Victoria writes the cozy mystery series Citrus Beach Mysteries. The series is filled with small-town feeling and her character, Barney adds sweet humor. Romance is heating up in the tropics, too.
She also has a “clean Chic Lit” series (Sister Station), another cozy mystery series (Mrs. Avery’s Adventures) and a paranormal cozy mystery series (Storm Voices). Currently, she is working on a new paranormal cozy mystery series (Beach House Mysteries) and will be starting a cozy spy series in 2020 (A Spy in the Family).
Victoria can often be found writing from her south Florida home, looking into her garden, watching the birds and squirrels fight over their next meal, while she writes. Her two cats, Miss Marple and Fletch, often join her at the desk and each has their assigned spot. Victoria’s not sure they are there to supervise her writing or watch the birds.
Victoria and her husband of 35 years share a love of gardening, and together they have written a gardening handbook for Florida gardeners.
What inspires you to write?
Possibilities! There are so many things going on around us at all times, and the simple question of “what if” will start my thought process. If an everyday event can be created to be something extraordinary, the storylines can be endless. I write to get the stories out of my head and onto the page. I write to entertain my reader, maybe even getting them to ask “what if”.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m a plotter, but I’m not afraid to let the story stray from what I thought I wanted. I start with a general idea: the crime and then develope the characters and settings. I use Scrivener and Scrapple for this stage. Often these will lead to plot twists I hadn’t thought about. I have even completely changed an ending or two. I also plot because there are so many ideas in my head and it becomes a way of organization. I dictate the first draft of my book, then make basic corrections and add to Scrivener. Now I make any major adjustments needed and then run it through Grammarly before sending it off to the editor.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t talk to my character, I listen; I run conversations and plot points through my head. Using dictation, I think I get a good feel for the characters: who they are and how they react. I often base (loosely) my characters on people I’ve meet or characters I’ve seen on TV or the movies. I watch how they react to the things going on around them and develop the reactions into my character’s personalities. Since I write in series, I’m able to develop the characters more with each book, letting the readers get to know them as I do.
Who are your favorite authors?
Agatha Christy; one of my favorites is The Man in the Brown Suit
Nora Roberts: all of her mystery suspense and paranormal suspense.
There are so many great mystery writers out there, how can you pick a favorite?
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I am self-published. The biggest factor with this decision is about control. I love working with my cover artist and want to be able to have a say in anything that goes on my books. I also own a gardening business which makes my writing a seasonal occupation. When I’m not busy with gardening, I can write. I control my own deadlines, which means I don’t have to rush the story. I can also provide my editor, proofreaders and ARC team enough time to do their jobs. It gives me the creative freedom to take my series where I think they should go.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I truly believe we will always have a desire for stories. Just a few short decades ago, we had no idea about online publishing. Now audiobooks are becoming the rage. To me it’s not about the form in which you get the story, it’s about the story! Readers are generally adaptable, and in today’s fast pace, want to read when the desire hits. Some will only read print, others only e-formats, others audio. Many however will read in the easiest method available to them. As a writer, we need to be able to provide our readers with their books in the way they most want.
What genres do you write?
Cozy Mystery, Paranormal Cozy Mystery, Women’s Fiction
What formats are your books in?
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All information is provided by the author and is presented as it was submitted so you the reader get to hear the author’s own “voice” in their interview.