Our interview today is with Judy Serrano, author of Easter's Lilly.
Judy Serrano: Simply go to http://www.judyserrano.com/. All the information about purchasing my novels in on there. Easter’s Lilly is available in paperback, Kindle and in Nook. Please follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/AuthorJSerrano and my Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Easters-Lilly-by-Judy-Serrano/106636956074771?ref=ts
Jennifer Walker: Tell us about your book.
Judy Serrano: Easter Sunday is the day when everything in her life gets turned upside down. Lilly falls in love with a low ranking drug dealer and finds herself married to the head of the Mexican cartel after her boyfriend abandons her.
Lilly tells the story of her life, and the lives of her children. She is an innocent with no idea of the situation she has gotten herself into. After she marries the handsome Diego Montiago, she meets his very striking and charming brother, Max. Their very flirtatious and inappropriate relationship leads them down a road of betrayal and intrigue. The syndicate takes over their lives, as the Montiago family almost destroys each other over the love of a woman. Easter's Lilly takes you down a road that twists and turns full of passion and forgiveness that will surprise you. You won’t be able to put it down!
Jennifer Walker: Tell us about your previous work.
Judy Serrano: Easter’s Lilly is my first published novel. Brother Number 3 is my latest release and it is a sequel to Easter’s Lilly. The third book of the series is scheduled for release January 2012 and is titled, Relatively Close.
Jennifer Walker: What other projects do you have coming up?
Judy Serrano: I am currently working on a young adult spin off to the adult series, featuring one of Lilly’s children. I am also working on book number four of the series, which is almost completed.
Jennifer Walker: Do you write full time? If so, tell us how you manage it. If not, what is your day job?
Judy Serrano: I am a substitute teacher at a high school. I love my job because it gives me freedom to write, to promote my novels and there is no homework. I love working with the kids and although it is usually not full-time, I suspect if I did work a 40-hour job, my writing would suffer.
Jennifer Walker: What is your writing process like--do you outline first or just start writing, etc.?
Judy Serrano: I have heard that many amazing authors spend a considerable amount of time outlining first. Although that would probably be easier, I have never done that. I throw my characters in the situations that be and let them take me where they want to go. I sometimes wonder myself how they got there.
Jennifer Walker: What was the hardest part: writing the book, getting it published, or marketing it? Why?
Judy Serrano: Writing the book was easy. It flowed and became an obsession that I simply could not put down. Getting it published took me a little time. There is a methodical process that must be followed to find a worthwhile publisher and it takes some critical time to accomplish such a feat. Once I found him, and I use Black Rose Writing, he made it easy. Marketing has been difficult. Probably the most difficult adventure of the entire process. Promoting your own accomplishments can be difficult for people who are not comfortable pushing their own products. There are some basic things to learn to get you started and I think the rest is really just a learning experience. Fortunately for me there are quite a few authors and experts out there who are generous with their knowledge and experience. I hope to be able to do the same someday.
Judy Serrano: My most successful marketing technique has been handing out the first chapter. Once people read the first few pages, they want to read the book. It was my husband’s idea after watching me do a reading at the Dallas Library. We have even gone as far as posting teasers on my web site, which I understand is pretty common practice.
Jennifer Walker: Tell us a little about your non-writing life. Family? Pets? Hobbies? Is your family supportive of your writing?
Judy Serrano: My family is amazing. My boys watch me from over the top of my MacBook and never complain. My husband promotes my writings whenever possible. We are also a very musical family. I play guitar, write songs and sing. I have one son who plays conga drums, one who plays a little piano and one who plays a little guitar. The youngest will be asking about drums any day now.
I do find it quite uplifting when my boys close my computer screen and say, “Come on mom. Time to throw a football around.” They are so supportive of leaving me alone when I have writing to finish, yet never let me forget the most important thing in the world is family. We have five dogs and live in the country. Although I am more of a city girl, as long as I am with my family, I am home.
Jennifer Walker: When and why did you decide to become a writer?
Judy Serrano: I went back to college as an adult and met a teacher who said I wasn’t giving it my all. At first I was very angry with her for giving me such a hard time but at some point I realized that she was right. I had a handful of books just hanging out on my flash drive. I finally decided it was time to try to get them out there. Scariest thing I ever did but I wouldn’t change a thing.
Jennifer Walker: What is your favorite genre to read? To write?
Judy Serrano: I love to read either romance or romantic suspense, which is the same as what I love to write. I enjoy reading about strong male characters and the women who love them. I encourage non-traditional styles of writing. Books about women, who are so strong that they make their men look weak, do not catch my attention.
Jennifer Walker: Who is your favorite author of all time, and why?
Judy Serrano: Nora Robert has been my favorite author thus far. I truly enjoyed The MacKade Brothers because of the dominant yet vulnerable male figures. Her romance is classy and steamy all at the same time.
Jennifer Walker: If you could choose your last meal, what would it be?
Judy Serrano: I would tell you it’s French food and how much I enjoy expensive, pretentious food. But if you ask my children, they will reveal the truth. Give me a bucket of hot wings, some blue cheese dressing and a beer and I’m good to go.