Tuesday, March 20, 2012

About Jude Deveroux

Jude Deveraux Revealed

  • What is your birthdate?:
  • Previous occupations:
    One of the jobs I had to put myself through college was in a greenhouse and that started my love of plants. After I graduated, I taught elementary school for a few years before I started writing.
  • Favorite job:
  • High school and/or college:
    Murray State University in Murray, KY, plus the University of New Mexico
  • Name of your favorite composer or music artist?:
    Verdi. I like Andrew Lloyd Weber a lot.
  • Favorite movie:
    The 1939 version of The Women. I know most of the dialogue by heart.
  • Favorite television show:
    I love TV and have 30 programs set on my DVR. I like Dexter, Mad Men, The Mentalist, Supernatural, House, all the BBC programs. I watch TV and movies more than I read because when I read, I start editing in my mind and it takes the fun away from the book.
Revealing Questions
Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
A. Starting over
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. Be thankful for the small things.
Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
A. Queen Elizabeth I
Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. I have an editor who keeps me from repeating myself. She circles the words that I use more than once on a page. Sometimes it's a real challenge to use different words. Right now, I'm trying to figure out how to say the "roar" of the alligators without using that word in every sentence.
Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. That I've been able to sustain my career.
Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
A. Right now it's my absolute hatred of aerobics. I will stand in one place and happily lift hundreds of pounds of weight, but put me on a treadmill and I am nearly insane in ten minutes.
Q. What’s your best quality?
A. My memory. I can remember, verbatim, conversations from 20 years ago.
Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
A. That I'm short.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A. Mr. Darcy, of course.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A. I don't like bad guys.
Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. I would like to meet Queen Elizabeth I and I wouldn't say a word. I'd just listen and watch.
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. People telling me something is for my own good when it's really to their advantage.
Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A. I like to garden and cook. My favorite days are when I start cooking at 6 a.m. while watching old movies on TV.
Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. I think writing is good. You get to stay home and you can work all day or skip a day. I love looking at a blank sheet of paper and thinking that I can fill it up with anything I want to write.
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. Honesty, honesty, and honesty.
Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A. Berries. If it has "berry" attached to the name of it, I love it.
Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. I like Grace Slick's White Rabbit, the Carmina Burana, ZZ Top.
On Books and Writing
Q. Who are your favorite authors?
A. I mostly read research books, but I do like murder mysteries. I read Nancy Atherton, Mary Higgins Clark, and Dorothy Cannell. I like anything about Thomas Jefferson.
Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
A. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons.
Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
A. Don't let your ego take over and rule you.
Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
A. That they wish I'd write more historicals --- which I'm doing now.

How I wrote my first novel
Back when I was teaching, my favorite thing to do on Friday was to go from the elementary school where I was teaching, to a bookstore, buy a paperback, and stay up all night reading it. One day I bought two paperbacks and was horrified to find that they were both rape sagas. The so-called hero forcibly had sex with the heroine. In anger, I threw the books across the room, turned out the light, and started thinking, “If I read the perfect book, what would the plot be?” The sun came up and I was still imagining characters and dialogue. For three days I walked around in a daze, unable to think about anything but the plot to the book — and it kept expanding. I thought maybe if I wrote down what I was thinking it would go away. I had no typewriter (and was a very bad typist) so I bought a pack of lined school paper and a three ring binder and began to write. I couldn’t stop. I wrote before and after school and when the children went out for recess.

When I had filled hundreds of pages with my story, I paid the next door neighbor’s teenage daughter to type it. When it came back, stained with coffee and with wrinkled pages, I packed it up and mailed it to Avon books because I thought they had pretty covers. They responded a month later by asking if they could please buy the book and send me money. And would I write more books for them?

The next day I quit my teaching job and haven’t stopped writing since. And by the way, I still write all my books by hand.

• Deveraux began her career as a fifth-grade teacher.
• Having a child and buying a house in Italy have changed Deveraux's perspective, according to an interview with a European fan in 2001. "I find that now [that I'm a mother] I'm not so interested in the events that happen between a man and woman," she said. "Now I want to know more about the character of a man, because now whether or not he would be a good father is of utmost importance. (From Barnes & Noble.)


Jude Deveraux was born in Fairdale, Kentucky, the eldest of a family of three girls and one boy. After earning a degree in art from Murray State University and studying teaching at the University of New Mexico, she taught fifth grade in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She left when her first book, The Land of Enchantment, was accepted for publication by Avon books.

Jude’s first books were historical, chiefly featuring the Montgomery and Taggert families. Stories of the lives and loves of these families spanned over several centuries in the US and England. They are filled with details of the history and culture of the time periods and settings of her novels. Her more recent series of books focuses on the McTern family and its descendants. The novels are set in the fictional town of Edilean, Virginia, and go from when the family arrived in America to contemporary time.
Jude’s exhaustive research on every aspect of her books has made for a rich and detailed background for each of her novels. Her stories are adventurous, funny, and at times heartwarming. Jude has had over thirty books on the New York Times Bestsellers List, over 60 million copies in print, and has been translated into 18 languages. 

Jude has lived in England and Egypt as well as in several American states, and she has traveled around the world. She likes to read nonfiction and murder mysteries, and work in her garden. In boxing class, she enjoys showing much younger males that she can throw a mean right cross.

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