Bruce Judisch has been writing fiction for many years. His first work, “A Prophet’s Tale,” is a two-part novelization of the story of the Old Testament prophet, Jonah ben Amittai, comprising The Journey Begun and The Word Fulfilled. A third part, The Promised Kept, is under construction. More recently, he wrote Katia and its sequel For Maria, both with contemporary and 20th-century historical storylines. Please see the next pages for more information on these works. Bruce lives in Texas with his wife and high school sweetheart, Jeannie, and their two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Charlie and Raleigh. Bruce and Jeannie are the proud parents of three and grandparents of fourteen.
Welcome back to my blog, Bruce. Please tell us about your new book, Quimby Pond.
Oh, my goodness, was this fun to write! It’s a contemporary mystery/suspense—with a healthy dose of romance—based upon a true historical event. Let me give you the contemporary storyline (I’ll save the historical hook for the next question.)
Gwen Kelly comes to Marble Falls. Maine, to escape a broken past, a past that revisits her when she begins to restore an antique trunk. A mysterious assailant targets her and her friends, one by one. Gwen is thrust into an awkward relationship with Officer Brent Newcomb as they race to stop the intruder from striking again. Could the trunk hold the key to this cloud of violence spreading over the peaceful Marble Lakes? If so, will they discover its secret in time? If not, what have they stumbled into?
Where did you get your inspiration for this story?
This is the really cool part. A good friend shared a 19th-century newspaper article she’d found in her aunt’s attic. Here’s the verbatim article:
Rangeley Lakes, Volume 2. Rangeley, Maine. Thursday, August 20, 1896. Number 13.
The center of attraction Thursday was at the railroad station after the arrival of the 1 o’clock train. There came on that train a “bridal trunk,” anyway, one of the cards attached said: “I’m a bride;” another announced, “We are married.” There was a drawing of a loving couple with wedding bells and a cupid. But the happy couple didn’t come. There was a crowd awaiting the train at night, and again they were doomed to disappointment, but they had the pleasure of looking over the trunk just the same.
My goodness, how can an author read an account like this and not write a mystery story? In Quimby Pond, Rangeley becomes the fictional town of Marble Falls. Outlying areas—like Quimby Pond—retain their names for authenticity.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I received wonderful help from contacts in the Rangeley area—notably through the exceptional Ms. Belinda Mansfield, a Rangeley resident I credit in the Acknowledgments. Additionally, an author who penned the chronological history of the Rangeley Lakes area sent me a complimentary copy of his book. The chair of the History Department at the University of Maine was also very forthcoming with material regarding 19th-century Maine. Most fun, though, was the superb joy of visiting Rangeley, after having written the first draft of the manuscript, for a “boots-on-the-ground” research trip. It was during this journey that I bonded with the beautiful Rangeley Lakes region. If any of your readers is interested in touring New England, Rangeley is a must visit—especially in the autumn, or the winter if they’re snow-sports enthusiasts.
Tell us what you love about your main character?
Who, Gwen? Oh my goodness, what a lady! She has two things going for her. First, her namesake is my fourteenth granddaughter—let there be no mistake about my bias. J Secondly, I strived to write Gwen outside of the modern Disneyesque profile of heroines abandoning their femininity in favor of “kicking the butt” of any and all male counterparts. Women are blessed God-given beings to the world in all of their strengths and weaknesses, the same as men. In Quimby Pond, Gwen Kelly retains all of her feminine qualities, like grace and charm, but still rises to save the day in more than one instance. If I were unattached and 30 years younger, I would so date Gwen!
Where can my readers find you online?
For now I’m at www.brucejudisch.com; however, I may be changing that soon. Any interested reader will find my work by searching my name at Amazon,com.
Thanks so much for featuring me on your blog, Linda. It’s been fun!
Thank you, Bruce, for talking to us today. I hope my readers will check out your suspenseful story.