Judy Fleagle is an author and freelance writer from Florence, Oregon, who was an editor/staff writer for Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines for 21 years. Prior to that she taught first and second grades in California for 22 years. She retired from the magazines in 2009.During 2010, she wrote Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges, which came out in the spring of 2011 to help commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport, the Siuslaw River Bridge in Florence, the Umpqua River Bridge in Reedsport, and the McCullough Memorial Bridge in North Bend and the 20th anniversary of the “new” Alsea Bay Bridge in Waldport.
Crossings gives equal coverage to the building of the highway, the career of Conde B. McCullough, and the exciting path to funding through Roosevelt’s New Deal–the right man at the right place at the right time. The book covers the building of the five major bridges on the coast, which became the pinnacle of McCullough’s career. Besides being a history of Oregon’s coastal bridges, this book has interwoven the stories of numerous old-timers, making it a repository of remarkable remembrances. It’s size works well as a coffee-table book.
The blog’s purpose for the first 52 posts was to share Judy’s adventures with the book, including lots of good marketing information.
Starting with #53, she began expanding the subject matter to include not only her adventures with Crossings but also those encountered in putting together her second book as well as some things to know about the coastal towns she visits in placing her book. As an editor/staff writer at Oregon Coast magazine, she became well versed in almost anything coastal. She tries to include the types of things that the locals know about and the visitors wish they did.
As of January 2013 Judy’s second book––The Crossings Guide to Oregon’s Coastal Spans––became available. While there are several books about Oregon’s coastal bridges, this is the only one designed to guide you bridge by bridge down the coast and in a size to fit in a pack, purse, or glove compartment, and of sturdy enough paper to withstand the rigors of a guidebook. This guide covers 15 of the most impressive bridges with some text, at least one historic photo, and a full page color photo. Judy likes to say, “Whether hiking, cycling, or driving, don’t travel 101 without it!”
Starting with #84, Judy recounts the adventures of The Crossings Guide as well as Crossings––again lots of good marketing information.
In 2013 starting with #103, her readers followed along from June to December as Judy put together her third book Around Florence for Arcadia Publishing. It was due mid- November 2013 with the first galley proofs checked over very carefully in May 2014. The publication date was July 14, 2014. So the book is now available throughout Florence; signed copies are available through the author––firstname.lastname@example.org.
Throughout 2014, readers followed along as the author got Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known ready for publication. On March 20, 2015, Devil Cat was sent to the printer. The book includes 15 illustrations plus one for the cover by Florence artist Karen Nichols as well as 37 photos. It comprises five over-the-top stories about animals of which all but one was a rescue situation. These rescued dogs and cats became surprisingly good pets. These stories cover several decades of the author’s life.These stories were written as they happened, and the first two represent her first attempts at writing. These stories are precious to the author, and she is thrilled to finally be able to publish them.
Starting with #158 (September 30, 2014), the blog posts changed topic just as the author’s life took an abrupt turn. The main thrust of the posts covered her adventures with her health since she was diagnosed with Stage III lymphoma in late September. Sometimes poignant, sometimes humorous, but always informative and entertaining, the author chronicled her journey through chemotherapy.
By #173, (March 19, 2015) chemo was over, successful, and the “bridge lady” was back. Adventures continued with arrival of 1,000 copies of Devil Cat in May 2015 and trips through the summer to get the new book out.
In 2016, for the third summer, Judy spent most Sundays at the Yachats Farmers Market selling her books.
In 2017, Judy started selling the 4th Edition of Crossings and ordered the 3rd Edition of The Crossings Guide. Both books continue to do well. They fill a real niche market. In March, Judy did three Fridays in a row of bridge tours through Lane Community College. They were so popular that the one that covered the northern tour had to be repeated by popular demand and both were repeated September 25 and 27.
For the fourth summer, Judy was set up every Sunday with her canopy and books at the Yachats Farmers Market during July and August. And for the 7th year she was involved in the Florence Festival of Books, September 30. She was co-founder and continues to be secretary, and she is co-chair once again. Judy is thrilled at how this event has evolved.
Judy took a break from her blog during the last half of 2017, but returned January 2018 She continued her blog posts through mid-April, but then took another break until November.
For the fifth summer, Judy continued at the Yachats Farmers Market. She is now considered a regular. And for the 8th year, she was involved with the Florence Festival of Books. She felt that the 2018 festival was the best ever.
In 2018, Judy finished her fifth book, The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED that which is odd, unusual or quirky!!! Between January and mid-April, Judy finished writing the edit for the book and fact checked it. After returning from California, between May and end of September, photos were either taken by Judy or publisher Bob Serra or acquired from various entities or photographers. As photos came in, Bob was able to design the cover and lay out and design the book. On October 5, a camera ready manuscript was sent to the printer. But due to equipment malfunctions, the 1,500 books ordered did not arrive until December 11. When it finally arrived, it was wonderful–full color–a beautiful book. And sales are going well.
Sales continued well through 2019–nearly 1,000 books sold. When the inventory falls below 200, more books will be ordered. Many buy this books as a gift. Judy is thrilled with the popularity of UNEXPECTED!
Last updated April 16, 2020.