Thursday, March 22, 2012

Interview with Virginia Smith, fun contest, and giveaway



Why do you write the kind of books you do?

I love to read entertain stories with strong characters who grown and change
and learn. To me, writing is like taking reading to a deeper level. A writer
lives in a story world for months, not just for the few hours it takes to read a
book. So if I’m going to live there for a few months, I want it to be someplace I
enjoy, with people I care about. Those are the kind of books I write.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your
life?

I think it was the day I married my wonderful husband, Ted. We’d both had
painful relationships in the past, so we knew how rare it is to find someone
with whom to share a deep, abiding love based on respect and genuine
enjoyment of each other. That was twenty-one years ago!

How has being published changed your life?

With my first book contract, I did what everyone says not to do: I quit my day
job. I became a full-time writer instead of a corporate director, and that was
a huge change! I’d managed a staff of 60 or so people for years, and suddenly
the only person I had to ‘manage’ was my husband – and he completely resisted
being managed!

Beyond that, being published has changed my perspective of the business.

Before, I had a kind of misty-eyed view of what a writer does. Now, I am so
much more aware of the intricacies of the publishing industry, and of all the
structure and procedures and decisions that go into producing a book. There’s
still that mystique of writing a story, but that’s only a small part of the job. I
didn’t realize that before.

What are you reading right now?

I’m reading a fantasy novel called Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day
George. She’s an awesome writer who takes fairy tales and puts a unique spin
on them, and tells a compelling new tale.

What is your current work in progress?

I’m working on Unleashed, the third book in the Falsely Accused suspense
series. Book one, Dangerous Impostor, came out last month, and the second
in the series, Bullseye, comes out this fall. So I’m trying to hurry and get this
third one finished so there won’t be too big a gap between them!

What would be your dream vacation?

My husband and I are talking about that right now, in fact. We’re considering
a long trip to Great Britain. We want to visit Dublin again, and Edinburgh
Scotland, and then go up into the Highlands. And we want to ride motorcycles
around the Isle of Man.

How do you choose your settings for each book?

I pick a place I want to visit! I can write a book far more vividly if I’ve been
there, so I love doing the research. When I wrote Into the Deep, for instance, I
set it in Key West, Florida and Cozumel, Mexico. Now that was a fun research
trip!

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who
would it be and why?

This probably isn’t the kind of answer you’re looking for, but it would be my
Aunt Patti. She’s an awesome woman who I admire more than I can say, and we
go far too long without seeing each other.

What three things about you would surprise readers?

(1) I’m a huge science fiction/fantasy fan.
(2) I have never watched a single episode of Survivor – any season – or American
Idol.
(3) I’m an introvert, by the classic definition. Because I’m an energetic
presenter, and a pretty lively person, everyone assumes I’m an extrovert. But I
recharge my batteries by being alone.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

Motorcycle riding. I’ve ridden on the back of my husband’s bike for years, but
I got my license last October so now I can ride my own. I love scuba diving. And
recently I taught myself how to crochet. I’m lousy at it, but I’m enjoying it.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

I have a hard time forcing myself to get started. When it’s time to sit down and
get to work, I find myself distracted by everything – laundry, email, whatever! I
have to make myself sit in the chair and put my hands on the keyboard. Once I
begin, I get drawn into the story.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?

Plug yourself into the writing community. Don’t try to write in a vacuum. Join
a critique group, or an online writing organization, go to conferences, take
writing courses. I think God created us to be part of a community, to help each
other.

Tell us about the book.

The Heart’s Frontier is my 17th novel. I co-authored the book with the amazing
Lori Copeland, who has written westerns many times, but this is my first
historical. I loved it! The research was so much fun! Here’s a blurb from the
back cover:

A lot can happen on a week-long cattle drive. Kansas 1881 - Halfway through a six-day
journey to visit relatives, Emma Switzer's Amish family is robbed of all their possessions,
leaving them destitute and stranded on the prairie. Walking to the nearest trading
settlement, they pray to the Lord for someone to help. When a dusty cowboy lands in the
street at her feet, Emma looks down at him and thinks, "The Lord might have cleaned
him up first." ... Plain and rugged -- do the two mix? And what happens when a dedicated
Amish woman and a stubborn trail boss prove to be each other's match?

What do you want readers to take away from the book?

Sometimes God’s plans aren’t ours, and sometimes accepting the life He has in
mind for us involves some tough decisions. But His plans for us are always good,
always better than our own.

What one question would you like us to ask your readers? Tell us about the giveaway you’re offering.

Lori and I are running a fun contest to name the cow that appears on the
cover of The Heart’s Frontier. We’re looking for fun, cute, creative names
for that adorable cow! The winner will receive one of those delicious edible
fruit bouquets. For details, check out this page of my website: http://
www.virginiasmith.org/readers.html

2 comments:

Rina said...

What a fun interview. Virginia Smith is a new author to me, she sounds like a very fun lady! And the book sounds quite interesting as well. Just requested it from the library. :-)

Vera said...

I also read and reviewed The Heart's Frontier and loved it. I hope I'll get the do the same with more of this author's books.

Vera
http://ChatWithVera.blogspot.com