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Interview: Judy Christie, Author of Downtown Green

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Novelist Judy Christie started her writing career at The Barret Banner in elementary school and went on to become a newspaper reporter and editor. She has kept a journal since she was nine years old and still has all of them. Author of the Green Series and Wreath, a YA novel, Ms. Christie resides in North Louisiana with her schoolteacher husband and enjoys visiting on her vintage green kitchen couch and encouraging people to slow down and enjoy each day more. Christie also writes the popular “Hurry Less Worry Less” nonfiction series. 

Readers can learn more about Judy and her work by visiting the following links:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ChristianBook.com Abingdon Press

Could you please tell us a bit about your book? The story? The characters?

Smalltown newspaper owner Lois Barker Craig loves her life in Green, Louisiana, but would like for someone else to solve the town’s problems for a change. When a new highway bypass threatens her beloved downtown, however, she knows she has to get to work. She and husband Chris, a high school coach and catfish farmer, agree to renovate the quaint Bayou Freez Drive-In and find themselves in the midst of one challenge after another. This is the fifth book in the “Green Series”.

How did you come up with the title and how much say did you have on the cover design?

Much brainstorming with the publishing house went into each of the five Green titles, with a commitment to putting the word “Green” in each. I contributed concepts for the covers, but a Nashville firm, the Anderson Design Group, handled the terrific design. Each cover features journalist Lois and a newspaper, and the most recent titles feature her cute dog, Holly Beth.

Do you have a favorite line or excerpt that you would like to share from your book?

“People talk about the death of little towns,” Eva said. “They say bypasses like this one can cut out the heart of a place. But they don’t know Green, do they?” She punctuated her comments with a wave of her hand.

“You’re right about that,” the hardware store owner yelled.

“We’re strong!” Marcus Taylor, head of the Lakeside Neighborhood Association and my best friend’s father shouted.

“Amen!” Jean, my pastor from Grace Chapel, added.

The crowd clapped more.

“We’ve had our challenges in Green,” Eva continued. “No one denies that.

Nevertheless, we refuse to board up downtown and watch it fade away. This splendid new highway will work with—not against—our plans for downtown.”

I swallowed hard at the word plans, not sure that we actually had any.”

What are some of your favorite ways to promote your work?

I enjoy talking with readers, in person and online, and have a great time visiting with book clubs. I chat on Facebook and Twitter and write E-letters to folks — sign up is at my website

I also have a great time with my free weekly podcast on iTunes, offering tips on how to hurry less and worry less.

What is a typical writing day like for you?

After four years as a novelist, I’m still trying to organize a typical writing day. I’m a morning person and start most days writing in my journal. Then I shift to fiction, using a kitchen timer to help me stay focused and to keep me from drifting to Facebook and other lovely distractions. I believe that great writers have a consistent writing routine, and I’m trying to build that discipline into my daily life.

What are some ways that you like to relax?

I wander through flea markets looking for primitive antiques; read in the porch swing; and walk in North Louisiana parks.

What author/s do you think are overlooked in the writing/reading world today?

I think Ariel Allison is a writer to keep an eye out for. Her debut novel, eye of the god, about the Hope Diamond, was an excellent book that I thought would draw more attention than it did. She’s working on her second novel now.

What author would you most like to meet and why?

Sue Monk Kidd. She’s a great writer, and I especially loved The Secret Life of Bees. She seems like a wise, sincere, fun person, and I’d like to have coffee with her and talk about her writing process.

Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to share with readers?

In addition to Downtown Green, I’m launching the nonfiction Hurry Less Worry Less for Moms, part of my Hurry Less Worry Less series.

What is something about yourself that would come as a surprise to many people?

I was the state champion typist in high school, have been piranha fishing on the Amazon River and once had lunch at the White House with Nancy Reagan.

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