Author Interviews

Author Interview with Judy Nichols

I’m hosting an interview today with Judy Nichols, author of cozy mystery “Pork Pies”. Welcome!

Author Interview

When did you know you wanted to be an author? 
I think I knew I wanted to be an author when I was a junior in high school. For my creative writing class, taught by the 11th grade English teacher who was the  hardest grader in school, I wrote a short story in the style of Shirley Jackson, with a shocker of an ending that no one was expecting. When Mrs. S. read it in class, everyone gasped at the ending.
She told me what a great story it was and suggested I enter it in a writing contest. I didn’t win, but I remember feeling so proud of myself, thinking that I want to keep on writing things with twists and turns that no one is expecting.

What inspired you to write Pork Pies?

My husband was the inspiration for this book and the other two Ian Dodge books. He’s been in this country for decades, but refuses to be Americanized, instead hanging on to every single shred of his Britishness. I always thought he’d make a great detective so I made him one.
In Pork Pies, I wanted to write about the character of Her Majesty. Ian’s friend Ruth has a job creating recipes for a woman who hosts a network cooking show, but she can never reveal her boss’s identity and always refers to her as “Her Majesty.” I decided I wanted to bring Her Majesty out of the shadows and explore what lies she’s been telling and what secrets she’s been keeping. Because of course, she’d tell lies and have secrets.

What do you find the most challenging about being an author? 

I’d say what challenges me most is not the writing, which is fun, but everything that comes afterwards. Cleaning up the typos and grammatical errors, plugging the plot holes that you can drive a truck through and of course, dealing with the sting of the editor’s blue pencil. Then of course, there’s all the production stuff like writing blurbs and getting a good cover design.

What is your editing process like?

I tend to go over each chapter as I write it and make corrections (or at least catch the most glaring errors) as I write. Once I’m finished, I have a couple trusted beta readers that I give it to for their feedback. After I receive their feedback and I’m satisfied with what I have, I turn it over to a professional editor.

Did you set any writing goals for 2017? 

My goal is always to get whatever I’ve got sitting around into print. Right now that’s a young adult paranormal novel I wrote kind of on a whim a few years back. It needs some work and I hope to get it into shape and ready for publication, It’s called Echoes of Evil, about a 14 year old girl who can hear the screams of a killer’s victim if she looks into his or her eyes. Her grandfather had the same gift and the story goes back and forth between the two of them.

Are you working on something now? 

I’ve started on a sequel to my first book “Caviar Dreams,” picking up with the character of Lisa Watson 13 years later. It’s fun revisiting this character, as she’s older and her life has changed, She’s matured a bit, but not that much.

About the Book

Title: Pork Pies

Author: Judy Nichols

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Crusty British transplant Ian Dodge is back on the beat, this time in the service of Her Majesty, otherwise known as Laura Lane, the Food Queen, star of a popular TV cooking show. A blackmailer has threatened to expose her sordid past as a con artist, so she turns to Ian Dodge to get it sorted.

When her blackmailer is found stabbed to death in his hotel room, Her Majesty is the prime suspect. It’s Ian’s job to untangle a web of deception and pork pies (lies) to find the real culprit, all the while dealing with the antics of his twin sons, Jesse and Mac.


Author Bio

Judy Nichols grew up in a Batavia, Ohio a small town twenty miles east of Cincinnati and eventually found herself living in Aurora, Indiana, a small town twenty miles west of Cincinnati. She would be there still if GE Aircraft hadn’t made her husband Nigel an offer he couldn’t refuse– a chance to live near the ocean with GE footing the bill for moving expenses.

So now she lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.

She started her novel Caviar Dreams while her daughter was napping one day. Five years later it was finished. The biggest challenge arrived once her daughter stopped taking naps and eventually lost interest in watching the “Toy Story” video.

Judy holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Kent State University. She has been a newspaper reporter, a teacher, a temporary office worker, a customer service representative, and currently stay-at-home mom with way too much time on her hands. (And never mind that her daughter has graduated from college and lives in San Diego).

In April of 2012, Judy achieved her lifelong goal of appearing on the quiz show “Jeopardy!” She was a two day champion winning a total of $46,500 and the distinction of being officially named the smartest person in a room full of very smart people.

She has earned only two awards in her lifetime. Neither of them has anything to do with writing, but she is immensely proud of them nonetheless. Adia Temporary Agency presented her with the “Temp of the Month” award for March, 1987 and The Ohio Chapter of The Nature Conservancy gave her a Volunteer Appreciation Award in 1991.

Her experience with The Nature Conservancy inspired her second novel Tree Huggers, about a single mom reporter covering the deadly clash between an unscrupulous developer and a militant environmentalists, published in 2008 She followed it up with a sequel in 2014 called The Reason for the Season.

Her latest book Pork Pies is the latest in her Ian Dodge mystery series.  Ian is a British national, living in a small town in rural North Carolina and stubbornly hanging on to every shred of his Britishness.  Any resemblance to Ian Dodge and her own prickly British husband is purely intentional. Other books in the series are Sportsman’s Bet and Trouble and Strife.

Currently, Judy is a volunteer with Phoenix Hometown Hires, a non profit group that helps people find meaningful work.





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