Yes, you read that right. I had breakfast with Authors Judy Blundell and Jude Watson. Notice how I capitalize the A in Author? These two know how to pack a punch . . . writing in two different genres, for different ages (and genders), all packaged in the same adorable, bespectacled, red-headed body.
That's right, for those of you who don't know yet, Judy and Jude are the same person. Judy's book, What I Did and Why I Lied won the National Book Award for Young Adult literature in 2008. If you haven't read this yet, please do - you are in for a treat! Judy created a literary page turner - it is masterful. The setting is a beach resort in the 1940's. (I love the 1940's - my grandmother's posthumous book, The Joys of Love - is set also on a beach in that time period.) Jude Watson is Judy's nom de plume, and Judy has been writing books in the Star Wars series for Scholastic for the past fifteen years under this name. Judy is also writing books in the middle grade mystery series, The 39 Clues. (Sounds like a fun game of "hot laptop" with a different author writing each part!)
Last fall, when I found out that Judy lives in Katonah, I wrote her a fan letter, and at the same time, told her I was thinking of moving there. I didn't think that she would answer, but I was surprised.
She was so gracious in her response to me! She even shot me an email when she heard of a house coming on the market.
We had been emailing back and forth for a while, so when I officially "met" Judy yesterday, I didn't feel terribly shy. It was a beautiful morning, and we met at a lovely coffee shop in the village in an old colonial house and we sat out on the porch with our iced coffees, her daughter reading Rita Williams-Garcia at another table.
We talked for almost two hours, and when we said goodbye, I was thrilled when she asked if I wanted to go with her to the Teen Author Drink Night in the city in September, hosted by her editor and author extraordinaire David Levithan. I've been too intimidated to go to one of those! But now I don't have to be.
I am loving discovering the world of teen lit - I have found my "home", and I am still pinching myself!
Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.
"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.