My good friend Vania hails from the icy wastes of North America. I mean, it’s not like “North of the Wall” (Canada), but the only things that can warm the cockles of their icy hearts up there are Prince’s funky music, hot drinks, and a good book.
Luckily, Vania drinks (a lot of) coffee and is the author of several romance books, including her brand new novel “ALL OF NOTHING” and she’s agreed to stop by and warm her hands by the fire while she shares some answers to a few burning questions…
How long have you been writing and what got you hooked?
I’ve been writing at least since sixth grade when we had to write a short story and read it to the class. I remember the story about a family who got snowed into their house. I don’t know what happened after that. I was a weak plotter at 12 years old.
What is the most satisfying part of writing for you: the writing itself, publishing a book, or getting feedback from fans? Something else?
I like giving my characters a happily ever after. Sometimes they act like big jerks, and it’s hard to write them out of it. It’s always a good feeling to whip them into shape.
Characters can be so unruly at times!
Why did you choose to be an Indie/self-published writer and not choose to query and go the traditional publishing route?
Querying is hard, and traditional publishing is changing. The midlist is shrinking. Romance writers can do very well being self-published if they put out a good story and do a little marketing.
What misconception would you most like to dispel about Indie authors?
All the rumors are true. Haha! So long as there are people who don’t care about what they write (the argument of writing from your heart vs. writing to market), or don’t bother with editors—those rumors that indie writers don’t care about their work, or won’t/can’t/don’t put money into their work will always be true.
You do a ton of research, not just on the creative side but on the book production/marketing side. What's the most valuable lesson you've learned through your research?
Do your research! I can’t believe how many people will try to publish a book without having any inkling of how to do it. There’re millions of free resources out there on the hows whys wheres. It’s true that sometimes you just can’t know something until you go through it yourself, but listen, there’s thousands of authors out there who blog about their experiences. And those publishing platforms that are around to help—they offer their own tutorials and support staff. The excuse that you “didn’t know what you didn’t know” is no longer valid. Doctors go to school. Lawyers go to school. Teach yourself something.
Probably the most famous mantra for writers is "write every day", or perhaps "write what you know", do you subscribe to these or do you have your own mantra?
I don’t think you need to write every day, but I think in the beginning, writing what you know can make things easier. I’d never set a book somewhere I’ve never been. That doesn’t seem realistic to me. If you’re writing your first book, or just getting the hang of it with your second, I recommend writing what you know. Plot, character arc, that kind of thing, will seem that much harder if you give your character an occupation you know nothing about, or you’re setting your book in Bolivia and you’ve never been there.
The lead characters in your previous book "Wherever he goes" coincidentally look like famous actors (Anna Kendrick and Joe Manganiello), did you base your new characters on any famous actors, or people you know, for your new book "All of Nothing"?
Actually, back in the day, I used to watch Days of Our Lives. When I pictured Jax, I pictured the actor that used to play Jack so long ago. Let me see if I can drudge up a picture of him. 😉 ———>
Where did you get your inspiration for "All of Nothing"?
I think I was just talking with a friend, and we came up with the “what if” scenario that makes the beginning scene. I’m a big brainstormer. I love talking plots and creating problems. I think about my plots well in advance, so I was puzzling out All of Nothing while I was writing Wherever He Goes. Just like now I have a book plotted out while I was writing All of Nothing. I like to think ahead. But nothing really “inspires” me, per se. I just loving thinking about internal conflict and how to tie that to a twisty plot.
Your followers on Facebook and Twitter have seen the memes you post about coffee and cats. What for you are other writer essentials? Lol
Music, probably. A decent block of time. But coffee is good. I’m going to make a cup right now. 😊
What will success look like to you when all is said and done?
A strong backlist. Readers who look forward to my stories. Maybe an RWA award. I may be an indie, but I still want that validation. 😊If you’re speaking in terms of $$$, it would be nice to write full-time. But even if I got to that point, I know it might not ever last. Such is the life of an artist.
Thank you for stopping by, Vania. I hope your sled-dogs are well rested for the trip back North. lol. I highly recommend you check out “ALL OF NOTHING” available now for your Kindle. Click the BUTTON!
Also, I highly recommend you check out Vania’s blog, which is far more informative and packed full of good stuff than mine is, and check her out on social media. Just click the buttons!