Interview with Author Judy Dearborn Nill

Monday, 21 February 2011
Please welcome Judy Nill, author of The Rise and Fall of Bibi Karstad to Booktastic Reviews. She very kindly agreed to answer a few of my questions:

Have you always wanted to be an author?
If always means a long time, yes. I think I was about 10 when I first became aware of how much I liked to write. I used to "rewrite" my favorite books and comic books--create new characters, write and illustrate stories for them.

Who is your favourite character out of The Rise and Fall of Bibi Karstad and why?
Besides Bibi, I'd say Bibi's mom Sally (and of course Sally's 25,000-year-old "wheeze bag" spirit guide), because Bibi thinks they're both weird whereas readers may just find them funny.

What is your favourite type of genre?
I like YA and cozy mystery. I also like some literary. I read a lot of memoir, biography and nonfiction as well.

What was your favourite book as a child?
Snowbound in Hidden Valley by Holly Wilson. I read and reread that book so many times, I wore it out. Have two copies of it now so that I'll always have it to reread. It's the story of a big blizzard (woo-hoo! one of my favorite concepts as a kid, because where I grew up it seldom snowed) that traps the main character among people her family are suspicious of.

Are you working on a new book right now?
I was until I got my three YAs up on Kindle, and then I got a contract for a picture book (first reader) which is to be titled Samuel and Sophia: A Tale of Two Teddies. Online promotion of books takes way more time than I imagined. The book I was working on could eventually be my first novel for adults.

Where did you get your inspiration for The Rise and Fall of Bibi Karstad?
I woke up from a dream about levitating to the ceiling that was so real I actually stood in the middle of the room and tried to float upwards! Later I got to thinking how fun it would be to write a novel about a girl who can fly but who has no control over it.

Did you do any other jobs before publishing your first book?
Yes, I've worked in several fields, including as a newspaper reporter, a college journalism instructor, and a therapist. I now work out of my home office as a mental health and couples counselor.

What does it feel like to know you have your own book out?
Depends on which day I'm doing the feeling! Some days it's great. I especially enjoyed getting the first paperback copies of my books (I put three out at the same time; the other two are Just for Kicks about a girl who loves horses and martial arts and Simple Twists of Faith about a girl in love with her married pastor). Other days I think publication isn't all it's cracked up to be. The work doesn't end when the stories are in print. It just goes on....

Quick Fire Questions:

Favourite author?
Madeleine L'Engle. I've read everything she wrote, many books several times over. My favorite single book is An Acceptable Time followed by A Swiftly Tilting Planet and A Ring of Endless Light.

Favourite Animal?
That's hard. I love cute, cuddly animals of all sorts. Love stuffed animals, too. But probably dophins because they're so playful, bright, and helpful to people. It's disturbing that some are trained to do dangerous and destructive work for the military.

Favourite song?
Hmm. Also hard. Depends on the kind of music. I love certain songs from Les Mis, Phantom and Superstar. I love classical choral music such as Mozart's "Ave Verum Corpus" and Allegri's "Miserere." In a more popular vein, a current favorite is Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" sung by Susan Boyle. However, she doesn't use all the lyrics, and that's too bad, because they're amazing.

Favourite TV show?
Right now it's BBC's Doc Martin. I used to love Joan of Arcadia and mourned when it went off the air.

Rachel xx :)


  1. Thank you, Rachel, for posting this interview, and for reviewing Bibi. You're a sweet person, and I appreciate all your help. Best wishes for you and for the continued success of this blog...Judy

  2. Thanks Judy. It was fun. I also wish you all the best with future writing!

    Rachel xx :)

  3. Congratulations!
    I've chosen your blog for the '7 Facts Award.'

    Follow the link:

    Warmest regards,

  4. Great interview questions, Rachel. I learned things I never knew about my Aunt Judy!

    I loved reading when I was a teenager, too, and I still do (though my tastes have changed.) Keep up the great work!


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