Author Bruce Judisch

I’m super excited to bring you my conversation with OakTara author, Bruce Judisch. Be sure to come back over the next several weeks as I share more information about Bruce’s books. Oh, and you’ll want to be sure and leave a comment because there will be a book giveaway. More details to come later.

Bruce Judisch

Christina: I’ve been thinking about questions, and my first one is more for my own curiosity but I think readers would love to know the answer, too. Where does the last name of Judisch come from?

Bruce: Judisch is the German word for Jewish (actually jüdisch).  I must have some Jewish blood in my heritage, but I don’t know where it is.  My grandfather came over as a young child from the town of Spremberg, Germany, near the Czech border. Interestingly, we have retained the German pronunciation: “YOU-dish” with the “J” left silent.  J  I’ve made some absolutely wonderful Jewish friends in researching For Maria.  Thanks for asking.

Christina: **That is really neat! I’ve been looking for ties to any Jewish ancestry for a while now. I’m still looking. **  I bet you had an interesting upbringing. Did your grandfather influence any of your stories?

Bruce: Alas, my grandfather died of lung cancer in 1945, so I never knew him.

Christina: I’m sorry to hear that. I can’t imagine growing up without knowing either one of my grandfathers.

I find it fascinating that God has aptly given you a gifted calling and a rich heritage to match your surname. When did you know you were being called to write?

Bruce: I never envisioned myself as a novelist.  I’d been affirmed in my writing abilities, but it was all non-fiction.  What got me started—rather, who got me started was my wife, Jeannie.  I was teaching a course through the Minor Prophets at our church, and when I began my research on Jonah, I was struck by how unique he was and how little we actually knew of him.  There were also several questions left hanging in the Scriptural account of Jonah’s ministry, and they intrigued me.  When I introduced the study on Jonah to my class, I said, “If I were ever to write a novel, it would be on Jonah.”  I had no intention of writing a novel; however, my wife was in the class, and afterward she elbowed me in the ribs and said, “Well…?”  So, in 2002, returning from a business trip to DC, I typed the first lines of Ben Amittai, intending it to be a single novel beginning with the first reference to Jonah in the Bible (2 Kings 14:23-25).  Well, being a seat-of-the-pants writer, I soon lost control of my story, and eight years later, on a business trip to DC, I typed the last lines of The Word Fulfilled, the third work in “A Prophet’s Tale.”  The bug had bitten, and from there I went to write Katia (it flowed from the pen; first draft of 78K words in 30 days).  For Maria was much more difficult; the first draft taking well over a year, due to the intense research and emotional exhaustion of the subject.

Christina: Wow! So, I guess your readers really have your wife to thank for getting you into writing. What genre did you start off writing?

Bruce: As noted above, my first genre was historical-Biblical fiction: “A Prophet’s Tale.”  The work that was probably the most influential in attracting me to the genre was Francine Rivers’ “Mark of the Lion” series.

Christina: Although I didn’t start writing in Biblical fiction, I do have to say that Francine Rivers’ Unveiled from her Lineage of Grace series, as well as the others in that series, have been a huge inspiration.

I know you have a picture on your website that inspired Katia. What’s the story behind the photo?

Bruce: Rather than tell you about the photo that inspired Katia, let me ask you to do something.  Go to and, on the left side of the page, click the link to the KENS 5 TV interview featuring the book (sorry about the advertisement leader…).  It tells the story.   Just thought you might enjoy the video.  J

Christina: I bet everyone quit reading and ran over to your site. 😉 Well, hopefully they’ll come back because I’d like to tell them about Katia, that is if they don’t read about it on your site.

“Seek the truth, embrace the pain, cherish the freedom.”

Spirited Madeline “Maddy” McAllister is a twenty-one year-old journalism major completing her year as an exchange student at the Freie Universität, in Berlin, Germany. She has a career to launch.

Stalwart Katia Mahler is a sixty year-old German invalid who grew up in post-World War II East Berlin. She has a story to tell.

Enigmatic Oskar Schultmann brings together the journalist and the storyteller. Maddy’s task: to chronicle Katia Mahler’s life.

All three of them discover more to Katia’s story than they bargained for.

Cultures and generations clash, as the young American and the German matron strive to understand each other’s present and past. Maddy learns more than a personal history; Katia receives more than a memoir. And always in the background is Oskar, who gets drawn into the story in ways he never intended.

Peek behind the Iron Curtain and over the Berlin Wall as Katia’s story—the story of a lost generation from a failed state—comes to life through the scribbled notes of a girl struggling to grasp the significance of what she has written for her own life as well as for future generations.

So, now it’s up to you, Dear Readers, do you have any questions for Bruce? Oh, and be sure to come back next week as the interview continues.

18 responses to “Author Bruce Judisch”

  1. Sounds like a good book, and it was such an interesting interview. I was just looking at
    Oak Tara as a publishing possibility and this came out. Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂
    Blessings on your continued work, Bruce.

    • Thanks so much, Diane. A little-known trivia fact: I got all 13 of my grandchildren’s names in the book. 🙂 Number 14 was born after release, so I need to work her into the next one.

      Writing is so much fun! 🙂

  2. Diane, Bruce’s book does look very interesting. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to read it, but I’m looking forward to it.

    Let us know if you decide to submit to OakTara so we can pray for your publishing journey.

    • Ditto, and if you’d like any thoughts on working with OakTara, Dianne, please feel free to contact me with questions. There’s a “Contact Me” link at the bottom of each page on my Web site.

    • Thank you, Christinia, I just saw your reply~ 🙂 I will let you know when my fine tuning work is
      done and I decide to sub my work. It’s getting toward the home stretch now! Thank you for your kind offer. And thank you too, Bruce, I will talk with you. The blessings from online friends are endless~ 🙂

    • I’ve had more than one person ask me who I’d have play the characters in the movie version. Not to plant my own thoughts in anybody’s mind, but Amy Adams is a shoo-in for Maddy. 🙂

  3. I know this will be a good read. Thanks for the interview. Will look forward to reading more.

  4. First, I thought it was a great photo of Bruce. He looks genuinely happy. It sounds like an interesting book.

    • Oh my, thank you, Carolyn. You’re very kind. I didn’t think there was any such thing as a good photo of me. 🙂 But it’s true: I’m genuinely happy. My son-in-law took the photo on his back porch, and he’s an art major. I figured that accounted for any quality in the photo. 🙂

    • How cool is that?? 🙂 I’ll look up your book, Michelle. Did you ever make it to East Germany, or view the photo gallery on the Katia page of my Web site?

  5. Hmmm…I’m tempted to take advantage of an ambiguous modifier here and pretend that it’s an interview with a great author, rather than a great interview with an author. 🙂 🙂

    Oh, okay….never mind. (sigh!)

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