This afternoon, I had the privilege of sitting down with author Judy Higgins over tea and scones in honor of her debut novel, The Lady, which was a semi-finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakout Novel Contest.
Bourbonista: First, I hope I didn’t embarrass you by holding up a flask when the waitress asked what I took in my tea. It was a bit uncouth, but that’s how I roll. Let’s get right to it. Describe yourself in three words all beginning with the letter “B.”
Judy: Bold, Blonde (I dyed my hair red, but I’m still blonde at heart), Blessed.
Bourbonista: I know they say that blondes have more fun, but if I had any more fun than I do right now, I'd be sure to get arrested, so I better stay a brunette. So, what six people, they can either be alive or dead or a combination, would you invite to your perfect dinner party?
Judy: The first three would be my grandmother; Catherine the Great (Wow! What a woman); Colin Firth--he’d sit next to me, and definitely nowhere near Catherine the Great. And next, for a titillating dinner time conversation, Jesus and Mohammed. I’d love to see what kind of pass Catherine would make to either. In the event I decided Jesus and Mohammed might be too much, then Einstein and Thomas Jefferson. On the other hand, scratch Colin, Jesus, Mohammed, and Thomas. Instead, add Peter the Great and Mark Twain.
Bourbonista: Poor Catherine. You can’t blame her for her infidelities. You’d cheat too if you had a husband that preferred to play with puppets instead of you. That Peter III was not quite right. But, I read Mark Twain was renowned for being well-endowed, so I bet that’s who she’d set her sights on. But I would hope she would have more respect for your grandmother and Jesus than to be a blatant hussy. Next question, if your house were to catch on fire, what is the one possession you would grab?
Judy: My fire extinguisher. I have too many mementos from my travels and from my past to let my house go up in flames.
Bourbonista: Touché.’ If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
Judy: The Air Force anthem (at least the first part of it)--“Off we go, into the wild blue yonder, flying high . . . “ I’m a travel-aholic.
Bourbonista: If you’re going to be an “aholic,” travel is a healthy one. It's way easier on your liver than any of my addictions. What would you do if you won the lottery?
Judy: Always fly first class, Hire a cook., Hire a personal shopper (I hate shopping), Donate lots of money to cultural institutions in Lexington (UK Opera Department, the Symphony, Kentucky Theater, The Carnegie Center, etc.)
Bourbonista: Lots of money, huh? In your eyes, what does it take to be a “cultural institution?” I’m willing to give becoming one a shot. Lastly. what is your favorite word and why?
Judy: “Can.” As in “I can.” I don’t like giving up until every stone has been turned, and every solution tried.
Make sure to get your copy of Judy's debut novel, The Lady.
South Georgia, 1956.
When sixteen-year-old Quincy Bruce goes to live with her Aunt Addy, she has no idea that what happened thirteen years earlier in wartime London can destroy her future. Her parents have gone to Africa as missionaries, leaving Quincy with her free-spirited and lively aunt, a war widow, and the only person who supports Quincy’s ambition to become a musician. When another aunt accuses Addy of having been the inspiration for the adulterous woman in Nathan Waterstone’s infamous wartime novel, The Lady, Quincy vows to prove her wrong. As Quincy settles into her new life with Addy, she sets about unraveling the secrets of Addy’s life, and of Nathan’s, in an effort to discover the true identity of the Lady. When she makes a discovery of a different type, Quincy’s dreams of becoming a pianist come crashing down.
More About the Author
Judy was born in South Georgia where she grew up playing baseball, reading, and taking piano lessons. To pay for her lessons, she raised chickens and sold eggs to neighbors. She attended Mercer University for two years, and then Baylor University from which she graduated with a BA in German. She received her MA in German literature from The University of Michigan. After teaching German for several years, Judy decided to become a librarian and earned a MA in Library Science at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania.
Judy’s life took an exciting turn when she left her teaching job in Pennsylvania to be Head of Library at the Learning Center School of Qatar Foundation. She lived in Qatar for eight years, traveling during every vacation, and enjoying the experience of living in a different culture. Recently, she returned to the United States and lives in Lexington, KY. Judy has two children, Julia and Stephen, two children-in-law, Jim and Erin, and three grandchildren: Kyle, Jon, and Karina.
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