Welcome to Jersey Girl Book Reviews, Judy!
How long have you been a writer?
I’ve been a writer as long as I can remember; literally, I can remember writing stories at a very young age. When I was eight or nine, a friend and I co-wrote our first novel about an intersexed (We didn’t know this word at the time!) person.
Do you have a day job, or is being an author your job?
My day job is being a Stay-at-Home mother. I have two teenaged daughters, eighteen and fifteen, and I’ve stayed at home with them since my younger daughter was born.
What inspired you to become a writer? Describe your journey as a writer.
I never felt good at anything besides reading and writing and always wanted to be an author. When I was nine or ten, my parents signed me up for a Creative Writing class through our local township, and I remember the teacher telling my father when he came to pick me up that I had true talent. A high school teacher also told me that. I majored in English in college and went into publishing as an editor. When my younger daughter was three, an idea for a novel came to mind, and it wouldn’t leave me alone, so on the days she was in preschool, I wrote. (That book sucked, and it is hidden in the way back of my closet, never to be seen!) Since then, I’ve continued to write and revise and write and revise, and now I have Child of Mine, which I’m very proud of.
Please give a brief description/storyline about Child of Mine.
Child of Mine is the story of a thirty three year old midwife, Katie, who can’t have her own biological children and is going through infertility treatment. An adoptee, she longs for a biological connection, so she decides to search for her biological parents, only to be shocked when the truth is revealed to her.
What was the inspiration for this story?
I went through infertility and it was one of the most powerful, difficult experiences of my life. I wanted to capture that in the book.
How did it feel to have your first book published?
It’s taken such a long time – about twelve years since I first started writing novels seriously – that it feels a little unreal! But very exciting and nerve wracking, too.
Do you write books for a specific genre?
Women’s fiction, though someday I might want to try some Young Adult, too.
What genres are your favorites? What are some of your favorite books that you have read and why?
Women’s Fiction and some Suspense. I love anything by Jodi Picoult, which always asks great psychological questions and leans towards strong women characters.
Do you have a special spot/area where you like to do your writing?
I usually write at my kitchen table with the blinds closed, otherwise I get distracted! I also have a home office, but it’s mostly too messy to write in.
How do you come up with the ideas that become the storyline for your books?
They just sort of come to me. Once an idea strikes, I play around with it in my head for a long time, trying to figure out if it could work, before I start actual writing.
When you write, do you adhere to a strict work schedule, or do you work whenever the inspiration strikes?
I need the strict work schedule. I write best first thing in the morning, and I give myself word counts to meet each day.
What aspects of storytelling do you like the best, and what aspects do you struggle with the most?
I love the fresh page, and the first draft is so much fun. I love the feeling of not quite knowing where the story is going, and getting excited when it starts coming together. I struggle a lot with character development – is the character likable enough? Is she real enough? And I don’t like editing.
What are your favorite things to do when you are not writing?
Reading (of course), baking both breads and desserts, and hanging out with my husband and daughters.
What is/was the best piece of writing advice that you have received?
The average author takes about ten years from when she first starts writing to become published. (And from what I’ve seen this is true!)
What is the most gratifying thing you feel or get as a writer?
When someone says she couldn’t put my book down.
How do you usually communicate with your readers/fans?
You can check out my web site, judymollenwalters.com, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to my Facebook page, Judy Mollen Walters Author, or check me out on Twitter, www.twitter.com/@judymwalters.
Is there anything in your book based on real life experiences or are they purely all from your imagination?
The infertility scenes are based on real life experiences. In addition, I have a friend who was adopted who searched for her own birth parents, which helped shape that aspect of the book.
What authors have been your inspiration or influenced you to become a writer?
One of my biggest inspirations is my friend Jenny Milchman, author of Cover of Snow. It took her a very long time and a huge uphill battle to become published. She had the kind of tenacity we would all like to have, and she also has true grace.
What is your definition of success as a writer?
Satisfied readers who keep coming back for more!
Are you currently writing a new book? If yes, would you care to share a bit of it with us?
Yes, my new book is about a newly widowed Rabbi and his two teenaged children dealing with their grief over the loss of their mother. I hope it will be published later this year or early next.
Thank you Judy for visiting Jersey Girl Book Reviews and sharing a part of your life and writing career with us!
About The Author
After many years working as an editor in non-fiction publishing, author Judy Walters became a Stay-at-Home Mother to her two girls, conceived via infertility treatment. She wrote Child of Mine as an homage to the struggle nearly 1 in 6 couples go through in order to have their families. She lives in New Jersey with her family, where she is at work on her next novel.
Child of Mine by Judy Mollen Walters ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: JKSCommunications
Child of Mine by Judy Mollen Walters
Publisher: Independent Self-Publishing
Publication Date: March 10, 2013
Format: eBook - 256 pages / Kindle - 677 KB / Nook - 527 KB
Genre: Women's Fiction
BUY THE BOOK: Child of Mine
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by JKSCommunications.
As families grow under Katie's careful watch, her husband wants to move on to adoption. But Katie, who was adopted as a newborn, can't bear the thought of never having a biological connection to anyone.
So she sets off on a journey to the other side of the country, along with her emotionally unstable sister, to find her biological relatives.
What she discovers about her roots --and about the parents who adopted her -- rocks her world in a way she never could have expected. And even as she deals with what she finds, she still needs to figure out a way to become a mother.
My Book Review:
In her debut novel, author Judy Mollen Walters weaves a poignant and heart wrenching tale of one couple's journey through the trials and tribulations of dealing with infertility and adoption in their quest to have a child.
Katie Cohen-Langer has the ideal dream job as a midwife, but the joy of helping other couples have their children is also painful, as she has endured years of failed infertility treatments which has left her emotionally spent and desperate to have her own child. The disappointment of the failed infertility treatments has her husband wanting to consider the process of adoption, but Katie is uncomfortable with pursuing this course of action. She was an adopted child whose parents provided vague information about her biological parents. Feeling the need for closure about her own life history before she could consider the adoption of a child, she begins a search to find out about her birth parents. Will the search for her birth parents provide Katie the closure she needs in order to be able to adopt a child that she and her husband so desperately want?
Child of Mine is an emotionally charged story that will simply tug at your heartstrings. Written in a thoughtful way, author Judy Mollen Walters describes a story that anyone who has walked in Katie's shoes can relate to. The attention to detail and description of the painful journey through failed infertility treatments; pursuing the adoption process; dealing with being an adopted child and/or being the woman who gives up her child (via a "parenting plan"), and dealing with a loved one's dementia is not lost on the reader as they experience the full gamut of emotions. You can't help but have empathy for the couple as they struggled with the pain, helplessness, dejection and desperation that they went through in order to have a child of their own.
I personally could relate to this wonderful story that is so beautifully written. It brought back the sad memories of my own pregnancy and miscarriage that I had twenty-two years ago, and the painful failure of being unable to conceive another child. Author Judy Mollen Walters thoughtfully takes from her own personal experiences of conceiving her children via infertility treatment, and delivers a hauntingly poignant story that will resonate with the reader long after the last words have been read.
RATING: 4 STARS ****