Guilford author Judith Vance tells about “Crossing Bridges,” a contemporary romance novel

First, tell us a bit about your book: what it’s about, what genre it’s in, what inspired you to write it.

Crossing Bridges is the journey of Abigail Sinclair, a passionate young lawyer, as she navigates her life and searches for happiness.  The novel follows Abby’s life from young adulthood into her late 30s.  When Abby is introduced, she is overworked and single, living in New York City.  She is struggling to find the right balance of career, love and family.  In the second half of the novel, Abby is a divorced mother of two who retreats to a romantic seaside cottage in Guilford, Connecticut, to see if she can sort out the complex calculus of her life.

The book is a contemporary romance.

Did this book come to you easily, or did you have to wrestle it to the ground once or twice? Did you ever give up on it?

The book was written over the course of several years.  In the beginning I was working full-time as the Head of Human Resources for a major financial institution.  Once I formed my own human resources consulting company I had more time to devote to the book.  I never gave up on the book since the main character became so real to me.  I needed to find out what would happen to her and her family.

Do you have a writing process that you can share with readers?

I like to find a quiet time in the morning when I am not disturbed.  A great deal of the book was written looking out over the harbor at Sachem’s Head.  I usually write for two to four hours at a time.  If I get stuck I will walk away from the book for a few days until I feel inspired as to what should happen in Abby’s life next.

The wild ride to publication is always fraught with drama. Tell us about your journey to self-publishing. Had you tried to go to the traditional route first, or was this always the way you wanted to go?

Like most rookie authors I wasn’t too sure how to get a book published.  Once I finished the book I attended the Wesleyan Writer’s Conference.  Reality quickly set in as to how tough it is to get a book published today.  I then attended Writing Workshops with the authors Amy Bloom, Steve Berry, and Matthew Dicks.  Each of these authors reinforced  how many times they had been rejected before they were able to get a book published.  The same message was delivered by the authors at the Savannah Book Festival.   (This is a great event if you ever get a chance to attend.)  Their support and enthusiasm encouraged me to keep plugging away.

What service did you use? And what help did they provide—editing, design, distribution, marketing?

One of my neighbors is a published author.  I asked her for her advice about how to approach the publishing process.  She gave me the name of a great editor. I used two sites – Kindle Direct Publishing and the Barnes and Noble DIY self publishing platform called Pubit!.  You go to the sites and you’ll find tons of rules that you need to follow to transform your word document into a style that they use to publish.  You then submit your book and they review it.  If you have followed all the rules you are good to go.  Needless to say there are just as many rules for the cover photography.  This is a bit of a process so you have to hang in there.

What have been the best and the toughest parts for you?

The editing process was definitely the toughest part for me.  I completely agreed with my editor’s comments but it is tough to delete parts of the book that you really loved.

Where is your book (or books) available?

My book is available as an e-book.  You can order to read on your nook, kindle, or ipad through either or  The book costs just $2.99.  I wanted the largest group of readers to find the book affordable in these tough economic times.

Would you go this way again, or are you wishing to break into the more traditional kind of publishing?

I tried to go the traditional publishing route.  I received many encouraging notes from agents but wasn’t making much progress.  I found it fairly easy to self-publish my book.