went on to earn both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the field we both love – language. Once during our child-rearing years she wrote to me, “I went into a local bookstore today, but none of our books were on the shelves.” It was a gentle reminder that we were both readers and writers at heart. We just hadn’t done the writing part yet.

And, now, we have. Please join me in this short conversation about books.

Me: “Why now? What inspired you to write your first novel at this point in life?”

Judy: I’ve been working on writing this novel off and on for years, but the drive to actually finish and publish the book happened recently when I discovered inspirational podcasts. One day I was taking my daily walk, earbuds in, and heard these words: “If not now, when?” That resonated with me. I’m 64 years old. If I didn’t get serious about writing and publishing, when would it happen? Another podcaster urged me to “regret-proof your life.” I’ve lived a good life, but I pondered what I would regret at the end of my days. I would regret not publishing my novel.  Another podcaster said, “Be afraid, but do it anyway.” Deep down, I was afraid of putting my work out there. What if some people didn’t like it? I was afraid, but I did it anyway, and I’m so glad I did. Since the release of Angel Wings, I’ve received many positive comments about the novel and how it touched my readers.

Me: Tell us about your writing process.

Judy:  I like to write in the morning. I find I can get quite a bit accomplished if I write for a short time on a regular basis. Even 20-30 minutes a day can move the novel forward a few hundred words or complete a blog entry.

Me: Would you encourage other authors to publish independently?

Judy: Definitely! Amazon provides the tools needed to publish independently on their website, such as tutorials and applications to format the book.

Me:  How much did you draw from your own life and relationships to build the community that grew around the fictional thrift shop called Angel Wings?

Judy: Jean’s character comes in part from the strong women I know who must move forward with their lives after the loss of a spouse. Their experiences made me wonder how I could possibly cope with losing my husband. The character of Lacy was inspired by someone I know who faced similar obstacles in life. The idea of the setting came from my daughter Vanita. She and I love to visit thrift shops, because we like the idea of reusing instead of purchasing new items. One day, Vanita said, “I have an idea for the setting of your book – a thrift shop! You could write about the different people who come in or the items they buy.” The idea for the Angel Wings Thrift Shop was born.

Me: Where can we buy your book?

Judy: You can find Angel Wings in both e-book and paperback format at Amazon.com.

You can also connect with Judy through her Goodreads Author Page here.