When did you start writing?
I have always loved to write — I used to write a lot of poetry and dabbled in writing short stories for course work in college and for fun. But I didn’t start seriously writing (as in, finishing a manuscript for a novel, and contemplating publication) until three years ago. I just decided I had to complete a novel, if only to prove I could. Since then, I’ve written 4 novels, and started another. My debut novel (my third manuscript) is CROWN OF ICE, a YA retelling of H. C. Andersen’s “The Snow Queen.” It will be published by Month9Books on Sept. 9th of this year.
Are you a pantser or a planner?
Definitely a planner. I create detailed outlines for all my books, and always know the ultimate end of the story, even with a series. I do allow myself the flexibility to make changes in the outline (and thus the plot) as the book develops, but the ultimate story arc generally stays the same.
Can you give us an idea of your writing process?
I usually develop an idea in my head for a while before doing research and jotting down general concepts. Then I create character profiles and a rather detailed outline. After that I dive into the first draft. I occasionally write scenes out of sequence, but generally write most of the book from start to finish. Then comes the editing! I usually edit a bit before handing over the manuscript to my wonderful critique partners (CPs) and beta readers. Using their advice, I revise/edit some more before sending off the MS to my agent. After that, usually a bit more revision, until we agree the book is ready to go on submission.
Which authors have influenced your work?
Too many to name. I am a voracious reader and I think every author I’ve read has influenced me a bit — showing me the best way (and sometimes the wrong way) to present concepts, plot, and characters. I really don’t think there is any author who has directly influenced me to the point where their style is evident in my work, but I may be wrong about that. I’m sure some reviewer will point it out if I am wrong!
What are you plans/future projects/new releases that we should be aware of?
My YA SciFi,, FACSIMILE, is out on submission right now. Hopefully it will find a publishing home soon. (It’s the first book in a trilogy, so once it’s picked up, I plan to write the other two books). While I wait for news on that book I’ve outlined a companion book to CROWN OF ICE and started writing a stand-alone YA Contemporary with a paranormal twist.
Any tips for new writers?
Persistence is key. Believe in yourself and your work. Be open to various avenues — if you’re seeking an agent, try contests as well as regular querying, for example. Consider submitting your work directly to reputable publishers too, if the agent quest doesn’t seem to be working. Even consider self-publishing if you really want to get your stories into readers’ hands and you aren’t having success with agents or publishers. (I’ve read some great self-pub. books lately!) The main thing is to present the best possible, most polished book that you can. That means taking your time, making sure your work is well-edited, using CPs and beta readers, and all the other methods to ensure your book is the best it can be. BELIEVE!
Any tips for old writers?
Hey, I’m a bit older than most… But seriously, I think the main thing is to write the stories you need to tell — the stories that come from your heart and soul. I know we all have to consider the market and all that, but there’s no value (in my mind) in just slogging through books we don’t truly want to write. I think that lack of passion comes across on the page. So — write the stories you want to tell, the stories only YOU can tell.
Connect with Vicki:
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