Q & A with
Question: What is your favorite indulgence?
Answer: Chocolate, any kind, any time, any day. I have found a skinny chocolate, a Belgian chocolate without any sugar in it, I have it sent to me once a month, so I can indulge in my favorite chocolate, I love chocolate
Q: Who is your favorite author and why?
A: Gertrude Stein. She experimented with words and emotions, and insight. It’s hard to read her, but once you get the rhythm of her, she tells phenomenal stories
Q: How many times have you read your favorite book?
A: Oh, probably three or four times. I hate to say it, it was my own book, Winnie Ruth Judd book.
Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: People who are dishonest and bullies, because they obviously are very small people. They are throwing their weight around to be big people and hurting other people and they’re not being compassionate, and I find them abhorrent.
Q: It’s a tough day at work, and when you go home, what’s the first thing you do?
A: Probably pour myself a drink, I drink either vodka or scotch, sometimes tequila. Maybe fix a little drink, sit down, put my feet up, relax a little bit and try to calm down. I drink scotch on the rocks, vodka on the rocks, tequila on the rocks, you get the picture. When I drink, I want to maintain that alcohol, she said, laughing.
Q: Tell us one thing Daily News readers will find surprising about you?
A: I grew up in Gwinner, North Dakota, I was the first woman president of the county 4H auxiliary. I was very active in 4H, still am in some ways in Arizona. I can credit 4H as being one of the most important influences of my life. That program was phenomenal. I learned to speak there. I learned to give demonstrations there. I learned how to cook there. I learned how to sew there. Mainly it taught me to speak and be a leader. It basically said to me, you can be anything you want to be.
Q: Favorite song or artist?
A: I am not a big country western fan, but I adore Patsy Cline. Tina Turner would be No. 1. First of all I love her songs. I exercise to her by listening to her tapes. I love her life, how she took her life back from an abusive husband.
Q: Do you ever critique earlier writings?
A: I do. Sometimes I say, “what the heck were you thinking? You buried the lede. How come you didn’t talk about this? Paragraph 20 is a good thing, it should be in the front.” Sometimes I think that’s not too bad. I never say that’s great.
Q: Are you ever satisfied with what you write?
A: Sometimes I am. Sometimes I feel like, especially when I can fine tune it, when I have a chance to fine tune, I love wordsmithing and finding exact words. Every now and then, especially a paragraph or two, I will say, that’s really good. In one book about fictional Northfield, North Dakota, which had Hankinson in it, I said, “nobody knew your address, but everybody knew where you lived.” I thought that line so defined a small town in North Dakota. Every now and then there’s that one line.
Q: Is there anything you wish you could do over again?
A: The only thing I regret in my life is not buying a cottage at the lake. By now it would be paid off. I could be going there. I love being at the lake. We have often gone, for years and years and years. Living on a lake is my idea of heaven.