About The Author
Judy Teel was born in Virginia and moved to North Carolina just before middle school. She’s a fiction author and novelist writing in the dystopian urban fantasy genre. Her stories deliver mystery with some thriller elements, a kick-butt heroine with a large dash of snark in her, a bit more than a touch of romance with a guy that makes readers’ hearts beat a little faster, and a wild ride full of action and emotion from start to finish.
Shifty Magic is permanently free on all platforms and Undercover Magic is free as a thank you gift for anyone who signs up on my readers list: http://judyteel.com/my-free-book/
1) Can you tell us a bit about your background? How did your background influence the genre you write in?
I’ve always wanted to be a novelist and majored in English and Communication Arts in college which gave me a good start. After that it was a lot of self teaching by doing, participating in critique groups, going to workshops and later taking online classes. In fact, I just finished an 18 month program without which, I don’t think I could have taken on the challenges of Savage Magic. I think my enjoyment of all things New Age-y and different lead to my love of reading Urban Fantasy, which then lead me to wanting to write it.
2) Where and when did your writing journey begin?
In the first grade. Our assignment was to paint a picture and write a story about it, and was the first time I remember enjoying myself and thinking school might possibly have something beneficial to offer.
3) Who are your favorite authors and how have they influenced your writing?
A hard question — I like so many of them! Early influences would have to be Shakespeare and Mark Twain. I love how they structure their stories and the variety of comedy they create with action and dialogue. Modern writers would have to be Iiona Andrews, Jim Butcher and Gail Carriger especially her Parasol Protectorate series. I love how each of these writers’ stories carry me away so thoroughly, I forget everything around me. It’s like I’m there.
4) What does a typical day in your life look like? And how does your writing routine fit into your day?
During the summer, both life and my writing routine always seem to be teetering on the edge of chaos. But school started yesterday here, so now things will be much more structured. Whew! When that happens, I’m usually at my desk before 8:00 AM and beginning my word count goal for the day. There’s a break to take our dog for her walk, then more writing. Lunch is often at my desk, especially if that pesky word count thing is still lacking. But a couple times a month, I try to have lunch with a friend so I’m not always working through it. Afternoons I use for business like catching up on Social Media, email, interacting with my readers, or planning the best direction and schedule for my next project.
5) How did you come up with the idea for your book, “Savage Magic?”
I learned the hard way to carefully map out a new series before starting, so once I got a handle on Addison and the other main characters, I figured out what I wanted to do with each of the five books in the series and went from there. So, I guess you could say I had the idea for Savage Magic, which is book 3, even before I wrote the first chapter of Book 1, Shifty Magic. Savage Magic marks the midpoint in the broader story arch of the series where everything changes and our heroes get a serious slap down that they have to fight their way back from. Because of that, it’s also the most emotional book in the series so far.
6) What do you think sets your book apart from others currently on the shelves?
I’m not sure I’m really qualified to answer that question. Entertainment fiction hinges so heavily on a reader’s personal taste — as it should! I think past readers’ reviews are probably the best place to go to see if you might enjoy the books. I can say that most readers have loved the series and typical comments are, “There’s plenty of action and suspense to keep you hooked. I love the characters and the writing flows perfectly off the page I felt like I was watching a movie in my head, I could picture everything and everyone.”
7) Which character in your book is your favorite and how much of yourself is reflected in that character?
My answer might surprise people, but I absolutely adore Lord Bellmonte. I know, I know, he’s kind of a bad guy. But he does it with such style! Every time I bring him on stage, as they say, I know it’s going to be fun. That’s why I can’t have too much of him in the books, he’d take over (which would be just like him). That’s also why he couldn’t be in Savage Magic. Not only because we’re in Were territory in this book, but also because the story needed to focus tightly on Addison and Cooper.
As to how much of me is reflected in him, I think it’s more a matter of wishing that I could be more like him but without the bad guy layer.
8) What are some of the difficulties when it comes to writing a book with a female protagonist as a male author?
Well…not too tricky since I’m a girl. 😉 But, I do have the reverse challenge when writing Cooper. Lucky for me I grew up a tomboy with only brothers. When I was a technical writer, I also mostly worked with men, so I have a lot of experience with the male psyche. (Also happily married to a great guy!) In the end though, it always goes back to who a character is, so once an author has a strong handle on that, how that character responds to challenges and relationships is fairly straight-forward.
9) Which scenes in your book did you have the most fun writing?
I always love the action scenes, but I think the most fun are the scenes where Addison’s mouthing off to someone who’s trying to intimidate either her or another character that she feels needs her protection. That girl has got quite an attitude!
10) What do you hope for your readers to take away after reading your book?
First, that the series will engage and entertain them. Second that they have a deep emotional connection and journey with the characters and come to know that these are two people who are fighters. Addison and Cooper will always find a way.
11) What are your hopes for this book?
My hope for Savage Magic has always been that it takes the series to a new level, both with higher stakes and also in deeper, more emotional ways.
12) What do you have in store next for your readers?
The next book is Secret Magic, a novella that takes us back to Addison and Cooper’s first case. I thought it would be fun for readers and fans to enjoy experiencing how Addison and Cooper first met, as well as how some of her cool stuff came into being.
Twitter: @JudyTeelBooks / https://twitter.com/JudyTeelBooks
A deadly disease from an unknown origin…
Addison Kittner and ex-FBI agent Cooper Daine arrive at Bone Clan expecting a warm welcome. Instead they’re imprisoned and placed under quarantine, where they discover that the werewolf mountain Clans are being decimated by a deadly plague which can’t be cured.
An old obligation that changes everything…
With only a few days to live, Cooper’s brother, Alpha of Bone Clan, asks Cooper to fulfill his promise, one that’s crucial to their Clan’s survival. But if he does, Cooper risks loosing Addison. Forever.
An ancient creature bred for genocide…
Determined to stop the plague and cure Cooper’s brother, Addison defies Clan law and sneaks away to an ancient ruin which might hold the key. There she discovers an unexpected link to her past and inadvertently calls forth an immortal monster that will destroy the paranormal races protecting humanity if it can’t be stopped.
But as Cooper and Addison battle to stop the annihilation of the Clans and the forces trying to tear their bond apart, something even more powerful and deadly gathers just out of sight…
And prepares to strike.
Cooper signaled for us to stop. In front of him, a line of animal skulls dangled from tree branches and clattered in the light breeze, marking the path. “I’m guessing we’re in Bone Clan territory now, right?” I commented.
Turning left and then right, Cooper pulled in several long breaths, testing the air. “Something’s wrong.”
As soon as he said it, a shiver swept up my back and my stomach knotted. That was the only warning I got.
One minute I was looking around for what in the hell was sneaking up on us, the next, three Weres slammed down on us, dropping from the trees and covered in mud.
My contraband Glock went flying, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the biggest of them hit Cooper as I went down under the weight of what I guessed was a male — a young one, based on the high-pitched grunt of pain when I drove my elbow into his ribs. I rolled with the momentum of his weight as he bent into the hit and we tumbled across the leaves and rocks, fighting to get the upper hand.
We came to an abrupt stop with me straddling him, the heel of my right boot dug into the ground to stop our momentum and the sharp edge of my knife pressed against his throat. From under the shaggy bangs of his dark blonde hair, his yellow wolf eyes met my angry gaze, then slid down and focused on my chin.
“Nothing says ‘welcome to our home’ like an ambush,” I muttered.