Friendship, Family and Time-Travel : Judi Curtin "Stand By Me" Blog Tour

 Hi! Welcome! I am so excited to be here! A little while ago, I was invited by O'Brien Press to participate in the"Stand By Me" Blog Tour celebrating Judi Curtins' latest(and 25th!) book; Stand By Me. Judi Curtin? Friendship? Time-travel? I'm there! So following Sarah Webb ( ) and her wonderful chat with Judi about their longstanding friendship and writing life; and Jenny( ) with her marvelous commentary on the book itself....(go ahead, take some time and play catch-up, if you haven't seen them already. They are fab!), it's my turn! ( I do want to say, they are hard acts to follow.) Here are some questions I had for Judi. I hope you find the answers as fun and interesting as I did.

- The time-honoured theme of friendship figures prominently in this book, as with all your others. I was wondering if you could give me a personal view on the importance of this kind of friendship in your writing.
Judi: Stand By Me is my 25th book, and I think it's fair to say that each one deals with the theme of friendship to some extent. For me, friendship is hugely important, no matter what age you are, so it seems natural to have it as the centre of my writing. I try to convey all kinds of friendships, from nurturing ones to the toxic kinds we all could do without. I like to think that some of my characters are people my readers would choose to be friends with.
- You've used time-travel as a device before in The Mystery Tour books. But Time After Time and Stand By Me seem to use it as a means of exploring personal history, as opposed to exploring historical events. What inspired you to take this route?
Judi: Well-spotted - there's a definite distinction between the two series. For me the new series came from a desire to know more about the lives of my parents and grandparents. (I've recently helped my father to write his life story.) No matter how many old stories I listen to, or how many photographs I look at, there's inevitably something missing. That's why I let my characters go back in time so they can truly relate with their relatives' younger selves. I'm letting my characters experience something that's impossible for me.
- The inter-generational relationship between older and younger family members has always fascinated me; how it seems to circumvent the parent-child relationship in some way. Could you say something about Beth and Mollys' relationship with their Uncle Graham...their view of each other and how easy or difficult it is to write that?
Judi: I love that Graham is unconventional and not like what the girls might expect of an older person. (They think 70 is ancient!) The relationship works because all parties are open-minded, and allow themselves to enjoy people for who they are, rather than the roles society expects them to adopt. I enjoyed writing about these characters, but it wasn't always easy, since I'm neither 12 nor 70!
- Rico, keeper of the time-travel doorway, seems to be an integral, yet very much background part in the story. How do you view his role? Is he 'teacher', 'gate-keeper', 'accidental participant? He is an interesting character!
Judi: I've deliberately kept Rico in the background, so there's an air of mystery about him. He's definitely not an accidental participant, but beyond that I'm not saying. I'm hoping to write another Beth and Molly book, and I might allow Rico a greater say in this one.
- It hasn't escaped me that the titles for these books; Time After Time and Stand By Me; take their titles from songs popular in the decades that Molly and Beth visit. How do you feel in regards to the importance of this in setting the scene or tone of the story?
Judi: Music is a great way of taking you back, and we all have songs that can take us to key moments in our past. For me, a great part of writing time-travel books is the fun I can have by immersing the young reader in the time periods they won't have experienced themselves. This involves music, fashion, food and more, and it's a huge part of what I'm trying to achieve.

I have so many more questions! But, I guess I'll just have to keep reading to find out.
And, dear reader, please continue to follow the "Stand By Me" Blog Tour. There are two more stops coming up. I know you're going to love them!
Thanks to Judi and to O'Brien Press for including me....I have really enjoyed this. Also, there's a review of "Stand By Me" on the 'Irish Authors....' page of Fallen Star Stories for you. Check it out.


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