Debut novelist Wynonna Judd is feeling a little ‘Restless’
Wynonna Judd, 46, half of the legendary mother-daughter singing duo The Judds, now has written a novel. Restless Heart (NAL, $25.95) is the tale of a young woman who takes her dreams of being a country star to Nashville.
Restless Heart is your first novel. How much is autobiographical? Enough to make it real. I’m living truthfully in imaginary circumstances. I’m telling my story through another voice. Writing this was different (from the memoir) because I could take liberties but also draw from my own experiences. She (main character Destiny Hart) has the same ambition and passion for music I did at that age.
Did you collaborate with someone on this? Yes. LuAnn McLane. I have to. It’s like songwriting. I have to collaborate. I know better than to take on too much. I’m a single parent. I home-school. I need help. I know that.
Why a novel? Why now? I want to communicate with the next generation. My whole thing right now is to communicate with these characters that I come across in airports, on the road. I have such a need to talk to this generation, young adults who don’t appear to be as inspired as I was at that age. We had nothing. So the less we had, the bigger our dreams were. Today they’re overstimulated. There are entitlement issues.
Any advice for kids heading to Nashville to make it big? I don’t give advice. I tell my story. My experience and strength come through. I’m constantly trying to light a fire under people’s butts. I always ask them, “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” I’m looking for kids willing to go outside their comfort zone.
What was the biggest career mistake you ever made? Fear. Sometimes I missed opportunities because of fear. Today I ask myself, “Why didn’t I sing with Frank Sinatra when he asked me?” There were times I was not on a project because I was unsure of myself.
You now live in Nashville with your children (Elijah, 16, and Grace, 14),cats, dogs, buffalo and deer. Where do you keep the buffalo? In the fields. Big, big, big fields! We have fences. They’re pretty tame. I go over and watch them and say “Wow!” We have a thousand acres.
How’s your mom, Naomi? She’s so adorable. We’ve been as connected recently as we were back in the ’80s because of our new show on OWN.
Tell us about the reality series that premieres March 25 on Oprah’s new network. There’s nothing reality about it. It’s a docu-drama. Save your drama for your momma, as they say. This is so different. I’m not interested in a train wreck. Been there and done that. I have so much to celebrate. It’s an empowerment program. We have a life coach who follows us from state to state, asking the question, “What would you have done differently?” I learned things about my mother I didn’t know. Music brought us together, but this show has taken us to a whole new level of communication.
You just dropped 55 pounds and five dress sizes through brain state conditioning. What’s that?
It’s the greatest technology for people suffering from trauma. It’s profoundly changed me. Go on their website — brainstatetech.com — and see. I’m off four medications. Anxiety. Post traumatic stress syndrome. It balances everything.
And what’s next? Going to take it easy? Are you kidding me? I am so grateful for every opportunity. I have a new kick in my step. Wynonna has her groove back. I’m doing speaking engagements. I’ve been asked to do Broadway. I may get a call from Bono. I may end up in the circus. Who knows?