With twenty-one books out on Amazon, Smashwords, etc. some say I’m a prolific writer, but my books are the product of years of work. I honestly can’t remember a time when I wasn’t creating characters and scenes in my head, even if not on paper. And I’m a genre hopper. I write in everything from classic fantasy to thrillers, suspense, romance, and even horror. *grins* As V.J. Devereaux, I also write erotic romance.
Happily married, I’m companion to two dogs, four cats and an African clawed frog named Hopper.
What inspires you to write?
The story. Whatever comes to me. I was daydreaming one day and this scene from a fantasy story popped into my head – along with a voice saying ‘they’ll destroy her for what she is, and what she isn’t. For not being them…” Seventy two hours of writing later I had the bones of one of my epic fantasies written.
A statue called Night Descending inspired another story (a replica is on my writing desk), while a series was inspired by my love of ancient Egypt and her deities.
My old hometown inspired a series of romances, but the first was written about a trip I took to Great Britain by myself. *grins* Like the character, I have no sense of direction. The story is VERY loosely based on reality. Another romance was based on a job I had.
The horror novel was based on a nightmare, and a boss I once had.
The erotic romances? They’re just fun!
Tell us about your writing process.
Apply bottom to chair.
I’m a pantser – I write by the seat of my pants. The characters and the story tell me where they need to go. And they surprise me all the time. One character died, I cried even as I wrote the scene. No matter how much I wished it wasn’t true, it was true to the story.
People ask how I keep track of my characters, but I know them all as I know my friends. Jareth will always ask the hard questions, for instance.
The story will tell me whether I need to go back to do a second draft right away or to wait. There will be additional drafts. Nowadays I usually do at least two. My editors have taught me a lot, so I don’t make as many mistakes for them to correct, but I do use an editor.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
When I’m writing, I’m part of the action, so I’m experiencing everything the characters experience. It’s not so much listening as being a part of it. I only listen to them when I can’t figure out what it is that they want to do next.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write, and keep writing. Write the next book, and the next. Get better at writing. Write more.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I was traditionally published with a small press originally (erotic romance), but it wasn’t a good fit. For me it was like a round peg in a square hole – the editor I was assigned to had a different idea of how the story should go. (Including adding a scene I truly hated.) In the meantime I was trying to get my epic fantasies – my first love – published – only to be told that no one would publish an epic fantasy by a new writer. At about that time independent/self-publishing was just starting to take off. It was scary, though. To go the self-publishing route then meant not being considered for some of the various Association awards and the recognition of my peers. There was some negativity, too, comments about the lack of editing (I have an editor), poor quality covers (one of mine, self-made, had won an award), etc. A few self-published authors, though, had proven that you could hit the bestseller lists, and some of the Associations were starting to consider self-published writers. I knew there were risks, but I truly thought my books deserved to be read (and the reviews they get seem to agree) I self-published one of my epic fantasies, and never looked back.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Despite the cries of doom and gloom for the publishing industry, I don’t think it will go away. It will, however, evolve. Some authors have done well self-publishing in both e-book and print, another retained the e-book but contracted the print and movie rights. There are agents who are beginning to seek out good, self-published writers, but there are also self-published writers who won’t want to give up the agent’s commission or the publisher’s split.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
fantasy, thriller, suspense, action, adventure, historical fantasy, romance
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print