Q. What inspires your writing?
A. I always knew deep down inside that I had a book in there. For me, writing a book was like being pregnant. I lived with the misery of holding something in that I couldn’t get out. I would sit down to write and to my dismay, nothing would come out but a morbid poem or a journal entry sprinkled with dark and twisted humor. Finally, beginning Oct. 1, 2008, I read the Bible from cover to cover and it was between those sheets (pun intended) that I found the inspiration for the twisted tale of the promiscuous Madison Miller.
The Old Testament prophet Ezekiel likened the nation of Judah to a woman who was worse than a whore because she chased after her lovers. For me, this story inspired the tale of a modern day woman who was actually worse than a whore because she was, according to the urban dictionary, a dirty ho. Therefore, the entire premise of my first book (She Tells All) is based solely on this character’s hilarious and perverted disposition and her striking contrast to the stringent morals of the Bible Belt. For this reason the book doesn’t have a typical plot or a standard climax. Instead, I suppose you might say there are multiple climaxes throughout the book (joke intended.)
The premise for the sequel (Every Woman’s Hero) was inspired by the book of Hosea, which is a story about a holy and righteous man who loves a ho despite her flagrant shortcomings. I attempted to use this theme as my story’s skeleton while still infusing the book with my main character’s dirty sense of humor and bipolar imagination.
Q. What is your favorite thing about being an author?
A. For the first time in my life, I’m getting to do the work of my heart. I’ve worked in retail, sales, customer service, newspapers, telemarketing, and graphic design. But deep in my heart, I’ve always wanted to be an author.
Q. What is the toughest part of being an author?
A. The emotional toll it takes when someone doesn’t like my book overall. Though I have purposely made this character disgusting and repulsive throughout much of the book, there are still fragile elements of her that I infused with my own life experiences. So when someone blasts my book, it feels a bit like a knife to the gut. I am a new author and realize that eventually I will have to grow some alligator skin and stop being so sensitive, but that’s easier said than done.
Q. If you could not be author, what would you do/be?
A. A sidewalk artist in New Orleans. I love to paint and also to sketch a likeness.
Q. What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. The Journey is the Reward.
Q. What is your favorite book of all time?
A. The Bible. It is so full of history, prophecy, and notorious characters. It contains some of the darkest tales of famine, cannibalism, adultery, war, etc. And yet still manages to be one of the most inspirational stories of all times.
Q. Which part of your book(s) was the easiest to write?
A. I got up one morning at 3 a.m., drank two Cokes and wrote Collin and the Big Dildo before leaving for work. Collin is based on the ridiculous disposition of one of my closest friends, and I managed to rather quickly combine two of his most hilarious adventures into one story.
Q. Which part of your book(s) was the hardest to write?
A. The first two chapters were a little painful to right. I wanted my character to be dark, disgusting, gritty, and real. So I painted a picture that makes you crinkle your nose a bit at first. Summing it all up would be my husband’s take on it all. “I was surprised I didn’t catch an STD from the first 40 pages, but after that I was all right.”
Q. Which character from any book are you most like?
A. If I were to have multiple personalities, you might say that my schizophrenic alter ego is Madison Miller. The tragic parts of my story are actually completely non-fiction. The deaths and the heartache all came from my real life journal entries, but the tough, gritty, in-your-face, I-sleep-with-whomever-I-please and do-what-ever-I-want vainglory vixen … She split off from my imagination. After taking a lot of tough hits in life, it was easy for me to imagine someone going off the deep end, giving up hope, and slipping into a dark world of pity and pointless self-gratification.
Q. What is your favorite season?
A There is nothing like autumn. When the leaves change, I feel my spirit lift. And there’s nothing more relaxing than drinking hot tea in the morning and feeling the chilly autumn breeze on my face.
Q. Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book(s).
A. I’m really challenged in promoting my book for one major reason. I have two children who will one day be teenagers. And if you’ve read my book, you know that it would be an arsenal of Yo Momma jokes if the peers of my kids ever got wind. So I keep a low profile and promote it using a pen name and blog tours. Nothing funny or wild has happened on a blog tour … yet. I'll keep you posted.
Q. Are you working on something new?
A. She Tells All was a series. Two weeks ago I published Every Woman’s Hero and shortly afterwards got the idea for the third part of a trilogy – The Diary of Dion. Dion is a major character in my book who is actually based on a real person. I am currently working on telling her side of the story to complete the series.
Meanwhile, I am continuing to chip away at my next series, which is inspired by the Bible and also by that movie Joe Dirt. I’m not sure of the title yet, but the book is a creative and hilarious spoof on the Bible. For example, God is from the South, and Bubba and Billy Bob host an animal sacrificing party that’s BYOB: Bring your own Bull.
So far it’s taken me four years to write a 500-page skeleton of Genesis through Judges, which will be volume one. Though I hope to publish Volume One shortly, I suppose I will be going on eighty by the time I finish the entire series. And that is a good thing, because staying busy keeps me out of trouble. My first idea for the title is How to Get Heaven for Dummies.
Q. Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A. If you want to read an excerpt from Every Woman’s Hero, you can visit my blog at judahleedavis.wordpress.com.
As a child I loved to read. I taught myself to read at three and by seven I was reading the Hobbit and The Yearling. On many occasions I attempted to write similar novels, but all I ended up with was a three ring binder full of stories about elves that had my Mom in stitches. Not the intended effect.
Upon the advent of adolescence, I wrote two space savers full of journals and extremely morbid poetry. Like Emily Dickinson, I too had an unrequited love. Fifteen years later when I would actually begin writing my first novel, I pulled out those space savers and used them for inspiration. It was like an archeological excavation of PMS.
By 21, I was certain I had the world figured out. I was poised to apply for medical school that fall. I had a serious boyfriend, and I could easily wear my size seven CK jeans.
Two months later my boyfriend dumped me, and I gained fifteen pounds worth of jelly roll that poured out over the top of my once-so-friendly jeans. Throwing my hands up in the air, I canceled my plans for graduation, took a long look at the jelly roll in the mirror and began to realize several important truths about myself.
I suddenly realized that deep down inside, I had strong desire to tip the couch over in search of change for the rest of my life. I wanted to live off of Ramen noodles and take toilet paper from the gas station. I wanted to be that person who came back for a free refill six hours later, but yet wrote stories for a living and could maybe even be considered happy.
So I decided to be a writer.
I changed my major to journalism, graduated from college in 2001, and have since been working as a corporate journalist. My series of novels are written in my free time, which is usually only earned by the constant sacrifice of a little thing called SLEEP. That’s no biggie, though. Who needs sleep when you have a pot full of coffee?
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