Author Interview: Judy Christie’s Upcoming Release~Before and After

GIVEAWAY ALERT There is currently a Goodreads  giveaway for this book.

About the book: Before and After: The Incredible Real-Life Stories of Orphans Who Survived the Tennessee Children’s Home Society” is a unique nonfiction sequel to Lisa Wingate’s No. 1 best-selling novel “Before We Were Yours” and tells the poignant true stories of victims of a notorious adoption scandal—some of whom learned the truth from Before We Were Yours and were reunited with birth family members as a result of its wide reach. 

Encouraged by their contact with Wingate and award-winning journalist Judy Christie, who documented the stories of fifteen adoptees and their families in this book, many Tann survivors set out to trace their roots and find their birth families. Often raised as only children, many have joyfully reunited with siblings in the final decades of their lives. In a poignant culmination of art meeting life, long-silent victims of the tragically corrupt system return to Memphis with Wingate and Christie to reclaim their stories at a Tennessee Children’s Home Society reunion . . . with extraordinary results. The book releases Oct. 22 from Ballantine, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

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Y’all, Before We Were Yours was such an amazing book. It’s one of those that sticks with you long after you read it and I had to interview Lisa Wingate about it when it was fresh. I was on my 2018 Best Reads list. I am eager to read more, and, naturally, this new book Before and After is one of my must reads.

If you still haven’t read Before We Were Yours, go get it! But first read this post. 😉

Judy Christie is a wonderful writer and a sweet soul. I’m so glad she agreed to talk with us about Before and After.

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Before We Were Yours is such a heart wrenching read, I feel like it should come with a box of tissues. What emotional words would you use to describe the follow up book?

Inspiring. Hopeful. Bittersweet. Life-affirming. “Before and After” shows the resilience of every-day people and their heroic efforts to find brothers and sisters and to keep Georgia Tann from owning their stories. 

What was the most satisfying thing about working on this project?

—Saving these stories means so much to me, and I am blessed to have gotten to be friends with these great families. And what a delight to write with longtime friend Lisa. We had a great time working together, both in the same room and by phone. Neither of us had tried this approach to a book before, and it was incredible. The project sometimes felt like it was coming together by magic.

You’ve written novels, nonfiction books, and are also a reporter. Do you feel that one of these jobs prepared you better to write this particular book? How did each of these jobs come into play?

-It blew me away to feel uniquely qualified to do this project. My journalism experience helped me research and interview, and my novel-writing experience helped me structure the stories. I was the editor of a newspaper in West Tennessee, am married to a Tennessee native and am very familiar with the state. I’m a southerner and love visiting with folks. It all came together.

What do you feel was the biggest thing you gained by tackling this project?

-Realizing that no matter how much we plan our careers, we don’t know when the perfect project will come along, and we have to be open to good ideas. A little over a year ago, I had no idea I’d be writing this book. Working with Lisa was not only fun but a great learning experience.

Can you tell us about any future books you are working on?

—Oh, yes! I’m working on a new novel, and I’m quite excited about it. I can’t wait to tell readers about it when it’s a little further along.

Thank you so much for visiting with us, Judy. I’m looking forward to reading your new book!

Author Judy Christie has had 18 books published, including three Southern small-town novel series. An award-winning newspaper reporter and editor for 25 years, she has had lunch at the White House with First Lady Nancy Reagan; met Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon; and ridden across a Southern city in a hot air balloon. She’s run marathons—26.2 miles–in Alaska and at Disney World, been chased by a monkey on a city street, fished for piranha on the Amazon and once got a black eye playing putt-putt at the beach. She’s always up for a good story and a good adventure, and no matter what she’s doing, she enjoys reading, writing and talking about books. Sign up for her e-newsletter and a free guide to telling family stories at www.judychristie.com. Follow her on Facebook @judychristieauthor.

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Guys, what’s next on your must read list? Go add this one to your Goodreads want-to-read shelf. There’s a giveaway that’s about to expire. Hurry and enter.

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