Well, I’m baa-ack. Fifteen minutes after rolling my suitcases inside, and I’m petting the affection starved cat while I type. I have an interview with Veronica Blade, author of Something Witchy This Way Comes, just waiting to for this opportunity. She’s been waiting long enough.
Take a peek at the stellar 5 star Amazon reviews for her book. Here’s the description, in case you didn’t read that far:
Brainiac Tessa McClean’s newly discovered magical powers give her an escape from her self-absorbed parents. But the thrill of being a witch fades when she learns of a rival coven and begins to suspect her own coven’s motives. Evidence tells Tessa to trust one side, but instinct drives her toward the other.
When the school’s scrumptious delinquent, Hayden Anders, offers Tessa self-defense lessons in exchange for tutoring, his timing couldn’t be better. Although hanging out with him is a necessary evil in Tessa’s fight to stay alive, resisting a bad-boy she secretly yearns for might be more than she can manage.
Together, Tessa and Hayden work to unravel the mysteries behind the two covens to discover why they’ll stop at nothing to lure Tessa to their side. She must form an alliance with one of the covens before it’s too late. But the wrong decision could cost Tessa the lives of all who she holds dear — including Hayden.
Ooh, tempting, right? But there’s more.
A modern-day fairy tale of a girl learning to control her wolf form while juggling school and getting ready for the royal ball. Her childhood friend longs to find the girl who captured his heart years ago, but he’s not looking for the foot that fits into a glass slipper — he’s looking for the teeth that fit the bite marks on his shoulder.
Only a few werewolves have fought against their killing instincts and the mores of their social order. They learned to live with their fate or they fled and became the hunted.
Desertion is considered the ultimate crime. No one stays hidden for long, because the king’s scouts never fail.
But I can’t do what they’ve commanded.
And when darkness falls, they’ll notice I’m gone.
Then I will become one of the hunted.
With such prolific artistry in mind, let’s find out more about the artist. My questions are in black or white, which changes according to my blog background. Veronica’s answers are in living color.
Why did you start writing?
When I was in elementary school, we were required to read a book, then write a book report. But they didn’t assign any particular book, which gave me freedom to pick any one I liked. Instead of taking the time to read, I used to make up stories. I almost always got an A. Back then, making up a story and writing was a “necessity” in order to avoid reading an entire book, but I got good at creating stories and grew to love the process.
What motivates you to keep writing when life gets tough and in this tough market?
The praise I get for my work – the enthusiastic 4 and 5 star reviews. Sure, I want to make money, so that I can justify all the time I spend writing. But it’s really about the story and watching the readers’ reactions. It makes my day when I get a FaceBook message late at night because the reader loved the book so much that they couldn’t wait until morning to tell me. I just can’t think of many things better than that. I couldn’t stop, even if I never made a dime.
What most influenced you to write in this genre (one particular author or many)?
When I began writing, it was all about vampire stuff for grownups, because that’s what I loved. Then I read Twilight. Before that, I’d never read YA. I didn’t even know it existed – and I went NUTS for it! What I love about YA is that the characters aren’t usually dealing with raising children, mortgages, job pressures, and extra baggage from divorce, etc. Instead, teenagers are on the edge of the adult world about to jump in, with so many new experiences ahead of them. It’s exciting!!
Please tell about your WIPs, at least genre and age group, even if the rest is hush-hush.
I recently finished up a novella, A Bite’s Tale: A Furry Fable, which is a Cinderella spin with werewolves and vampires. YA of course. It will be released at the end of November 2011. In December 2011, the prequel to my shape shifter series releases. Again, YA. These two novellas are a little cleaner than Something Witchy This Way Comes. In fact, probably everything I do from here on out will probably be cleaner. I was in quite the mood when I wrote Something Witchy 🙂
Are you an outliner or a pantser and why?
Both, depending on my mood. I do need some sort of direction when I begin a book, so I know where I’m going to take it. But if I plan too much, the writing becomes boring for me, because I already know what’s going to happen. For me, the fun is in the surprise, when even I don’t know what’s going to happen. I especially love it when the characters take over and hijack me and write their own story. Ah, that’s when the ride gets good!
How do you edit, a local critique group, online partners, beta readers, pro, etc.?
My first readers are my sister-in-law and my ex-employee. They catch the worst of the story holes before I send it to my harsher beta readers. Once they’ve ripped it up, I put it back together and I move on to critique partners who (now that they’re not being weighed down by story line issues), make sure the vital story elements are present and that the characters are properly fleshed out. For Something Witchy, I also hired an editor as the last stop.
What are the top three reasons you decided to publish as an indie?
I went with an indie press. For one, it was easier to get my work in front of them without an agent. I also knew that I’d see the fruits of my labor sooner than the 1.5 to 2 years that it normally takes a book to reach the bookshelves. And I figured I’d have more input on book covers and book titles. At some point, I may go with a bigger publishing house. But it’ll be because I got a big enough advance to ease my pain over any title changes or bad covers 🙂
Is there a message in this book for your readers or is it just meant to entertain?
I think many artists aspire to change the world with their art. Would I like to do that? Of course! But I’m careful not to come across as though I’m preaching, because I think young adults can sniff that kind of thing out pretty quick. I’m pretty subtle with my messages… My characters royally screw up, then conduct themselves with honor and integrity as they do the right thing and fix the situation. Sometimes it’s not a matter of messing up, but being faced with important choices – ones that will leave the character with his soul intact or another path which may offer immediate gratification, but might risk one’s long-term happiness. My characters may not always do everything right, but by the end of the book, they’ve grown as a person. I think leading by example is a little more effective.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers/authors?
Be patient! Pay attention and listen to the feedback you get. A lot of advice may be garbage, so you’ll have to weed through it. I found contests to be incredibly helpful. Judges feedback can vary widely (and some are downright spiteful), but when your manuscript is ready, you’ll know because it will start placing.
Last but not least, here are Veronica’s links:
www.VeronicaBlade.com (Clean Teen) & www.DelilahSloan.com (Adult & Edgier YA)
Set Up For Love anthology available NOW
Something Witchy This Way Comes available NOW
What are you waiting for? Go read some samples and buy the books!