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September 30, 2013

Meet Jude Ouvrard

When I was in elementary school, I started learning a second language; English. I didn’t like the teacher and I had a hard time remembering everything she was saying. I could barely make the difference between "how are you" and "who are you". It was my least favorite class.

When I started high school, my parents enrolled me in a private school. During my first English class, I realised that I was behind everyone else and I hated it. After a few classes, the teacher noticed and decided to be the one who would make a difference in my apprenticeship. She offered me to be part of a program where I could buy books for a cheaper price and they would help me improve my English. I remember buying a few books about movies that had come out in that period. She also suggested that I start watching TV in English so I would get used to the sound and I did. I was a really big fan of Beverly Hills 90210 at the time so I started watching the English version. I can’t say that I was able to understand everything but slowly, words started making sense and I was able to understand. I also started watching The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and I loved it. That year, everything changed, I started loving learning English. I was buying magazines for teenagers and doing as much as I could to learn and I finally caught up to my classmates.

By the time I was done with high school, my grade had improved considerably. I was able to read in English perfectly. I could watch my TV shows and understand everything they were saying. Sometimes to achieve your goals, you have to change your habits and that’s what I did. started watching TV, listening to radio, and reading in English. Slowly, I was able to learn and understand the grammar and vocabulary. It took time but I did it.


I started writing stories when I was nine or ten years old. I was very creative and I always had storylines coming together in my mind. I used to write before bedtime and I would hide my notebooks in my wardrobe. I kept them a secret. My great-aunt was an author, Hélène Ouvrard. She wrote quite a few books in French. A few months before she passed away, I remember telling her that I wanted to be an author, like her. I was inspired by her talent for quite a while.

In my teen years, I was hanging out with my friends, snowboarding and doing other things and writing wasn’t a priority. I remember writing poems when I was around fourteen years old but that’s all I did for a couple of years.

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At seventeen years old, I had my own apartment in Montreal when I decided to write again. I was now writing on a computer, always in French. I spent many nights writing my first story. I was hooked again.

A few stories and a number of years later, I started reading novels in English. I found myself addicted to reading. I could read day and night and survive on only two hours of sleep. I read tons of romance and supernatural. I started participating in Facebook groups where other people would hang out and talk about books.

In 2009, I was in maternity leave and I decided to write my first story in English. It was a disaster, a lot harder than I thought. I never shared that story with anyone but I knew that it was the beginning of something I wanted to do. I never finished the story. I decided to continue my reading because I had heard that reading could help with my writing, so I concentrated on that for a few months.

In 2012, my son was now three years old and he started playing and drawing on his own. I had a little more time for myself so I began writing a new story. For this one, I had a pre-reader, a beta reader and every week, I would publish a chapter on a fanfiction website. I knew my English wasn’t perfect but I had a lot of followers and they didn’t seem to mind. According to the reviews, they liked my story. This story marked the beginning of my dream.

Months later, I heard that Renaissance Romance Publishing had an open call for a beach read anthology. I decided to submit my story. I had little hope that they would pick me but I took the chance. I started writing at the beginning of February 2013 and I gave up that same week. Why? Because I didn’t think I could do it, I didn’t want to waste my time and I didn’t believe in myself. For two weeks, I ignored everything about it until my friend, Tracey, forced me back into my writing. I had only one week left to write it, get it pre-read and edited. Well, I did it, and I sent it to the publisher. I didn’t expect anything before 6 weeks as they had mentioned on their website. Later that night, I received an email from them telling me they wanted to contact me via Skype the following Sunday. I was nervous, it was driving me crazy. I had to wait a few days before the call. When the time finally came, I kicked everyone out of the house and waited for the call that changed everything. They wanted my story; they wanted to work with me. I was astounded and overwhelmed. It was a new beginning for me.

Seven months later, I’m about to publish my second novella with Renaissance Romance Publishing, it’s called Wonderland. I’m also working on my first novel, Body, Ink, and Soul and I’m hoping to publish before the end of 2013.

I know my English is still not perfect, but I’m grateful that I had a teacher who believed in me. Without her, I probably wouldn’t have worked as hard as I did and I probably wouldn’t have been able to publish my first novella.

Never stop believing in yourself, have faith and work hard.

About the Author:
Jude was born and raised in a small village named Lacolle. She now lives in Montreal, Canada. She is the proud mother of a beautiful four year old son, and has spent the last twelve years with her partner, Cedric. French is her native language, but she prefers to write in her second language, English.
Besides working full time for a Title Insurance Company and being a mother, Jude has a passion for books, both reading and writing them.
She is currently working on a novel called Body, Ink, and Soul. Coming soon!
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  1. What an amazing story! One person can truly make a difference in our whole future!

  2. I am so amazed by you, Jude. You've grown so much as an author, and I am blessed to have worked with you twice now.

  3. What an amazing and inspiring story!

  4. Wow an amazing story Jude. Love this post :)

  5. Great story Jude. Very inspiring :)

  6. Jude, enjoyed your story. Nowadays children are struggling in school to learn the basics and you prove that with support and initiative we can all overcome obstacles. A pleasure to meet you and I look forward to reading your book.

  7. I have tremendous admiration for Jude. Writing a book in a second language is no mean feat, not to mention one that has had so many good reviews. And she balances all this while being mother to a three-year-old. Kudos to you Jude Ouvrard!

  8. I do agree! Sometimes, to reach your goals you must change your habits! Well done, Jude. Keep on writing!