Judith Stanton grew up on a farm in Piedmont North Carolina, riding horses, herding cows, working in tobacco, and listening to her father’s stories of mules and plows and teams that pulled the wagon to town. Secretly she read every novel and poem she could get her hands on and dreamed of writing her own.
That dream came true. Her contemporary equestrian suspense, A Stallion to Die For, has a five-star rating on Amazon.com.
A RITA finalist, Judith has published five historical romances—most recently Under a Prairie Moon, set in Nebraska after the Civil war, The Mad Marquis and The Kissing Gate, Regencies set in the English countryside.
Lately she has taken to writing poetry.
Her scholarly edition of The Collected Letters of Charlotte Smith is published by Indiana University Press.
She received a B.A. from Randolph Macon Woman’s College and a Ph.D. from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
She lives on a small farm near Chapel Hill with her husband and their rescued cats and horses. She’s a proud owner of Highwire (“Cera”), a fancy young eventing prospect ridden by Nate Chambers.
And now a few questions…
What is your idea of perfect happiness? My life now, happy husband, healthy horses and all the cats safe and home at night.
What is your greatest fear? Losing my health.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Procrastination.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Minds set in concrete.
Where do you get your ideas? In dreams, and from nature.
What do you dislike most about your appearance? As a feminist I try to accept myself as I am, and not pick myself apart.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Super! Excellent! (But I believe in praise)
What is your greatest regret? No regrets. None. I’ve had rough times and losses, but I believe nothing is wasted.
What or who is the greatest love of your life? Nature, animals, horses, cats. Friends. My husband. Literature. Please don’t ask me to single out anything!
When and where were you happiest? There was a day, I was in Wisconsin on my horse in the middle of the week, perfect cloudless sky, total freedom. I’ve been so fortunate to replicate that day many times in South and North Carolina.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I’d master computers.
If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? They’d be more open to the variety of others.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be? One of my horses, or my cats.
What is your most treasured possession? My waterproof barn boots!
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Intractable physical pain.
What do you most dislike? Minds set in concrete.
Who are your favorite writers? Whoever I read last! So much brilliant variety out there. Long term, fiction—Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Georgette Heyer, a bunch of modern writers. Poetry—Dickenson, Eliot, Frost, Mary Oliver.
Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Elizabeth Bennet, Jane Eyre, and I loved the heroine of The Book Thief. I never stop looking.
Who are your heroes in real life? So many, personal and public. Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Carolyn Fourche, and I’m in awe of Malala Yousafzai. So brave so young.
How would you like to die? If I’m on a horse, I’ll die happy.
What is your motto? Never never never never give up.
Fondest memory: That hot night as a child, elbows propped on the window sill, bright moon, mama cat playing with her kittens under the grape arbor.
Childhood ambition: To be a missionary or a hair stylist.
Retreat: My farm, every day. Lucky duck.
Alarm clock: only when I’ve got to catch a plane.
Perfect day: at home on my farm, with the deer, horses, cats. Sun, clouds, fog, sleet, snow, wind rain, hot or cold, nature all around me.
Last purchase: Groceries—garlic, butter, olive oil, fresh veggies, good bread.
Favorite movie: Passion of Anna, Love Actually, Becoming Jane, The Band.
My life…. still learning.