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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Interview of Author Victoria Pinder

Today it's my pleasure to present an interview of romance author Victoria Pinder.

Latest Book: Chaperoning Paris

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Besides Victoria Pinder’s full time job of teaching, in 2013 and 2014, she sold on her own sold books to three different publishers. The Zoastra Affair, Chaperoning Paris, Borrowing the Doctor, and Electing Love will be published from Soul mate Publishing. Mything the Throne will be published with Double Dragon Ebooks. Favorite Coffee, Favorite Crush will be published with Jupiter Press.

Now she is represented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency and she hopes to continue selling her novels that she writes. Moving up to the next level from hard work and determination is rewarding, and partnerships bring new opportunities.

Also she’s the Vice President of Programs for the Florida Romance Writers. She’s gone to multiple conferences and intends to continue. She learns and meets so many people at conferences. Her website is She is working hard on other projects and found the time to plan her wedding this year.

Q: How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
A: It’s my voice, my style of storytelling, and my belief systems that often make my choices for me. I write what I can write and what comes to me, and part of that is more wonder and real life. I heard about a vampire novel where Byron turned Charlotte Bronte and Jane Austen and Bronte is always wanting to kill Austen. It sounds fun, but the personality styles of the writers are there and I hope my own personality is obvious in the novels too. I can’t stop that part.

Q: Do you eat comfort food/listen to music when writing?
A: Lately yes. For my contemporary gothic romance that is with the agent, I listened to dark Celtic music, the Lord of the Rings soundtrack and instrumental stuff. It helps with the mood, and I closed all the curtains so I sat in the dark.

Q: How do you choose names for your characters?
A: Most of the time I have named the character almost immediately. I usually name the title of the book at that point John and Jane (Not that I ever wrote a John/Jane novel.) I can’t write a scene without having my characters. With Chaperoning Paris it was Sean because it’s an Irish name and he’s from an Irish family. Gigi came from the old musical that is set in Paris of 1900. Sean looks like Gerard Butler in my head. (Actually Gerard Butler is the mock up in my head of all the Collins looks.) I had nothing else but the names when I wrote.

Q: Covers. Ever get one you wish you could change?
A: For the Zoastra Affair, I worried a lot about the gun. Ariel never shoots anyone in the manuscript. Then for Chaperoning Paris, the girl is more a red head then dark haired. Otherwise, the picture is so beautiful. I always nitpick with this, but ultimately I prefer partnerships. The publisher should know best in some cases.

Q: Give one advice tip to an aspiring author.
A: Join a writers group in person. If you know other writers then it makes the writing journey so much better. No one else will understand. Make friends in the writing community.

Q: If you could give a younger version of yourself advice, what would it be?
A: You don’t have to be perfect to please your parents. It means in your twenties you’ll rebel when everyone else is settling down. Rebel as a teenager and stop trying to be good enough for them. I stayed so contained and so conservative, but I never spent the time to figure out what I wanted. Don’t do that. Live.

Q: What genre would you like to try writing that you haven’t yet tried?
A: Historicals. The first story I ever wrote to myself as a teenager was a regency inspired pirate story. Think Joanna Lindsey. I can’t write historicals as my voice is way too modern and I want my heroines to do more than go in search of a husband. I devoured regency books and worship Julia Quinn. But I can’t see myself at the moment taking up the challenge. Sometimes I think about it when I’m critiquing a friend’s work.

Q: Have you ever used an incident from your real life into one of your books?
A: Bits and pieces sure. Small insignificant incidents often inspire books. I took a tour of Paris, so the travel log is my own travel log. What to see and when. Or in Daniel’s upcoming story it’s a cruise. I’ve been on a cruise, so that helps. In my contemporary gothic romance set in Maine… I’m from Boston. I’ve been lost in the woods in Maine and spent a week at a house in the middle of no where. My childhood. But generally speaking I’m typing at this moment. So this experience will likely not spark my imagination.

Q: Any part of a book that drives you crazy as you write: beginning, middle, or end?
A: The middle. I can write a beginning without a plot and go for 10000 words. Who are the characters? What’s going on? I just need a situation then boom the story is born. And in romance, it’s going to be happy ever after. So I know where I’m going. But I have no plot.

After I stop on the frantic beginning, I stop, think, plot, then struggle the most with filling the rest in. Chaperoning Paris starts with Sean goes for justice then boom he runs right into Gigi, his ex-flame. He had no idea she was there. Gigi never expected the billionaire to show up at her school. That part is easy. Or in the Zoastra Affair, Ariel is set to steal Grace’s body and steal her life to win her own life back. But for books, after that initial boom, it’s all about plotting then following the plotline.

Q: How many stories are swirling around in your head? Do you keep a mental list, a computer file, or a spiral notebook filled with the ideas?
A: A computer file. I jot down the idea. And a mental list. I’m thinking dark atmosphere right now for a new contemporary… My handwriting is so horrible. If I wrote it down on paper, I’d not be able to read it. Chicken scratches.

Fun Stuff:
Q: What is your favorite holiday and why?
A: Christmas. As a child we get presents. We woke up Christmas morning and ripped open the paper to reveal what toy Santa brought. As a teenager, I became mom’s helper to surprise my sisters. And as an adult, it’s all about giving gifts to people because I care about them. What’s not to love about Christmas.

Q: What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
A: Sometimes the negative thoughts in my head over stupid petty stuff rears its ugly head and I listen to nonsense. I don’t understand why when I know that I’m making a bigger deal out of everything than it was meant. I’m so over sensitive.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: An astronaut, a lawyer, a reporter, and a CIA spy.

Q: Favorite food.
A: Pizza and cheeseburgers. Things I’m not eating due to to wedding dieting. However once every two weeks, we do get pizza. But I’ve not had a cheeseburger in months. I am craving one.

Q: Favorite happy memory.
A: Saying yes right now. The moment the almost husband asked, my heart raced. I’m so excited about our wedding in June.

Q: Favorite drink.
A: I drink water everyday, so by quantity my answer is water. However if I’m out with friends, I want a glass of white wine. I know boring.

Q: Hot summer days or chilly winter nights?
A: I live in Miami so I chose the Hot Summer Days a long time ago. Winter Nights immediately has me remembering my dad yelling at me to wake up and go shovel snow. So no thank you.

Q: What is the top thing on your bucket list?
A: Alaska visit or finally visit the Greek Isles that inspired so much of my dream states.

Q: If you could have a super power, what would it be?
A: I’d like the ability to freeze time and not get any older in the process. Or just to manipulate or bend time a bit. There is so much I want to do and never enough time to finish. I could do so much more if I controlled the clock. I’m not talking about time travel so much which would also be cool. I’m talking the simpler ability to freeze and restart time as I see fit.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
Upcoming releases in 2014 from:

Gigi Dumont never forgot how she actively participated in destroying her own life.

She’s a teacher whose led her students to an international competition for speaking French. The finals are in Paris. The night before the trip, the Principal tried to cancel the trip before he in turn loses his job to her high school boyfriend, Sean Collins.

Sean Collins’ survived cancer, his ex-wife leaving then dying on him, and Gigi aborted their child back in high school. He assumed he’d hate her, when he saw her. But she’s exactly what he wants.

Gigi and Sean are stuck together for a week in Paris. Her mother forced her to make that life altering decision that sent her life into a tailspin. She’s clawed her way out of depression and made peace with herself. But how does she survive her attraction to Sean Collins? The man’s sexier now than he was back in the day, and once upon a time, he had her heart. She’s falling for him, even knowing forever is impossible, at least that’s what she believes.

“You had cancer?” asked the older African American lady who coached the wrestling team.

“Yes, I did. I’m better now,” Sean said, smiling.

He inclined his head and passed the security desk then Sean turned right toward the principal’s office.

In his briefcase he carried the school board’s ruling and the proof of sale of the school to Collins Enterprises. Barnstable was a private school that followed school board law. The sale to his company had been finalized, but Sean had insisted on telling Murray in person. The minutes of the meeting would be posted at one that day. Victory waited for him, and justice tasted better than homemade chocolate chip cookies.

In the office the secretary, Mattie, dropped her pencil on the floor. Sean made eye contact with her and the older woman smiled back. Then he picked up the pencil in stride, and handed it back to her. She opened her mouth to speak, and he shook his head, placing his finger over his lips silently requesting her silence.

She smiled her response and swiveled her chair back to her computer.

He had seen Mattie in action and understood the older woman had known how to treat people more than anyone else in the office.

Outside the principal’s door, Sean straightened his tie into perfect alignment. His heart rate sped up and his entire body became alert then he heard her voice.

Gigi, or should he say, Giovanna Dumont. Her quiet, sweet voice unmanned him, making his palms sweat. Why would she be here? And how could she still steal his breath away?

“Please, Murray, my students won the chance of a lifetime. We earned the school trip.” Gigi argued her case with the principal in her sweet, honey voice. “If they win this competition, they are worldwide French Congressional winners. Two noble laureates named this year won this competition years ago, and we’re one of three North American schools in the finals.”

Murray never raised his face from his desk. He shrugged. “French is a dying language, Ms. Dumont. No one cares about the language, and my funding was reduced to the bone.”

A wave of disbelief swept through Sean. Gigi taught here? Why? She didn’t need a job, and she hated children. Wasn’t that what she’d said years ago?

Gigi pleaded again, “Murray, this is so unfair.”

Murray answered, “Life isn’t fair.”

Sean kept his head up and walked inside. Guess I don’t have a choice now.“Time to leave, Gigi,” Sean said quietly.


Rose Anderson said...

I enjoyed your interview, Victoria. Thanks for joining us today and best luck on your latest. :)

Judy Baker said...

Lovely to meet you Victoria, I enjoyed getting to know you and your writings.

jean hart stewart said...

Wonderful learn so much about the characters in that sketch...lots of luck with your writing..

Rose Gorham said...

Great interview ladies! Enjoyed the excerpt, Victoria.

Melissa Keir said...

I love the cover! It's wonderful to meet new to me authors. Congrats as well on your sales. Dawn is a wonderful agent. :)

All the best!

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