Foxier than a Hollywood starlette! More buxom than a Vegas showgirl! Able to undangle participles with a single key stroke! Look! At the computer! It's a programmer! It's a computer nerd! No! It's—Judy Mays! Yes, Judy Mays—Romantica™ writer extraordinaire who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal writers. Judy Mays! Who can write wild, wanton werewolves; assertive, alluring aliens; and vexing, vivacious vamps. Who, disguised as a mild-mannered English teacher in a small Pennsylvania high school, fights a neverending battle for Heroic Hunks, Hot Heroines, and Sexy Sensuality!
How many books did you write, and how long were you writing, before your first acceptance?
I've been writing since I was a child. I had three other books written before my first was published. All but the first (which is hidden in a box on the shelf in my closet) were published.
What is the most important piece of advice you would give an aspiring (not yet published) author?
Is there a "warning" you would give an aspiring or new author about the writing profession or the publishing industry, something to watch out for?
Don't be a prima dona. If your book is accepted by a publisher, don't throw a hissy fit when an editor suggests changes. You are not perfect. A good editor makes a book stronger.
What was the most surprising thing you learned after you became published?
Old friends treat me like I'm something special. I don't think of myself that way, but they're impressed that I wrote a book.
What is your best advice or enlightening story about dealing with revisions and working with an editor?
Back to the question above. Don't fight revisions. Your book isn't perfect.
What is your favorite promo tip?
That's a good one. Do anything and everything you can to get your name out there.
Did you have an agent when you sold your first story? Do you have one now? At what types of houses are you published: e-publisher, small print press, traditional (NY) publisher, Harlequin/Silhouette category lines?
No agent. I've been published at three different epublishers.
My latest release was really a re-release: Rednecks 'n' Roses, which orginally had been part of an anthology, was released as a single by Ellora's Cave. It was then paired with Rednecks 'n' Rock Candy in paperback under the title of Rednecks 'n' Romance. My vampires in these stories are "rednecks". They are comedies, and when you read them, you see that the idea does work. Next year sometime, the next in my very popular Gray family werewolf romances, Undercover Heat, will be released. This one is Melody's story. She's busy trying to keep Nick Price, a CIA operative who believes he's been sent on a wild goose chase to capture a werewolf from finding out there really are werewolves. In the process, she learns some very interesting things about Nick. It seems that humans with a Vodun (Voodoo) background who receive a transfusion of werewolf blood will gain the ability to shift into werewolves. Needless to say, Nick is more surprised than Melody. Throw in a half insane, self-proclaimed Vodun prince who thinks he can conquer the world—or at least New Orleans—and you've got some very interesting developments.