Author Interview-Judith Works

March 6, 2015

Welcome all!
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Judith Works author of City of Illusions
Hi Judith Works thank you for agreeing to this interview. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I like to say that I ran away to the Circus (Maximus) in mid-life. In reality I left Portland, Oregon to work for the United Nations in Rome. My office was directly across the road from the ancient racetrack filled with tourists instead of charioteers. I spent four years as a legal advisor to the director of human resources. When the contract was up my husband and I reluctantly returned to the U.S. But we pined for the land of pasta, vino, art, and sunny piazzas. Then the gods smiled and offered a chance to return to Rome. Six years passed much too quickly.
Now back in the US, I volunteer for arts and literary organizations when not traveling to Italy and other places on my list. So far, I have visited over 100 countries. But whenever I am in Rome I toss coins into the Trevi Fountain to ensure yet another return to enjoy la dolce vita.
Which writers inspire you?
Recently I have enjoyed several novels about strong women who led interesting lives. Two examples are Sarah Dunant’s Blood and Beauty about Lucrezia Borgia, and Nicola Griffin’s Hild, the first of two volumes about St. Hilda. I am also fond of writers who can produce a good mystery or spy novel, particularly if they have a European setting.
So, what have you written?
Besides my new novel published by Booktrope, City of Illusions, I have written a memoir titled Coins in the Fountain, stories from my life in Italy. A short story was just published in a literary journal called Soundings Review produced by the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts. Various travel stories have been published in on-line magazines and I won a travel writing contest.
Where can we buy or see them?
City of Illusions is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble in both paperback and electronic formats. Your local bookstore can also order for you. The novel is also available on iTunes. Coins in the Fountain is available on Amazon in electronic format only.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
The protagonist in City of Illusions is Laura. She married her college sweetheart too soon. After seven years their marriage has grown stale and her job as a freelance editor is unrewarding. She wants a child but her husband, Jake, avoids the issue. Desperate for a change she finds a job in Rome and talks Jake into moving from Seattle for a year. She encounters many obstacles, including the infidelity and criminal behavior of her husband, in her quest. The central question is whether her perseverance will lead to a more fulfilling life. You will have to read to find the answer!
What are you working on at the minute?
In between writing travel stories I am in the outlining stages of a new novel. So far I know that it will be partially set in Rome and there will be a murder!
What genre are your books?
They fall into the category of women’s contemporary fiction.
How much research do you do?
Because both book are set in Italy, mainly in Rome, I do a lot of research. I have a large library of books about Italy, tons of photos, and correspond regularly with my friends abroad. But sometimes I want to know more – and what better excuse is there to return to Rome? One time I discovered that a setting was inaccurate when I had characters sitting on a bench. When I visited the site there was no bench so the scene had to be changed.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
It all began when one morning while I was sitting in bed with a coffee and thinking about the last memoir I read about Italy. I realized that my experiences were very different than those stories about restoring farmhouses in Tuscany. There were many events that happened during our two stays: a sinking sailboat, a fall in the subway, drunk co-workers, dogs in a doctor’s office, and of course the marvelous meals and travels around Italy. I wanted to share these mishaps and wonders with readers. It was time to begin writing!
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
I went to a book reading the other evening – the author has written 21 books all in longhand and all lengthy. I can’t imagine this. I write on my PC in my office surrounded by mementoes of Italy for inspiration.
Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.
I read all the time and I’m fairly omnivorous in my selections. I particularly like historical novels and non-fiction. Some of my favorites are Jacqueline Winspear, Joseph Kanon, Sarah Dunant and Alan Furst, but no one will surpass Hemmingway’s best work: For Whom the Bells Toll and A Farewell to Arms.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
For travel I prefer reading on my tablet – books are too heavy to lug around. For home I usually read hard or soft copy. There’s something about holding a real book in your hands instead of an electronic device.
What book/s are you reading at present?
Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about.
The cover for Coins in the Fountain is a night shot of the lovely Trevi Fountain in Rome. It is my favorite fountain out of the dozens in Rome. The legend has it that if you throw a coin in the fountain you will be granted a return trip to Rome.
The cover for City of Illusions is a montage of some of the famous landmarks in Rome. It is inspired by the book’s epigraph: “Rome is a city of echoes, the city of illusions, and the city of yearning.” This comment was written by the pre-Renaissance painter Giotto around AD 1300.
Who designed your book cover?
Greg Simanson, graphic designer, did the cover for City of Illusions.
Digital Donna, graphic designer, did the cover for Coins in the Fountain.
Which social network worked best for you?
I like both Facebook and Twitter. I find that Goodreads is helpful and I am starting with Pinterest which is fun.
In what formats is your book available?
City of Illusions is both paperback and electronic.
Coins in the Fountain is electronic only.
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
I hope readers will enjoy my books with a cappuccino or glass of wine. Italy is a beautiful country with more to see than can be encompassed in a lifetime. The memoir and novel will give readers a tiny taste of the joys and challenges that await them.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Twitter: @judithworks
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.

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