INTERVIEW WITH JUDITH COLOMBO

AUTHOR'S WEBSITE:  http://odin.prohosting.com/~night01/index.htm

       OCTOBER 5, 2002   

From all the books you have written, do you have a favorite?

I think the mystery I am working on now is my favorite at the moment, but that may change.

At what point in time did you realize that writing was "the thing for you"?

I started telling stories from an early age, but I did not decide to be a writer until age ten.

What advice would you give to someone interested in becoming a writer?

I would tell them to write and rewrite and to keep sending out their work until they found an agent or
publisher who shared their vision. Also most importantly, write for yourself, write what pleases you.

What is the name of your favorite mystery movie?

The Usual Suspects.

What other authors do you enjoy reading?

I love to read a variety of authors but some of my favorites are: Ruth Rendell, Walter Mosley, Anne Perry,
Tony Hillerman, Toni Morrison, Isabel Allende, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, and Paulo Coleho, just to name
a few.

Do you normally do a lot of research when writing a book?

It depends. I am helped greatly in that I write mysteries now and my husband is a retired NYPD Sergeant
of Detectives.

What other types of jobs have you had?

I have had different types of jobs while I went to college and so on. I even sold flowers on the street. However,
for over twenty years until 2000, I taught as a adjunct English instructor at various collegies throughout New York City.

Do you attend conventions and signings?

I have been to several signings and readings and a few book fairs.

Is there anyone, in particular, who influenced you?

Several people influenced me. Do you mean writers?
I think over the years good writers and thinkers such as St Augustine, Aristotle, Jane Austin, the Brontes, Toni Morrison, Allende, and others have helped me to be a better writer.

What led you to write mysteries?

I always loved to read mysteries from childhood and living many years with a husband who was on the NYC
police force, it was almost inevitable that I would begin to write mysteries.

Do you read reviews of your books?

Yes, I do.

How would you like to be remembered?

As a good person, a good friend and a good writer.

What do you believe is the highlight of your writing career so far?

The people I get to meet and become friends with. Also having my first novel assigned to a class as a literature textbook.

Do you write on a fixed schedule or do you wait until thoughts come to you?

A bit of both. I do try to write everyday for at least four hours, but I also jot down things when an idea gets up and kicks me. I keep a pad and pen next to my bed. The early mornings are usually when ideas present themselves.

How did you get started in writing?

My mother told me to. When I was little and would tell her stories she would say, "That's lovely dear. Why don't you write it down so I can read it later."

How do you come up with plots?

I don't really have a way to come up with plots. I will hear something or something will happen to germinate ideas. Most of the times stories just begin to jog around in my mind until I notice them.

Did you take any classes on how to write?

Not really. I took English in high school and college. But I learned by practicing writing and by paying attention to how authors wrote whenever I read a book.

Do you ever get writer's block?

Yes. I draw when I do.

What are your hobbies and interests?

I love spending time with my family and friends, to read, to garden, to draw and paint landscapes, to hike and to watch good movies.

How do you spend your free time?

Doing the things I mentioned above. Lately my husband and I have been landscaping our property and going on hikes.

Do you have a message you would like to give to all the readers out there?

Yes, I want to encourage them to read good books and I hope they find my books among them.

        BOOKS AVAILABLE BY JUDITH COLOMBO:

                                              ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Judith Woolcock Colombo was born and raised on the island of Jamaica. She came to America in 1969 at nineteen years of age to attend Fordham University. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Fordham University, and a Masters in Philosophy from the New School For Social Research.
Night Crimes is Ms. Colombo's second published novel. Her first, The Fablesinger, was published in 1989 by The Crossing Press. She is currently working on a new novel.
Judith taught English, Analytical Thinking, and Research Skills courses at several New York City colleges for over twenty years. In the year 2000, she and her husband Vincent, now a retired N.Y.P.D. Sergeant of Detectives, moved from Park Slope, Brooklyn to rural Central New York, where she is devoting herself to her writing. The Colombos have an adult son Benjamin who continues to live in Brooklyn.