Saturday, 25 February 2012

Interview with Judy Serrano: Author of EASTER'S LILLY

Here is an exciting interview with Judy Serrano, the author of EASTER'S LILLY.  Although there were so many questions, it felt so good to hear her answers.  One of my really interesting interviews!  Here it is, for you readers..

Is there an inspiration behind why you chose writing?

I have always been very creative. I started writing poetry when I was young as sort of a release. It turned into song writing and eventually I started writing novels when I was 12 years old. It was just something I’ve always loved to do. Never dreamed that I’d ever get published.

How did you come up with this title?  Did you have any other titles in your mind for the book?

Everything important happens to Lilly on Easter. It was a natural fit. If I had other names in mind, I don’t remember them. The only regret I have is that in the beginning people assumed it was a Christian book about Easter Sunday. May change the cover when it goes to the second printing. J

Where do you write your novel? Is it a messy desk or a great garden or a coffee shop? 

In my mind I am writing from the balcony of lake house, looking out at the placid water, still like glass, quietly misting, while I’m sipping champagne and listening to Bach on radio. But truth be told, I have my MacBook set up on my coffee table with papers and notes piled high all around me. My children and husband look over the top of my laptop and sneer at me when they get tired of missing me on the basketball court, where they are currently playing a game of knockout. Sipping a now cold cup of coffee, I back up my ramblings of the morning and put away the computer. I just realized that perhaps a desk is in order.

What are your current literary works?  Any sneak peaks?

Easter’s Lilly is the first book of the series. Brother Number Three is number two (ironically) and Relatively Close is number three. Book four, which is not quite ready yet, will be called Memoirs of a Mobster, told from the perspective of an adult Diego Jr. After reading book three I’m sure the state of Junior’s psyche will be of some concern. The Lost Years is a young adult spin off of the series also told from Junior’s eyes only he is a teenager. I must admit that the hardest one to write was the young adult book. I had a hard time keeping it clean.

If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?

Hmmm… now that’s a hard one. I tend to keep to myself or simply stay close to my family. But I’d have to say, probably Jesus Christ, (No explanation necessary), Benjamin Franklin, (wisdom to learn from), William Shakespeare (idol curiosity) Stephanie Tyler (learn about her journey into the world of writing), and my husband. Couldn’t face those people without him holding my hand.

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?

Someone recently played a song for me after she reviewed Easter’s Lilly, which I thought would be a perfect Theme song. It’s called “Just a Dream,” by Nelly- Sam Tsui and Christina Grimmie. Here’s the link if you’re interested.

When the series becomes a movie, I’m going to request it.

What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you'd be embarrassed to admit?

I don’t embarrass easily. Unless of course my husband grabs me by the arms and starts dancing with me in Costco, but that’s a story for another time. It’s all about The Vampire Diaries… otherwise I can take it or leave it.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

This is an easy question. I was walking down the hallway of the school I used to work in, when I heard someone yell, “It’s her! It’s the girl who wrote the book!” I turned around and there was a young woman jumping up and down. “Thank you for writing those books,” was what she told me before she threw her arms around me and hugged me. Yes… very rewarding.

What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Sometimes when you have a backup plan, you spend more time making the backup plan viable than you do working on the dream. If you have a dream, go for it. Work hard at it and make every effort to become successful. Life is too short to be miserable. The last thing you want to do is wake up and say… “I should have tried harder.”

If you could jump into a book, and live in that world, which would it be?

Lilly’s world, of course.  Sexy men, hot cars, mansions, diamonds… what more could a girl possibly ask for? Okay, maybe I’d leave out the drugs, the guns and the kidnappings but she sure does live a heck of a life. No would of, should of, could of… there. She certainly won’t regret not going for what she wanted.

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?

Judy’s Dreams. I had quite a life. If I wanted something I went for it. I climbed mountains without a rope, sang in country saloons all over the country, and even moved to Nashville Tennessee when I was 21 to become the next Linda Ronstadt. Now I’m living the greatest dream of all. I get to do something I love for a living and get to share it with my amazing family.

Hidden talent?

Yes. I have a few. I am a singer and I play guitar. I also write songs and poetry. I play the music for the church my family attends on Sundays. My oldest son plays the drums and my husband plays the congas. I also have a son who plays piano but he’s in the beginning stages.

How do you react to a bad review?

No one likes them, but they do make you credible. I am suspicious when I see an author with nothing but five star reviews. Let’s face it, you can’t please everyone and not every book is right for every person. In the beginning I used to let them get to me. Usually bad reviews include emotionally charged insults, which hurt a little from time to time. But after so many reviews, I think I’ve developed a thicker skin. I read them, listen to what they have to say and move on. Why dwell on what you can’t change. So far most of the reviews have been positive and I try to focus on that.

Which authors have influence on you most.. how?

I suffered from Dyslexia as a child, so I didn’t do much reading until I was an adult. The woman who wrote The Twilight Series, Stephenie Meyer, certainly changed my life. I had just finished writing my first Lilly book when I noticed that everyone in the college I was attending was reading Twilight. I wanted to know what all the excitement was about. I read all four books very quickly. Then I needed to find something else to read. Now I’m out of control. Nora Roberts, also influenced me. Her MacKade Brothers’ books made me see how much I really love the strong male figures in the books that I read and write. Stephanie Tyler is one of my favorites. Her books are WAY sexier than mine, but she never disappoints with her alpha men and her edge of your seat excitement. Although my style is considerably different than theirs, I learned a lot from them.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?

That’s easy. Healing. I would run right over to the nearest children’s hospital and wave my magic wand. How great would that be.


Favorite place?
Where my family is

Favorite pastime?

Favorite book?
So far it was, “Between Midnight and Morning,” by Cindy Gerard.

Favorite author?
Stephanie Tyler (but her books are very sexy)

Favorite smell?
Freshly baked bread

Favorite series?
The Vampire Diaries

Favorite genre?
Romantic Suspense

Favorite writing spot?
Any place by the water

Favorite movie?
Pirates of the Caribbean

Favorite dish?
Hot Wings

Favorite color?

Favorite quote?
"I write for the same reason I breathe- because if I didn't, I would die." Isaac Asimov

Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Butter Pecan

Your best trait?

Your worst trait?

Thank you so much, Judy, for the interview!  It really, as I said before, is one of my very interesting interviews.

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