Though Denise Judge lives in Richmond, VA, she has become a staple in the Rehoboth Beach community, specifically, at the annual Women’s FEST in April. She is one of the talented authors who showcase their books during the festival, many which are LGBTQ-related content.
Last year, Judge published her first book Always Remember that was inspired by the famous quote “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it’s yours. If it doesn’t it never was.” She had the saying on a poster on her wall when she was a teenager and the quote has stuck with her ever since.
While she isn’t writing, Judge works full-time as an Information Technology professional. And, she is already working on her next book called Disaster Recovery (a love story). She is aiming for the book to be released by fall 2016.
“I encourage readers to take a chance on new writers and check out the plethora of books by Indie writers,” says Judge. “There are so many great books available – never stop reading.”
Tagg: Why did you decide to write this book? Why was it important for you?
Judge: I have been an avid reader since I was very young. I started writing as a teenager and found it therapeutic, especially when it involved matters of my heart. I got the idea for this manuscript and one day borrowed my (now former) sister-in-law’s computer and started writing. I wrote off and on for many years, but never could seem to finish the story. I was finally able to complete the manuscript after approximately 20 years and with the assistance of the Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS).
Tagg: What is your relationship with GCLS?
Judge: I joined GCLS over 20 years ago when a friend told me about the organization. At the time I was living in a small resort town and had little access to the lesbian fiction world. Joining was a great way to stay involved in the lesbian community. I attended the conference in Atlanta both years it was there. I was unable to go again until last year in New Orleans, where I attended as an author for the first time and participated in a few panels.
Tagg: In your own words, what is the book about?
Judge: Raynee is a chef whose ex Payton comes back into her life after a few years break in their relationship. Payton is haunted by her past and struggles to understand the recurring dreams she is having. She wants Raynee back in her life, but isn’t sure in what capacity. It’s a mixture of funny, sad, intrigue and love. At least I hope readers see those things in the book.
Tagg: Why is it important to support lesbian authors?
Judge: When I first started reading lesbian fiction, books were hard to find. I remember going to Charis Books in Atlanta at lunch one day to pick up new reading material. As I was walking to the store, I saw some co-workers sitting outside at a restaurant in the next block. After I left Charis, I walked the opposite direction around the block to get back to my car. I was very closeted then and am happy to say things have changed a lot since those days. There are a lot more lesbian writers now, but we are still a small group in the grand scheme of things. I love supporting lesbian writers and am an avid reader. I would like to encourage readers to support the local bookstores too. It makes me sad to see so many of the brick and mortar stores closing.
Tagg: Who or what inspires you?
Judge: There are so many great writers out there. Reading inspires me to write more and to strive to be a better writer. I have to mention Susan X. Meagher. She was and still is my mentor. I signed up for the GCLS mentoring program a couple of years ago and was fortunate to have Susan as my mentor. She has been extremely generous with her time and has answered many, many questions.
For more information on the book and Denise Judge, visit www.denisejudge.com.