The Rural We: Judith Shaw
Judith Shaw receives her bronze medal for Charley's Horse in the Children's Coming of Age Category at the Readers' Favorite 2018 International Book Award conference, November, 2018.
An author and blogger, Judith Shaw’s writing reflects a lifetime of traveling, living abroad and her deep love for animals. After living and raising two children in Singapore, Indonesia and Australia, she lives with her Ausssie husband Ron and a Jack Russell terrier in Great Barrington, Mass. Her first work of fiction, “Charley’s Horse,” recently received the Readers’ Favorite 2018 International Book Award, which competed with thousands of contestants from over a dozen countries. Her blog, stories by judith, is filled with true tales of her fascinating globetrotting adventures, and others that focus on horse and dog stories.
Charley’s Horse is my first novel. It’s self published and launched on Amazon last January. I was really glad to win the Readers’ Favorite Reviews. It’s an international reader review service that’s well regarded. I didn’t know if anyone would notice my book at all. It was hard to determine what category to place it in. It’s not really a little kid’s book, but not edgy enough to be young adult. It’s a coming of age story, but it’s not trendy. There’s no sex, no vampires in it. The target audience is really people like me who had horses for many years, and can’t or don’t ride anymore, but miss them.
The award ceremony was just two weeks ago at the Miami Book Fair. I’ve never met so many writers, and so many people willing to help each other.
I’m starting to work on book number two. It’s about the two characters who hung around the bully in Charley’s Horse. It’s another coming of age story, more about how you become who you are. These two girls are figuring out that they aren’t joined at the hip, and it’s about them pursuing their own goals.
We were so lucky to live the way we did and all the travel we experienced. My husband, who I met at Yale, worked for the First National Bank of Chicago. We lived in Indonesia and Singapore, and then moved to Australia, but I wanted my kids out of the Australian education system. We’ve been in the Berkshires for over 20 years, originally in Richmond. How we found Richmond is due to my horse, a story (“How Tom the Wonder Horse Found Us a House”) that you can read on my blog.
I have so many more stories from my travels that I want to write about. I’ll have some new ones on my blog within the next couple of weeks. I’m hoping to add at least one story a month, and I’m thinking about putting my fiction stories on it, too. I don’t mind “giving away” my writing. I just want people to read it.
We still travel a lot. We’ll be going to Florida to visit my daughter, and then to Australia for the winter. We’ve been involved with a company that does walking trips in Europe, and we’ve walked all over the Continent with this group. We do a lot of hiking in the Berkshires, too. We donated 130 acres of our property in Richmond to Berkshire Natural Resources Council several years ago and sleep easier knowing it will be available for everyone to enjoy forever.
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