Alice Again.inddGet to know Judi…

Judi Curtin was born in London and grew up in Cork. She has published three books for adults, and twelve for children. Several of her childrens books have been Irish bestsellers and one was shortlisted for an Irish Book Award. They have been sold internationally, and translated into multiple languages. Judi now lives in Limerick with her family, and her cat Domino, the only real character in any of her books. To learn more, visit her website.

Let the conversation begin! 

Would you rather publish a string of mainstream books or one classic?

Hmmm – difficult question. One classic would be an amazing achievement. Only problem is, I love writing, and am currently doing two books a year. If I’d already written my one classic, how would I spend my days? (Maybe spending the millions the classic earned me???) 

Tell us about the book you’re working on.

At the moment I’m working on the (as yet untitled) third book in the Friends Forever Series. In this series, two young girls are whisked back in time, and form relationships with people they meet there. I love dealing with how the girls cope, knowing what’s going to happen next, and wondering if it’s in their power to change it. 

Do you let anyone read your work-in-progress? 

My first three books were top secret. When I wrote my first book, not only was the content a secret, but the very fact of its existence was a secret too. I feared that the notion of ‘being a writer’ was a bit pretentious, and decided to keep it to myself until it had actually happened. For a brief time, when she was the right age, my youngest daughter was allowed to read works in progress, but now she’s outgrown me, so I’m back to solitary scribbling. 

Judi Curtin 5Outliner or seat-of-the-pantser?

Even though my books are not ‘high concept’ my outline usually consists of one line – ‘This is X and Y is going to happen to her.’ In other words, I usually know where I’m going, but don’t always know how I’m going to get there. 

What element would you add to your writing space if money wasn’t an issue? 

A mountain spring trickling in the background and a cross person to tell me to switch off Facebook when I’m slacking! 

Easier to write before or after you were published?

Much easier afterwards. I had little hope or expectation of publishing my first book, and that kind of stifles motivation. Knowing there’s a good chance of an audience is what gets me to switch on my computer in the mornings. 

What’s one rule you’re dying to break?

The idea that nowadays books have to be ‘high concept’. (Actually I break this rule every time I write a book.) I think there is more room for gentler, character-based novels, than publishers and booksellers would have us believe.