I promised a second interview this week (after being distracted by life and missing last week) and here it is. Veronica Randolph Batterson, author of the juvenile fiction book ‘Billy’s First Dance’ is originally from Tennessee but now lives in the Windy City.
Veronica has several books either already published or in the works. Aside from ‘Billy’s First Dance’, she authored a short story, ‘Remembering Carlotta’ among other works.
IDI – Veronica, you have several books to your credit, but what are you working on now?
VB – Right now, I’m in the final proof stage of my next juvenile fiction book, ‘Funny Pages’. it’s about to be sent to the publisher and should be available by the end of the year. I’m rather superstitious about giving excerpts prior to publishing (I won’t walk under ladders either and I don’t like it when a black cat crosses my path), but I will say it is about a young girl growing up with her grandfather, who is a retired cartoonist. I am traveling to New Mexico soon to begin research for my third book.
IDI – Everyone has their own way of ‘beginning’ the process of writing a book. What’s yours?
VB – When writing, I always try to develop a rough outline first. It’s very rough, though, just to give myself a little direction. When the writing process begins, characters and plot develop as you go along. That’s part of the creative process and outlines do change sometimes.
IDI – Describe your most productive/inspiring setting.
VB – My most productive and inspiring time to write is in the morning using my computer. I have to be alone and I can’t have any distractions. Sometimes, I’ll listen to music as I write, but it has to be something mild and soothing (sometimes classical but always instrumental). It’s distracting to hear lyrics when I write.
IDI – What advice would you give to anyone new to the business of writing?
VB – My advice would be to keep your chin up and write for yourself. Never take rejection personally. Keep your mind open to advice and constructive criticism, but follow your own muse.
IDI – And what was the best advice that was ever given to you, and by whom?
VB – The best advice I got actually came from a book. In his memoir, ‘On Writing’, Stephen King said writers should “lose the adverbs”. He’s right. if you write well, adverbs are unnecessary words.
VB – Right now, I write juvenile fiction. but, I love to read historical fiction. I do have ideas for other genres and have even started writing some of them. I have a mainstream novel started and ideas for a biography and a couple of plays.
IDI – What do you do when you’re not writing?
VB – When I’m not writing, I enjoy photography and being the proud pet owner of my golden retriever, Lily. I also enjoy going to the theater with my husband, visiting museums, antique stores and going horseback riding.
IDI – Your interests are quite similar to mine! When you read another writer, are you able to just read and enjoy or do you find yourself critiquing as you go. If so, what is the one mistake you most often find?
VB – Unfortunately, I critique. I can’t help it. It’s my proofreader background I suppose. Typos top the list of the things I find most in a book. Writers should proof and edit until ‘the cows come home’. It will pay off in the end and will look much more professional.
IDI – What do you find to be the hardest aspect of writing?
VB – The hardest part of writing for me is the marketing aspect. I just want to write. but, authors now need to be active with social media to get word out about their work. I promote on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Jacketflap and Shewrites. I’m told I need to start a blog and I suppose I will eventually. Plus, I’m constantly contacting/visiting bookstores to push my book. It’s tough to balance all of it, while actually doing what you love.
IDI – Define a great book.
VB – In my opinion, a great book is one that hooks you from the beginning and holds you until the last page. You don’t wish to put it down. You can laugh, y ou can cry and you can feel the words in your heart; and when you finish there is a sense of fulfillment, yet sadness, because the words have come to an end.
IDI – I couldn’t agree more!
I would like to thank Veronica for joining me on Ink Drop Interviews and for sharing her week with Doug Dorow. If you would like to contact Veronica or purchase her books, please follow the links provided below.
Interviews are conducted by Kathy Reinhart, author of 3 novels. Most recent works (‘Missouri in a Suitcase’ & ‘Lily White Lies’) can be sampled/purchased at Smashwords, Amazon/Kindle, B&N and many other online shops.
If you are a published author and looking for exposure, why not consider appearing on Ink Drop Interviews. Feel free to browse through the archives and if it’s something you’d like to do, contact me at ladybuggerly at hotmail dot com.
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Next week, join me for an interview with Patrick Martin