Judy Christie worked as a journalist for twenty-five years before leaving the daily news business to write books and speak at retreats and workshops. She is the author of the Hurry Less, Worry Less non-fiction series and teaches clients how to slow down, enjoy life more, and set and meet goals.
She is also the author of the Green inspirational fiction series, which follows the story of a big-city journalist who moves to the small fictional town of Green, Louisiana to run a tiny newspaper.
Judy and her husband live in Northwest Louisiana.
What drew you to writing as a career?
Writing must be in my DNA. I fell in love with books at a very young age and started keeping a journal when I was nine. (I still have all of them.)
I was the editor of The Barret Banner in elementary school and learned from childhood to observe the world around me and to put those observations into words. Some people might call it nosy, but I call it creative!
Has God ever provided an unexpected “detour” in your life that turned out to be positive?
Many times! It’s amazing how God directs me when I listen—and how things turn out well, even when I can’t see it at the time. One example: When I was a young newspaper reporter, I decided to join the Peace Corps. I mailed off my application—and was crushed that I didn’t get a response. In the meantime, my editor offered me a promotion that started a great adventure for me as an editor.
A few days after I accepted the new job, the post office returned my Peace Corps application with an apology. The letter had been damaged and never made it to its destination. I’m thankful my plans didn’t work out because I would have missed many wonderful blessings—including meeting my husband when I was transferred to another state as an editor.
I pray a lot. I know God answers prayer, and when I encounter a Divine Detour, I ask God for wisdom to take the best next step.
Rally ’Round Green is the fourth book in the Green series, about the owner of a small-town newspaper in the fictional town of Green, La. Since I was a long-time newspaper editor and I’m a southerner, I thought it would be interesting to plop a big-city journalist down into a little Louisiana town and see what happened.
The first book was Gone to Green, about Lois Barker’s move to Green. But I knew immediately I wanted to write a series and let readers follow the characters. There’s always a lot going on in Green, from marriages to tornadoes to the current threat to close the school. In book four, newlyweds Lois and Chris want life to return to normal after a horrific tornado, but other threats loom on the horizon. Lois, Mayor Eva, and a group of Green School graduates unite to fight to keep their school open, with surprising—and unexpected—results. Downtown Green, book five, will be out next year.
Besides entertainment, what do you hope readers will take away from it?
As a reader, I’ve realized we take different things from stories depending on where we are in our lives—and I believe God can use a story to help us in different ways at a particular moment. As a writer, I hope readers find encouragement. Lois Barker Craig, the protagonist in the Green series, changes the world around her, and I hope Rally ‘Round Green readers will realize that one person can make a difference in this crazy, wonderful world of ours.
You also write non-fiction self-help books (two releasing this fall), and you hold retreats and workshops to help others live life more fully. Please tell us a bit about your books. Is there one tip you can share that might help all of us “stress less and/or worry less”?
My Hurry Less Worry Less series (published by Abingdon Press) grew out of my own efforts to slow down and enjoy each day more. My life had gotten so busy that I hurried all the time. The more I hurried, the more I worried. The more I worried, the more negative I became. So, I began to identify practical, tried-and-true tips. Hurry Less Worry Less for Moms and an updated version of Hurry Less Worry Less at Christmas will be out this fall. I believe with all my heart that we’re supposed to live fully, not frenzied.
One tip: You can’t do everything, so you have to say “no” to things that aren’t most important. Often this means choosing between two good things. But when you say “no” to one thing, you say “yes” to something else.
A simple tip during this back-to-school season: Leave a few minutes earlier for work or school. You’ll be amazed at how much this eases your stress . . . and how much happier your family will be when you’re not all dashing to the car in a bad mood.
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
My husband, a middle-school teacher, cooks all our meals, so my favorite food is whatever he’s cooking. I love food! I am a big fan of fried chicken with rice and gravy, although I’m taking a fitness class now, and I know I should never admit that in public!
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
This question made me laugh. I’m the only person to be kicked out of a Baptist church choir. I thank God for the gift of words, which I consider to be a true blessing, but I didn’t get any musical talent. I love music and can make a joyful noise with the best of ‘em.
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
A country and western song with a great story in it!
Are you a major or a minor chord?
I’m a major chord. I believe in having fun—and I talk loudly.
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
What a fun question! I’m the strong female lead without the fabulous figure. I’m not a fixy woman at all, and I sometimes have trouble understanding why my friends love shoes so much. I prefer used bookstores. I grew up quite poor and am amazed at the opportunities I’ve had in my life, including lunch at the White House with Nancy Reagan, a hot air balloon ride, and a boat ride on the Amazon River. I love to talk—so there’s not a mysterious ounce in my body.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, and/or your favorite pet as a child.
Oh . . . the pet question . . . Seriously, I’m trying to get over my longtime fear of dogs, which started because my mother was afraid of dogs. Much to the amusement of people who know me, the Green series has a strong happy dog storyline. The heroine connects with her love interest because his injured dog winds up on her front porch. There’s a cute dog on the cover of Rally ‘Round Green because Lois owns a cute dog. I absolutely love the names that people give their dogs—several dogs in my books are named for those owned by friends, including Sugar Marie.
Thanks, Judy! It’s nice to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
Thank you! I’m happy that all those Divine Detours we’ve both had led us to visit. Isn’t it amazing how things work out? I love hearing from readers and am on Facebook and can be reached through judychristie.com. Happy day!
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For more information about Judy, visit her website at http://www.judychristie.com/index.html.
To learn more about Judy’s “Hurry Less, Worry Less” workshops and retreats, logon to http://www.judychristie.com/retreatsandworkshops.html.
To purchase Rally ‘Round Green logon to: