Author interview with Judy Colbert
Judy Colbert is a native of Washington, DC., who now lives in Crofton, Anne Arundel County, Maryland. She writes travel guidebooks about neighboring Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware, and wrote a guidebook to DC for children. She’s also written about Super Bowl trivia, divorce, temper tantrums, and career opportunities in travel. She has two married daughters, one of whom lives about 45 minutes away and two perfectly wonderful daughters so Judy can have a grandchild fix almost anytime she wants.
1. Tell us about your latest book.
Latest book is “Temper Tantrum Common Sense Handbook” about how to prevent, stop, and live with tantrums. It’s an e-book, available at www.TuffTurtle.com/tantrums.htm or as a Kindle from Amazon.com. Tips are given about dealing with children (and it could apply to adults) when shopping, dining, traveling, bedtime, and other popular tantrum spots and times.
2. How did you get started as a writer?
Started in fifth grade. I’ve always enjoyed being the messenger, the go-to person when someone has a question.
3. What does a typical day look like for you?
No typical day. Usually up by 5 a.m., get some work done, read the paper, maybe take a nap until the first phone call (so decadent), then work. Sometimes I’m sending queries, sometimes answering fact-checker questions, sometimes writing. I try to take a nap sometime in the late afternoon if I’m not on deadline. Jeopardy! is appointment TV. I’m usually asleep by 11. On the days when I travel, I’m up early to catch morning light photographs and stay up until twilight photographs are taken. On deadline days, I tend to work a couple of hours, nap for an hour, work a couple of hours, etc. I lose track of days and time until the project is finished.
4. Describe your desk/workspace.
Think of a black hole for papers, reference books, notes, and then double or triple it. When it takes longer to find what I need than it does to process what I need, then I know it’s time to file. It should be easier with electronic filing, but it hasn’t been, yet.
5. Favorite books (especially for writers)
Quirky reference books, Grand Illusions, Have a Nice Day – No Problem! A Dictionary of Cliches, Reverse Dictionary, http://www.expertclick.com
6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you
I talk to strangers in elevators, I have my SAG and AFTRA cards so I work in movies & TV shows that are shot in the Baltimore-DC area, I want to be a clue in a crossword puzzle.
7. Favorite quote
Writers don’t lead linear lives.
8. Best and worst part of being a writer
Being alone so much.
9. Advice for other writers
If you’re interested in something, odds are good that someone else is. Go for it.
10. Tell us a story about your writing experience.
Serendipity. I was on a media trip to Miami Beach and talked to Shifra Stein, one of the other writers, who thought her publisher would like to talk to me about writing a travel guide book. I pitched Maryland, the editor said she wanted Virginia, I said I’d love to do Virginia. Everything else has come from that conversation.
Where can people buy your books?
Temper Tantrum Common Sense Handbook can be purchased at
www.TuffTurtle.com/tantrums.htm as an e-book or as a Kindle at www.Amazon.com.
Freelance assignments accepted