Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Q&A with Vicki V. Lucas, Author of TOXIC

Vicki V. Lucas Answers Questions About Her Books and Writing

I got together with author Vicki V. Lucas and asked her some questions regarding her books, inspiration, and projects she's working on.  Here is our question and answer session!!

What inspired you to write your first book?

I wanted to buy a book for my nephew’s birthday. He was getting to the age where I felt like I could really start sharing the great books with him. But when I was in the secular bookstore, I was shocked at the choices. Most were witchcraft, intense romance, or books only for girls. I went to the small Bible bookstore in their town, but I was told that they didn’t sell books for teens. That’s when I decided that we needed more books for teens that show God’s truths while giving the teens a great adventure to read.

What books have most influenced your life most?

Oh, that’s such a hard question. I have to start with the Bible, don’t I? J Of course, the Chronicles of Narnia – they didn’t make me feel like I wanted to become a writer, but they showed me how a book can be so much more than just a story. The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas. Hinds’ Feet for High Places. The Lord of the Rings. I could go on and on. That’s one thing that I love about books. One book leads you to another. Then that one leads you to something different. After many years, you look back and can sum up your life by what you were reading at that time.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I’ve found you can learn from anyone if you are willing. In secular fiction, I love the writing style of Jodi Picoult although I sometimes don’t like her topics. I love Thomas Costain, J.R.R. Tolkien, Ann McCaffery, Sharon Kay Penman, Lee Child, John Grisham, Christopher Paolini, and a few more. In the Christian world, I love Ted Dekker, Frank Peretti, and a few others. I like to read, if you can’t tell!

Finally, I have to thank my Mom. She has been an author all my life, so when I began, she was amazing at teaching me so much! I couldn’t have done it without her!

What book are you reading now?

I am reading a book called “The Knife of Never Letting Go.” It has a fascinating writing style.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Absolutely! Patrick Ness is the author of the book I’m reading, and his style is interesting. Since I also self-publish, I read a lot of books from Indie authors, and it’s exciting to see the creativity and passion in their books.

What are your current projects?

Right now I’m in the process of finishing the sequel to Toxic named Rancid. I’m on the second round of edits. I normally do three rounds, if not more, so it’s almost done. I’ve also started writing my third book. I’m keeping that a BIG secret though because it’s rather exciting! All I can tell you is that it’s not of the Toxic series, and it takes place in this world. Does that make you curious?  

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Man. For Rancid, I would’ve cracked the whip and got it done faster. For Toxic, I don’t know. Writers are like artists, and I believe that as both practice, they become better. I think I could write Toxic better now. I’ve learned a lot about writing in the last year, but I’m very happy with it.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Making the time! I have little problems with writer’s block. Even if I procrastinate, it’s because I’m tired or distracted. I have over eight series and a few books that aren’t part of a series planned, but there’s little time in the day. 

Who designed the covers?

I’ve contracted a lady to do my work to save me time. Do you want her name? ;)

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

To write a book, you must sit down and write. It’s not a communicative process. And when it’s your first one, you stare at the scene and wonder if you’ve got what it takes. Am I any good? Will anyone want to read it when I’m done? Have I lost my mind? If I have, should it  bother me that I don’t want it back? How do I even start? But once you get going, you gain confidence!

Did you learn anything from writing your book (about yourself, the overall writing process, publishing, etc.) and what was it?

Criticism is hard to take! I am so thankful for every piece of constructive criticism I’ve received, but it still tastes nasty when it goes down! I didn’t think I’d like writing as much as I do.  I’m surprised that the editing and rewriting takes longer than the first draft, and I’ve learned that this is the best career in the world.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Go for it! And don’t get discouraged! We have so many venues right now and so many options. You don’t have to wait for a publisher if you don’t want to. Also, we always feel like we are in competition with each other, but there’s a much sweeter fellowship waiting when you make friends with other writers.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you! I appreciate everyone who has read Toxic, and I truly hope you like it. There are MANY exciting things coming up as soon as I can, and I’m working as fast as I can to get you the next book!

As a reminder, TOXIC can be purchased via Amazon.com!  Please post a review to support Vicki and other independently published authors as well!!

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