Judith L. Pearson is an award-winning author and public speaker. She has written hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles and columns and has published two biographies about ordinary people who were extraordinarily courageous. She learned to “walk the walk” when diagnosed with breast cancer, and shares the 20 essential life lessons she learned as a result in her latest book. For more information, please visit http://courageconcepts.com/ccp.html.
Q. Why did you decide to write this book?
A. I believe two things: everything happens for a reason (even the bad things) and that we all owe a payback to humanity. How wonderful when the stars align and both these beliefs connect. For me they did when I began planning this book. If only one person is aided in a life struggle as a result of reading It’s Just Hair, I will have achieved my goal.
Q. Do you have any secret writing tips you’d like to share?
A. First of all, whenever you hatch an idea, write it down! Don’t trust that you’ll remember it hours or days later. This is especially important the older get! Secondly, always have a notebook handy, both to accomplish the above and to fill empty moments (waiting for an appointment, for an example). Finally, never think you must begin a writing project at the beginning. Sometimes, the middle comes more easily. Start there and move in both directions to create the beginning and end.
Q. How long did the book take you from start to finish?
A. I had written much of the material as blog posts or monthly newsletters throughout my own life challenge – the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. It needed to be fleshed out so that it would flow, and making the raw materials into a book took 2 months. I was so inspired and driven, some days I worked all day in my PJ’s!
Q. Tell us a quirky, funny or unexpected story about you.
A. Despite being quite a tomboy as a young girl, I was both Miss South Haven and the National Blueberry Queen. Yes, you may kiss my ring!
Q. What books are on your nightstand right now?
A. The Templars by Piers Paul Read.
Q. What’s your favorite quote?
A. “Well-behaved women seldom make history,” attributed to Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, a college professor and Pulitzer Prize winning author.
Q. Who inspires you the most?
A. All the women who have paved the way for those of us coming after, whether by their works or their words. Often unattributed, these “founding Mothers,” history-makers, educators, and ordinary women, have made it possible for modern women to have the life we do. I include in this group my mother, step-mother, and aunt, women who courageously faced life and death, with great panache in between.
Q. What do you hope your readers will gain from reading your book?
A. My goal is that readers will relearn those 20 lessons. None of us is above a life challenge. Dragging your way through can be a tough journey. We all know we should be patient and courageous and accepting, but hearing it again is always a good thing. Hopefully this book will give them the fuel to face each new day.
Q. When can we look forward to your next book?
A: God willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll have it finished in December of this year (2012) and on the shelves by March 2013.