Hello, I'm Jude Hopkins
Welcome to my website. I’ve included my published essays and poems—and a blog that allows me to rhapsodize about any number of subjects, including my debut novel, Babe in the Woods, to be traditionally published June 7, 2023, by The Wild Rose Press.
I can tell you I am thrilled to be a first-time book author (and am working on my second book).
If you read my early blogs on this site, you’ll know that the completion of the manuscript was a long time coming. It also had different iterations, starting out as a self-help book before morphing into a women’s fiction novel. My smart, passionate (and, yes, sassy) protagonist will at long last come alive on those pages!
Babe in the Woods features Hadley, the protagonist, back in her hometown, a small rural town in upstate New York, fresh from a sojourn in Los Angeles, a place that still resonates with heartbreak from a relationship that fizzled like a spent firework. By returning home, she hopes to write a play about the last moment of innocence in a woman’s life before she has to face up to some hard facts about love and relationships.
By writing a play about those facts, Hadley hopes others will avoid the “heart smashers” and the trail of tears and upheaval (and wisdom) they can engender. She hopes the handsome young man she meets will provide the necessary example to pinpoint that exact moment before she “leaves Toyland, ne’er to return again” so she can write about it.
But along the way, she learns a lot about love and innocence—and herself—in a way she hadn’t prepared for.
About the Author
Jude Hopkins has published essays in The Los Angeles Times, Medium, the belladonna—and poetry in various journals including Gyroscope Review, Timber Creek Review and California Quarterly. Her first novel, Babe in the Woods, will be traditionally published June 7, 2023, by Wild Rose Press.
It has always been her desire to write. She was featured in Dickinson College’s literary magazine when she was an undergraduate. One poem in particular, “Mixed Metaphors,” contrasted two viewpoints in a lakeside scene: one of a romantic young woman who thought the wind was blowing through her hair like an Aeolian harp; the other, that of her suitor who believed the water looked as cold as hell. Ah, love’s different sensibilities! What she lost in that relationship, she gained from her sojourn at Dickinson, earning her Phi Beta Kappa key while there, as well as a desire to continue her education.
Then it was on to graduate school at Arizona State University where studying for her master’s degree in English and grading essays as a teaching assistant took most of her time (and partying — it was ASU, for Pete’s sake). However, she did have a germ of an idea for a self-help book that she began outlining, fueled by many a Thermos bottle of Dunkin’ coffee.
It wasn’t until she moved to L.A. that she thought about writing a proposal for that self-help book. She got some bites from agents. Top agents. But working three jobs took precedence. (One of those jobs was at a Hollywood record company where she met a Beatle, among other artists.)
When she finally moved back to Pennsylvania, she began seriously writing again, squeezing in time to pen some poems between endless essay grading at one of the University of Pittsburgh’s branch campuses. As an adjunct English instructor, Jude was uncompromising on what she expected from her students, knowing they were capable of achieving great things when challenged, but she tried to balance the hard work with humor. Nevertheless, she knew that discipline and knowledge could turn even the most reluctant student into a pretty good writer. To achieve that end, the cellphones had to be put away, and attention had to be paid. The result? Some model research papers and essays from memorable students (she taught English in Pennsylvania, New York state, California and Arizona).
The need to write something besides comments on student essays gnawed at her. One day, she took out her old self-help book manuscript from a cobwebby drawer and began the process of turning it into a novel. That novel became Babe in the Woods, coming out June 7, 2023. Read about the book in her blogs—and the persistence it—or any kind of writing project, like a novel—requires (see if such advice doesn’t apply to you and inspire you to finish a book or project you’re working on). Please also check out her essays and poems, also featured herein. I hope you order and enjoy the book, too.