About Us: Victoria James
Hi and welcome! This is the first in a series of about us interviews-featuring us! Pull up a chair, grab a mug of coffee and get to know each of us a little better. Every week one of The Hot Pink ladies will be posting their own interview.
I'm up first, so here we go!
How and why did you get involved with The Hot Pink Typewriter?
Well, some awesome ladies (Natalie and Olivia) asked me! I absolutely loved the idea of being part of a blog with different authors, writing different sub-genres for various publishers. It's also a great way to stay motivated and connected, and root each other on.
What sub-genre of romance do you write and why?
Contemporary series romance. I love reading series...so the next step seemed to be writing series. I love that the story has to be tight and that the romance takes center stage. With shorter word count, series books have to deliver a heck of a lot of emotional impact without sacrificing any of the romance. I guess I love a challenge ;-)
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? What prompted this interest?
Yes! I still remember telling my doctor when I was seven that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up! I loved reading from a very young age. I think it may have been my childhood obsession with Little House on the Prairie and wanting to be like Laura Ingalls Wilder, LOL. Not joking :-) I was also an avid reader and would devour all sorts of books.
Did contests play a role in your writing journey? If so, in what ways did you find them beneficial? And what if any were the drawbacks?
I did enter a few contests and I have mixed feelings about them. I think they're great opportunities to get your writing in front of editors, for sure. But I also think you have to be careful about the types of contests you enter. I think it can be very easy to get caught up in what some of the judges have to say about your writing, and you can waste so much time on interpreting their comments. I read a quote by Diana Palmer once and it was something like 'don't ever give your writing to someone who isn't in a position to buy it.' I really think this can apply to certain contests...be really careful who the judges are before you go investing too much into what they think. I think the best contests are those where the judges are editors. Hands down.
What point are you currently at in your writing journey?
A very exciting one! This last year I sold my first book to Entangled Publishing's Indulgence line. And shortly after sold two more to them. I'm living the beginning of my writing dream. It's been a thrilling ride so far, and I feel so fortunate to be with such an awesome publisher.
Describe what makes a perfect hero for you. And what makes a perfect heroine?
Hero-I write alpha's I've been told :-) Funny, because I never really view a lot of my heroes that way-and I think maybe that's because of my heroines. She's usually a force to be reckoned with and can balance out that alpha. I love writing about people who have really had to deal with some sort of pain and really strive to come to terms with their pasts and move forward. Heroes/Heroines who are self-made, witty, smart, successful-and of course, flawed-are perfect to me :-)
What does HEA mean to you?
I think I make my hero and heroine really work for their HEA. So, after they've had to grow emotionally, having any kind of HEA where they've been able to work past their demons in order to be together, is a HEA for me.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Everywhere! Really, people in line at the grocery store, in the waiting room at the doctor's office, stories in the news...anything that makes me stop and think...wonder what that person's life must be like.
Name your five favourite movies/books, or those that have influenced you the most and how.
- The Pursuit of Happiness-I LOVE this movie and the message of never giving up. I'm in awe of Chris Gardner because all the events that were thrown at him would have made it so easy for him to give up. It makes me feel horrible to complain about being too tired to write! Or silly for ever complaining about a rejection letter. It's a great movie if you're feeling low and need that kick in the pants!
- The Bell Jar-Sylvia Plath-so this was a required English Lit read in University but it had such an impact on me as an observer of people and propelled me to be a more analytical person. It also took a huge emotional toll on me and really spoke to me at that time in my life. So much so, that I couldn't open it again. I have it sitting on a shelf and I refuse to re-read it. How's that for impact?
- Almost Heaven-by Judith McNaught. This was the first romance novel I ever read. It's a historical romance, but what hooked me were the characters. I then proceeded to read everything else Judith McNaught had written, and am a true fan of all her romantic fiction. I knew after reading her books that romance was the genre I wanted to write.
- Anne of Green Gables movies-I know, I know, I'm a total nerd. But I loved these movies...I loved Anne and thought she was such a great role model. She was smart, defiant, and gutsy. And she got her man in the end.
- Little House on the Prairie-I already admitted my nerdy tendencies didn't I? This TV series was my absolute favourite childhood show. I still watch the Christmas episode every year during the holidays! And then I became obsessed with the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder as well, and as I mentioned above, that inspired me to become a writer.
Tell us about your greatest writing challenges and how you work through them.
I think for me time is always a challenge. But this summer, I found that emotional issues are even harder to deal with than time restraints. I've always been able to go-go-go...and this summer dealing with family issues and kids, really snapped a lot of my mental energy. I struggled with “getting into the zone” like I never have before. This is something I'm really going to have to watch for as I move forward-I have deadlines and there will always be something that comes up in life that makes it challenging to get the writing done.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
“Some people dream of success, others accomplish it.” It wasn't exactly given to me as a piece of advice, but it's the quote on the coaster that's sitting on my desk. Usually it's covered up by a half-filled coffee mug, but every time I lift that cup, I'm reminded of why I should keep writing. That quote meant even more to me a little over a year ago, when I didn't have an agent, and their was no book sale in sight!
What are your hopes and aspirations for your career?
I hope that I can continue doing what I'm doing...that I'll keep growing as a writer, that people will love my books. Of course, when you love what you do, you do it with passion :-)
Thanks for reading!
Lots of love,