Friday, June 1, 2012

Q&A with Author Tina Vaughn

Tina Vaughn
All of us here at The Hot Pink Typwriter are thrilled to launch our blog with an interview with our very own Tina Vaughn. Tina's debut novella, No Sweeter Love, is a small-town reunion story and a guaranteed charmer. So please pour yourself some bubbly, grab a chocolate-dipped strawberry and welcome Tina to the hot seat!

Q: It's so exciting to launch our blog with a Q&A with one of our own! Tina, huge congratulations to you on the release of your first book! Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Thank you so much. No Sweeter Love is a reunion romance with a small-town setting. In No Sweeter Love, a wealthy doctor returns home after the death of his father, fills a temporary vacancy at a small-town medical practice and reunites with his former lover, a foster child turned police officer who's sworn off love.

Q: As any writer knows, the journey to publication involves lots of ups and downs. What was your journey like? 

I started writing romance in late 2009. I completed my first manuscript in early 2010 and wasn't sure what to do with it. I joined Romance Writers of America and entered a contest with Georgia Romance Writers. After a few months, I found out I was a finalist. When I attended the conference, I pitched the idea to an editor. That manuscript is still with the editor. In the meantime, I'd started a novella. I was very interested in finding a home with an established e-publisher. When Passionate Reads hosted a contest featuring editor Grace Bradley of Ellora's Cave, I entered. No one was more shocked than I when I was named a finalist. I didn't win, but Grace requested the manuscript. I submitted in December, was contracted in January and published in May. It's been a whirlwind experience and sometimes I still can't believe this is real.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your writing process?  

I start with the characters...always. I write from the first time they meet or from the first time my hero and heroine realize they are attracted to each other. (This might not be the inciting incident, and I know that some of what I'm writing may never end up in the manuscript, but this helps me get a better understanding of characters' voices, goals, motivations, conflicts, etc.)

After that I write a log line, back-of-the-book blurb and a rough one-page synopsis that includes the plot points: the set up, a turning point, the midpoint, the second turning point, the black moment and the resolution.

Despite my love of words, I'm also a visual learner. I use the backs of pages from my very large desk calendar to develop a table/chart that includes these plot points. To these, I add the characters' conflicts (internal, external) with a brief note regarding how those conflicts manifest themselves at each plot point.

I like this method, because while it's a good month's worth of work for me up front, I believe it saves me from a lot of other struggles, including (but not limited to) writer's block, sagging middles, etc.

Q: How do you deal with writer's block? 

So far, that's something I've not experienced. I don't do a detailed plot, but I believe the outline and the time I've spent getting to know my characters “up front” helps. I'm also a scene-hopper, so if I feel that I'm losing direction or focus in one part of the book I simply jump to another.

Q: What inspires you? 

Everything. Songs, articles, scenery, my friends and family. I think being able to find a story in even the smallest of ideas or moments is a necessity for a writer. 

Q: Do you have any quirky writing rituals? (ie., favorite food or drink, music) 

I usually have a “theme song” for each manuscript. I'll often listen to that song multiple times daily as inspiration. Coffee is a must for me. If I'm writing, then I'm usually drinking a cup (or, more accurately, pot) of coffee.

Q: Can you tell us about your next book or your current WIP? 

I'm finishing up Jolene's story now. Jolene is Emily's best friend in No Sweeter Love. Here's a snippet from Jolene's POV:

“She just needed a moment to gather her thoughts, to reconcile what she'd been expecting with what she'd actually found. Kinda like one of those poor contestants on Let's Make a Deal who'd hoped for a car, opened the door and found a year's supply of processed cheese spread instead.”

Thanks for sharing with us, Tina! 

No Sweeter Love is published by Ellora's Cave and is available now.
Amazon || BN  


  1. Hey Tina and all you amazing gals...

    I love the blog....Can't wait to read Jolene's story Tina....

  2. Great looking blog. Wishing each of you the best of luck and awesome success!

  3. Tina, great interview. Found your writing process interesting. A lot like mine. *G* Thanks for sharing.

  4. I love that each book has a theme song :) Great interview, Tina!!

  5. Excellent interview, Tina! I'm a total pantser, but I do a brief GMC sheet for each book. Best of luck!

  6. I'm going to try that conflict-at-each-plot-point trick with my next storyboard! I usually not the scene conflict and pivotal scenes to the overall conflict, but I think I'd like to have the step by step of the big conflict down on paper too. Great idea!