Thank you for taking the time to interview with us! Rebecca J. Vickery’s newest release is Surviving With Love. Her full length contemporary romance novel became available in e-book on May 1, 2009 and in print in June 2009!
GIVE ME ALL WEBSITES WHERE YOU CAN BE FOUND, WHERE YOUR BOOKS CAN BE PURCHASED, ETC. ANYTHING TO PROMOTE WHERE FOLKS CAN PURCHASE IT ONCE IT COMES OUT!
Home website: www.romancewithatwist.com (All of my ning sites are listed on the preferred links page here)
When/how did you know you wanted to write?
I’ve always loved to write stories, even in first grade. And I was a voracious reader. When I was about ten years old, I had read everything of interest in the school library. The librarian had just got her copy of Celia Garth by Gwen Bristow. Once she read it she loaned it to me. I was hooked. I wanted to write stories just like that. I flunked several English assignments after that because I wrote an adventurous sweet romance instead of the assigned work.
How long did it take you to become published?
For my first novel it took 10 years. I sent out my very first submission/query letter in 1998. I have had short stories and articles published before but Surviving is my first novel.
How long does it usually take for you to research a book?
Tough question. I don’t outline my story other than a broad idea of location and initial plot or characters. I stop all during my writing when there’s something I have to know and look it up. Many things I don’t have to research as I recall them from real life experiences or from reading about them at some point.
Write the book?
Surviving’s first draft took about a year to write. I was also working at the time. Then of course I had to edit and refine my research, do some re-writes and change some scenes around. That took probably another 6 months before I felt comfortable submitting it.
Is there any character in your books that you can really relate to?
All of my heroines have a bit of me in them. LOL I tend to write what or who I’m familiar with. At 23 to 25 years old, I was mouthy and very sure of myself like Stacey. And I’ve always talked to myself. Bad habit I know, but I’ve passed it on to several of my characters. My next heroine, Jessie, lives on coffee and would do anything to help a child...again like me. My heroes always seem to have characteristics I admired in my grandfather and one special uncle along with a few traits thrown in from my husband and son.
What advice do you give to those who are just starting out or trying to become published?
Don’t write strictly for the market. Write what you enjoy and your enthusiasm and inner happiness will show in your work. Do your homework on publishers and agents before submitting to them. Try not to get discouraged if it takes a while and keep writing.
Where do your story ideas come from?
I have a very vivid imagination and realistic dreams. Toss in a few real life experiences or a bit of what you hear on the news and you have a book. Do you use people you know as characters sometimes or even sometimes a certain event from real life happenings? Surviving With Love was actually born from a tiny snip of news I heard about the theft of some special bearer bonds. Later the same evening there was a plane crash and my “what if” game began. What if the thieves had been on that plane? What if they took hostages? What if they walked away from the crash into the wilderness? What if the only one able to find them was a female tracker? What if a tough hostage rescuer was called in? And on and on until I had a very long book just to answer all my own questions. LOL You can see the book video for it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZrvw76qjNo
You just recently were published. How does it make you feel?
Thankful and very blessed. And to have three coming out in the same year is beyond anything I had prayed for. It also feels like the long wait and all the hours on the computer were worth it to hear someone say they read and loved my book.
Getting back to your books coming out soon. Tell us a little about what to expect from them.
Looking Through The Mist is my next release and it will be out next month. It’s a psychic contemporary romance about a young woman who has visions of a child being kidnapped. When she goes to the police to report what she knows she meets a hunk of a detective who does not believe her at first. After a second child disappears they team up to try to find the missing kids. Here’s the link to the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oehCsQ0mb4 Then in October, Following Destiny will be released. In it a down-on-her-luck woman inherits a house and the worldly possessions of her grandmother who she never met. Among the possessions is an antique ring that proves to be very unusual. The ring allows Andrea to hear the voices of her ancestors. The local sheriff and a mutt named Heidi become an important part of the story when a serial killer begins to strike in their town. I also have two proposals already accepted to be released in early 2010 if I get them completed and they are up to par.
When and where can we purchase your books?
Surviving With Love is available now in e-book (multi-format) and also in print. The other two releases will be available at the same retailers when they come out.
Publisher: http://classactbooks.com/bkpgSurvivingwithLove.html (buy link and excerpt on site)
Other retailers are:
What are you reading right now?
Actually I’m writing right now. This is another book I have a proposal out on and I have to get it finished in case the publisher actually accepts it. But I just finished Said The Spider To The Fly by Miss Mae. I loved it and would highly recommend it. My to-be-read list is incredibly long. I hardly have time to breathe between writing, editing, and promoting. So regrettably reading has to take a back seat for now. And I do have a family (though they think I’ve abandoned them) and real life stuff that requires some of my time.
Are there any authors (living or dead) that you would name as influences?
That would definitely be Kay Hooper and she is very much alive. Her mixing of suspense and romance is awe-inspiring. I love her psychic crime series and I’ve learned a lot from her writing and the advice she posts on her website for new authors.
What was the book that most influenced your life — and why?
That would be the Bible. The history and completeness of it and it is filled with romance, war, joy, love, happiness, tragedy...all the things that we as writers would hope to convey. I’m also a believer and was taught early on to respect the principles it contains.
If you had a book club, what would it be reading — and why?
That would be Surviving With Love, of course. LOL Because I think everyone should read it.
What are your favorite books to give — and get — as gifts?
I love to receive any books. Especially autographed romances. I think my books are going to become my favorite ones to give as gifts. Before now I liked to give clean joke books or something like Jeff Foxworthy’s You Might be a Redneck if...something to make people smile and feel good.
Give us three "Good to Know" facts about you.
My very first job was helping my uncle cut grass when I became big enough to push the mower. I could hardly see over the handles, but I shoved and pulled and worked at it. He actually paid me and then took me to the store to spend the money I earned. Sure made that snow cone taste good to buy it with money I worked for. LOL
Not many people know that I picked my husband up at the Piedmont jockey lot. They didn’t call them flea markets back then. We’ve been married 34 years this month. I tell people he has lasted longer than anything else I ever picked up at the flea market, but he’s beginning to wear a bit around the edges. LOL
And that brings me to after we were married. During the first two years we moved seventeen times. It got so I didn’t even unpack the boxes and we practically lived out of our suitcases. I thought I had joined a band of gypsies. But you’ll be glad to know that now we’ve been in the same home for 27 years.
What else do you want your readers to know?
I love to go RVing at the beach and take long walks either at sunup or sundown or both. That is my best unwinding time. I enjoy my 3 grandchildren and love to take care of them. We all enjoy fishing and crabbing, reading, video games, swimming, and cooking out. I’m also an amateur artist and love sketching and painting. My dislikes are simple. I dislike rude and overbearing people. I dislike seeing animals mistreated. And I dislike that there are children who have to go without love. I want to adopt and hug them all, kids and animals.
What are your experiences with publishers and agents?
My experience with Class Act Books has been amazing. They are definitely number one in my book, no pun intended. LOL Dare I say they are a classy act??? I had a bad experience with a good agent. I was accepted by James Roush in England as a client. He had just worked up a proposal and my bio and all the things agents do when his health rapidly declined. He struggled on for a bit but finally had to retire. He encouraged me to keep going as he had faith in my writing. I searched for another agent for a while but then found out about e-publishers and decided to go it alone. I submitted to several and was finally contracted by a publisher who put my book on the back of a computer file and let it set for over a year. Then when pestered by ‘yours truly,’ she pulled it out of mothballs and supposedly edited it. Naturally by then it wasn’t very “contemporary” and re-writes had to be done. We played the stall game for a while with the book going back and forth over the net, but the final straw came when she lied to me about having sent it to an artist for cover work. Then she said the release date would have to be postponed a minimum of six more months. I lost all faith in the company and pulled the book. That book was Surviving With Love. Class Act Books graciously met my already promoted release date and were fantastic about it. I would recommend them to any romance writer seeking a home.
What will the role of the Internet play in the future of publishing?
Eventually the only places you will see hard copy books will be in collections, libraries, and museums. We’ll all carry our little, much improved e-readers around like they do on Star Trek. I believe the price of the e-readers will become very affordable and will be a must have item like cell phones and iPods. I think once that happens even the kids will use them for their texts at school.
What's your next project?
I just opened an e-store at CafePress with items carrying slogans and pics related to my books. The address is www.cafepress.com/rebeccajvickery if anyone wants to window shop. I have to finish Finding Treasure very quickly and then Healing Rain, and Seeking Shelter within a few months.
Why did you choose your genre?
I really think it chose me. LOL Contemporary romance with a twist of the paranormal, adventure, or suspense is how I describe what I write when asked. I definitely don’t see myself writing erotic scenes and having to explain ‘why’ to my mom or my grands some day soon. And the really sweet romance is too tame for my temperament. So my stories drift from fairly sweet to sensual. I leave some things to the imagination and close the bedroom door, so to speak. And love has played such an important part in my life I have to write romances with happy ever after endings.
Have you ever gotten to a point where a story wouldn't come? If so, how did you get back on track?
Ahhh, writer’s block. I think all writer’s have them. Editing the project will work sometimes...helps me get back into the feel of the story. I also find doing something physical like chasing grandchildren or playing with my poodle, Dixie, often relieves it. Long walks on the beach are a wonderful, but not always practical, cure as we live several hundred miles from it. And sometimes I just go on with another project and the muse will eventually hit me and drag me back to that original work.
What do you think is the most important characteristic of a prolific writer?
Being able to focus on the story while the phone rings, the TV plays, the grands yell and scream, the dog barks, hubby wants dinner, mom needs her sugar tested, and the stew boils over.
If you could choose one thing to be remembered by, what would it be?
That I always tried to help others when asked.
Some authors start out with a plot in mind, others with characters whom they’ll follow to reveal the theme. What works best for you and why?
I usually have a broad, general plot in mind and often a starting location, but I tend to let my characters change and grow as the story develops. But for the first time I have some secondary characters screaming at me for a sequel to tell their own stories and I don’t have the first one done yet. LOL Not sure how I’m going to handle that.
Do you use a pseudonym? More than one? Why?
No, but I have considered it. At times, especially on the internet with all the hackers and spammers, I wished I had. But I think the main reason I didn’t is that my grandfather always used to tell me to be proud of who I am and of my name. For some reason that seemed to apply in this instance so I used my real name.
Many writers have had success writing in different genres. Do you think it is difficult to switch over to another genre?
I haven’t actually tried it but I do switch back and forth from technical writing to fiction. It is a whole different ballgame. I can imagine that switching genres would feel similarly challenging to me. Not sure I’m ready for that yet.
When did you start writing?
I wrote my first published work when I was twelve. One of my teachers sent a poem I wrote to Highlights for Children Magazine and it was published. Every child in the class received a free copy of the magazine. I wish I still had mine. LOL But professionally I began technical writing in 1983 when I was employed by H & R Block.
Where did you receive your most valuable lessons in becoming a writer?
All the books I’ve consumed had to have helped. LOL English and Literature were my favorite subjects and I always exceeded the required curriculum, even in college classes. But the experience of providing writing on demand in a job situation was probably the best teacher. That and life experiences.
Do you belong to a critique group or have a critique partner? Which do you prefer?
I do have a new critique partner. As a matter of fact, so new we haven’t even worked on anything together yet. And the folks at our new Yahoo group, Sweet and Sensual Romances, are always willing to give me an opinion. I’ve never been part of a critique group so I can’t say about that. I think I would prefer one-on-one critique partnering though. I think a group would get confusing for me at this stage with too many ideas and opinions coming at me at once.
Would you recommend critique groups to other writers? If so, what elements, in your opinion, make a successful writer’s group?
I think every writer needs either a partner or group to provide honest, but constructive criticism of their work. And not relatives. They mean well but can seldom be honest. They either like everything or nit-pick your work to death. LOL I think the partner or group should want to be helpful, be available, and above all be supportive.
Do you ever look back and think, "I wish I had written this differently?"
Not yet, but I’m sure I will as time passes and I learn more. I’ll probably look back at these early works and ask why did I ever write that? LOL
Is writing your full time job or do you have another job also?
To borrow a phrase, “I wear many hats, depending on the day, the hour, and the need.” I am a tax preparer from January though April 15th. I do contract research projects and write a few articles plus do some bookkeeping. On top of that I have a hubby, my mom lives with us, and a two year old grandchild is staying with us for a while. I am definitely looking forward to and praying for the time when writing books can become my full-time occupation.
How long does it take you to complete a book, from the time the idea for the book is conceived, to when you submit it to your editor?
Another tough question. Surviving took a year and a half to submit to the first publisher. Looking was in the works over a period of 3 years, but not constantly being worked on as I took a 2 year hiatus from writing when my sister (and best friend, collaborator, and editor) died suddenly from deep vein thrombosis. Now, I often have more than one project going on at any given moment. I think the fastest I’ve completed a book is 6 months and that’s if I get Finding Treasure done soon. You have to understand, I don’t write shorts, I write full-length sagas. LOL So far I haven’t written a book under 80,000 words but I am struggling to end Finding Treasure at 55,000 – 60,000.
How important is it to attend writing conferences?
Other than for technical writing, I’ve never been to one. I would imagine if you want to get into the big NY publishing market, it would be very important. I do attend all of the workshops, seminars, and meetings that I can online. Networking is extremely important for promotion and for staying up on what’s happening in the world of books. I’ve made a lot of helpful online contacts over the past year, including you and everyone here, Margay. And we should never stop learning about our craft. I don’t hold with the opinion some authors get that they know it all.
Do you write more than one kind of book? Do you have a preference? Is one type of book easier to write than another?
I seem to always write contemporary and definitely happy ever after romances, but at times my work will include various types of paranormal elements (always in the gifts family such as psychics, mediums, healers, telepaths, etc) or adventure or suspense. Looking even has a murder in it as does Following Destiny. These are all elements my muse and I seem comfortable with and for now I think we’ll just hang out in this genre.
What kinds of books do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?
I love psychic contemporary romances with some mystery or suspense tossed in. Kay Hooper to the end. LOL
What do you do to unwind in your free time?
What is free time??? LOL I entered and won a writing contest, I blog and attend online chats, and I occasionally get to read other than to edit. My best unwind time is still getting away to the beach for a stay at the beachfront campground.
Surviving With Love
Rebecca J. Vickery
Sparks start flying when Stacey Parker meets ex-military, hostage-rescuer, Cord McConnell, and she begins to wonder if they will survive this assignment in the wilderness without killing each other.
Cord McConnell felt someone step from the woods. He wasn’t prepared for the sight of a young girl with a wild mane of strawberry blond curls who claimed to be his tracker. “I won’t wait on you if you fall behind and I don’t like whiners. I’m in charge and you do exactly as I say, regardless. Understand?”
“I won’t wait on you if you fall behind either, and whining is for dogs. You’re welcome to be in charge and I’ll follow orders when I agree with them,” She walked from the clearing without waiting to see if the man who sent her senses spinning would follow.
ISBN 978-1-935048-22-0 1-935048-22-8http://www.classactbooks.com/bkpgSurvivingwithlove.html
Thank you for visiting with us today, Rebecca. Good luck with the new release! ~ The Moonlighters