Please help me welcome Viola Grace to XtraOrdinary Romance. She is a multi-published author and very talented who has a lot of interesting information to share.
At what age did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
9 or so. I wrote a short story for Christmas and got to read it on CBC radio.
What has been your biggest influence on becoming a writer?
The works of Anne McCaffery, Jayne Krentz (in all her incarnations), and David Eddings.
How did you feel when you got your first publishing contract?
Confused. I wasn’t sure that I was accepted for a while and had to send an email back to the EIC at the time. Then I squealed and flapped my hands in the air.
How many novellas/novels have you published to date? When did you have your first sale?
As of today, it is 43 novellas and 2 novels.
Tell me about your latest release. Please include if it is part of a series or a stand alone book.
Today is the release date of Hotel Spectre. The first Novella in the Nexus universe started in Gnomes of Suburbia. Sophie is a half-elf and she has been invited to the Half-Blood Ball at the Hotel Spectre and also invited to stay until she can get a handle on her magical talent. Raffin is her mentor and when he finds out the depths of her talent he is a little shocked. They play games of control to find out who is the stronger, and on the way they foil an attempt to stamp out the half-bloods that are all under the same roof.
What was your inspiration for this book?
The cover art was created by Martine Jardin and I based the story around the picture.
How do you categorize yourself: pantser or plotter?
Pantser. Definitely. But, I can weave bullshit into fine cotton, so no problems there.
How do you handle the editing/revision process?
I curl into a tight ball and open the file. Then I bite my lip and run through the entire manuscript in one sweep. Most of my issues are punctuation and tenses, so they are relatively easy fixes.
You’re received some fantastic reviews...how do you feel about them and why?
I love a good review, but it is the mediocre ones that hold my attention. Sometimes I get a reviewer who can see what I was thinking when I was writing…it’s kinda cool. And my favourites are the ones who give me a middle of the road review, but then state that they have to keep reading my work. I just howl at those.
Did anything odd happen while you were researching this story?
With all the talk of Halloween, I got a craving for pumpkin pie. Or cake, or whatever. I also learned that there is an elf for every occasion. …hey, there’s a title “An Elf for Every Occasion”. See how my brain works. :-)
What is the biggest piece of your advice you can give a beginning writer?
Park your ego at the door and take what advice is offered. Starting out is when you are most insecure, so just keep writing until you have a body of work that tells you if you are meant for the genre you have chosen. I wanted to be serious, and yet here I am writing romantic and erotic comedy. Go figure.
Is humor important in today’s women’s fiction?
I certainly think so, but then that is my primary means of expression. Life nowadays is a little too serious, I like to shake that up and make the reader crack a smile or laugh out loud.
What’s the easiest book you’ve ever written? The hardest? The most fun?
The easiest was Haldis Imperium, it was the story that I had in mind when I started the Champions of Terra. The hardest book was Wardstone, the madness depicted was drawn from real life which was a little disturbing at the time. The most fun would have to be Hael’s Fury. Dragons in space, how cool is that?
What do you consider the elements of a great romance?
A love that takes on all the senses, smell, touch, taste, sight, sound and emotion. If you can combine all of these, you have something fantastic, whatever the genre.
What’s your biggest reward in being a writer?
Fan mail. I love hearing about people who enjoy my work. It makes going through tough storylines and harsh reviews sting a little less. It also keeps me going. I keep all fan emails for those days I just can’t figure out why I am sitting at a computer and they get me through it.
Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
Viola’s Bio: Viola Grace was born in Manitoba, Canada where she still resides today. She really likes it there. She has no pets and can barely keep sea monkeys alive for a reasonable amount of time. Her line of day job tends to be analytical which leaves her mind hopping to weave stories. No co-worker is safe from her character analysis.
In keeping with busy hands are happy hands, her hobbies have included cross-stitch, needlepoint, quilting, costuming, cake decorating, baking, cooking, metal work, beading, sculpting, painting, doll making, henna tattoos, chain mail, and a few others that have been forgotten. It is quite often that these hobbies make their way into her tales.
Viola’s fetishes include boots and corsetry, and her greatest weakness is her uncontrollable blush.
Her writing actively pursues the Happily Ever After that so rarely occurs in nature. It is an admirable thing and something that we should all strive for. To find one that we truly like, as well as love.
She is quite happy with her genetic heritage, a brilliant mind, with a twisted sense of humor.
Thanks for taking part in my 2 for Thursday promotion, Viola. I hope everyone enjoyed her words as much as I do!