Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Summer Short Story Spectacular! Season 1, Episode 9—TERESA LEIGH JUDD

Anyone who gets their author bio picture taken with their cat is a friend of mine. No questions asked. So when I saw Teresa's author picture I knew she would be someone whose stories I would like and someone I could  be friends with. 

 The Summer Short Story Spectacular! Season 1, Episode 9 welcomes short story author Teresa Leigh Judd who writes these wonderfully awesome stories about dragons.

First, let's meet Teresa.

She grew up in Washington state and attended the University of Washington, majoring in Far Eastern Studies. After graduation, she went to work for the government in Washington, D.C. for several years. She married and moved to California where she had three children. They all subsequently moved to Cherry Hill, New Jersey and lived there for 13 terrific years before moving back to California, where she now resides in the foothills outside of Sacramento. She has worked in advertising and marketing and is now an independent sales rep for a number of gift companies. Her work takes her into the Gold Country of northern California as well as northern Nevada.

She began writing in 2008 and joined the Sacramento Chapter of Sisters in Crime. Her story, “Playing House” was published in their anthology, Capital Crimes and this encouraged her to continue writing. She has had a number of stories printed in various anthologies, including the 2009 edition of Deadly Ink where she placed second. She is currently working on a series of cozy mysteries featuring two housewives who belong to a mystery book club and have the unfortunate luck to stumble across dead bodies on occasion.

Teresa, what is your all-time favorite short story and why?

Since I love to write stories with a twist at the end, my all-time favorite story would have to be The Gift of the Magi by O.Henry. I love the irony at the end as well as the positive message.

Teresa, you are the second person this summer who's mentioned that story! It is a favorite of mine, too. If you readers want to read it, it's online and can be read in its entirety here. 

Teresa, what, for you is the most difficult part of writing short fiction?

I would have to say it is including all the necessary information to make the story work without going into overly-long details. It is sometimes a challenge, but always fun when it works out.

What piece of advice would you give to a prospective short story writer?

Get the story down first and then do the editing. It’s easy to get bogged down in the writing to the detriment of the story. Although you asked for only one piece of advice, my second piece would be to make sure you read it aloud and have someone else read it for format and typos. Readers are put off by a poor presentation no matter how good the story itself is.

Which of your short stories should we read first and why?

This is a difficult question since of course, they are all my children. I decided that I would probably recommend “A Safe Place”, one of the stories in my collection, Dragon Tales. A young woman moves to a small town to raise her daughter away from a big city environment. She discovers that the townspeople are keeping a big secret. She has to decide what course of action to take. I think it is representative of my writing style and incorporates aspects of the theme in a definitive way.

The collection was a lot of fun to write since I challenged myself to think of as many dragon items as I could and then wrote stories about them. So, among the stories is a woman who dreams of dragons and a drawing of a dragon that brings the owner good luck and then disappears. There is one story about “real” dragons and their dragonslayer and one about an embroidered robe that transforms the owner. There are seventeen stories in all. 

Teresa, I loved that story. It drew me in with its simplicity and the obvious love between mother and daughter yet with an edge of fear and suspense which held me until the end! Where can readers find you?

My links:



  1. Hi, Teresa,

    Great to learn more about you! The short story collection sounds great. Wishing you much success.

    1. Thanks, Jacqueline. It's been a fun experience.

  2. Great interview. Love learning more about other short story authors. BTW, "Gift of the Magi" is one of my all-time favorites, too.

    1. Thanks Bobbi. I'm looking forward to your interview which I think is next.

  3. Terri, your stories are really quite entertaining. I love the twists at the end. Although I'm always surprised, I also realize that they couldn't have ended any other way. You led us down the path with your great writing.
    Good Interview!