Author Spotlight: Meet Judith Marshall

Judith Marshall and I have exchanged blog posts and I’m happy to welcome her today. Here are some insights she shares with us about her writing journey.

Where are you from?  I’m a third generation native Californian, born in St. Helena and raised in the Bay area, about 30 miles east of San Francisco

Tell us your latest news.  I’m thrilled to say that my award-winning novel, Husbands May Come and Go but Friends are Forever, has been optioned for the big screen and is being adapted into a screenplay at present.  Here’s a brief synopsis:

The story takes place in Northern California, in the spring of 2000, when the dot-com boom was at its peak. Elizabeth Reilly-Hayden is a successful executive in her late fifties and a divorced mother of two. Emotionally armored and living alone, she wants only to maintain the status quo: her long-term significant other, her job, and her trusted friends—five feisty women whose high school friendship has carried them through multiple marriages, dramatic divorces, and maddening menopause. Yet in a matter of days, the three anchors that have kept her moored are ripped away. The group of lifelong pals gathers at Lake Tahoe to attend to the funeral arrangements of their beloved friend and tries to unravel the mystery of her death. Through their shared tragedy, Elizabeth learns how disappointment and grief can bloom into healing and hope.

When and why did you begin writing?  I didn’t start writing until I left my career as a human resources executive in Corporate America in 1997.  I never planned on being a writer, but when I read The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood I realized that I, too, had a story to tell about a group of women who had been friends since their school days.

Do you have a specific writing style?  I write film-ready stories with lots of dialogue

How did you come up with the title?  The title was an actual toast made by one of my girlfriends after a rather dramatic divorce.  Many agents and editors though it was too long, but I have an emotional attachment to it and wouldn’t budge.  Since publication, many readers have told me how much they identify with the title.  Plus, when someone asks me what the book is about, I simply have to tell them the title.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?  One of the messages is that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it.  We women often try to be strong and     weather all our storms ourselves.

What book are you reading now?  How We Love Now by Suzanne Levine.  It’s a non-fiction book about the chances that happen in your second adulthood.  Very interesting.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.  I received tremendous support from my critique group, Women Who Write.  We were together for five years and my novel went through two complete revisions with their help.  The book couldn’t have been published without them.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?  I enjoy Richard Russo.  I love his self-deprecating humor and his real-life flawed characters.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?  What I’ve learned is that writing the book is only part of the process.  Authors must be willing to market their books as well.  Whether you are traditionally published or you do-it-yourself, to be successful you must be willing to spend as much time promoting your book as you did writing it.

For more information about Judith, go to

Thank you, Judith. This book should be on all our summer reading lists!

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