Biography

It’s difficult to write about myself, and not very interesting, but apparently every author website needs a bio, so…

I was born in Silicon Valley when it was called the Santa Clara Valley, or more poetically, the Valley of Heart’s Delight, because it was a lovely, bucolic place known for its orchards and sleepy small towns.

I had a boringly happy childhood in a middle class suburban family with my parents, who just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary and my younger brother. My mother instilled in me a love of reading, and I sort of branched out from there into writing, although it took me awhile to get serious about it.

We moved a lot…San Jose, Castro Valley, then to the Midwest…St. Louis and Chicago, then back to Los Angeles, then Atlanta, where my family remained and I continued on my peripatetic way to New Orleans and Houston, Denver, Atlanta again, Seattle, back to L.A. and finally to Santa Fe.

The first thing I remember writing when I was about seven years old was a story about a family whose Christmas tree went missing. That was followed by a few plays written with my best friend Lynn Davis and performed in her garage to a captive audience of intimidated younger kids. The plays were mostly outer space/cowboy stories—don’t ask. In junior high it was gothic romance thrillers and high school was given over to bad poetry about the varsity basketball team.

My checkered college career encompassed numerous schools and involved changing my major a lot. When I finally graduated with a degree in journalism, I seemed doomed to drift from one job to another—journalist, substitute teacher, public relations for the phone company, public television, advertising, airline res agent, travel agent and baker, never quite getting it right.

Finally during a period of enforced unemployment that followed a serious surgery, I decided on a whim to take a writing seminar at UC Irvine. It was like sitting down in an unfamiliar chair and finding it so comfortable you never want to get up.

When I was working on my first novel, Bread Alone, I was possessed. There weren’t enough hours in the day that I could spend writing. I was constantly beating myself up for not having started writing seriously before the age of fifty. I worried about the time I’d wasted in all those other jobs where I was bored and unhappy and not particularly good. And then one day it just came to me that all the unimportant stuff wasn’t unimportant at all. That it was actually a necessary—one might even say crucial—stage that I had to pass through on my way to becoming a writer.

It’s called life.


My About the Author page would be woefully incomplete without some mention of the person who has been my most enthusiastic fan, my staunchest support, my most trusted advisor and the one whose smile is the last thing I see every night…my husband Geoff. He wrote this poem for me on my birthday a few years ago and it still makes me smile every time I read it.

hendricks-poem

Comments

  1. Well hello and happy New Year! I read Bread Alone years ago before I moved to Los Angeles and low and behold realized I had moved to Wynn’s neighborhood without even knowing it! I loved that book – it was one of the reasons I became a writer. I thought I’d drop you a note because I was visiting with my cousin last night and because of my recommendation her book club had read Bread Alone and one of her girlfriends cornered me to let me know it was her favorite book and that she reed everything else you wrote as well.
    Best wishes for the New Year!
    Catheryn Brockett

    • Hi, Catherine–
      Thanks so much for your message. What a lovely beginning to 2015 for me! Especially since I’m working feverishly to finish part 3 of the Bread Alone series. I really appreciate your recommending Bread Alone to your cousin’s book club. My only resolution for the new year (besides finishing at least one book) is to be a more frequent blogger. This year has been crazy and I feel like I haven’t kept up as much as I’d like. So…upward and onward. Thanks again. Warm wishes for the new year!

      • Robert Doscher says:

        I am very much looking forward to seeing Wynter and Mac’s adventures continue. Cheers to you Ms. Hendricks!

        • Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I’ve actually just finished the manuscript Baker’s Blues, which is part 3 of the Bread Alone series. I’m hoping it will see daylight sometime this summer!

  2. Sharon Norris says:

    Judi-

    I stumbled upon Bread Alone and read it this week. It has been a while since I read a book I loved so much. I couldn’t find the Baker’s Apprentice fast enough, and plan on reading that next. I am so glad to hear that you are writing another in the series. It truly was a wonderful story. Bravo.

    • Sharon–I’m so glad you enjoyed Bread Alone, and I really appreciate your taking the time to let me know. Baker’s Blues (part three) is “in the can” as they say in Hollywood, so hopefully it will be available this summer.

  3. Rebecca Murray says:

    Really enjoyed both books in the Baker series, can’t wait for the third book to come out.

    • Hi, Rebecca–thanks for the comment! The good news is book #3–BAKER’S BLUES–is coming out this summer. Hopefully in July. I’ll be doing a post on it in a day or two.
      best,judi

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