-hello, Victoria. Thanks for joining me!
Thanks for having me!
-Say something about yourself. Something about your inner life.
I’ve never been very good at talking about myself, whether it was asked in class or in a job interview, but I’ll do my best. I was born and raised in Northeastern Ohio, the only girl out of four kids. Over the years, I’ve had a variety of jobs and in December of 2012, I was able to finally quit my ‘real’ job and start working full-time as a freelance writer / ghostwriter. I’ve published five novels and one short story collection. I hope to have my sixth novel released later this year.
-The best moment of your life? Apart from your writing career.
That’s a tough one. I don’t think I could narrow it down to one specific moment, but for me, the births of my nieces and nephews have been great things. I’m not really a ‘baby person,’ but watching them all grow and being a part of their lives would have to be high on my list.
-Life’s biggest tragedy?
One of my nephews passed away when he was just a few weeks old and my other brother lost a son a couple months before he was due. It’s another reason that being a part of my nieces’ and nephew’s lives is so important to me.
-Philosophy of life.
I’m a Christian, so my faith is a huge part of my life and my philosophy of life. I try to keep it simple and stay away from all of the do’s and don’ts. Love God, love others and God is God and I am not.
-Biggest lesson you learned.
I’d actually have to put it back to the previous statement. God is God and I am not. It’s not an easy one to learn, especially when you’re a bit of a control freak like me.
-What book are you reading at the moment? Tell us something about it.
I’m finishing up a book called Engaging the Boss by Noelle Adams. It’s a contemporary romance about an assistant who volunteers to pretend to be her boss’s fiancé. Very much like The Proposal. I’m really excited about getting the last book in Richelle Mead’s Bloodlines series tomorrow. It’s a spin-off series of the Vampire Academy books, following an Alchemist named Sydney.
-When did you first consider yourself a writer? What was that particular incident?
I’ve loved making up stories for as long as I can remember, so when I learned out to put down on paper what I was thinking, it just made sense. The time I remember actually writing a story down, I was in third grade, but I know I’d been telling stories longer than that. My mom loves to tell people how, when I was as young as two, I’d tell her to ‘go away, I play by myself’ and she’d hear me in there talking to my toys and coming up with stories.
-Did you ever think that this is what you wanted to do with your life when you were younger?
I’ve always known that I wanted to be a writer. I entertained ideas of other occupations but they were always more ‘pretend’ or in response to the inevitable “that’s nice sweetie, but you have to be realistic” comments from people.
-Where do you write?
I write at a desk, but I also use a laptop to write on my couch. I’m the kind of person who can’t just sit and do one thing, so even if I’m “relaxing” and watching television, I’m working.
-Do you have to do anything to get into the zone when you write?
Music. I have separate playlists for different genres or scene types. I love music. Soundtracks, instrumental, contemporary, classic rock, pop…a little of everything so there’s always something to fit my mood or the mood of the story I’m working on.
-Where do you get your ideas from?
I get ideas from everywhere. It can be a song or a movie that prompts a “what if” question. It can be a dream or something from a book or television show that makes me go off on a tangent. My one novel, My Immortal, ‘m Cara, was inspired by the Evanescence song “My Immortal,” while my latest book, The Dragon Three, came to me during a Harry Potter marathon where I wondered what it would be like to be in a world where everyone was magic except one person.
– Who’s your inspiration?
There are always people I admire for different reasons. My parents are a huge inspiration because our family has gone through a lot of tough times and they kept things together. My youngest sister-in-law is one of the most inspirational people I know. She came from a really tough background and is one of the sweetest, most amazing people I know. I’d have to say that it’s more qualities than people I look to for inspiration. People who are hard-working, rise above their circumstances and show true compassion.
-If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I don’t know about mentor, but I’d have to say I learned the most about writing from Stephen King’s book On Writing.
-What books and authors have influenced your life the most?
I mentioned Stephen King in the previous question, so there’s definitely his works. C.S. Lewis has been a huge influence. Aside from his Chronicles of Narnia series, which I love, the way he explained theology in his book Mere Christianity and then incorporated so many of those beliefs into Narnia, was a big influence. Madeliene L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time was big for me growing up since it was the first young adult science fiction book to have not just a female protagonist, but one who was a normal girl, with glasses and braces, awkward. I also have to add Joss Whedon. He’s not a book author (though he has done comic writing), but he’s a writer and the way he’s created these amazing female characters has shaped a lot of the way I see characters.
-Your favorite from your own works?
I don’t really have a favorite book, but my favorite characters are definitely Tex and Zev from My Immortal, ‘m Cara. That book was written when I was going through a tough time and they really became a catharsis for me.
-Do any of your stories feature you as a character?
Sort of. I wrote a short story for a friend of mine who loved The Last Summer where he and I meet one of the characters. When I re-released The Last Summer last year, I included the short story. The character of Arisa from Reeves’ Island is the closest to me out of all my characters, mostly because I started writing that particular story when I was in junior high and I was still developing my sense of characterization.
-What would you like to say to those who see you as an inspiration?
Don’t give up on your dreams, but also remember that dreams can adapt and change. Don’t be afraid to be who you are, but also don’t be afraid to grow.
-Which social network has satisfied you the most regarding success?
I’d have to go with Facebook because it’s the most accessible and the easiest to communicate on, but I’ve started having some success reaching people on Twitter as well.
-Best way to connect with you?
Facebook. I have a personal and an author page and I check it often throughout the day, so it’s the easiest way to get a response and the best way to stay aware of what’s going on.
-Suggest us a good author to interview for our next interview.
How about a couple? T.E. Ridener if you’re looking for New Adult Fantasy Romance. Shannon Thompson if you want YA Fantasy Romance and Ryan Attard if you want something action packed and snarky.
-And the last question I have is, do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Keep working. It’s not going to fall in your lap. Don’t get discouraged. Find a couple honest people who will tell you what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. And, above all, stay true to the story. Don’t write for the market or to make money. Write the story that you need to tell.
-thank you so much for joining us!
Thanks again for having me!
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