We had the good fortune of connecting with Judy Pearson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Judy, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
There is nothing more frightening than writing something and sending it off to an editor, agent or publisher in hopes it will make it into print. You gave birth to it. You nurtured it. And now the world will have a chance to tear it apart. But without taking that risk, none of the world’s wonderful books would have ever been written. Each one has a place in someone’s heart. And if you’re lucky, your book might find a place in many hearts. When facing risk, I’ve always asked myself: What’s the worst that could happen? Could I be harmed? Could I harm someone else? So often it isn’t failure we fear, but how we think we’ll FEEL when we fail. It’s usually not nearly as bad as we think it will be. And often it’s not failure; rather the universe is telling us this just isn’t the time. In truth, risk can be exhilarating!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I began writing as a girl. Then it was all about how unfair life – in other words, my parents – was, and how I was going to do it better. My success (or not) in that quest is another story for another day! It wasn’t until I started writing for publication that I realized how really freeing it is. My first books were fiction. That was easy – no one to challenge my facts, just my writing style. But when I stumbled upon the story that became my first nonfiction book, I knew that was where I belonged. There are a million stories about real people and real events. It is only when we learn from history that we can better the future. And the best way to learn is through others’ stories. I want to tell stories that draw the readers in, using words that are so descriptive, they feel they’re witnessing it all in person. I want them to feel a void when the book is done, as if they’re leaving after a lovely visit with good friends. I’m a storyteller, and when I realized that was my super power, biographies became my passion.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Since I’m a lover of real stories, I would take them to places in and around Phoenix that have their own stories to tell. For example, the Wrigley Mansion, once the home of the chewing gum king. Now, lovingly restored, it’s a beautiful restaurant and event venue, but you can still tour the bedrooms and feel the hum of the 1920s. I’d take them to Tovrea Castle, another iconic building with a sweet history. Today it’s called the “wedding cake castle” because of its “layers.” And I’d take them to some of our state’s beautiful and famous landmarks: the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, through the Navajo nation, with all of it’s fabulous rock formations. Of course everywhere we went, we’d seek out local (non chain) restaurants. We’d enjoy the local fare, and take time to sample some local wines. Yes, we have vineyards in Arizona! Arizona Stronghold is my favorite.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’m blessed with an amazing family. My husband is the best partner – always a cheerleader, but never afraid to speak his mind. My grown sons love to tease me, but the love and respect they’ve shown me each time I succeed makes me realize the challenges of motherhood were worth it. And their children, my grandchildren, give me the opportunity to impact a new generation, hopefully in an even better way.