Judy Christie

Author of Narrative Nonfiction
Writing Consultant
Travels from: Denver, CO

With a journalist’s keen eye and a novelist’s elegant prose, Christie and Wingate weave together the stories that inspired Before We Were Yours with the lives that were changed as a result of reading the novel. —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author

Author Judy Christie 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, Judy enjoys reading, writing and talking about books.

Judy has had 17 books published, including three Southern small-town series and her “Hurry Less Worry Less” series on how to slow down and enjoy life more. Her YA novel Wreath, A Girl has been optioned for film. An award-winning newspaper reporter and editor for 25 years, Judy co-authored the upcoming Before and After: Real-Life Stories of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society, interviewing adoptees who survived the orphanage that operated nefariously from 1925-1950. Her co-author is longtime writer friend Lisa Wingate, author of Before We Were Yours, international best-selling novel about the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. Their nonfiction book is due out from Random House in Fall 2019.

From the 1920s to 1950, Georgia Tann ran a black-market baby business at the Tennessee Children’s Home Society in Memphis. She offered up more than 5,000 orphans tailored to the wish lists of eager parents—hiding the fact that many weren’t orphans at all, but stolen sons and daughters of poor families, desperate single mothers, and women told in maternity wards that their babies had died.

The publication of Lisa Wingate’s novel Before We Were Yours brought new awareness of Tann’s lucrative career in child trafficking. Adoptees who knew little about their pasts gained insight into the startling facts behind their family histories. Encouraged by their contact with Wingate and Christie, who documented the stories of fifteen adoptees in this book, determined Tann survivors set out to trace their roots and find their birth families.

Before and After includes moving and sometimes shocking accounts of the ways in which adoptees were separated from their first families. Often raised as only children, many have joyfully reunited with siblings in the final decades of their lives. In Before and After, Christie and Wingate tell of first meetings that are all the sweeter and more intense for time missed and of families from very different social backgrounds reaching out to embrace better-late-than-never brothers, sisters, and cousins. In a poignant culmination of art meeting life, long-silent victims of the tragically corrupt system return to Memphis with Christie and Wingate to reclaim their stories at a Tennessee Children’s Home Society reunion . . . with extraordinary results.

Prepare an Invitation for:

Before and After The Incredible Real-Life Stories of Orphans Who Survived the Tennessee Children’s Home Society

Ballantine Books |
Narrative Nonfiction

The compelling, poignant true stories of victims of a notorious adoption scandal—some of whom learned the truth from Lisa Wingate’s bestselling novel Before We Were Yours and were reunited with birth family members as a result of its wide reach

From the 1920s to 1950, Georgia Tann ran a black-market baby business at the Tennessee Children’s Home Society in Memphis. She offered up more than 5,000 orphans tailored to the wish lists of eager parents—hiding the fact that many weren’t orphans at all, but stolen sons and daughters of poor families, desperate single mothers, and women told in maternity wards that their babies had died.

The publication of Lisa Wingate’s novel Before We Were Yours brought new awareness of Tann’s lucrative career in child trafficking. Adoptees who knew little about their pasts gained insight into the startling facts behind their family histories. Encouraged by their contact with Wingate and award-winning journalist Judy Christie, who documented the stories of fifteen adoptees in this book, many determined Tann survivors set out to trace their roots and find their birth families.

Before and After includes moving and sometimes shocking accounts of the ways in which adoptees were separated from their first families. Often raised as only children, many have joyfully reunited with siblings in the final decades of their lives. Christie and Wingate tell of first meetings that are all the sweeter and more intense for time missed and of families from very different social backgrounds reaching out to embrace better-late-than-never brothers, sisters, and cousins. In a poignant culmination of art meeting life, many of the long-silent victims of the tragically corrupt system return to Memphis with the authors to reclaim their stories at a Tennessee Children’s Home Society reunion . . . with extraordinary results.

Getting to know the real-life adoptees from the Tennessee Children’s Home Society

Lessons Learned from Interviewing Survivors of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society

How to Research and Write a Nonfiction Book

Interview Techniques for Saving Your Family Stories

A Writing Journey: Why Books Matter Now More Than Ever

Middle-School Book Love: How to integrate real-life issues with fiction

Judy Christie’s Upcoming Events

Honors, Awards & Recognition

“In Before and After, authors Judy Christie and Lisa Wingate tackle the true stories behind Wingate’s blockbuster Before We Were Yours, of the orphans who survived the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. With a journalist’s keen eye and a novelist’s elegant prose, Christie and Wingate weave together the stories that inspired Before We Were Yours with the lives that were changed as a result of reading the novel. Readers will be educated, enlightened, and enraptured by this important and flawlessly executed book.”
Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan’s Tale and The Lost Girls of Paris

Media clips

“A book journey takes unexpected turns” – Shreveport Times, 2/4/2021

Media Kit

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