Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on a farm in Limerick, Pennsylvania. We lived so far away from any towns or shopping malls, that I had a lot of time to myself. My two older brothers didn't play with me, and my younger sister is six years younger, so we didn't enjoy the same things at the same time. Being on a farm forced me to be in nature when I wasn't inside writing stories about my imaginary law practice. I used to be a family law attorney and write out my clients' stories. I had several newspapers going at the same time: Colorful News, Headlines, and Phew Page (for the bathroom) for which I would write all the copy and draw all the cartoon illustrations.
What are you working on next?
My next book follows the Presidential campaign circuit. I hope to run into Hillary and whoever the Republican candidate is to see their sneers when they realize who I am.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy I find from writing is when time slips away, I'm immersed in the work, and at the end, I have a product that makes an important statement or passes on vital information. If I can change the world for the better in some small way, then my life will have mattered.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book tells the story of my political awakening. I was a complete neophyte politically, but now I see how everything is political. You can't avoid government and business dealings of others infringing on your life. I realized I must be involved in civics to protect my home, family, water, air, and soil. My book gives readers the tools to protect and provide a better future for their kids. It answers the question: what can I do to make a difference in this world; what am I here for?
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
In fourth grade, I wrote a story called "Nero the Nearsighted Boy." Every use of the letter "n" would get me extra credit. I was mortified when my teacher, Mrs. Groff, read my submission to the class. I was not a popular kid, and I shrunk in my chair as she gave me accolades. She later told me, "I think you're going to write the great American novel someday."
Who are your favorite authors?
I love Harpo Marx's book, Harpo Speaks. It's one of my favorite books of all times. I cried when I read the final chapters because I missed him. I love Pearl Buck's writing also.
What do your fans mean to you?
Nothing pleases me more than finding out that a reader finished my book in less than a week, and they can't wait to tell their friends! It's the best feeling in the world!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a master gardener, so I get out in my garden as often as possible. Today, for instance, I have to pot up some tomato seedlings and harvest peaches from my Eva's Pride tree.
What is your writing process?
I sit. I write. I can't not write. It's who I am. I've been writing a diary ever since reading Harriet the Spy at 12 years of age.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I became an indie author for two reasons. First, I needed to get my message out to my readers as soon as possible! My book contains timely information and the traditional publishing route takes too long. Second, the upside for self-publishing is much greater. Publishers often take such a large piece of the pie, it leaves very little left for the author. My goal is to make a living off my writing so that I can do more of it!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I don't have any trouble getting out of bed! My 14-year old daughter needs me or I have an idea that just can't wait to be acted upon.
What do you read for pleasure?
As an adult, I read non-fiction almost exclusively. In order to read fiction, someone has to really rave about a book. Having said that, I read Anna Karenina and loved it.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote my first story in second grade. When I was four years old, I was already writing words, but they were just strings of consonants. I would ask my Mom, "what word is this?" and she'd try her best to pronounce each one for me, even though it was just gibberish. By five, I was already reading. My favorite stores were stationery stores. I loved pens with different color inks, and I treasured my ink pens that had pumps in them, where you draw the ink in from a bottle. My grandfather bought a stationery store once (that he converted to a costume store) and I got to play with all the inventory. They had some fantastic fountain pens. Just beautiful!
Describe your desk
My desk is my lap. I have a beautiful desk in my office, but I hardly ever use it. I like to sit on the couch to write.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords taught me how to format my ebook and get it out to the public, without charging me a thing. That's important for starving writers.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.
In Search of the Next POTUS (President of the United States) tackles the seemingly impossible task of making Congress work. In this true adventure, political activist Judy Frankel shows how to combat corruption in Congress while choosing a qualified leader for the White House. Her humorous and heartbreaking crusade to overhaul Washington from the top down inspires voters to take control of the USA